We Are Many (2014) Movie Script

XFM, 104. 9.
I'm Ricky Gervais. With me Steve Merchant.
I'll tell you what. I was walking here today,
and the West End is crammed.
There's helicopters. There's police.
There's about a million people
sort of just milling around,
standing around with placards and stuff.
They've got too much time
on their hands. They need a war.
You don't read the newspapers, do you?
BBC Radio Four.
What's thought to be the biggest
demonstration in British history
is taking place in Central London.
The organizers say nearly two million people
have gathered to oppose war against Iraq.
From Auckland to Athens, Berlin to Bangkok,
some 600 cities across the world.
Can you do that again?
15th of February 2003.
We're in London,
just outside Trafalgar Square.
It's the anti-war march.
There's lots and lots of people here.
It's a terrible legacy...
...for those people who died on 9/11,
that we're now killing
more people in their name.
That's my opinion, anyway.
February 15th was the single largest
mobilization of people
in the history of humanity, bar none.
It was the biggest demonstration coordinated
in the history of the whole Earth.
Do you think we can stop this war?
I think if we tried really hard, yeah.
I think we can stop this war.
The Prime Minister
avoided the protestors outside
chanting "No blood for oil."
Millions of British people telling you
we don't want this war.
Now will you listen?
Listen to the people, Tony.
Listen to the people.
This is a battle with only one outcome.
Our victory, not theirs.
Something began on that day
that, uh... that cannot be reversed.
I was in New York. I'm a New Yorker.
I work as a nurse practitioner,
and I was at work that day.
I was at work at Tinker
Air Force Base in Oklahoma.
It was an ordinary day.
I was in an airplane on my way
from Stockholm to New York.
And I remember waking up
in the morning, early, jetlagged,
and I went out jogging,
and I came in and turned on the news.
I'm going to interrupt
because of the latest news.
A plane has crashed
into the World Trade Center.
We've got Warner on the phone,
who's watching and looking at it right now.
You can see the fire, you can see the smoke.
I mean, it's a monster hole, you know.
Oh, my God.
That looks like a second plane.
Oh, my God.
The second tower has exploded
in a gargantuan explosion!
And at that point I didn't know
that my brother was at the Trade Center.
It was horrific.
And I knew, I knew in a flash,
whatever was happening at that moment,
this was the beginning
of something even worse.
The deliberate and deadly attacks
which were carried out yesterday
against our country
were more than acts of terror.
They were acts of war.
September 12th 2001,
was the day that changed the world.
Not September 11th.
Because that was the day that
George W Bush announced to the world
that the answer to this huge crime
would be our war.
It was downhill after that.
The evidence now shows that on the very...
Well, within 24 hours of the attack,
they had basically decided to attack Iraq.
Was it Cheney or Rumsfeld, one of those,
at the first meeting
after the attack on the Twin Towers,
said, "That's it, let's go for Iraq?"
And now's an opportunity
to do, uh, generations a favor
by coming together and whipping terrorism.
It is a long-term campaign
which is why we are characterizing it
as a war.
Your loss we count as our loss.
Your struggle we take as our struggle.
Now that war has been declared on us,
we will lead the world
to victory, to victory.
This is a moment to seize.
The kaleidoscope has been shaken.
The pieces are in flux.
Soon they will settle again.
Before they do,
let us reorder this world around us.
We were fearful. We were concerned.
We were anxious about the way
that the US was going to retaliate,
and we had very little confidence
they were gonna behave sensibly.
Over a few days,
we started talking on the phone,
getting together, and said "Look,
we're gonna set up a Stop The War Coalition."
They set up the Stop The War Coalition.
They asked me to be president of it,
which I very happily accepted.
And there was a meeting called.
They knew immediately
that there was going to be a war,
and so they had a meeting
in Friends House here.
I attended that meeting. It was amazing.
Hall after hall after hall.
The entire building was taken over.
It took just five days to organize,
but the Stop The War protest
and meeting attracted so many people,
they had to close the doors.
I wrote a leaflet for that meeting,
and the title of the meeting
was "Stop The War Before It Starts."
That's what was on the leaflet.
And that's why it became
the Stop The War Coalition.
It's just absolutely unbelievable
that that particular event
triggered such a momentous movement.
The war on terrorism begins.
America and Britain strike Afghanistan.
President Bush says the campaign
will be sustained,
comprehensive and relentless.
Afghanistan, I was completely gung-ho for it.
We were excited to be doing our job
and exacting retribution
on the enemy for 9/11.
And in fact, I even had pictures
of myself on a ladder
in the bomb bay of a B-1 bomber
signing bombs.
Various obscenities
and things like "This is for my sister
in New York City."
It became clear that phase one
was going to be Afghanistan,
and, of course, it wasn't going to take
much to defeat the Taliban.
