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British people say NO to war on Iraq

Results from two pools in Great Britain show contempt for the Bush war on Iraq.
The Observer, Sunday September 29, 2002

A vast majority of the public opposes military action against Iraq unless there is clear sanction from the United Nations, one of the most comprehensive surveys of public opinion on the issue reveals.

Nearly three-quarters of people asked if they would support an attack on Saddam Hussein said it would require international agreement. Just 18 percent would support unilateral action if a new UN resolution was not passed.

The findings are a blow to Tony Blair's attempts to win 'hearts and minds' on the argument that action must be taken whether or not there is a new UN resolution.

The poll for a Channel 4 programme tonight, War on Iraq: Which side are you on?, shows that there is a great deal of scepticism about the war against Saddam.

Nearly 60 percent of the 1,000 people questioned by NOP thought war was 'inevitable' no matter what the UN or countries opposed to military action argued. Asked who they thought was the greatest threat to world peace, 43 percent said Saddam while 37 percent said President George Bush.

But it is the mood on the need for a fresh UN sanction before military action that will most concern Downing Street. Although 75 percent of people said that the 'world would be a safer place' if Saddam was overthrown, nearly 80 percent were against unilateral action by America, whether or not it was supported by Britain.

Nearly 90 percent said the international community should allow UN weapons inspectors 'one last chance' before military action.

More than a fifth, 21 percent, believed that Bush was agitating for action against Iraq because he wanted to protect oil supplies, only 1 per cent fewer than thought that the genuine reason was because the US president thought that the Iraqi dictator was a threat to world peace.

Pressure will increase on the Government today when a series of polls reveal growing concerns about the progress towards a military attack. A survey of 202 Labour Party constituency chairmen and women for BBC's On the Record programme showed that 167 opposed the idea of unilateral action against Iraq.

The poll emerged as Iraq rejected a draft US-sponsored Security Council resolution requiring Baghdad to comply with new inspection rules within 30 days or face military action.

However, it is unlikely to win the support of China, Russia or France - the other three permanent members of the Security Council, who all have the veto.
Another poll published today by the Guardian showed similar results. The responses to ÒDo you support military action against Iraq?Ó was 18% Yes and 80% No. The British people donÕt seem to be buying the U.S.-Israeli war propaganda?




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