By: Manchesteronline on: 06.10.2004
FORMER Cabinet minister Clare Short is at the centre of another political storm after comparing the insurgents in Iraq to freedom fighters.The outspoken Labour rebel likened their cause to the French Resistance in the Second World War.There was outrage among fellow politicians when she went on to claim that the IRA had "never targeted civilians".In an interview with a newspaper in Dubai, the outspoken former international development secretary said that she "understood" the anger of Arabs who embraced Islamic militancy.Ms Short said: "I think the killing of civilians is always wrong . . . but I think the cause is just."I understand their anger completely. My father came from Northern Ireland . . . and I understand why people think `I can't get justice in any other way'."I think it's always wrong to target civilians . . . because, even when you understood the IRA, they never targeted civilians."That's a terrible moral deterioration that's taken place.Occupation"But I understand the anger and the demand for action, and it's not good enough for the world to say state violence is OK and non-state violence is not OK."The American public fought against British colonialism with violence, the Free French fought against German occupation with violence, the Palestinian people are entitled to resist occupation, I mean, it's in international law (and) the Iraqi people are entitled (to resist occupation)."The Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood also claimed that Tony Blair had "engaged in a whole series of half-truths and deceptions" to get support for the invasion of Iraq.She said: "At the same time he was telling his party, Cabinet, Parliament and the country that he wanted to avoid war, (that) we would proceed through the UN, (that) we were determined to get the implementation of the Road Map, he had already given his word to Bush."She predicted continuing bloodshed in the Arab world for "potentially decades" and the fall of governments in the Middle East.Ms Short quit the Cabinet over Iraq in May 2003. She denied that her anti-war stance had hampered preparations for post-war reconstruction in the country.---------------------------------------------------Claire seems to have hit a nerve...BBC radio has been very defensive about Iraq all day - not an ill word about the US, even in jest. And on TV, Gavin Essler (neocon sympathiser anyway?) was really pushing Hans Blix this evening for a soundbite he could use about Saddam and WMD - but Blix was unflappable and in the end Essler shut him off without even saying goodbye.Yes, they are obviously rattled!