It wasn't much of a war, and it wasn't said,
but the sense was there wasn't
much glory in it, either.
It didn't somehow answer 9/11,
and that's when the talk of phase two began.
My fellow Americans, let's roll.
Bush came up with his extraordinary
speech in January 2002.
Our war against terror is only beginning.
Iraq continues to flaunt
its hostility toward America
and to support terror.
States like these and their terrorist allies
constitute an axis of evil.
We wanted connection with 9/11,
and we pressed that and pressed that
and pressed that
until we lied to the American people.
I mean, we had something like 51 to 60
percent of the American people
believing that Saddam Hussein
was connected with 9/11.
From then on we're building up
towards a war with Iraq,
and we now know how closely involved
the British Government was with this.
But to allow weapons of mass destruction
to be developed by a state like Iraq,
without let or hindrance,
would be grossly to ignore
the lessons of September 11th,
and we will not do it.
We were sharing intelligence.
We were sharing preparations
for the kind of marketing campaign
we'd do if we decided to go to war.
The weapons of mass destruction
was an important thing
to hold up to the public,
and I'm not saying
that they were in bad faith,
but they had many other reasons
that pushed them about,
and about which they didn't talk.
8:00. The first element
of the government's strategy
for winning over the doubters was released.
MPs had three and a half hours
to read the dossier.
This dossier is based on the work
of the British Joint Intelligence Committee.
It is extensive, detailed and authoritative.
It concludes that Iraq has chemical
and biological weapons.
That Saddam has continued to produce them.
That he has existing
and active military plans
for the use of chemical
and biological weapons,
which could be activated within 45 minutes,
including against his own Shia population.
They were 100 percent sure
that there were weapons of mass destruction.
They had zero percent of knowledge
where they were.
I felt I knew what had happened
in the creation of an interior group
of knowing people.
So what was going on
in the corridors of power was,
"I've been there."
"I've been to the Secret Service
"I've seen the papers."
"If you'd seen what I've seen,
you'd know how to go
through those corridors."
So there was the creation
of a bunch of insiders
who were also, in a sense,
distributing the same lie.
The intelligence was never there.
I remember the dodgy dossier.
I remember the front page
on the Evening Standard.
I've got it somewhere in this room.
I remember keeping it, you know,
that Iraq could attack within
45 minutes or something.
Those 45 minutes, I think,
was what really became famous
because they wanted to create a fear.
I remember hearing it on the news
and thinking, "45 minutes to attack?"
"That... that's quite a peril."
You just read that,
and that seemed pretty far-reaching,
but you didn't know
what information they had.
You don't want to disbelieve a Prime Minister
when a Prime Minister puts out
a document like that
from 10 Downing Street.
I really wanted to find out
what the evidence was.
So I wrote to the government
and I got a copy of the dossier.
And I thought, "OK,
this is all very technical."
"Can I check any of this?"
So I found two weapons inspectors,
and I asked them,
"How valid are these documents?"
And they said,
"Well, we know this isn't true,
we know that's not true,
we know this isn't true."
Now, it's amazing to me that I could do that,
and yet none of the MPs
seemed to be able to do it.
I think it also destroyed
Mr. Blair's credibility.
He lost his credibility
in those 45 minutes, actually.
It sort of completely caused me
to become a different person politically...
because I had to come to terms
with the fact, as a Conservative,
that the institutions of the
British state had set out to tell lies.
That is finally the bottom line.
Lied to in order to go to war.
There was a grand deception
in which we all share
various amounts of, uh, responsibility
and, uh, in which we, everybody,
didn't do their job.
In the United States
the lies were told endlessly,
and in Britain, the Murdoch Press,
the Murdoch television networks,
some parts of the BBC, all played the game.
So, the military industrial complex is also,
you know, has its analogue in the press,
the media industrial complex.
America and our allies
are called once again...
to defend the peace
against an aggressive tyrant.
And we accept this responsibility.
I remember saying...
I don't know whether you can
say this on tape.
But, "This bastard
is actually gonna take us to war."
"This is not just rhetoric."
I remember having these debates
a year before the invasion,
and we'd say, "Oh, my God,
it looks like
they're really going to invade Iraq,"
and everyone would say,
"Well, they're not that crazy.
It couldn't happen."
US Central Command has been
moving aircraft carriers
and war planes closer to Iraq.
Now 600 of its specialists
are to move themselves
to within a few hundred miles of Iraq.
And so the global military enterprise
snaps into action.
The public doesn't know about it.
You can see pieces of it here and there.
Units are being mobilized.
Tanks are loading on ships.
The Marines are loading up.
You can see pieces of it.
The bombing increased over Iraq
about 500 percent
during the fall of 2002...
with the purpose of trying
to goad Saddam Hussein
into retaliating,
to give us a reason to go to war.
