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Blair KO's his rebels
The Sun (U.K.) ^ | 03/13/03 | TREVOR KAVANAGH

Posted on 03/12/2003 7:33:58 PM PST by Pokey78


Defiant ... Mr Blair, suffering a
heavy cold, still proved he is in charge

TONY Blair yesterday stamped on wriggling anti-war worm Jacques Chirac.

The PM blasted the French president’s threat to veto a new UN resolution on Iraq.

Mr Blair also defied Labour rebels — and signalled he is ready to order British troops into battle against Iraq.

In a storming Commons performance, he insisted he is still working “flat out” for peaceful disarmament.

But he also issued a personal challenge to war wobblers, saying: “Why don’t we just work out the right thing to do — and do it.”

Britain was last night hoping to win support from a wobbling UN Security Council for a six-point showdown with Saddam.

This would force him to make a public admission that he has weapons of mass slaughter — and promise to scrap them.

It would also force him to hand over thousands of litres of anthrax and the unmanned aircraft which can spray deadly nerve gas.

But American and British forces were bracing themselves for war in days as hopes of getting a new UN resolution on taking action began to fade.

The last chance of finding a peaceful end to the crisis was wrecked by France who insist that — whatever the circumstances — it WILL use its veto.

Britain and the US were last night still determined to try for the nine votes they need to secure the UN mandate. But they may decide they are justified in taking action without the new resolution.

Mexico and Chile, facing protests at home, have already decided it is not worth risking further unpopularity from voters if France is determined to overturn their vote anyway.

In the Commons, Mr Blair could not conceal his anger at French President Jacques Chirac’s veto threat.

He told MPs: “We can’t have a position where one country is saying that whatever the circumstances, they will veto the resolution.”


Ready ... troops in the Gulf
prepare for war yesterday

An American defence insider said: “If there is no new resolution, it makes further delay rather pointless.

“We have hundreds of thousands of troops out there in the heat.”

The Prime Minister was boosted in the Commons by a dramatic change of mood in Labour ranks — following a ferocious lecture to rebel MPs.

Whips silenced hecklers and quelled calls from the loony left to sack Mr Blair. In fighting mood, the PM insisted Britain would not leave America to take on Saddam alone.

“Of course the US could go alone and, of course, this country should not take military action unless it is in our interests to do so,” he said.

“It is the British national interest that must be upheld at all times.

“But the reason why I believe it is important that we hold firm to the course we have set out is because what is at stake here isn’t whether the US goes alone or not.

“It is whether the international community is prepared to back up the clear instruction it gave to Saddam Hussein with the necessary action.

“That is why I am determined we hold firm to the course we have set out.”

Threats of a leadership coup evaporated after Party chiefs lashed the loony left for blatant “disloyalty”.

Many Labour MPs have been shaken by the treachery of Cabinet minister Clare Short who branded the PM “reckless” and threatened to resign.

But they were even more stunned by headlines warning that the Prime Minister who has led them to two stunning election victories could be deposed because of Saddam Hussein.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his deputy, Mike O’Brien, tore into the rebels at a meeting of Labour MPs at Westminster.

They attacked Left-wing hard-liners for trying to set up a special conference to challenge Mr Blair’s leadership.

“There is a big difference between dissent and outright disloyalty,” said Mr O’Brien.

“Over the weekend it got to the point of disloyalty.

“The meeting made it clear the behaviour of some people in calling for a special conference was unreasonable.

“Today was the day the tide turned. The party is rallying behind Tony Blair.”

In a swipe at Clare Short’s threat to quit, he said: “Some people have overplayed their hand. That has been the very strong reaction in the Party.”

Mr O’Brien also tore into “Le Worm” Chirac for trying to sabotage the UN.

“When we get President Chirac saying in any circumstances France will say ‘no’, that is unreasonable,” he said.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: ukdemands

1 posted on 03/12/2003 7:33:58 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78; PhiKapMom; Scott from the Left Coast
Britain was last night hoping to win support from a wobbling UN Security Council for a six-point showdown with Saddam.

