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Rifkindmalcolmspeaking_5Former Foreign Secretary
Sir Malcolm Rifkind has written for this week’s Spectator (not yet online) and urged the Conservative Party to split with Tony Blair on three foreign policy fronts:

  1. "There must be a clear recognition that the invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake that has helped the terrorists. It has also made Iran the power in the Gulf. While the government may be in denial, there is no need for the Conservative party to be. That does not mean, however, that British troops should be withdrawn from Iraq. It is essential that they remain there as long as their presence might help the Iraqis."
  2. "Conservatives should not accept Blair’s simplistic belief that all Muslim terrorism is part of a single plot. Conservatives are rightly suspicious of a Manichaean division of the world into good and bad; terrorist and freedom-loving. The war in Chechnya, for example, is between Chechen nationalists and Russian nationalists, not between terror and freedom. The same applies to Kashmir. The Israeli–Palestinian issue is also much more than a battle against Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism."
  3. "Conservatives should reject a philosophy of pre-emptive wars (or, as Blair prefers to call it, liberal interventionism) fought by ‘coalitions of the willing’."

If Sir Malcolm is focused on the general a muscular leader in The Spectator focuses upon the current situation in the Middle East:

"Any settlement of this conflict that allows Hezbollah plausibly to proclaim that it has successfully ‘resisted’ Israeli ‘aggression’ will be no sort of settlement at all. Israel is the victim of aggression here and, whatever some elements in the Tory party may say, her response has not been ‘disproportionate’. To allow Hezbollah to claim any sort of victory would hearten Islamists everywhere and send another signal that the West lacked the resolve to deal with terrorism. Iran would conclude that the international community did not have the staying power required to prevent Tehran fulfilling its nuclear ambitions."

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