And then I saw that. I was witness to that.
But the President's still saying,
you know, "It may not..."
"I hope it doesn't come to war."
President Bush knows the real battle
is to win support of the United Nations.
When I saw Bush on TV saying,
"We're gonna try diplomacy first,"
but then I saw the reality on the ground,
something didn't sit right with me,
and I knew there was more to the story.
On some level, globally,
people knew that this was not true,
and I think that's what led to February 15th
and the massive show on the streets
was because people felt
like something's not right.
Before our kids start coming home
from Iraq in body bags
and women and children
start dying in Baghdad,
I need to know, what did Iraq do to us?
We had never raised money for an ad before,
and we proposed this
"Let the Inspections Work" ad,
sent it out to our members hoping to raise,
you know, $20,000, $40,000.
And we raised $400,000.
And we made the ads,
and we figured out everything
we could possibly do
to build opposition to going to war.
We organized demonstrations,
and it got bigger and bigger and bigger.
Packing the streets to stop the war,
the organizers of today's rally
claim 300,000 people turned out
to show their anger over Iraq.
I am in total opposition to the war.
I think it's an obscenity,
and I think Blair is a scoundrel.
The troop movements began to get underway,
and that's when we really moved quickly
to form the coalitions
in the US and internationally.
It took a lot of courage for people
to raise their voices early on,
prior to February 15th 2003.
People were afraid to speak.
They were afraid of being called unpatriotic.
The Bush Administration and Saddam Hussein
are not the only ones
cranking up the talk about war.
So are American opponents of war with Iraq.
We have a President
that is sending the ships,
sending the war machines,
sending the bombs, sending the troops.
And look what we have growing here at home.
A mass, beautiful movement
that's gonna stop them
from dropping those bombs.
I'm becoming consumed with the thought
that our country may soon be at war,
waged partially in my brother's name
and the names of thousands
killed last year in the terror attacks.
We had to do something.
To sit back and not do anything
was unbearable.
We, as a civilized people,
must know better and do better.
We must be a greater nation than that.
You build confidence, and all
of a sudden you start daring
to do stuff that you never ever thought
possible in the past.
And the next step was to call
for a global day of demonstrations.
I mean, I don't know
what we were thinking, actually,
that there could be even
a global demonstration.
I mean, nobody had ever done that.
It was a, you know,
completely left-field idea
even for us, and we'd had a few.
And that day was put at 15th of February.
So we started thinking together
what to do, what to do.
We had a very strong European network.
At the end of the European Social Forum,
we had a massive assembly
in a disused railway station.
There were thousands and thousands
of people packed into this meeting.
We made the announcement
to say we have to make February 15th
into the biggest day of global protest
there has ever been.
I now hand over to my final speaker
on European coordination,
To all citizens of Europe,
we call on the movement
and the citizens of Europe
to start from now
organizing European anti-war demonstrations
in every capital on February 15.
We can stop this war.
And the response was just overwhelming.
It was absolutely tremendous.
You need a moment
in which somebody says "Yes, we can,"
and so you start.
And after that, we knew that this day
was going to be something special,
something the world had never seen before.
The Stop The War Coalition
has been meeting in London
to make plans for a demonstration
against war with Iraq.
The London demonstration is due
to take place on February 15th
to coincide with marches
in several other European capitals.
Somebody said,
I don't even remember now who it was,
that they had heard that folks in Europe
were planning
for a day of international
demonstrations on February 15th
against the war, and we said,
"Oh, OK, let's do that."
The notion that we could pull this off
on a global level...
Oh, my God, this was huge.
This was an enormous challenge.
The notion that we were
part of something global
was terrifying and thrilling
all at the same time.
And Saddam Hussein must understand
that if he does not disarm
for the sake of peace,
we, along with others,
will go disarm Saddam Hussein.
This is a matter of weeks, not months.
It was only much later
that I came across
the single most devastating document,
which is the legal memorandum
written by Lord Goldsmith,
in which Lord Goldsmith
tells the British Prime Minister,
"You cannot use force without
a further Security Council resolution."
If you go down the document,
at paragraph four,
you've got Lord Goldsmith
telling the Prime Minister,
"I remain of the view
that the correct legal interpretation
of Resolution 1441
is that it does not authorize
the use of military force
without a further determination
by the Security Council."
And just to the left of that,
a little scribble.
"I just don't understand this."
Who wrote that? Tony Blair wrote that.
And then the document was filed away.
The timing of the document
is very significant.
It was written and signed off
on 30th January.
The next day, 31st January,
the British Prime Minister met the
American President in the White House,
and I've seen the internal
British note of the meeting
prepared by Sir David Manning.
And that note makes very clear,
beyond any possible dispute, two things.
