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17 Oct 2002 : Column 513continued
Mr. Hugo Swire (East Devon): I am sure that my hon. Friend is aware that we are not talking merely about the possibility of Saddam using the weapons, as we know that he has already used them and continues to do so, not least to attack his Kurdish population.
Mr. Jenkin: Indeed, the CIA, to which the hon. Member for Newport, West (Paul Flynn) referred, did no more than confirm exactly what happened in 1991 when Saddam Hussein attempted to use chemical and biological weapons and tried to deliver missiles on to neighbouring countries in order to deter the liberation of Kuwait. We did not allow that to deter us then and we must not do so now.
Of course, the long-term objective on Iraq is disarmament. If that means regime change, our objective must be to create a stable and safe Iraq as a foundation for stability in the middle eastnot a haven for suicide bombers. Do the Government look forward to a democratic Iraq? Iraq should be the second wealthiest country in the region and one of the principal world suppliers of crude oil. What provisions are the Government making for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq? The Prime Minister himself said that he heartily desired regime change. In Washington, there has been talk of a post-Saddam occupation plan and the establishment of an American-led military Government in Iraq if the United States topples Saddam. The Government should be engaging in a similar debate.
Have the Government met representatives of opposition groups? I asked that question when we last debated this subject, but we have not had an answer. Are they involved in discussions about long-term transition to a stable Government? What level of diplomatic, economic and military commitment would the allies need to make in the event of the collapse of the Saddam regime? What is their assessment of the domestic opposition in Iraq and the question whether it would be hampered by internal divisions predating the Saddam regime?
Angus Robertson (Moray): The hon. Gentleman is asking the Government about their policy on a future for Iraq after Saddam Hussein. What is the policy of the Conservative party, especially with regard to the right of self-determination of the people of Kurdistan in Iraq?
Mr. Jenkin: Our view is that it would be undesirable for Iraq to break up. I have had meetings with representatives of the Kurdistan Government and meetings with representatives of the Iraqi opposition. However, the Conservatives are only the Opposition, and it is incumbent on the Government to have discussions, form a view and make proposals. In answer to the hon. Gentleman's specific question, there is a
Angus Robertson: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing yet another intervention. Surely the future set-up of a post-Saddam Hussein Government should be up to the people of Iraq, and nobody else.
Mr. Jenkin: The international community, as in Afghanistan, has a big role to play in facilitating the self-determination of the Iraqi people. At present they do not have self-determination in any meaningful or democratic sense. I would heartily embrace anything that we could do to improve that situation.
Indonesia, however, is not a rogue state. Unlike Iraq, the situation there is not something that might be helped by anything that could be construed as western military interference. Indonesia is a country that would benefit from as much hands-off support as possible. What are the Government offering to help the Indonesian Government to reform their armed forces and to increase their effectiveness? The hon. Member for Islington, North (Jeremy Corbyn) raised the matter earlier. There is no doubt that the Indonesian military is still emerging from the Suharto era, and needs better equipment, better communications, and a much stronger system of command and control and accountability. With our skills, Britain has a great deal to offer Indonesia in that regard, and I hope that we will offer positive help, rather than just criticising.
Will the Government offer Indonesia access to the UK's unrivalled expertise in anti-terrorist operations, in particular for forensic investigations and intelligence gathering? Those who have been watching, as I have, the scenes of devastation in Bali on our television screens have not seen the careful control of the evidence that lies on the streets and in the rubble of the buildings, as we would expect to see in this country. We have seen people laying wreaths on what might well constitute evidence to be used against those who perpetrated the bombing. That is the sort of expertise that I hope we could offer.
Jeremy Corbyn: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way again and allowing me to intervene again on the subject of Indonesia. Perhaps he could address now the point that I raised earlier, concerning political control of the military, the apparently close relationship between the military and the militia, and the most appalling human rights abuses taking place in West Papua, where there are oil and many other mineral reserves that multinational companies wish to exploit, and in Aceh. Some of us were in East Timor at the time of the referendum. There is concern that the military and
Mr. Jenkin: I share the hon. Gentleman's concern. I raise the matter in my remarks because I believe that that is the sort of issue on which the British Government should be offering assistance to Indonesia.
What advice can we offer to help the Indonesian Government bring in the necessary legal reforms, like our anti-terrorist legislation? They are certainly behind what we would expect in other countries. We should bear in mind the fact that we are discussing one of the largest countries in the world, with a population of 220 million peoplealmost the size of the population of the United States, and comparable to the size of the European Union.
Given that tourism comprised up to one third of the Indonesian gross domestic product before the Bali atrocities, do the Government agree that there will need to be international action to stabilise the Indonesian economy, so that progress on economic and military reform and progress towards democracy in Indonesia can continue? One of the hallmarks of al-Qaeda's terrorist activities is to cause precisely such economic dislocation in order to damage the interests of the west, destabilise Governments and create fertile ground for more terrorism. Surely it should be one of our priorities to confront that.
Does not the example of Indonesia underline the fact that terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone? I shall spend a few minutes arguing for a more comprehensive doctrine which we have heard enunciated against international terrorism. The principles of counter-insurgency warfare are not new. We have been practising them in Northern Ireland and on the British mainland against Northern Ireland terrorism for the past 30 years. They originate in the wars of the north-west frontier in the previous century and the Indian mutiny.
Those principles are, first, to secure one's own base and implement one's home defence; secondly, to deny the enemy a secure basewe have dealt with pre-emption, and I hope that we will discuss it further. The next principles are to generate best human intelligence, to remove underlying political grievances, to co-ordinate all one's actions to a strategic plan, and to remember that the battle is for hearts and minds, and that conflict is about willpower, not just physical force. A further principle is to remember that actions and words, including the technical, can have political and strategic consequences. Finally, it is important to stay within the law and to use proportionate force only as a last resort.
Winning hearts and minds must be the central theme of everything we do in the war against terrorism. Winning the war against terrorism is as much an act of persuasion as of coercion. Our actions must prove that we stand for all those human values that we are defending. We must not allow organisations such as al-Qaeda to create a pervasive state of war between the west and Islam, or between the west and the Arab world. We must address the political challenges and conflicts that serve as the feeding ground for terrorists. We must