DID we all do a Clare Short?

Author:Ankomah, Baffour
Position:Baffour's Beefs

"How could the UK be a democracy in 1917 when women couldn't vote until 1928?" -- Elizabeth Atherton of Chester, England, in a letter to The Guardian, 9 April 2003.

So the people of Iraq have been liberated? God bless the liberators! But if liberation was the goal, why were they so coy about it before the invasion? So it wasn't weapons of mass destruction after all?

Which should be a veritable lesson to us all about doublespeak. Now when they say the UK is the mother of all democracies, we know what they mean. Double speak. "How could the UK be a democracy in 1917," asks Elizabeth Atherton, "when [British] women couldn't vote until 1928?"

Before we go further, please do remember this: In my native Ghana, our elders have a simple philosophy: "Wo foro dua pa a, na yepea wo" (You get support only when you embark on a good cause). Is there, or was there, a place for this pillar of African thought, in fact way of life, in the charade now being called the "liberation" of Iraq?

May I introduce here Ms dare Short, the British secretary for international development. Was she double-speaking when she threatened to resign if Britain went to war in Iraq without UN authority? Let's hear her:

"If there is not UN authority for military action, or if there is not UN authority for the reconstruction of the country, I will not uphold a breach of international law or this undermining of the UN and I will resign from the government... Absolutely, there is no question about that," she said on BBC Radio 4 on 9 March.

Asked if she would have less influence in the reconstruction of Iraq if she left the Department of International Development, she replied: "I think I could add a bit if I stayed, but it's a very, very good department and you can't stay and defend the indefensible in order to do some other things that you think need doing."

Andrew Rawnsley, the BBC interviewer, goaded her: Had Tony Blair acted recklessly in taking Britain into this "indefensible" war? dare Short emptied her chest:

"I think the whole atmosphere of the current situation is deeply reckless, reckless for the world, reckless for the undermining of the UN in this disorderly world -- which is wider than Iraq -- [which] the whole world needs for the future, reckless with our government, reckless with his own future, position and place in history. Ifs extraordinarily reckless. I'm very surprised by it."

She continued: "My own view is that allowing the world to be so bitterly divided -- the...

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