Ali, the Baghdad-based blogger at Free Iraqi, has a post which every undecided (or even decided) British voter ought to read before going to the polls.
Be sure to read it all, but this part especially:
I remember one of those days before the war when I was working in Basra and I was watching a press conference for Mr. Blair on the Kuwaiti TV which we could get there without a dish satellite. There were many doctors in the residents’ café’ and all were watching and listening carefully, as they knew their fate was being decided these days. No one could express his opinion in public because of the natural fear and also because we all knew that one of our colleagues was a division member in the Ba’ath party. Some even thought they had to make some sarcastic remarks about Blair’s speech to further prove their ‘innocence’.
I didn’t see anything strange in that because of the fear I knew they had and moreover I didn’t even know how they really think since I’ve been their for only a couple of months and it was so hard to get people to trust you or to trust them as well. But what surprised me was that one of my friends whom I knew from college days and whom I knew was waiting impatiently for the coalition troops to liberate Iraq show the same attitude as the others. He started saying loudly that these arguments are all lies and that Tony Blair is lying like the rest and that they only want the oil.
I looked at him with wide opened eyes and said (in a low voice), “Are you serious??” He said, “Let’s go play chess you and I”, and we took a table away from TV, and before we started playing he said, “Do you really think I meant what I said? It’s just that this Ba’athist is listening and watching everyone’s reaction. You know what I think of Tony Blair? I love this man! He’s the only one whom when speaks about Iraq speaks with such a passion and honesty that makes you feel his blood is boiling and that he wants nothing more than helping us. He really makes me believe sometimes he has an Iraqi blood in him! I mean he speaks like he KNOWS and FEELS what’s happening here”.
I couldn’t agree more, and I still remember it very well, when Blair was speaking to the Labor Party shortly before the war and he was the only coalition leader I heard saying he’s going to the war for human reasons mainly. He said it clear to the people gathering there that yes the WMDs was the major issue and that there are serious reports that cannot be ignored, but then his personal main reason to go to this war was to liberate 25 million people. He added (surely not his exact words but I remember very well what they spoke) that even if these reports were wrong then my conscience would be clear and I would feel no regret at all because we would be liberating and saving 25 million people from a life that’s worth than death.
Please do all you can to spread the link to Ali’s post as widely as possible before election day.