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http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1163038,00.html

Blair promises 'relentless' war on terror

Read Tony Blair's speech in full

Tom Happold
Friday March 5, 2004

Tony Blair defended the doctrine of pre-emptive military action this morning, promising to "wage war relentlessly on those who would exploit racial and religious division to bring catastrophe to the world".
In a speech in his Sedgefield constituency, the prime minister warned of the "mortal danger" posed by Islamist terrorists and rogue states acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and insisted that "this is not the time to err on the side of caution".

"We surely have a duty and a right to prevent the threat materialising; and we surely have a responsibility to act when a nation's people are subjected to a regime such as Saddam's," he said.

Mr Blair called for the reform of international law and the UN to allow the elimination of rogue, repressive regimes which might supply terrorists with WMD.

He also dismissed charges that the attorney general's advice on the legality of the war was disputed, calling them an "elaborate smokescreen".

Insisting that Britain invaded Iraq "to enforce compliance with UN resolutions" and not because it had WMD, he suggested that the war was justified even if the Iraq survey group finds no weapons.

He said: "Here is the crux: It is possible that even with all this, nothing would have happened; possible that Saddam would change his ambitions; possible he would develop the WMD but never use it; possible that the terrorists would never get their hands on WMD, whether from Iraq or elsewhere.

"We cannot be certain. But do we want to take the risk? That is the judgment. And my judgment then and now is that the risk of this new global terrorism, and its interaction with states or organisations or individuals proliferating WMD, is one I simply am not prepared to take."

He claimed the attacks of September 11 had "altered crucially the balance of risk", showing as they did that Islamist terrorists were prepared to wage "war without limit".

"From September 11 on, I could see the threat plainly," he said. "Here were terrorists prepared to bring about Armageddon.

"Here were states whose leadership cared for no one but themselves; were often cruel and tyrannical towards their people; and who saw WMD as a means of defending themselves against any attempt, external or internal, to remove them and who, in their chaotic and corrupt state, were in any event porous and irresponsible with neither the will nor capability to prevent terrorists who also hated the west from exploiting their chaos and corruption."

He added: "The global threat to our security was clear. So was our duty: to act to eliminate it."

Mr Blair warned that political disagreement could make the UN paralysed to deal with a "threat we believe is real", and called for the security council to be reformed so that it "represents 21st century reality".

He described the controversy over the attorney general's legal advice on the war as an "elaborate smokescreen to prevent us seeing the real issue: which is not a matter of trust but of judgement".

And he predicted that "once this row dies down, another will take its place, and then another and then another", as "each week brings a fresh attempt to get a new angle that can prove it was all a gigantic conspiracy".
 

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I agree. Blair is one of the most eloquent politicians of our age. After 9/11 I was comforted and encouraged by the words of Blair while I gritted my teeth whenever Bush addressed the nation. Maybe I'll write in Blair in November. ;)
 

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yep - I don't agree with Blair

Duane Gran said:
I agree. Blair is one of the most eloquent politicians of our age. After 9/11 I was comforted and encouraged by the words of Blair while I gritted my teeth whenever Bush addressed the nation. Maybe I'll write in Blair in November. ;)
but it sure is easier to take from him...
 

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The reason is simple.
.
.
Blair is not an idiot.
 

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I'm glad he isn't. Bush's speaking style compliments his thinking and decision making perfectly. The last thing we need is someone who can make these dangerous policies <i>sound</i> credible.
 

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Some cable channel sometimes carries the Q&A between the PM & the House of Commons

It is amazing to see Blair articulate technical and eloquent responses to a wife range of questions, some of which are very aggressive.

Blair will sometimes revert to American style platitudes and puffery, but for the most part his answers show anmazing grasp of the issues. George would find it hard to read Blairs's statements from a script, much less verbalize them on the fly.
 

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yes, and if articulate were the only test

Articulate is good, but I'll take a genuinely good person who isn't so articulate over a bad, articulate person any day; a good used car salesman could be very articulate. Decision making is the number one task of a president. I know most of you here will never understand this, but the bulk of America agrees with the president's decision making.