First, by 31st January,
President Bush had decided
that the war on Iraq would begin in March
with or without a further
Security Council resolution.
And second point,
Tony Blair told Bush at that meeting
he was with him, whatever happened.
I do remember the steady drumbeat to war.
There was one sane voice in that crowd,
and I remember talking to my dad
on the phone from Saudi Arabia
and saying, you know,
Colin Powell is the only one
that's gonna be able to stop this.
It was the moment the world has waited for.
America's best case against Iraq,
made by its top diplomat.
When the Secretary finished
his dress rehearsal,
the night before the presentation
to the Security Council,
he looked at his watch. It was a little long.
He looked at me,
and he turned to Mr. Tenet,
the Director of the CIA,
and he said, "George, you stand by everything
that I just said, right?"
And Mr. Tenet said, "I'm telling you,
what you just gave is solid."
And he's telling the Secretary of State
it's a slam dunk.
Saddam Hussein has weapons
of mass destruction.
I mean, that's not the exact language
George used with the Secretary,
but it was like that.
And then the Secretary looked at him
and got this smile on his face, and he said,
"Well, George, you're gonna
be with me tomorrow."
"You're gonna be in camera."
That sort of surprised Mr. Tenet
cos generally you don't put
the Director of the CIA on television.
But you look at that film, and you will see
that George Tenet is right
over the Secretary's shoulder.
Saddam Hussein and his regime
have made no effort,
no effort to disarm as required
by the international community.
We have diagrammed what our sources reported
about these mobile facilities.
Colin Powell made his extraordinary
speech to the UN,
in which there were sort of ice cream vans
which we were told were
biological weapons things.
They looked, actually, quite
like ice cream vans to me.
They may well have been ice cream vans.
What you're about to hear is a conversation
that my government monitored.
"We have this modified vehicle."
"What do we say if one of them sees it?"
His delivery was superb.
He really should have won
an Academy Award for that performance.
"I have one." "Which?"
"From where?" "From the workshop."
"I'll come to see you in the morning."
"I'm worried you all have something left."
When I sat there in the Security Council
opposite Colin Powell
and I heard these things,
I kept a straight face, a poker face.
But I was skeptical.
And unless we act,
we are confronting
an even more frightening future.
He did not know that we were
perpetrating a hoax,
but that is in effect what we were doing.
I mean, we were telling the Security Council,
people in the international community
and Americans,
we were telling them all that Saddam
Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
He did not. He did not.
I don't really want to criticize him,
but it was a debacle, really,
for him and for the world.
At that point, I lost a lot of hope
about our ability to prevent the Iraq war.
When you sign your life on the line
for your country
and swear to defend it,
the only thing that you really ask for
in return
is that it be for a good reason,
and I didn't feel it was for a good reason.
Yeah, I was in charge of it,
and when I finished it and thought about it,
I felt miserable because I thought
we had just put a whole array
of circumstantial evidence up
that could be interpreted
in any number of different ways.
And we were probably going to go to war,
and it sort of bothered me.
And now I feel like it was the lowest point,
as I've said before,
in my professional and personal life.
I wish I had resigned.
On this February day,
as this nation stands at the brink of battle,
this chamber is, for the most part,
dreadfully silent.
You can hear a pin drop. Listen.
You can hear a pin drop.
The battle lines are being
drawn in the Gulf and at home,
these protestors in no doubt
as to whose side they're on
and who they're against.
I feel that I speak for, um,
a growing number of people in this country.
I think if you stopped anyone now on the road
and asked them what they think,
they'd say "No."
I've always been, uh...
quite passionate about CND.
Uh, it kind of sort of goes back
to coming from a family
of conscientious objectors.
So I did what little I could,
in the sense of I could
just talk about it in the media,
express myself.
There was a moment where it felt,
well, we might be able to intervene.
Inspections, not war.
War is not worth dying for.
Inspections, not war. Inspections, not war.
The Iraqis are real people.
The majority of them are under 18 years old.
They're lovely, nice, wonderful people,
and we don't want to see them killed.
February 14th. That would be the day
the Security Council would hear
from the inspectors in Iraq
responsible for the UN inspections.
So important is this event
that all the main foreign ministers
of the United Nations are here,
including America's Colin Powell.
They've insisted on turning up
because this encounter could even determine
the fate of the United Nations.
The chamber of the Security Council
had never been
as full of cameras
as they were in those days.
We walked into this room and looked around.
It was just full of cameras.
How much, if any, is left
of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
and related prescribed items and programs?
So far, UNMOVIC has not found
any such weapons,
only a small number
of empty chemical munitions.
We have to date found no evidence
of ongoing prohibited nuclear
or nuclear-related activities in Iraq.
As I have just indicated, a number of...
What the inspectors actually said
was very, very unequivocal.
"We have seen no evidence."
