According to the first articles reported on the September-11-2001 events, the United States was not the only country aimed and not the only country to respond. Britain was its closest ally. How was Tony Blair’s involvement in the response to the September-11 attacks announced in Britain? How did Parliament react?
On Friday 14-2001, Tony Blair addressed Parliament to debate the events which took place in the United States on September-11-2001. Blair’s speech is also very close by essence to the speech given by George Bush on September-11-2001. It is once again a matter of principles and values.
“Let us unite, too with the vast majority of decent people throughout the world in sending our condolences to the Government and people of America. They are our friends and allies, and we the British are a people who stand by their friends in times of need, tragedy and trial, and we do so without hesitation now.”
“We know a good deal about many of these terror groups. But as a world we have not been effective at dealing with them. Of course it is difficult. We are democratic. They are not. We have respect for human life. They do not. We hold essentially liberal values. They do not. As we look into these issues it is important that we never lose sight of our basic values. “
Not only did Tony Blair show his support, and the governments “special relationship” in emotion, but he also made it clear, that they would support the United States in their response to the attacks. His rhetoric remains considerably similar to Bush’s speech given on September-11-2001. He also divides the world into two. This division of the world is vague. No specific name was given, by Blair, or by Bush. After thoroughly studying both speech’s, both leaders seem to have been implicated in a “war of values”. For Bush the attacks were against America because the country stood for ”freedom”, and “opportunity in the world”. Tony Blair also considers the attacks as a target against those who are “ democratic” those who have “respect for human life” and those who have “liberal values”. As for the response to the attacks, one would think both leaders had the same speech writers :
George Bush : “The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
Tony Blair : “ First, we must bring to justice those responsible. Rightly, President Bush and the US Government have proceeded with care. They did not lash out . They did not strike first and think afterwards. Their very deliberation is a measure of the seriousness of their intent. They together with allies, will want to identify, with care, those responsible. That is a judgment that must and will be based on hard evidence. Once that judgment is made, the appropriate action can be taken. It will take time, it will continue over time until this menace is properly dealt with and its machinery of terror destroyed.”
At the end of his speech, Tony Blair gained full support from all the main political parties.
In behalf of the official Opposition,, the leader of the party expressed full support to Tony Blair.
“I have absolutely no hesitation in giving the Prime Minister my party’s full support for his immediate pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with our strongest friends and allies in the United States.”
“…I wholly associate the Liberal Democrats with the proper sentiments that have been expressed so well by the Prime Minister…” Charles Kennedy’s support in behalf of the Liberal Democratic party.
By September-14-2001 Tony Blair had full support of the media and the Parliament. The British government had to respond with the United States to the terrorist attacks which had taken place just a few days before. What did the British people think of September-11? How did they react to the thought of a British intervention in the “War on terror”?