This would force him to make a public admission that he has weapons of mass slaughter — and promise to scrap them.

So much for getting with the program..

2 posted on 03/12/2003 7:40:46 PM PST by Dog (Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne)
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To: Pokey78
If France vetoes our action, then who is acting unilaterally?

The French may be surprised to find neither they nor the UN have any veto power over the US Constitution!

3 posted on 03/12/2003 7:41:33 PM PST by Monti Cello
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To: Monti Cello
"The French may be surprised to find neither they nor the UN have any veto power over the US Constitution!"

Then why go to the UN in the first place if the US Constitution says we go into Iraq? This has been the biggest waste of time, and has produced a significant PR nightmare. And please don't tell me it's Powell's fault. The buck stops with the President.

4 posted on 03/12/2003 7:45:20 PM PST by CatOwner
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To: Monti Cello
The French may be surprised to find that the US congress will veto our further funding of the UN!
5 posted on 03/12/2003 7:48:19 PM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: Dog
I am with you! Still going for that stupid TV speech from Saddam! This paper can give Blair all the praise it wants but he is getting us into a bigger quagmire if Saddam complies or the French don't veto.

6 posted on 03/12/2003 7:49:42 PM PST by PhiKapMom (Get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US)
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To: Monti Cello
If France vetoes our action, then who is acting unilaterally? The French may be surprised to find neither they nor the UN have any veto power over the US Constitution!

Gives the term -- "over-playing ones hand" -- a whole new perspective. Chiraq is political toast. Time will prove this.

7 posted on 03/12/2003 7:56:28 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Let's Roll Already!)
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To: CatOwner
Why go??
To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to the American public what we on the right have known for years. The U.N. is useless and now harmful. There will be much less handwringing and moanng when we pull out of the U.N after all this is over. Bush wins again by allowing his opponents to paint themselves into a corner and then hang themselves. France vetoes the resolution, it proves our point and Bush wins. France approves it and the world knows they did it to keep Bush happy,and Bush wins.
8 posted on 03/12/2003 7:56:34 PM PST by calljack
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To: CatOwner
In trying to figure out how this is turning out to our advantage you have to consider that the cowards and weasels have had to show their hands, the UN looks worthless, no one can say we didn't try to go through the channels, and a little surprisingly our "friends" the French have irreparably trashed the process who vow to veto no matter what. We now know who is with us and who is against us.
My main worries are our troops. If not for them this debate about shall we or shall we not could go on forever. I don't want them to be the casualty of the UN fiasco.
9 posted on 03/12/2003 7:57:55 PM PST by Aria
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To: calljack; Aria
I wish I could believe that Bush wants to do away with the UN, but it will still be there regardless of whether we go into Iraq or not. Bush wants to unite the world. I love our President, but I sometimes wonder.
10 posted on 03/12/2003 8:04:46 PM PST by CatOwner
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To: Aria
I'm with you. The UN exercise was valuable for two things:

We have smoked out two rats - Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin.

We have proven to the American people that George Bush has done everything reasonable and more to take the measure of the UN, and now all can see that the UN simply doesn't measure up. This is very good to know.

But now, times up. LET'S ROLL!
11 posted on 03/12/2003 8:09:25 PM PST by John Valentine (Writing from downtown Seoul, keeping an eye on the hills to the north.)
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To: CatOwner
Those of us who love W, like myself, can easily see him as so close to perfect (especially after his predecessor). We have to remember he is only human and he has been delt a real bad hand. Which of us could do better? W has courage and that is a really big thing.
12 posted on 03/12/2003 8:32:25 PM PST by Aria
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To: Aria
"... and he has been delt a real bad hand."

While I believe this was true on 9/11/01, and it has taken some time to rebuild the military and security stricture of this country, how long does Bush get to use this argument? Two years, three years, his whole term?

