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Blair calls for New World Order
12.00pm - By ANDY McSMITH
and JO DILLON
new powers to attack rogue states
It would also give
Western powers the authority to attack any
other sovereign country whose ruler is
judged to be inflicting unnecessary
suffering on his own people.
LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony
Blair is appealing to the heads of Western
governments to agree a new world order that
would justify the war in Iraq even if Saddam
Hussein's elusive weapons of mass
destruction are never found.
A Downing Street document, circulated among
foreign heads of state who are in London for
a summit, has provoked a fierce row between
Mr Blair and the German Chancellor, Gerhard
Mr Blair has involved British troops in five
conflicts overseas in his six years in
office, and appears to be willing to take
part in many more.
The document echoes his well-known views on
"rights and responsibilities" by
saying that even for self-governing nation
states "the right to sovereignty brings
associated responsibilities to protect
This phrase is immediately followed by a
paragraph which appears to give the world's
democracies carte blanche to send troops
anywhere there is civil unrest or a tyrant
who refuses to mend his ways.
It says: "Where a population is
suffering serious harm, as a result of
internal war, insurgency, repression or
state failure, and the state in question is
unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the
principle of non-intervention yields to the
international responsibility to
protect."A political row with the
German Chancellor will add to Mr Blair's
difficulties at a time when the American and
British intelligence services have fallen
out with each other over the question of
whether Saddam was seeking to construct a
nuclear bomb before he was overthrown.
In Washington, the US government has
withdrawn the claim that Iraqi agents were
in Niger trying to buy uranium.
The head of the CIA, George Tenet, has
accepted the blame for allowing this claim
to be included in President George Bush's
State of the Nation speech, in which it was
attributed to British intelligence.
The former foreign secretary Robin Cook has
challenged Mr Blair to publish any evidence
Britain has to back up the uranium story.
He told The Independent on Sunday: "The
longer they delay coming up with it, the
greater the suspicion will become that they
don't really believe it themselves.
"There is one simple question the
Government must answer when the Commons
meets on Monday: why did their evidence not
convince the CIA? If it was not good enough
to be in the President's address, it was not
good enough to go in the Prime Minister's
"A month ago I gave Tony Blair the
opportunity to admit that in good faith he
had got it wrong when he warned of the
Now that President Bush has made just that
admission it looks as if Tony Blair would
have been wise to get his in first."But
Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, insisted
yesterday the information did not come from
British intelligence but from some other,
unnamed country, and that it was accurate.
In a letter to the chairman of the Commons
foreign affairs committee, Donald Anderson,
Mr Straw said: "UK officials were
confident that the dossier's statement was
based on reliable intelligence which we had
not shared with the US."This public
disagreement with the CIA, coupled with
anger in Britain over the fate of British
suspects held at the US base at Guantanamo
Bay in Cuba, forms an awkward background for
Mr Blair's visit to Washington on Thursday,
when he will meet President Bush.
Dr Hans Blix, the former head of the UN
weapons inspection team in Iraq, has told
the IoS that he believes the British
government "over-interpreted" the
available intelligence about Iraq's weapons.
Dr Blix was particularly scathing about the
claim made in a British government dossier,
released last September, that Iraq had
chemical and biological weapons
"deployable within 45 minutes".
"I think that was a fundamental
I don't know how they calculated this figure
of 45 minutes.
That seems pretty far off the mark to
me," Dr Blix said.
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman,
Menzies Campbell, said: "Day by day the
case for an independent scrutiny of the
lead-up to the war against Iraq becomes
Only full disclosure can restore the
reputation of this Government."The
failure to find the weapons is damaging
public trust in the Prime Minister and his
relations with the Labour Party, with many
backbench MPs who supported the decision to
go to war in March now saying they might
have changed their minds if they had known
that the weapons might never be found.
The former international development
secretary Clare Short, who resigned after
the war, will urge the Prime Minister in an
interview broadcast on GMTV today to resign
before things get "nastier".
This brought a strong rebuke yesterday from
the Home Secretary, David Blunkett.
He said: "Clare Short is being
It is important to get behind the Prime
Minister and focus on the things that matter
to people, like decent opportunities and
I do not understand why people would plot to
try to change the most successful leader in
the Labour Party's history."There was
also support for the Prime Minister from his
old ally, Bill Clinton.
At a London conference organised by Mr
Blair's ally Peter Mandelson and attended by
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, Canadian
Prime Minister Jean Chretien and hundreds of
Labour Party supporters, the former US
president urged the left to stop attacking
the Prime Minister or risk the renaissance
"If we want to prevail we will have to
learn how to make our case better," he
"We're living in a new world in which
we will be swallowed whole if we do not, and
all the evidence of the good we have done
will be lost if we give in to inter-party
squabbles on the left and lay down in the
face of attacks from the right."
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