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War against terror needs better leadership

Hon Matt Robson MP
18 March 2004

War against terror needs better leadership

Political leaders of the U.S. and the U.K. are in danger of seriously under-mining international co-operation against terrorism says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"In the months immediately following the horrendous terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of innocent people in September 2001, a broad-based international coalition of nations came together to co-operate in the battle to defeat al Qaeda and other like-minded terrorist organizations motivated by a reactionary, fundamentalist ideology.

"Progressive governments like those in New Zealand, Canada and Germany strongly opposed the illegal U.S. and U.K. invasion of the secular dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, in part because we feared the invasion would undermine that coalition against terrorist fascism by strengthening the hand of the fundamentalist networks.

"The news that Spain's newly elected prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, will withdraw Spanish troops from the United Nations-mandated international effort to reconstruct Iraq is clearly motivated by exasperation at the way the 'War on Terrorism' is being undermined by the incoherent policies of the U.S. and U.K. in Iraq in particular, and in the Middle East in general.

"Mr Zapatero has pledged to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq by July if the U.N. does not take charge there. It is clear that any delay to Iraqis taking control over their own destiny by the U.S. and the U.K. will further undermine international co-operation against terrorism - to the primary benefit of Al Qaeda and its adherents," Matt Robson said.

The Progressive Party believes the best guarantee of winning this long struggle against the fundamentalist terrorist networks that have brought so much pain and suffering from Pakistan to Spain, and from Iraq to Israel and Palestine, requires much more than military, police and counter-intelligence work.

"A victory in this long struggle absolutely requires developed nations to significantly open their markets to the goods and services of developing nations and to invest in their infrastructure so they can build stronger economies and healthy civil societies.

"Developed nations also need to show leadership in resolving long-festering social and political injustices which plague parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Problems such as poverty, statelessness and inequality are the real injustices that the terrorist networks exploit as they look for new recruits in their terrorist campaign, including the Palestine refugee problem which has failed to be fixed for over half a century," Matt Robson said.


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