The Padacia
Notes from a pad in Oslo


Verdicts on the War

Brian Eno, musician:
Inside Iraq things are a mess, but it must be a more hopeful situation for some of the population. Outside Iraq international co-operation has been set back by 30 or 40 years. If Pakistan launched a pre-emptive attack on India on a premise as slender as the one we used to justify the Iraq invasion, we'd be horrified. We've just shown ourselves to be hypocrites.

John Mortimer, playwright:
This conflict has been the biggest foreign policy mistake since the Second World War. Saddam kept the Shias and Sunnis from killing each other. Now they're doing so again.

Andy McNab, former SAS hero and novelist:
The Government seems to forget the soldiers who died or who were disabled. Politicians said they were willing to pay the blood price for their decisions, perhaps because they didn't have to pay with their own kids' blood.

Andrew Motion, poet laureate:
My anti-war conviction deepened as the horizon of confusion and wretchedness broadened.

Richard Dawkins, scientist:
I didn't think the war was justified then, and I certainly don't now. It was illegal, and set a terrible precedent in unilateralist interventionism. The carnage in Iraq is increasing, and the world is far less safe as a result.

John Carey, literary critic:
It was a terrible mistake for which we shall go on paying.

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK Director:
The promise of human rights for Iraqis has still not been fulfilled. Women report feeling too threatened to leave their homes. Amnesty continues to document inhumane conditions in prisons and ill treatment by coalition forces. The new Iraq must not be built on the shifting sands of injustice, arbitrary arrest and detention.

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