The US people are ready to go into Iraq, even without the UN approval, if you believe in the latest polls. If Bush does not go in and does not give a good reason why, he can forget about being re-elected in 2004. And with a RAT as President (Hillary?), what do you think would happen next with regards to the UN?

13 posted on 03/12/2003 8:44:10 PM PST by CatOwner
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To: CatOwner
stricture = structure
14 posted on 03/12/2003 8:44:57 PM PST by CatOwner
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To: Pokey78
The start of the war may have just been accelerated .... sweeeet! We've waited too long. The sooner the better for our troops.
15 posted on 03/12/2003 8:56:12 PM PST by CurlyBill
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To: CatOwner
Oh I think we are going and really soon. And we will be vindicated. The WMDs we find, the horror stories that become even more public, the prosperity that eventually comes to Iraq, we shall be able to quietly say to ourselves that we did that. I won't hold my breath waiting for thanks from the rest of the world though. I just hope that after this is over and a little time as passed we Americans realize how lucky we are to have W as President. Hillary as President is to terrifying to think of.
16 posted on 03/12/2003 8:59:25 PM PST by Aria
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To: Pokey78
Does anyone know how I could watch a vid of Tony's toasting of the critics? I watch as much of the Commons debates as I can ... love the fast thinking of Straw and Blair, and admire Clwyd for her marvelous outspoken stance for the much maligned Kurds Saddam has ravaged with death and mayhem. I would love to find a way to link up to replays of the Commons sessions without depending solely on C-Span's hit or miss airings.
17 posted on 03/12/2003 9:07:49 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: CurlyBill
There you have it! From tomorrow onward, if the Frogs succeed in making the UN completely irrelevant (and that is who will to blame) it should be all about our troops and getting this done and over, and the UN be sotted!
18 posted on 03/12/2003 9:12:06 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: Pokey78
Mr Blair also defied Labour rebels — and signalled he is ready to order British troops into battle against Iraq.

Now THIS describes what I observed this morning. Blair has not even begun to go wobbly---and he won't.

19 posted on 03/12/2003 9:12:54 PM PST by cyncooper (God Be With Jack Straw and Tony Blair)
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To: cyncooper
I guess I am cynical. The left will charge that "any weapons of mass destruction that are found (complete with receipts from French, German and Ru$$ian companies) were planted by the US. After all, the inspectors never found them, so they must not have been there before. All those supplies and conex containers we shipped over must have been full of contraband so that we could plant WMDs among the peace loving people of Iraq."

Remember these are the ones who said that oral sex was not sex.
20 posted on 03/12/2003 9:54:20 PM PST by donmeaker (Time is Relative, at least in my family.)
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To: donmeaker
Could that be one reason why press folks are now embedded in our units over there, to go with the troops into the frontline action?
21 posted on 03/12/2003 10:07:51 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: CatOwner; Monti Cello
<< "The French may be surprised to find neither they nor the UN have any veto power over the US Constitution!"

Then why go to the UN in the first place if the United States Constitution says we go into Iraq? This has been the biggest waste of time -- and has produced a significant PR nightmare. >>


..... And, by dragging the military action into Spring and Summer will cause the loss of more American Blood and Treasure!

<< And please don't tell me it's Powell's fault. The buck stops with the President. >>

'FRaid so.

President Bush's inherent Goodness and willingness to stand by a fellow politician, [Albiet a squalidly-socialist Belgium-based Neo-Soviet-promoting foreign one] has manifest itself in this instance as dithering squishyness; has given Saddam almost an extra one year to mine and to booby trap and to brew and concoct and to manufacture and to import and to repair and to prepare. Time, that is, that will cost Good American Men their lives.
22 posted on 03/12/2003 11:51:40 PM PST by Brian Allen (This above all -- to thine own self be true)
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To: CatOwner
Might just be a bigger picture here and the President is willing to suffer through a PR nightmare because he is more interested in defending the citizens of the US than being pleasing to the left or to the right.
23 posted on 03/12/2003 11:57:38 PM PST by PFKEY
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