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On November13, Tony Blair delivered a major foreign policy speech to the Lord Mayors banquet at the Guildhall in London.
The speech reiterated many of the key principles of the Labour governments foreign policy, stressing for example, that there cannot be a British foreign policy which separates Britain from its close alliances with the US and within Europe. Blair also re-stated many of the key points he had presented in his speech in August to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles: his commitment to a global alliance and a global war for the defence of neo-liberal globalisation, representative democracy and the dictate of the big powers, and in particular to Anglo-American imperialism, a commitment which he refers to as a defence of universal values. He also elaborated his view that Britain must champion a whole Middle East strategy, centred on Palestine. Many of the key themes of the speech were subsequently repeated in a series of interviews given by the Prime Minister and were reflected in the Queens Speech to Parliament two days later.
According to Blairs presentation of reality, these so-called universal values are under attack by global terrorism, which is based on a thoroughly warped misinterpretation of Islam. This ideology, Blair argues, is completely irrational and one of its main objectives is to prevent democracy flourishing in Arab and Moslem countries. Britain must therefore, the Prime Minister claims, work with and strengthen the role of those with a moderate and modern view of Islam, and continue its military activity and interference throughout the Middle East, as if it were still the colonial power in the region.
And in conjunction it will continue its threats against Iran and Syria. Prior to the speech, there had been some speculation that due to recent political events in the US there might be some opportunity for the British government to develop a less belligerent approach to Iran and Syria. However, Tony Blair made it clear that this was not his intention and he once again issued threats against both countries, Iran in particular.
What Blair refers to as his whole Middle East strategy is centred on Palestine, although as might be expected he offered no concrete solutions. Unlike the high-level group responsible for the recent UN Alliance of Civilizations report, whatever might be thought of the remedy this group proposes, he has not concluded that the cause of that problem lies rooted in the legacy of European and especially British imperialism in the region and its efforts to deny the Palestinian people their rights as a nation. Instead, Blair uses the tragedy of Palestine, caused by the criminal activity of Zionism backed by British and US imperialism, as a justification to commit more crimes not only against the Palestinian people but also against other countries in the Middle East, such as Iran. Blair claims that such countries have in Palestine, Iraq and elsewhere, put obstacles in the path to peace, and paint us, as they did over the Israeli/Lebanon conflict, as the aggressors!
Blairs foreign policy strategy in general is based around the demand that all submit to the dictate of Anglo-US imperialism and its universal values. Any state that opposes these universal values is vilified, bullied and threatened with the prospect of military intervention. It is a foreign policy based on the principle that just as in the days of empire, might is right. Blairs Labour government seeks to turn truth on its head, to argue that others are responsible for instability in the Middle East, that it is others who are responsible for terrorism and for defending their ideologies by violence. He therefore draws the spurious conclusion that this situation requires a continuation and strengthening of the reactionary alliance with the US, which Blair refers to as the leading representative of our values, as well as the other big powers. According to Blair what is required is a global war of state terrorism in order to impose universal values, wherever the interests of the big monopolies so require.
But however many times Blair reiterates this view of the world it does not change the fact that what he refers to as universal values are in themselves alien to progress. These values are being opposed by ever-increasing numbers of people in Britain and throughout the world, irrespective of their beliefs or ideology, as the anachronistic and retrogressive nature of these values is increasingly exposed. Indeed, as Blair admitted in his Los Angles speech, one of the major problems confronting the British government is how to persuade its own citizens to accept its distortion and misrepresentation of reality, as it struggles to overcome the crisis in these values and put in place arrangements more suitable to dictatorial rule. This increasingly is leading to the criminalisation of ideologies such as Islam and revolutionary communism and to the branding of resistance as terrorist.
Blairs speech underlines the fact that the Labour government is unwilling and unable to change from its reactionary course and will continue on a path which poses great dangers for the people of Britain, the Middle East and throughout the world. It is up to the working class and people to strengthen the developing movement to block this reactionary course, make a break with the old British values of colonialism and superiority, and strengthen their own values of unity, defence of sovereignty and of the rights of all.
A statement by writers, journalists and intellectuals from mid and south Iraq against the division of Iraq
We the undersigned, a number of Iraqs writers, journalists and intellectuals from mid and south Iraq, we direct our statements to our people, all our fellow citizens all over Iraq. To Iraqis of all ethnic and religious identities.
We feel compelled to speak up as Iraqi citizens, in defence of our homeland, it is our sacred duty to do so.
We believe that the federalism law, introduced quickly and without a proper nation wide debate, is but an old scheme to destroy Iraq by dividing it. Iraq will be divided into small bickering entities to weaken it and erode the authority of its central government. This way, Iraq, with the richness of its human and natural resources will be prevented from developing into a strong nation, capable of being a significant player in the region. To prevent Iraq from becoming a regional heavy weight against the imperialist designs in the Middle East. And against the Zionist entity in Palestine, whose creation aims at preventing Arab countries from achieving their aspirations in prosperity and economical independence.
