Monday, March 27, 2006

Blair: Continuing to fight for what it right...defending the values that we hold dear

Tony Blair is making his case for conitinued perseverence and patience in Iraq in a speech to the Australian Parliament in Canberra. ...
"This is not a time to walk away but to have the courage to see it through"

"If we want to secure our way of life, there's no alternative but to fight for it. That means standing up for our values not just in our own country but the world over...We need to construct a global alliance for these global values and act through it."

"I don't always agree with the US. Sometimes they are difficult friends to have...But the strain of, frankly, anti-American feeling in parts of European politics is madness when set against the long-term interests of the world we believe in."

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Blair said that the insurgency in Iraq has failed to undermine Iraqis' desire for democracy.

"What has happened with this terrorism and insurgency is that it's tried to derail the political process and has failed so it's now turning to try to create sectarian strife,... But it's not what the people want. What they want is a functioning democracy."
In his speech, Mr. Blair also said that Australia, Britain, the United States and their allies must win not just the "battle of arms" but also one of global democratic values - which he defined as fairness, justice and freedom.

"Wherever people live in fear, with no prospect of advance, we should be on their side in solidarity with them," said Mr. Blair.

He said while Iraq and Afghanistan are the key battlegrounds, the world must also pay attention to the same struggle elsewhere - in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burma and North Korea.

Addressing anti-American feeling in parts of the world, the British leader warned that this battle for global values could not be won if the United States retreated into isolationism.

Mr. Blair, who received a standing ovation from Australian lawmakers, arrived in Australia Saturday and will visit New Zealand and Indonesia later this week.

Blair's speech was a stinging condemnation of Australian Labor's Iraq policy, and a ringing endorsement of the Howard Government's approach.

(hat tip Alexandra)


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