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Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, the noble Lord also referred to anti-Semitism. There may be a certain amount of it, but many noble Lords who are neither anti-Semitic nor anti-American have justifiable criticisms to make.
The noble Lord, Lord Skidelsky, remarked on the neo-conservatives in the United States and their power in the Bush Administration. At the weekend I pulled out Bob Woodward's book, Bush at War. He remarks that three days after September 11th, the briefing to the President was given by the Deputy Defense Secretarythe noble Lord, Lord Desai, will note that it is not just people in think tanksPaul Wolfowitz, whom I have known personally for nearly 40 years. It says that he,
I agree strongly with what the noble Lord, Lord Skidelsky, said about the determination to use the unipolar moment to establish what they call a "democratic imperialism" across the world. At Davos on 26th January, Colin Powell said to his audience:
We have heard many comparisons in this debate about Munich. I believe that it is important also to remember Suez and Vietnam. I was studying and teaching in the United States in the early years of the Vietnam war and I remember very well the twisting of intelligence information by the political masters of intelligence and the denigration of the experts on the region. I was at Cornell University, which had an Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. It was vigorously attacked by the State Department and in Congress with threats of withdrawal of funds. There was over-confidence in the ability to resolve the problem through military force, a refusal to pay any attention to the different culture and assumptions of the opponent, and, indeed, denigration of the enemy as such.
Now, I am afraid to say, we have a similar mood within the United States. There have been some bitter attacks on the Middle East studies community, including calls for federal funding for all university institutes on Middle East studies in the United States to be withdrawn. Tom Friedman, whom I quote again, said:
Many other speakers have referred to the radical character of this Administration and to the fundamentalist groups which have gained so much influence over it. Political fundamentalism, as the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, pointed out, means tax cuts, which are intended to force the dismantling of the welfare state, and cuts in funding for education, which are clearly and explicitly a radical departure from the Rooseveltian values which we all share and are intended to complete what the Reagan administration hesitated to carry through. There is also economic fundamentalism, which says that deficits do not matter, and religious fundamentalism, which includes support for Israel to occupy all the historic land, including further expansion of settlements and the expulsion of Palestinians. The capture of American Middle East policy by Likud is one of the most worrying dimensions of this. I quote again from the international edition of the New York Times of 25th February. The Israeli defence Minister said hopefully:
There are circumstances in which it may be justifiable to intervene in Iraq and to remove Saddam Hussein from power. However, that has to be through the meticulous and careful use of UN procedures. It should also be with the understanding and, if possible, the support of other states in the region. This is not a strong basis for Britain and the United States alone to decide whether Iraq has met its objectives. We need to carry others with us.
There are some circumstances in which British forces should not follow American forces into Iraq alonenot without broader support from the international community, and not without parallel progress on the Arab/Israel conflict, which includes the publication of the road-map, which has been blocked by the Sharon government. There are now bilateral negotiations between the Israelis and the United States about the parts that the Israelis want changed. It seems to me to be a sine qua non of British involvement that the road-map is published beforehand and not left until afterwards.
Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble
Lord. He was asking where all the evidence about Iraq's
links with terrorism came from. The answer is that there is a
very wide range of sources, mostly coming from Washington and
from senior members of the Administration. However, if he
does not want to look at those, he needs only to consult the
excellent speech made by his noble friend Lady Nicholson. She
gave ample evidence of Iraq's habit of being involved in
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