The following statement on a possible armed conflict with Iraq was issued by
Michael Fabricant today (12th September 2002):-
There is little point in learning history if we do not learn lessons from
history. In the 1930s Britain and France did nothing while Germany
re-armed, brutalised its citizens, and marched into neighbouring countries.
Well intentioned people argued against precipitating a war and the result
was a world wide conflagration which resulted in the deaths of 24 million
Russians, 6 million Jews, and many millions more. If we had intervened in
the mid 30s when Germany was still relatively week, millions of lives would
have been saved.
In 1980 Iraq attacked Iran. In 1990 it invaded Kuwait. It has used poison
gas against its own citizens and those of Iran. It has fired missiles into
Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Over the past ten years, the United States
and Britain have tried to protect and contain Saddam Hussein. But the
truth is that containment has not worked. The evidence regarding Iraq’s
weapons programme is on the public record. Saddam’s significant weapons
programme continues unconstrained. We must all recognise the threat that
this presents to peace and security throughout the world.
At the end of 1998, Iraq’s persistent obstruction of the work of the UN
inspectors finally forced them to leave. The inspectors were still unable
to account for the following:
3,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals (approximately 300 tonnes of which were
unique to the production of VX nerve agent);
360 tonnes of bulk Chemical Weapons agent (including 1.5 tonnes of VX); over
30,000 special munitions for delivery of chemical and biological agents;
and large quantities of growth media acquired for use in the production of
biological weapons – enough to produce over three times the amount of
anthrax Iraq admits to having manufactured.
But of greatest concern is that in recent years Iraq has increased the range
of its ballistic missiles and has sought to acquire nuclear materials too.
During the Gulf War, Special Forces from Britain and the United States were
deployed deep into Iraq to find the mobile missile launchers and destroy
them. None were found. Warheads now being developed must be destroyed
before they are deployed onto the missile launchers.
Iraq is in violation of 23 separate UN resolutions and poses a significant
threat that must be addressed.
Support for possible military action is not just about backing the United
States, but about confronting a very real threat to the interests of our own
country and of our European allies. I believe that Britain is faced with a
clear choice: either we allow the Iraqis to continue to build their arsenal
of weapons of mass destruction – including nuclear weapons – or we
move against him before he can develop and use those weapons. We can choose
to act pre-emptively or we can prevaricate. The only winner from any
confusion or delay would be the Iraqi Government. We would be the losers
as the lessons of history have taught us.
For the sake of future generations, we cannot allow that to happen.