They would not, they did not,
provide the US with any excuse to go to war,
and the Security Council knew it.
When the two branches of the march meet here
in Piccadilly Circus tomorrow afternoon,
Eros may well be witnessing
the biggest peacetime demonstration
in British history.
The day before,
the Evening Standard and the Mail
and all the others had a double-page
spread about the march route,
what are the ideal clothes
to wear at a demonstration,
and you suddenly realized
we'd become the mainstream.
Saturday's demonstration
against the war on Iraq
is expected to be the biggest peacetime
rally ever seen in this country.
There will be other protests
from New York to Tokyo.
In the course of the seven weeks,
we must have distributed well
over a million pieces of literature.
All of us became aware that
this thing was gonna be big.
There is a large number of people
that are gonna be on this demonstration
that have never demonstrated before
in their lives.
Middle England are coming out
in their thousands on Saturday,
and that is what is going
to make a difference.
Tonight, final preparations
are underway here in London
for the anti-war rally tomorrow.
It's being billed as the biggest peace
demonstration in recent years.
The rallies of February
15th followed the sun.
They started in the South Pacific.
After that it was New Zealand,
and after that it was Australia,
it was Sydney.
They came from everywhere
and from every walk of life
to walk for life and for peace.
It was an extraordinary display
of people power.
So many voices with one simple message.
No war! No war!
I remember getting on the train
to go into the rally,
and the train was absolutely packed,
and you realized something huge was happening
and it was just a complete cross-section
of liberal concerned Australia.
And then it was North Asia and South Asia.
And then after that it was Malaysia.
It was Indonesia, it was the Philippines,
it was India, it was Pakistan.
And then across Russia.
And then down into Africa.
This is a war about the oil reserves of Iraq.
And then across into Europe.
Roma was full of different marches,
and we found another enormous march
coming against us,
and we don't know who they are.
And no, they are us!
And then there was the huge protest in Spain.
In Barcelona was something
that we couldn't imagine.
It was no march because, in fact,
all passage to the Grcia
was occupied by people.
It was full of people.
All over Spain it's around five million
people going into the streets.
So it was the biggest demonstration
in the history in the Spanish State.
You're reading all of the wire reports
increasingly from all of these cities,
and you see France, Paris.
Here in France,
everyone is united against the war.
The people, the politicians, the newspapers.
Hundreds of cities.
All of a sudden, this sea of humanity.
And then... we had London.
I thought I was on the wrong march.
I did. I thought this must
be for something else
because there were all these families,
people with pushcarts and babies
and people I'd just never
seen on these things,
and the outpouring of rage from the people.
It was so beautiful.
Really passionate and eloquent and beautiful.
People crying out and shouting.
This proposed war by Britain
is historically unpopular,
and the mother of all focus groups
has descended on London
to bring that fact home to Tony Blair today.
And then the march began,
and we were millions.
It seemed we were millions.
A million people in...
on the streets of London.
There hadn't been a demonstration that size
in anybody in the government,
let alone in Parliament's recollection.
It was... It sort of shut you up.
Virtually everybody I know was on it.
I wish I'd been on it.
I should have been on it.
People like my son and my granddaughters.
He, not being a political activist,
and he was texting me saying
"This is fantastic."
"He can't go to war now."
And it was beautiful.
Many say they've never known
an atmosphere quite like it.
Could that be in part
because so many were moved
to protest for the first time?
I'm not a demonstration
type of person, actually.
I mean, it may well have been the first
demonstration I ever went on.
I think the world's going mad.
I just feel it's got to be stopped somewhere.
Anybody who could come came,
of my lot. And family, I just...
A couple of phone calls, and I should think
we must have been a dozen.
And they loved it and were very proud.
This was the future of humanity,
and people felt it.
That's why they came.
I managed to get friends of mine,
that I never considered for a moment
would come with me, to come that day.
I hadn't been an activist before.
I hadn't protested anything before.
There was a sense of "Come on,
come with me, come and join me."
"We can do this together."
I was very enthusiastic
that this was going to do it.
This was going to stop the Iraq war.
If Blair cared about democracy,
we wouldn't be doing this march
because he would be representing his people.
What Bush and Blair are actually planning
is so disgusting, so bloody lousy.
It's a war for oil.
I don't think it was
until 15th February 2003,
that we really understood
the enormity of the divide
that existed within the country.
And we came to a halt in Whitehall,
and as it happened,
my family and I were dead opposite
the entrance to Downing Street.
a noise went up
that I've never heard before or since.
A kind of visceral, feral grumble,
roar, rising sound.
I remember coming up to Piccadilly Circus,
and there was this just incredible howl
of, I don't know...
Joy, really, as the two demonstrations
came together.
I always feel like this
when, all of a sudden...
millions of ordinary people,
who are told they can't do this,
suddenly do it.
