JOHN HUMPHRYS: And with me is the Foreign
Affairs Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats Menzies Campbell. Mr Campbell,
do you accept this American concert of a War on Terror, emphasis on the
MENZIES CAMPBELL: Well I noticed in your introduction
you used both the word war and the word campaign and I much prefer the
word campaign because I think war leaves in our minds this notion of two
armies standing as it were toe to toe slogging it out. A campaign against
terrorism is something quite different, it has to be fought on, as we have
just seen in that film, over and around intelligence, it has to be fought
using diplomatic means, it's got to be fought here in the United Kingdom,
making sure that our homeland security is properly organised and it's also
got to be fought in trying to squeeze the funds of terrorist organisations.
Trying to provide, if you like, backbone to those countries which in the
past have offered safe haven to terrorists. That's why I think war is not
the right way to put it, it's a campaign and it's a campaign which is multifaceted.
HUMPHRYS: And do those facets include,
or should those facets include a war on Iraq and I ask obviously because
of what is happening in the United Nations now. Do you believe that there
should be a resolution that automatically triggers an attack on Iraq if
the weapons inspectors, when, if they go in, are deemed not to being allowed
to do their job properly.
CAMPBELL: Well I don't believe
the case for full scale military action against Iraq has yet been made
and I offer in support of that, the report produced by the CIA last week
in which they said, the United States is not at any immediate threat from
weapons of mass destruction being used by Iraq. It's much more likely
to be at threat of the use of these, if in fact there is a military attack
and you take the fact that for the last ten years we have followed a policy,
not always perfect, but by and large successful of containment and deterrence.
Now Saddam Hussein has spent something like forty years ensuring his own
survival, why should we assume that he would take a step which would undoubtedly
result in enormous, and for him, necessarily fatal retaliation. Why should
we assume that he would be foolish enough to put his own life at risk.
HUMPHRYS: Well a couple of reasons,
I suppose one is that he has taken some pretty big risks in the past, attacking
Kuwait when he must have known the reaction, attacking Iraq when he must
have realised what he was biting off, and the fact that he has been...Iran
rather...and the fact that he has been defying United Nations Resolutions
for a very very long time now, and surely the point is this, that if you
threaten war and indeed, take it as far as building up forces in that part
of the world, as is now apparently going on, then it will have an effect
on him and it appears already to be having an effect on him.
CAMPBELL: Well if it's having an
effect on him well and good, but I don't think it's in the interests of
all of us that the use of military action should be on some kind of hair
trigger. That's why I think the French approach to this, to say we don't
need one resolution, we ought to have two resolutions, in which he is called
upon to fulfil his responsibilities, existing responsibilities, under those
resolutions which brought an end to the Gulf War and then if he fails to
do that, the matter should come back to the United Nations, so the United
Nations can then determine whether military action is the appropriate force......
HUMPHRYS: But all of this time......
CAMPBELL: ....can I just finish on
this, what I think it quite wrong is to create a resolution which somehow
authorises any one member of the Security Council in the discretion of
that country to take military action. I think that undermines the authority
of the United Nations and it certainly will not command political support,
particularly in the Middle East and I doubt very much if it will command
political support here in the United Kingdom.
HUMPHRYS: Well frankly, it doesn't
matter very much if you are a country as powerful as the United States
does it. I mean it is such a mega super power now that the old rules have
in effect been broken and the United Nations without the United States
is nothing anyway.
CAMPBELL: Well we are of course,
I think, at a fork in the road in some respects on these strategic issues
because about three weeks ago you may have noticed it hardy got the coverage
it deserved, the United States published a new strategic doctrine in which
it said, well, we prefer to be multilateral but actually if that is not
going to work, then we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action, no
other country will we ever allow, not to exceed us in military might, but
even to approach us in military might. Now that's a very substantial change
in the sort of World Order which we have seen since the end of the Second
World War. We're moving away from collective, co-operative, treaty based,
agreement based approach to foreign affairs and if Mr Blair has any influence,
then it seems to me the influence he ought to be exercising on the Bush
Administration is to say, do you realise just how solitary that is going
to make you the United States, and indeed, how much riskier it's going
to make the world for the rest of us.
HUMPHRYS: Well the other way of
looking at is America is the super power, it should be in our interest
to be friendly, very friendly indeed with that super power.
CAMPBELL: Well we have strong ...
I mean we believe in freedom, we believe in a system of law, we believe
in human rights, we have a lot of common objectives and common values and
of course, as between the United Kingdom and the United States, and interestingly
Australia in the context of Bali, we have this rather unique security and
intelligence relationship because the United States and the United Kingdom
and Australia share intelligence at a level that they simply don't share
with any other country. Indeed the United Kingdom gets information from
the United States which it is expressively prohibited from passing onto
other members of NATO.
