Statement on Weapons of Mass Destruction - 2 June 2003
Any MP who voted for military action simply on the basis of one piece of security service information about the deployment of weapons in 45 minutes was either stupid or irresponsible. The case for war was that Saddam refused to comply with his obligations to disarm. Hans Blix set out clearly the steps that Saddam needed to take in order to prove that Iraq had destroyed all those weapons unaccounted for in UNSCOM's report of February 1999. These were to allow unfettered interviews with Iraqi scientists and to provide the document and audit trails of his weapons programmes that would show funding was discontinued at the time the programmes were meant to have been abandoned. He was also obliged to provide details of the location and the methods used to destroy the weapons. Faced with a quarter of a million allied troops on his border Saddam still failed to meet these obligations. Despite an unanimous Security Council resolution giving him one final opportunity to comply he still failed to meet these obligations. In such circumstances the UK was absolutely justified in assuming that he had something to hide.
The Iraq Crisis
In the following pages, I have outlined my views and concerns about Iraq, about the possibility of war and about the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Let me start by saying that I want peace. I also understand that many people have conflicting and passionate views about the best way to achieve peace. People are right to be anxious and concerned at the prospect of military action and I respect the fact that so many of my constituents have thought deeply about the present crisis. I am grateful to those of you who have contacted me with your views and it is helpful to me in forming my own. Thank you.
I believe that it is my duty as your member of parliament to do two things. The first is to tell you honestly what my own position is. The second is to listen carefully to the views of my constituents and to try to respond openly and truthfully to the questions and arguments that you put to me. That is why I held a public meeting in Brent Town Hall on the 17th December 2002, where many people came to share their perception of events as well as to listen to mine. What is clear is that it would not be possible to agree with all the disparate and conflicting views that my constituents hold on this issue. But I was elected, not to be a pollster, trying to establish what the majority of my constituents felt on any issue and then voting in that particular way. The responsibility of an MP is to give his constituents his best judgement. In the following pages that is what I try to do.
If you have not yet read and studied The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, can I suggest that you do so at this point. A great deal of what follows and much of the argument hinges around this and Resolution 687.
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why was my pic deleted? I thought it was perfect!