Blair is among the best, though. Maybe Bush should simply wait, then say "What he said." ;-)
 

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Mr. Blair is very articulate, and England is very lucky to have him as their PM. Bush can't speak neither could his father. Two Presidents who could that come to mind are Clinton and Regan. However, I get really annoyed when people refer to the President as unintelligent. The American public should not confuse public speaking ability with intellignece. As much as I disagreed with Clinton and some of the things W has done I would not say that they are unintelligent.
 

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yes

Acenturian said:
Mr. Blair is very articulate, and England is very lucky to have him as their PM. Bush can't speak neither could his father. Two Presidents who could that come to mind are Clinton and Regan. However, I get really annoyed when people refer to the President as unintelligent. The American public should not confuse public speaking ability with intellignece. As much as I disagreed with Clinton and some of the things W has done I would not say that they are unintelligent.
Reagan was the best in a long time. I'll certainly admit that Clinton was a better speaker than Bush.

For many on The Left, their first line of attack is to claim their opposition is unintelligent. Anyone who disagrees with them *must* be unintelligent, otherwise they'd wise up and agree with them. Pure arrogance, or just a pitiful attack for lack of anything better, more substantive, to say. I suppose it makes them feel good.

Heck, I'll admit Clinton was an intelligent guy. There's a difference between intelligence and good judgment, though.

By the way, I heard it rumored that Bush doesn't mind being underestimated by the opposition, and that he is really far more intelligent than it might appear.
 

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Good people are sometimes wrong and make bad decisions...

But really, good here is being used to mean having a shared political philosophy, so let's not confuse morality with political philosophy. Clinton was bad to folks here because of his political stands well before he lied under oath about sex (which was bad). Kerry is deemed bad by some here now because he wants to raise taxes for some people. But I'd say Kerry is no more a Bad man that George is. Taxes do not make Kerry a bad person, just someone you disagree with.

We'll see in a few months whether that bulk of Americans supporting the President's decisions is a majority or a minority.... or as we all know, whether it represents a majority or minority of electoral college votes. Many of us on this board do understand that many Americans support George's policies, but some of those Americans are beginning to question their support of those policies. Strong poll numbers do not make decisions Good, they show that they the popularity of the decisions at one time and place.
 

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It sounds like you (and Bush) paid too much attention to mommy's soothing reasurances that the mean boys who tease you are just jealous, insecure, etc.

I could make a perfectly legitimate case against Bush's intelligence without ever mentioning his speach or any other personal attribute. He makes bad decisions that fail to deliver the promised results. Worse, he fails to learn from his mistakes.

What other enemies of the Left are derided as unintelligent? The only one I can think of is Dan Quayle. I think you are making things up about other people to make yourself feel better.
 

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That's not it

DougSloan said:
Articulate is good, but I'll take a genuinely good person who isn't so articulate over a bad, articulate person any day; a good used car salesman could be very articulate. Decision making is the number one task of a president. I know most of you here will never understand this, but the bulk of America agrees with the president's decision making.

Blair is among the best, though. Maybe Bush should simply wait, then say "What he said." ;-)
IMHO, the only reason that Bush's poll numbers have been as good as they have been over the past year is that many Americans are uninformed. It's not that they are COMPLETELY uninformed - its just that they hear sound bites of information - and if they took the time to dig deeper, they would not approve of Bush. There have been studies that say that many Americans (6 or 7 out of 10) still think that Saddam and Iraq have something to do with 9/11 - though there is ZERO evidence of such a connection, and Bush doesn't even make such a claim anymore (he did imply it for a long time). Just goes to show that many are misinformed - which would explain favorable views of Bush.
 

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I agree that many Americans are not informed. But I disagree that if they were "more informed" then the Presidents numbers would be lower. As far as Iraq having anything to do with 9/11 who really knows, I am sure there are many countries who support terroist through finacial means and it's not like they are going to write that in their checkbook.

I will say that I belive that the reason Libya came forward was because some in high ranks were scared, not just because they thought it was a nice thing to do. They were worried that they to could loose power and that influenced cooperation.

So when people ask do you feel safer after the war..........yes I do even if its just a little safer.
 

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Acenturian said:
I agree that many Americans are not informed. But I disagree that if they were "more informed" then the Presidents numbers would be lower. As far as Iraq having anything to do with 9/11 who really knows, I am sure there are many countries who support terroist through finacial means and it's not like they are going to write that in their checkbook.