HUMPHRYS: Okay, I want to come
back to that in just one second, but as far as the United Nations was concerned,
if the UN has shown, as it has shown, that it is too weak to enforce its
own resolutions, then somebody else has to do that enforcing for them,
otherwise we don't have any international law. If you allow a man like
Saddam Hussein to flout the international law, as expressed in United Nations
resolutions, then where are we.
CAMPBELL: Well I don't believe
we've reached the conclusion with which you began that question, because
the United Nations acted in 1990 in order to authorise the expulsion of
Iraq from Kuwait. Throughout the course of the last ten years the United
Nations has sought to enforce the resolutions...
HUMPHRYS: ..and failed and that's
CAMPBELL: And even as Richard Butler
has acknowledged, the inspectors achieved a very considerable amount. We've
kept Saddam Hussein in his box. Now I believe that he should be compelled
to fulfil his obligations under the existing resolutions and if necessary,
under new resolutions. But the way in which you do that is surely, particularly
if as the Prime Minister argues, this must all be done consistently with
international law, is to ensure that you've exhausted all other political
and diplomatic options before you embark upon a military option. Not least
because the military option carries so many consequences which could be
deeply, deeply damaging; the dismemberment of Iraq for example, the consequences
in the north if the Kurds were to seek to declare an independent Kurdistan.
The efforts of Iran, which afterall is part of the axis of evil as described
by President Bush, to exercise more influence on the Shia population in
the south. Now you don't have to go very far in the Middle East talking
to officials before you realise that there is a deep sense of anxiety about
the dismemberment of Iraq and remember that was one of the compelling reasons
why President Bush senior brought an end to the military campaign in 1991.
HUMPHRYS: You talk about intelligence,
Australia and Britain sharing intelligence, so let's move to Bali, where
it seems there was intelligence, we had had intelligence, the Prime Minister
of Australia, Mr Howard, said this morning in fact that there is going
to be a review in Australia of how they failed, if indeed they did fail,
to act on that intelligence, we apparently failed to act on it as well.
Should we have a review.
CAMPBELL: Indeed, there were twenty-four
hours when it seemed that Downing Street was saying one thing and the Foreign
Office was saying the another. We most certainly should have a review and
indeed last week I suggested, not that you should have a public enquiry
or anything of that kind, but the Prime Minister should ask a senior High
Court Judge, or someone of that calibre to examine precisely what happened
on this occasion. Not for the purposes of a witch hunt, but in order to
see if there are lessons to be learned for the future. And of course it
is only within, I think, the last forty-eight hours that the Foreign Office
has issued essentially a blanket warning against travel to South East Asia.
I think the public has got to be reassured that the Foreign Office and
the Government in general, understands the nature of these threats and
is willing, if necessary, to give what, for some of the countries concerned,
maybe very painful advice, but what in the end of the day is advice that's
in the interests of the people in the United Kingdom.
HUMPHRYS: The sort of review, the
sort of enquiry that you talk about with perhaps a High Court judge, isn't
that a bit na�ve. I mean you can hardly have MI5 and MI6 and heaven's knows
who else standing in court of law as it were, and saying it will all have
to be private, all have to be private.
CAMPBELL: Not public, I don't suggest
that for a moment. You get someone of calibre, perhaps summon a former
intelligence expert who just goes into both agencies, or all the agencies
involved and produces a report for the Prime Minister's eyes alone if necessary.
You can't have public enquires into intelligence...
HUMPHRYS: That may be happening
already, one has to assume and hope that that is happening already.
CAMPBELL: Indeed, well, the Prime
Minister of Australia thinks that it's important enough to announce publicly
that that's what he is doing, no doubt for the reassurance of Australian
citizens and why doesn't our government do exactly the same.
HUMPHRYS: Is there anything else
in your view that we ought to be doing here at home, Air Marshal Sir Tim
Garden talked in that film about having some sort of Director - as they
have in the United States - Director of Homeland Security, although he
is not in the United States, an active politician. What do you think we
should do in that area.
CAMPBELL: Well, I think Tim Garden
raises a very important point and he's right to say that someone who is
exercising this kind of influence has got to be a pretty powerful figure
in order to ensure the necessary transference of funds between government
departments. I don't think...
HUMPHRYS: Cabinet Minister?
CAMPBELL: Well exactly, I was about
to say, I don't think a Director of Homelands Security, I think you need
to have a minister with that responsibility. This would be, if you like,
upping the ante very substantially, but as Bruce George rather hinted
in that rather sombre contribution which he made to the film which we saw
just a moment or two ago, we simply don't know where and when the next
strike may take place and we have to assume, so close are we to the United
States, so open is our society, that we could easily be a potential target.
In those circumstances, a Cabinet Minister would seem to me to be a sensible
response to that threat.
HUMPHRYS: We have a Home Secretary.
CAMPBELL: A Home Secretary does
a whole lot of things in this country, above and beyond dealing with issues
of homeland security, homeland security has now assumed a far greater salience
than ever before. Surely it would be right to reflect that in the appointment
of a Cabinet Minister with these sole responsibilities.
HUMPHRYS: Ming Campbell, many thanks.