Federalism is usually introduced to smaller independent countries coming together to create a central political administration in order to meet its economical and security needs.
None of the member states has the power to over rule the authority of the central government, in matters of security, economic policy and planning as has happened to the countries constituting Germany, Italy and the US.
History has not witnessed, the division of a country into federal entities being then united by a weaker central government as being proposed in Iraq. This has little to do with true meaning of Federalism.
This old imperialist scheme is being translated into reality with the help of the agents of the superpowers. Agents, who have neither legitimacy nor moral authority to act in the name of the Iraq people, they disregard and violate all the intrinsically sacred values of the Iraqi people.
Their baseless claim that the Federal law in Iraq will prevent the coming of dictatorships in Iraq in the future is only but an example of their own arrogance and dictatorial tendency, by nominating and electing themselves as the saviours of the Iraqi people! They are only concerned with keeping their positions and thrones whichever way they can. They are only focused on their own goals and are determined to achieve them, whether by collaborating with the foreign invaders, by igniting civil strife, murdering their own people, in order to gain power and authority albeit on a small part of Iraq.
Those who claim that Federalism reflects the will of the Iraqi people and was based on a referendum on the constitution are being economical with the truth. Every section of the constitution should have been extensively examined by independent and qualified experts freely discussed and explained before the constitution is then put to the people for a referendum, that would have been the only way, for this claim to be true.
We all know how the current constitution was sneaked past the Iraqis with promises of it being the panacea for a better life and end to the Iraqis miseries. Even at the time of the voting in the referendum the final version of the constitution was not available in print for the Iraqis to read and make a considered judgment.
The current constitution is largely based on the Transitional Administration Law (TAL).
In his memoirs, Paul Bremmer, admits that Iraqs temporary constitution (TAL) written by a committee imposed by him, was the brainchild of Adnan Patchechi.
All the discussions on the constitution were one sided, carried out by figures and organisations supporting the war and occupation that had facilitated their climb into the corridors of power.
None of the parties were opposed to the occupation. The introduction of this constitution is a prime example of an autocratic practice in Iraq.
The country of Mesopotamia has always been a unitary geographical, political multi ethnic entity with a rich history of achievements of a flourishing nation.
Those who want to use civil strife as an excuse for introducing Federalism are disingenuous and devious. Islam came to unite the people, all the theological differences that appeared as a result of "Ijtihad" after the death of the prophet are minor many of them took place in Iraq. This is a reflection of the tolerance that advanced debate and critical thinking in Iraq, over the centuries.
It is in Iraq, that different strands of Shiaism and the different schools of Sunnism appeared. Today, Iraqis still refer to the linguistic rules introduced by these religious scholars in Basra and Kufa. Nothing in Iraqs culture and traditions are imported apart from the hated occupation with all its dubious projects, its heinous crimes, its bombardment of the cities with depleted uranium and phosphorus bombs, its democracy of killing and civil strife, its plunder and pilfering.
We remind all that our people, the founders of the cradle of civilisation and Iraq was the centre of administration of three powerful historical countries before the birth of Christ. In Nineveh, Ur and Babylon. And three other capitals that ruled the world from China to Andalucía (Kufa, Baghdad and Samara). We had a flourishing civilisation while the rest of the world was shrouded with darkness.
It is therefore, not a coincidence that the US forces should station its troops in Ur and Babel and should wreaks its destruction on Baghdad, Kufa, Nineveh and Samarra.
Sons and daughters of the 1920s victorious rebellion!
With your sacrifices Iraq the old and new was built, do not acquiesce to being a pickaxe for demolishing the glories of your ancestors
Rebel and do not be any less vigorous than your grand parents in your strive for the glory and dignity of your country
The merchants of federalism are the merchants of sectarianism and strife; they are motivated by loathing of Iraq and striving for their own personal interests.
They would achieve their own prosperity on the ruins of Iraq.
We therefore call on our suffering people, to turn the pain into a rage against the Zino American conspiracies and to undermine these dirty plans by standing united for defeating the occupation and expelling it with all its agents and symbols.
Iraq, our glorious country is the cradle of civilisation, of dignity and pride.
Abdul Ilah Al Bayaty
2 : Iman Al Sadoun
3 : Dr Riadh Al Taher
4 : Dr Mustafa Al Issa
5 : Al Mansour Hayder
6 : Dr Sabbah Al Shaher
7 : Dhia Al Kawz
8 : Samir Obeid
9 : Retired officer Hamid Jabur Al Wasiti
10 . Dr Noori Al Muradi
11 : Furat Alwan Al Sudani
12: Dr Nabil Al Janabi
13: Akil AlKuraisi
14 : Dr Haitham Al Nahi
15 : Jamal Alrubaii
16 : Sarmad Abdul Karim
17 : Dr Musa Al Hussaini
And 400 more names (as until 06 Nov 2006)
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