I will say that I belive that the reason Libya came forward was because some in high ranks were scared, not just because they thought it was a nice thing to do. They were worried that they to could loose power and that influenced cooperation.

So when people ask do you feel safer after the war..........yes I do even if its just a little safer.
My point is that many people are misinformed, in that they believe that we HAVE ESTABLISHED a connection between 9/11 and Iraq - and we clearly have not done so. Having suspicion is one thing (and the case for that with Irag-9/11 is very weak); having evidence is quite another.
 

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Yeah, I often wish that when George W speaks that he could sound a bit more polished, and more "Presidential" like Tony Blair, but a polished speaker is no yardstick of a good leader, although I do feel that Blair is a teriffic leader and a true ally. I agree with DougSloan on that one. Clinton was a good speaker but crap as a leader. Bush has the guts and the will to go after the bad guys that would kill us if they could. I don't agree with all of Bush's policies, but at least with him you know where he stands on an issue. I find that rather refreshing after 8 years of Clinton and the current double talking French speaking Senator Kerry.
 

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FrankDL said:
Clinton was a good speaker but crap as a leader. .................................................................... I find that rather refreshing after 8 years of Clinton and the current double talking French speaking Senator Kerry.
Funny, Clinton managed to get elected (with majorities, yet!) 2 times. Certainly sounds to me that he was able to lead people. Maybe you didn't like him, but he certainly was a leader. He was also quite a good manager and was much more diplomatic than our current prez is.

As far as the Kerry comment is concerned:
Il parle le français? Qu'est-il pourquoi un problème? Etes-vous un imbécile? Ou, êtes-vous ethnocentrique?
 

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Dave_Stohler said:
Funny, Clinton managed to get elected (with majorities, yet!) 2 times. Certainly sounds to me that he was able to lead people. Maybe you didn't like him, but he certainly was a leader. He was also quite a good manager and was much more diplomatic than our current prez is.

As far as the Kerry comment is concerned:
Il parle le français? Qu'est-il pourquoi un problème? Etes-vous un imbécile? Ou, êtes-vous ethnocentrique?
Yes Dave, you are correct, Clinton did get elected twice, but as I recall, I believe he was impeached once. Now that's always a sign of a good leader. Actually, I voted for Clinton the first time! In fact, I still recall his tv broadcast when he looked right into the TV cameras and sternly declared face on to the American people, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinski!" Maybe it's just me, but I just don't like being lied to my face by my leaders...I guess I'm funny about that Dave.

Clinton was a bright guy, and had a lot of skills; It's a shame he was just completely void of integrity. Funny, I sorta expect integrity in a leader...but then again Dave that's just me.

Again, I would take Bush and all his shortcomings over the competition any day and twice on Sunday.

As far as the funny French stuff...

Ne soyez pas un imbécile ! Je ne suis pas ethnocentrique. Mes remarques ont été censées pour montrer mon aversion pour les chefs français à qui n'ayez pas le courage à ce qui est exact!
 

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Bravo. Pour vous j'enlève mon chapeau ! Ne prenez pas cette merde ! Clinton était un idiot ! Vous êtes l'homme !

 

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Majorities???? Think again. Its called Plurality

Dave_Stohler said:
Funny, Clinton managed to get elected (with majorities, yet!) 2 times.
1992 Popular Election Results.

William Clinton: Popular Vote - 44,909,806
George Bush: Popular Vote - 39,104,550
H. Ross Perot: Popular Vote - 19,743,821

While Clinton did win 68.77% (370 electorals) of the Electoral College. Popular vote wise most people did NOT want him as president. By 13,938,565 Votes!!! Clinton won a Plurality of votes... NOT a majority.

I voted for Clinton in 92, even though I "tend' to vote Republican. What disgusts me today is that people today are bashing both sides based on partisian politics. Those people will always be more loyal to their poliltical party than their country. People whining about Bush's decision about Iraq, didn't say squat when Clinton bombed Bosnia WITHOUT U.N. approval. But I guess NATO's blessing was enough. I didn't have a problem with Clinton's decision then, nor do I with Bush's now.
 
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