Everybody in the world has a chance today
to say no, absolutely no to war on Iraq.
And there was this real desire.
"Come on, Tony Blair, listen."
"You have to listen.
You can't ignore this many people."
Blair went up to Scotland
to speak at the Scottish
Labour Party Conference.
His speech is greeted with stony silence,
something that never ever happens.
As you watch your TV pictures
of the march, just ponder this.
If there are 500,000 on that march,
that is still less than the number of people
whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for.
If there are one million...
that is still less than the number of people
that died in the wars that he started.
We are starting something really big,
and our first task is peace in Iraq.
Ridding the world of Saddam
would be an act of humanity.
It is leaving him there that is inhumane.
But we must not stop
until we have achieved the objectives
that bring us all to Hyde Park
this afternoon.
We had a counter at the background
of the stage,
and I remember asking
"Can I make that announcement?"
"Can I please make that announcement?"
We had those who thought
we could never, never pull it together,
and we have one and a half million
people marching in London today!
Then, minute by minute,
the phone calls, the feedback,
getting a call from Egypt,
people watching on Egyptian TV
saying, "What is this? What have you done?"
"This is absolutely miraculous.
How have you done this?"
Everyone was in a state of shock
to find, like, one million Brits
who were willing to take to the streets
to protest against the war.
Everyone was shocked that, you know,
there are three million
in the streets of Madrid.
I mean, everybody was shocked.
We were jealous that this
was happening in the West
and not happening in the Arab world.
Millions of Egyptians and Arabs and Muslims
can watch on the TV screens
those white, whisky-drinking infidels
taking to the streets on their behalf,
while in their own countries, you know,
you cannot mobilize on that scale.
The issue was, if they're doing that there,
we should do at least as much here.
In Egypt it was one
of my most depressing days.
We had tiny turnout
for these calls of protest.
On 15th February, we did
actually organize something small.
And, of course,
we had the huge military police
slash military mobilization of the time.
But we knew it's going to happen
because of the international mobilization.
It was very frustrating.
I give so much credit to the activists here
who didn't give up on the Egyptian people,
because I think I might have given up
on the Egyptian people.
That day, 15th February 2003,
gave us a real mobilization power
to get the message across
that whenever the US and the UK
would start their war against Iraq...
we should be on the streets opposing that.
And then, finally, it came to New York.
# This land is your land
# This land is my land
I heard the noise from the outside.
Being out in the street early on
and as the day was going on,
just watching what had to be
tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.
It just... People kept coming.
# To the Gulf Stream waters
# I tell ya
I needed some milk and some vegetables,
and I went out, and I realized
what the demonstration was about.
One, two, three, four!
# As I went walking
Five, six, seven, eight!
# Down that...
I felt compelled to fly out on a weekend
while I was on active duty
to attend this protest in New York City
on February 15th 2003.
I do remember getting off the subway
and seeing Grand Central Station
and just seeing the people
that were in there,
and it was overwhelming.
I went outside the doors,
and I just remember seeing
just so many people.
Just people for blocks and blocks
and blocks and blocks.
Who knows where they were to?
And you could almost...
If you could look to 125th,
they may have been as far as 125th.
I'm getting chills right now
just talking about it. Uh...
# They tried to stop me
# They put up a sign that said
# Oh, it said "private property"
I felt touched by it.
I felt this is part of
the political drama that is played out.
- Whose street?
- Our street!
I also had some little fear that maybe
someone would identify me
and hoist me up on a truck
as a mascot or something.
But no one did that.
Streets and parks and cities
across the US and the world
were filled with demonstrators today
protesting a possible
US-Ied war against Iraq.
All told, anti-war demonstrations took place
in at least 150 American cities
from coast to coast.
We were attempting something
on this day that was historic.
There was no way to not take notice.
Surely President Bush must be watching,
and surely Tony Blair must be watching.
You know, the size of a protest,
it's like deciding,
well, I'm gonna decide policy
based upon a focus group.
They can't hold us back!
Bush, you can't hold us back!
You can't hold the people!
You can't keep the people down!
# And this land
# Was made for you and me
The people will be heard!
There will not be a war against Iraq!
There was unbelievable sense
that maybe this could make a difference.
Maybe, for the first time in history,
we could actually stop the bad guys, right,
from doing something horrendous.
People are saying no to war!
And we stand in solidarity,
all the people of the world
who are marching at this very moment.
I remember Harry Belafonte and his
long-time great friend Danny Glover,
the great activist actor,
who said "We stand here
on this threshold of history,
and we say to the world..."
Not in our names, not in our names.
"Not in our name."
And I remember the crowd picked it up,
and it was echoing.
And I remember thinking,
I will never again...
have an opportunity like this,
to be present at a moment
that is changing the world.
