Plaid Cymru Speech on Iraq

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Posted by andreas from ( on Monday, December 02, 2002 at 7:48AM :

The following is a Plaid Cymru's outspoken speech against the planned Iraq war as well as against Sadda's terror regime.

The speech is bilingual in - no, not Elvish, but Welsh - and English.

Just now I simply don't feel like translating the Welsh text for you and so I snipped it.

In case of interest you'll find a good dictionary "Welsh Dictionary / Geiriadur Cymraeg" + grammar


Hydref 29ain.....October 29th 2002

Dadl Plaid Cymru ar Iraq

Araith gan/Speech by Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Plaid Cymru Leader

Dwi'n cyflwyno'r cynnig sydd yn enw Jocelyn Davies. Mi fyddwn ni'n gwrthwynebu'r ddau

Even in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity of the 11th September, when the eyes of the world was on the military action in Afghanistan, the President of the United States, George Bush had made his intentions on Iraq quite clear.

He wanted to see Saddam Hussein removed from power, and was ready to use unilateral military action to remove him from power if necessary.

We share the view that Saddam Hussein heads an evil regime.

He has launched murderous attacks on his own people.

But at least we have been consistent.

We held this view even when western governments treated him as an ally, and when they were arming him to the teeth in the war against Iran.

And it seems that it was only when the United States' economic interests were threatened that Iraq became an enemy.

And the danger now is that the world could be heading towards a totally different approach to security issues, with the notion of the pre-emptive strike replacing the cold war doctrines of deterrence and containment.

President Bush signalled this change of approach in a speech he made to the United States Military Academy in June this year.

He said that these doctrines of deterrence and containment would no longer hold true in all circumstances in today's world.

That he was now entitled to promote a new doctrine; that of the 'pre-emptive strike'.

What is alarming about the notion of a pre-emptive strike is that it was introduced without any form of debate or discussion in the international community.

President Bush thinks that USA, because of its military might is able to simply change the rules of engagement.

That, in our view is a dangerous concept.

Surely we have a right to call on the USA to answer the allegation that this could well breach the UN Charter?

There has been an international outcry against President Bush's plans to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iraq.

But our worries were compounded when Tony Blair made it clear that he backed George Bush and said that

'Britain was ready to maintain a "blood price" to maintain its relationship with America'.

That phrase has rightly sent a shiver down our spine.

We want the Assembly today to vote on a motion which records our opposition to the notion of a pre-emptive strike.

That's why we oppose the government amendment.

Its seeks to avoid a vote on it, by removing paragraph a) of our motion in its entirety.

In fact 6 Labour AMs and 1 Lib Dem AM have already signed a statement of opinion which opposes the use of a pre-emptive strike against Iraq.

I invite them to join us in voting against the amendment and backing our original motion.

There is no agreement amongst the permanent members of the United Nations' Security Council over the wording of a new resolution on the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq.

This centres on the central demand of the United States that the resolution should countenance the immediate use of force against Iraq if Saddam Hussain fails to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors.

Both France and Russia currently oppose this form of words and in our view are right to do so.

The urgent need is for the weapons inspectors to return to Iraq- yes, but the resolution should not be used as a cover to launch a pre-emptive strike.

There is also the real danger that an attack on Iraq will destabilise the entire region.

A land war on Iraq will inevitably lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

The Oxford Research Group estimates that 10,000 civilians would die from conventional warfare alone.

And haven't the innocent already suffered enough in Iraq?

Opposition to the Unites States in the region would certainly increase, running the risk of regular terrorist reprisal attacks for many years.

Some are already talking of an United States presence in the Middle East for twenty years once a new regime is in place in Baghdad.

Surely we should be directing all our efforts at ending the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and working towards a lasting settlement there, rather than run the real risk of destabilising the entire region.

Mae hi'n gwbl briodol inni fod yn trafod y mater hwn yn y Cynulliad.



Meleri Evans
Swyddog y Wasg a Chyfathrebu/Press and Communications Officer
Plaid Cymru The Party Of Wales
Ffon/Phone: T: 029 2064 6000
Symudol/Mobile: 07939 270821

-- andreas
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