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Conclusion: The World We Want

Thank you for participating in the Dialogue on Foreign Policy. The interactive web site is now closed. The Minister's report will appear on this web site once it is released.

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Letter to Bush (Paolo Colho)

Contributor: Jean_François

Date: 2003-03-20 10:27:10

Canada-US relations and with the rest of the world :

From the world's most popular novelist, Paulo Coelho, an open letter of
praise for President Bush.

Thank you, great leader George W. Bush.
Thank you for showing everyone what a danger Saddam Hussein represents. Many
of us might otherwise have forgotten that he used chemical weapons against
his own people, against the Kurds and against the Iranians. Hussein is a
bloodthirsty dictator and one of the clearest expressions of evil in today's
But this is not my only reason for thanking you. During the first two months
of 2003, you have shown the world a great many other important things and,
therefore, deserve my gratitude.
So, remembering a poem I learned as a child, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for showing everyone that the Turkish people and their parliament
are not for sale, not even for 26 billion dollars.
Thank you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the
decisions made by those in power and the wishes of the people. Thank you for
making it clear that neither José María Aznar nor Tony Blair give the
slightest weight to or show the slightest respect for the votes they
received. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the fact that 90% of
Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by the largest public
demonstration to take place in England in the last thirty years.
Thank you for making it necessary for Tony Blair to go to the British
parliament with a fabricated dossier written by a student ten years ago, and
present this as 'damning evidence collected by the British Secret Service'.
Thank you for allowing Colin Powell to make a complete fool of himself by
showing the UN Security Council photos which, one week later, were publicly
challenged by Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector in Iraq.
Thank you for adopting your current position and thus ensuring that, at the
plenary session, the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin's
anti-war speech was greeted with applause - something, as far as I know,
that has only happened once before in the history of the UN, following a
speech by Nelson Mandela.
Thank you too, because, after all your efforts to promote war, the normally
divided Arab nations were, for the first time, at their meeting in Cairo
during the last week in February, unanimous in their condemnation of any
Thank you for your rhetoric stating that 'the UN now has a chance to
demonstrate its relevance', a statement which made even the most reluctant
countries take up a position opposing any attack on Iraq.
Thank you for your foreign policy which provoked the British foreign
secretary, Jack Straw, into declaring that in the 21st century, 'a war can
have a moral justification', thus causing him to lose all credibility.
Thank you for trying to divide a Europe that is currently struggling for
unification; this was a warning that will not go unheeded.
Thank you for having achieved something that very few have so far managed to
do in this century: the bringing together of millions of people on all
continents to fight for the same idea, even though that idea is opposed to
Thank you for making us feel once more that though our words may not be
heard, they are at least spoken - this will make us stronger in the future.
Thank you for ignoring us, for marginalising all those who oppose your
decision, because the future of the Earth belongs to the excluded.
Thank you, because, without you, we would not have realised our own ability
to mobilise. It may serve no purpose this time, but it will doubtless be
useful later on.
Now that there seems no way of silencing the drums of war, I would like to
say, as an ancient European king said to an invader: 'May your morning be a
beautiful one, may the sun shine on your soldiers' armour, for in the
afternoon, I will defeat you.'
Thank you for allowing us - an army of anonymous people filling the streets
in an attempt to stop a process that is already underway - to know what it
feels like to be powerless and to learn to grapple with that feeling and
transform it.
So, enjoy your morning and whatever glory it may yet bring you.
Thank you for not listening to us and not taking us seriously, but know that
we are listening to you and that we will not forget your words.
Thank you, great leader George W. Bush.
Thank you very much.

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Letter to Bush (Paolo Colho)

Contributor: Barretm82

Date: 2003-03-21 00:32:27


March 18, 2003

See men shredded, then say you don't back war
By Ann Clwyd

“There was a machine designed for shredding plastic. Men were dropped into it and we were again made to watch. Sometimes they went in head first and died quickly. Sometimes they went in feet first and died screaming. It was horrible. I saw 30 people die like this. Their remains would be placed in plastic bags and we were told they would be used as fish food . . . on one occasion, I saw Qusay [President Saddam Hussein’s youngest son] personally supervise these murders.”

This is one of the many witness statements that were taken by researchers from Indict — the organisation I chair — to provide evidence for legal cases against specific Iraqi individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. This account was taken in the past two weeks.

Another witness told us about practices of the security services towards women: “Women were suspended by their hair as their families watched; men were forced to watch as their wives were raped . . . women were suspended by their legs while they were menstruating until their periods were over, a procedure designed to cause humiliation.”

The accounts Indict has heard over the past six years are disgusting and horrifying. Our task is not merely passively to record what we are told but to challenge it as well, so that the evidence we produce is of the highest quality. All witnesses swear that their statements are true and sign them.

For these humanitarian reasons alone, it is essential to liberate the people of Iraq from the regime of Saddam. The 17 UN resolutions passed since 1991 on Iraq include Resolution 688, which calls for an end to repression of Iraqi civilians. It has been ignored. Torture, execution and ethnic-cleansing are everyday life in Saddam’s Iraq.

Were it not for the no-fly zones in the south and north of Iraq — which some people still claim are illegal — the Kurds and the Shia would no doubt still be attacked by Iraqi helicopter gunships.

For more than 20 years, senior Iraqi officials have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This list includes far more than the gassing of 5,000 in Halabja and other villages in 1988. It includes serial war crimes during the Iran-Iraq war; the genocidal Anfal campaign against the Iraqi Kurds in 1987-88; the invasion of Kuwait and the killing of more than 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians; the violent suppression, which I witnessed, of the 1991 Kurdish uprising that led to 30,000 or more civilian deaths; the draining of the Southern Marshes during the 1990s, which ethnically cleansed thousands of Shias; and the summary executions of thousands of political opponents.

Many Iraqis wonder why the world applauded the military intervention that eventually rescued the Cambodians from Pol Pot and the Ugandans from Idi Amin when these took place without UN help. They ask why the world has ignored the crimes against them?

All these crimes have been recorded in detail by the UN, the US, Kuwaiti, British, Iranian and other Governments and groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and Indict. Yet the Security Council has failed to set up a war crimes tribunal on Iraq because of opposition from France, China and Russia. As a result, no Iraqi official has ever been indicted for some of the worst crimes of the 20th century. I have said incessantly that I would have preferred such a tribunal to war. But the time for offering Saddam incentives and more time is over.

I do not have a monopoly on wisdom or morality. But I know one thing. This evil, fascist regime must come to an end. With or without the help of the Security Council, and with or without the backing of the Labour Party in the House of Commons tonight.

The author is Labour MP for Cynon Valley.

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Letter to Bush (Paolo Colho)

Contributor: jimlyn

Date: 2003-04-25 08:47:35

Oh, and thank you Georgee for unifying Canadians,thank you for allowing us a chance to show our friends(?)south of here that we may not possess WMD's but our moral standing in the communities has been strenghtened by your calous acts of cowardism in you persuit of money-money-money and more money so you can dominate the planet for the next 200 years.Oh thank oh great white Saviour of free speach and personel opinions.

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