Author:Lancaster, Pat

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is in trouble with members of his own party who have warned him against cosying up further to President George W. Bush, as the latter prepares for war on Iraq. It is clearly not the will of the majority of the British people that the UK enters any conflict with Iraq without the backing of the United Nations. The government's Minister for International Development, Clare Short, confessed on national television to being "very worried" by the way things were going. Britain should not join a strike by America without the backing of the UN and should rather try to use its influence with the US to keep the UN process on track, she opined.

Mr Blair is going further and further out on a limb to support his new American best friend. Following Ms Short's televised comments, the Prime Minister warned that people who want to avoid confronting the threat of weapons of mass destruction were "naive and misguided". As the US and UK begin to contemplate the next critical steps in a possible attack on Baghdad, Mr Blair warned that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons in countries such as Iraq posed "a direct threat to British national security."

Mr Blair has even launched a campaign to sway an increasingly doubtful British public and is explicitly linking efforts to remove the Iraqi leader with the international war on terrorism. Noting that it was "only a matter of time" before terrorism and weapons of mass destruction came together, he told his critics, including MPs and government ministers, "my job in a situation like this is sometimes to say the things...

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