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The oddest reason for invading Iraq

I am speaking at two public meetings later today in Clare Short's Constituency. I have, therefore, hunted up Clare Short's reasoning for supporting going to war in Iraq. I have always found this the oddest reason. One of her reasons was:

"We should also consider taking military action if it is necessary to minimise suffering and to maximise the speed with which Iraq is reconstituted so that it gets up and going and its economy is improved."
Hansard 30th January 2003 Column 1052 - see link

So Clare's argument is that the Iraq invasion was necessary:
so that ... its economy is improved

Does that mean that given the problems at Longbridge (caused by the government) she will be calling for the government to invade Northfield?

Comments

Bob Piper said…
Perhaps you can quote Chat Show Charlie, who said "We are not the all-out anti war party" and On 18 March 2003 the LibDems voted against the government motion that would start the war. But paradoxically, even as they voted against the government, they fell into line behind the government. It was that very day that they abandoned their previous talk of forcing the Prime Minister to prove the unproven case for war. There were no more LibDem conditions about a clear UN mandate and clear proof of a threat from Iraq. Kennedy's view was now simply that the decision had been made, and the LibDems must give it their "genuine support." In other words... Kennedy's position after the war had been voted on, was exactly the same as Clare Short's position after the Cabinet had voted in favour. All the Lib Dems did was accept a different collective responsibility... not a different position, despite their public posturings.
PoliticalHack said…
No John. No.

The bits you skip from your shortened quote (no pun intended) are entirely relevant to her argument. Pretending otherwise is deceitful.

'the problems at Longbridge (caused by the government)'

We've dealt with this. They weren't. The government is just trying to put things right. Where's your praise for the pensions security that many Rover employees now enjoy thanks to Labour? Where's the praise for the training funding?

The Rover employees were let down by your mates at Phoenix. End of story.
john said…
I don't know where you are quoting that from (much that it may not be plagiarism).

It is also a good intellectual point rather than the drivel that is often spouted by the blogosphere.

As far as I can tell even Charles Kennedy never actually supported the war. The party clearly never did. I accept that the party was never an "all-out anti war party". I myself am not a pacifist.

There is no question that the party mishandled the presentation of the position.

I was very careful to write down and keep my speeches both at the demonstrations before the war started and also at the demonstration during the war (when Lynne Jones refused to speak).

In practise even "respect" "supported the troops".

There are a lot of intellectual challenges as to position when the country goes to war and it is an illegal and improper war. Personally I think I handled that properly and this has been recognised by people in Yardley.

However, the big question is the one about whether or not it was right to go to war. Somewhat miraculously, all 53 Lib Dem MPs voted against going to war. (The Lib Dem whip is weaker than that of Labour - hence getting all MPs to vote the same way is not guaranteed)
john said…
(anonymous) PoliticalHack says it is disingenuous to indicate that Clare Short thought a good reason to attack Iraq (aka Riverbank) was to improve its economy.

Semantically I have given the source quote, the detailed quote and my sub-analytical parsing.

Sorry, but I think you are wrong.
PoliticalHack said…
Your interpretation of the quotation and mine clearly differ.

I perceive that she justifies invasion to improve the lot of the Iraqi people AND improve the economy, not invade TO improve the economy. Seems clear to me and requiring no further deconstruction.
john said…
We will have to agree to disagree. I personally do not accept recession as a good cause for invasion.

There were many reasons cited. As far as I know the only person to suggest that "improving the economy" was a valid reason was Clare Short.

Most Labour people went on about Weapons of Mass Distr(u/a)ction.

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