arab vs israel - blair speaks plain-speak!!!

  1. Yak
    13,672 Posts.
    Blair to Congress: Mideast peace key to winning war on terror

    By News Agencies

    WASHINGTON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair told
    the United States Congress on Thursday that the
    war on terror would not be won without peace
    between Israel and the Palestinians.

    "There is one cause terrorism
    rides upon, a cause they have
    no belief in but can
    manipulate," he said. "I want
    to be very plain: This
    terrorism will not be defeated
    without peace in the Middle
    East between Israel and

    In the first address to Congress by a British
    prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in 1985,
    Blair said that the entire Arab world must
    recognize the State of Israel, and end
    incitement against both Israel and Jews.

    "Here it is that the poison is incubated. Here
    it is that the extremist is able to confuse in
    the mind of a frighteningly large number of
    people the case for a Palestinian state and the
    destruction of Israel, and to translate this
    moreover into a battle between East and West,
    Muslim, Jew and Christian.

    "May this never compromise the security of the
    State of Israel. The State of Israel should be
    recognized by the entire Arab world, and the
    vile propaganda used to indoctrinate children,
    not just against Israel but against Jews, must

    "You cannot teach people hate and then ask them
    to practice peace. But neither can you teach
    people peace except by according them dignity
    and granting them hope.

    Innocent Israelis suffer. So do innocent

    The prime minister also Congress that he
    believes "with every fiber of instinct and
    conviction" that the U.S. and British led war
    on Iraq was justified - and that history will
    forgive them if weapons allegations used as
    justification were wrong.

    "We promised Iraq democratic government. We will
    deliver it," he said.

    The prime minister suggested that history will
    forgive the toppling of Saddam Hussein's
    government even if it turns out that Blair and
    President George W. Bush were wrong about Iraqi
    weapons of mass destruction.

    To have hesitated "in the face of this menace
    when we should have given leadership ... that
    is something that history will not forgive,"
    Blair said, to loud applause from House members
    and senators.

    Blair entered the House chamber to a standing
    ovation of lawmakers, senior Bush
    administration officials and American military

    The prime minister wryly thanked his audience
    for a "warm and generous welcome that's more
    than I deserve, and it's more than I'm used to,
    quite frankly."

    That was a reference to domestic Birtish
    politics. Before the war, Blair drew stronger
    opposition in the House of Commons to military
    action than Bush did in Congress. And like
    Bush, he has been hit hard by post-war
    controversy over questionable intelligence
    about Saddam Hussein's nuclear aims.

    Blair's visit to Congress, and then to the White
    House for a meeting and joint news conference
    with Bush, came amid deepening questions about
    the intelligence information both leaders used
    in arguing that war against Iraq was

    The two leaders were the closest of allies on
    the war, but the relationship has been strained
    in recent weeks over questions about British
    claims that Iraq sought to buy uranium in
    Africa and the president's use of such an
    assertion in his Jan. 28 State of the Union

    "Can we be sure that terrorists and weapons of
    mass destruction will join together?" Blair
    asked. "Let us say one thing. If we are wrong,
    we will have destroyed a threat that at its
    least is responsible for inhumane carnage and

    Blair arrived aboard his British Airways jet in
    early afternoon and went directly to Capitol
    Hill. It was the first leg of a seven-day tour
    that will also take him to Asia. He is the
    first British prime minister to address a joint
    meeting of Congress since Margaret Thatcher in

    His speech also touched on the war on terrorism,
    the Middle East peace process, the need to
    eradicate poverty, disease and famine in Africa
    and the need to promote free trade.

    "This terrorism will not be defeated without
    peace in the Middle East," he said.

    In what appeared to be mild criticism of the
    Bush administration, Blair also said it was
    important to act in coalitions, not going it
    alone. "Let us start preferring a coalition and
    acting alone if we have to, not the other way
    around," he said.

    And, he called on lawmakers not to continue to
    bear grudges against European countries who
    opposed the war.

    "They are our allies. And yours. So don't give
    up on Europe," he said.

    "When we invade Afghanistan or Iraq, our
    responsibility does not end with military
    victory," Blair said. "Finishing the fighting
    is not finishing the job. We promised Iraq
    democratic government. We will deliver it."

    "We promised them the chance to use their oil
    wells to build prosperity for all their
    citizens, not a corrupt elite. We will stay
    with these people so in need of help until the
    job is done."

    "I believe with every fiber of instinct and
    conviction I have that we are" right in
    deciding to go to war without broad
    international support, Blair said.

    Ahead of his visit, White House spokesman Scott
    McClellan reiterated the recent administration
    stance that Bush's mention of the British
    Iraq-Africa report should not have been
    included in the January address.

    Still, he added, "the British have been very
    clear that they stand by that statement."

    Bush said in his State of the Union address,
    "The British government has learned that Saddam
    Hussein recently sought significant quantities
    of uranium from Africa."

    The Iraq-Africa dispute has stoked criticism
    against both the Blair and Bush governments,
    and Blair's visit helped to further draw

    CIA Director George Tenet has thus far taken the
    blame, suggesting he should have objected when
    a draft of Bush's speech was circulated to his
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