|13/6/05||British Foreign Secretary Straw Says Case For Iraq Is Weak|
06/13/05 – – The following is purported to have been penned by the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw—U.S. equivalent of Secretary of State—concerning a possible war in Iraq. Straw indicates the case for war is weak; that the Iraq situation has remained unchanged; and that the United States would not have gone to war without September 11. The document is presented as transcribed by “Raw Story” rawstory.com/
Alleged Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office 25 March 2002
PM/02/019 PRIME MINISTER
1. The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few. The risks are high, both for you and for the Government. I judge that there is at present no majority inside the PLP for any military action against Iraq, (alongside a greater readiness in the PLP to surface their concerns). Colleagues know that Saddam and the Iraqi regime are bad. Making that case is easy. But we have a long way to go to convince them as to:
1. The whole exercise is made much more difficult to handle as long as conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is so acute.
1. The Iraqi regime plainly poses a most serious threat to its neighbours, and therefore to international security. However, in the documents so far presented it has been hard to glean whether the threat from Iraq is so significantly
1. If 11 September had not happened, it is doubtful that the US would now be considering military action against Iraq. In addition, there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL and Al Quaida. Objectively, the threat from Iraq has not worsened as a result of 11 September. What has however changed is the tolerance of the international community (especially that of the US), the world having witnesses on September 11 just what determined evil people can these days perpetuate.
1. By linking these countries together in this “axis of evil” speech, President Bush implied an identity between them not only in terms of their threat, but also in terms of the action necessary to deal with the threat. A lot of work will now need to be done to delink the three, and to show why military action against Iraq is so much more justified than against Iran and North Korea. The heart of this case — that Iraq poses a unique and present danger — rests on the fact that it:
2. invaded a neighbour;
3. has used WMD, and would use them again;
4. is in breach of nine UNSCRS.
1. That Iraq is in flagrant breach of international legal obligations imposed on it by the UNSC provides us with the core of a strategy, and one which is based on international law. Indeed if the argument is to be won, the whol [sic] case
1. We also have better to sequence the explanation of what we are doing and why. Specifically, we need to concentrate in the early stages on:
1. I know there are those who say that an attack on Iraq would be justified whether or not weapons inspectors were readmitted. But I believe that a demand for the unfettered readmission of weapons inspectors is essential, in terms of public explanation, and in terms of legal sanction for any subsequent military action.
2. Legally there are two potential elephant traps:
1. A legal justification is a necessary but far from sufficient precondition for military action. We have also to answer the big question — what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than in anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq’s WMD threat. But none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better.
2. Iraq has NO history of democracy so no-one has this habit or experience.