And all a sudden I felt elated,
and I felt, "Of course we can stop the war,
because we are so many people,
and there's no leader
in any country in the world
that could go ahead with a war when
they see a global movement saying no."
- What do we want?
- Peace!
- When do we want it?
- Now!
Let you remember
and let your children remember
that on February 15th you were here,
joined by 35 million people.
Stop the war!
Stop the war!
Stop the war!
We had the first global demonstration.
There were demonstrations
in what, every continent,
and 600 cities around the world
had demonstrations,
including a demonstration in Antarctica.
Saying this thing even happened
in Antarctica is like saying
it happened on the moon
or it happened on Mars.
I think Antarctica stills exists
as this sort of mythological place
to most people,
that it is the end of the earth.
And it's remarkable to people
that there are people there at all.
We knew that there was demonstrations
gonna be going on around the world
for February 15th,
and we knew it was gonna be really big.
And I had a subscription to The Nation
that was coming to me in McMurdo,
and I was reading a column
by Alexander Coburn,
and he was talking about the upcoming
February 15th demonstration.
He was saying, "Even in Antarctica
there's gonna be demonstrations."
I thought, "Huh? Who would that be?"
And I thought, "Wait a minute, he means us."
And so, I thought, "Well, we can't let
down the great Alexander Coburn,
so we're gonna have to do something."
And so we got this one together
in fairly short order.
Saying what you think isn't something
that's easily done down there.
First we were told no protest
at all would be tolerated,
and I think they were saying,
"Well, it's OK to be for peace,
but you can't be against the war."
"You do that, you'll go home in a box."
"Try that, you'll go home in a box."
I'm not sure I was aware
that you could actually lose your job
for stuff like this
until I actually lost my job
for stuff like this.
And, that said, even if I'd known,
I think I would have done
just the same thing.
If we could get enough people
who were willing to do it,
that just was hopeful to me,
and when we did, it was joyful to me.
And so we fervently hoped
that we could be part
of this movement that was going on,
this February 15th movement.
Just... we want this to stop.
We don't want this to happen.
- This is how we'd look.
- That's right.
And there was 70 of us
who looked just like this.
This is "Democracy Now."
The world says no to war.
Sites included Australia, Johannesburg,
Tel Aviv, Syria,
Tokyo, Bangladesh, South Korea,
Hong Kong, Thailand,
Puerto Rico, Brazil, East Timor, India,
and even the South Pole.
And when, the next day, The New York Times,
on the front page above the fold,
said this great truth,
"Once again there are two superpowers
in the world."
"The United States
and global public opinion."
That was huge.
Some of my friends in the anti-war movement
got rather puffed up about it.
I thought they were gonna do t-shirts.
"Second Superpower."
You know, there was a bit of that.
My view was, this is fantastic.
We worked for it.
It's not gonna last for long,
but it's a marker.
It was a big marker. Tremendous.
I think I made an observation
at a critical period
as our country was spooling up for war,
that there was another power out there,
and I think we live at our peril
in ignoring it
and certainly in denigrating it,
because that tends to be the next generation,
and that is the future.
I was actually overseas
when the big demonstration took place.
The whole of my family went on it.
My parents, my sisters.
There was a real feeling that actually
you could make a difference
because going to war was an absolute nonsense
and there had to be another way out of this.
I was trying my best to see
whether there was anything
behind the scenes I could do
to, you know, hopefully avert the war.
To an extent, Saddam Hussein
was now a cornered animal,
and an animal when they're cornered
is extremely dangerous.
With the build-up to the war,
the likelihood was that he was going
to end up being executed or killed.
And therefore I felt that
there was a reasonable chance
in trying to persuade him
that he should bow out
and go to another country.
We'd definitely had these conversations
and there definitely did
seem to be an alternative
than doing what we did.
I was fortunate enough
to know Nelson Mandela.
One power,
with a President who has no foresight,
who cannot think properly...
...is now wanting to plunge the world
into a holocaust,
and I'm happy that the people
of the world are standing up.
Nelson Mandela had spoken vehemently
out against the idea of the war
and against the invasion,
and so I felt that there was a chance
that if he came to see Saddam Hussein,
and if he agreed to fly out
on the same plane as Saddam Hussein,
that we might have a success.
Kofi Annan also agreed to go on the trip,
so we arranged a plane to go to South Africa
to pick them up to take them to Baghdad.
I can think of nothing that
Saddam Hussein could do diplomatically.
I think that time is now over.
The time for diplomacy has passed.
Sadly, the very week that they were due
to go to Baghdad to sit down
with Saddam Hussein,
bombing started,
and the visit never took place.
Now, whether the Americans or British
had discovered what was going on,
we don't know.
I mean, we had on purpose
not informed the authorities
because we felt they might
bring the war forward
if they knew this trip was to take place.
