"But for the great majority of Iraqis WMD was never the issue. We don’t understand the criticism of your Prime Minister. All we wanted was to be free," said "the woman who helped swing the vote at the Labour conference over pulling troops out of Iraq today," reports the Scotsman [via InstaPundit]:
Shanaz Rashid -- whose husband is a minister in the interim Iraqi government -- was earlier given a standing ovation when she made an emotional appeal not to pull troops out.
Close to tears, she told party activists that many friends had perished under Saddam Hussein and she had kissed the ground with joy on arriving back at Baghdad after the war. She praised the Prime Minister [Tony Blair] for "standing up" to Saddam and liberating the country.
Asked later if she considered Labour members naive about the situation for Iraqis, she said: "Yes I do think so. They don’t know the reality of their lives.
"They haven’t lived through Saddam. They don’t know what we’ve been through."
"The victory was widely expected after a deal was struck with unions to back an alternative motion saying troops should stay as long as Iraq wants," reports the BBC. Fascinatingly, the Tories -- the loyal opposition -- seem to be taking their cue from our own disloyal opposition on this side of the Atlantic, as in Bush/Blair Lied™:
Meanwhile away from the conference centre Tory leader Michael Howard went on the offensive and for the first time accused Mr Blair of lying over the build-up to war.
"I don't think that's the only thing they were lied to about . . . but Iraq is the great catalyst for the loss of trust in the government."
The prime minister later responded to the Tory leader's remarks saying: "I just find it contemptible because he supported the war."
We guess the Tory leader supported the war before he stopped supporting it. At the same time, UK Independence Party euro MP Gerard Batten was channeling that snide American reporter -- blogged here -- who shamelessly put his own bias on display last week by asking John Kerry "Is he [Iraqi PM Allawi] living in the same fantasy land as the President?":
"I think he's a fantasist who lives in a world where if he wants something to be true and he believes it, then for him it is and the rest of us are expected to go along with it."
It would seem that beyond the rhetoric, opposition to the war isn't necessarily a left vs. right kind of thing so much as an out-of-power vs. in-power struggle?