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Netizens Recall Late Tony Benn's Iconic Speech Against Bombing Iraq

UK leader Tony Benn gave a passionate speech, in 1998, against the possible war when legislators held debates before voting over the decision to bomb Iraq.


As the tensions soar around the world with apprehensions of possible war after killing of Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani, a speech of former British MP is making rounds on the internet for all good reasons. In 1998, when Iraq refused to comply with the United Nation’s demands of disarmament, the United Kingdom debated whether it should carry out strikes in the Arab country.

Labour MP Tony Benn gave a passionate speech against the possible war when legislators held debates before voting over the decision to bomb Iraq. Benn, in his speech, recalled the horrific experience of second world war saying every morning he used to see dockland burning every day when lived in Millbank tower, by the River Thames in London. “Five hundred people were killed in Westminster one night by a land mine. It was terrifying. Aren't Arabs terrified? Aren't Iraqis terrified? Don't Arab and Iraqi women weep when their children die?” he asked.

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'Innocents to bear the brunt'

The former MP reminded fellow legislators that anyone voting for the motion will be consciously and deliberately accepting responsibility for the deaths of innocent people. Calling the debate unique, Benn said that they were asked to share responsibility for a decision they won't really be taking and those people will face consequences who have no part to play in regime’s brutality. 

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Benn repeated the words of UN charter, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life-time has caused untold suffering to mankind,” saying it was etched into his mind. He further added that he will vote against the motion because it would be the greatest betrayal of all if they voted to abandon the charter and take unilateral action.

Read: Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei Leads Soleimani's Funeral Prayers

Read: Middle-east A Tinderbox Amid Iran-US-Iraq Flare-up, Japan PM Shinzo Abe Breaks Silence

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