But I still think every time
he looks at the news,
he must think, "If only, you know,
if only it had worked."
It was that close to having a solution.
After the big march, February 15th,
it was clear that the waving of placards
wasn't going to be any good
and writing letters
wasn't going to be any good.
And I decided, you know,
I was going to do something,
and I was prepared to get arrested,
and da-dee-da-dee-da.
So my friend Dave and I
were talking about it one evening.
"Where would the most effective
place to paint a slogan in Sydney be?"
And I said, "Well, to put it bluntly,
it's on the sails of the Sydney Opera House."
And it was this sort of real sinking feeling
because, of course, he was absolutely right.
It was the, you know, the iconic place
that the thing,
that the message was inescapable,
and it was, you know...
I sort of swallowed three times
and said, "OK."
There I am, feeling very strongly about this.
Do I feel strongly enough to, you know,
probably to go to prison
for quite a long time?
He said, "I could well get deported
if we do this,"
and I said, "Well, ring me back
when you've thought that one through."
And sure enough, he rang me back.
Well, yes, I mean, the answer was yes.
It was this once-in-a-Iifetime thing
where if we didn't...
Even if we failed to stop it,
at least if the world could see
that the people didn't want
what was being done in their name.
With death-defying bravado,
the anti-war movement's protest
scaled new heights.
It was all very amateurish.
We had paint, we had backpacks.
We had great long paint rollers,
like three or four of them to join together.
We climbed up without any trouble.
Dave climbed up after me.
Will, being a nonsmoker,
got to the top way quicker than I did.
When he got up there, he said,
"Will, I should tell you
I'm very scared of heights."
I felt sick.
This sort of overwhelming feeling
of not wanting to stuff it up.
This sort of terror that you were
going to paint "No Wa"
or that the "N" would be the wrong way around
or, you know, something like that.
To my amazement,
the font came out beautifully.
And the police finally arrived
just as we were touching it up
for the last time,
and I said to the policeman,
"Can I just finish this bit?"
And he was very polite. He said,
"No, I think you've done enough."
This afternoon, the two men
were released on bail.
We're charged with malicious damage,
which is quite ironic,
because if war isn't the ultimate
malicious damage,
I don't know what is.
But freedom for Will Saunders
was short-lived.
A scientist from Britain,
he was quickly rearrested
by immigration officers.
People say this place doesn't matter anymore,
but hours before a war,
your MP can vote for or against it.
And if that doesn't matter,
I simply don't know what does.
The more momentous the particular
decision you're dealing with,
the more you feel that obligation to do it
on the basis of your own analysis
of what's best.
But isn't it better to carry
the country with you?
Of course. Of course it would be better
to carry the country with you,
but the demonstration indicated
that a great seam of the country
wasn't with us.
What do you do then?
You look to Parliament for support,
and if you can't get support
in Parliament, then you don't do it.
Now, the night before, Robin Cook resigned
and made an astounding resignation speech.
Iraq probably has no weapons
of mass destruction
in the commonly understood sense of the term.
Namely, a credible device
capable of being delivered
against a strategic city target.
It probably does still have biological toxins
and battlefield chemical munitions.
But it's had them since the 1980s,
when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents
and the then-British government approved
chemical and munitions factories.
Why is it now so urgent
that we should take military action
to disarm a military capacity
that has been there for 20 years
and which we helped to create?
Hear, hear.
Mr. Speaker,
the longer I have served in this place,
the greater the respect I have
for the good sense and the collective
wisdom of the British people.
Hear, hear.
I intend to join those tomorrow night
who vote against military action now.
It is for that reason and that reason alone,
and with a heavy heart,
that I resign from the government.
Hear, hear!
It made a most profound impact.
I think for the first time in my life,
I heard people actually clapping in
the House of Commons when he sat down.
Because normally you don't do that.
You just say "Hear, hear."
But people actually applauded him
as he sat down.
And then, all through the day,
MPs that were thought to be
skeptical about the war
were being hauled in to see
Tony Blair or Gordon Brown,
and Blair was sort of straight at them
saying, "OK,
are you with me or against me?"
And there were all kinds of deals done,
no doubt.
The Noes to the left 149...
We had estimated at the start of the day
there were possibly 200 Labour MPs,
more than half the Parliamentary
Labour Party, a crucial figure,
who were opposed to the war.
By the end of the day,
that had come down to 139.
The Ayes to the right 412,
the Noes to the left 149.
The Ayes have it.
An awful day because of the consequences.
MPs knowingly voted for lies to go to war,
which has killed thousands of people.
Back! Get back! Get back! Move!
Many of them now come out and say,
"If we knew then what we know now,
we wouldn't have supported the war."
"We wouldn't have believed Tony Blair.
We were misled."
It's rubbish.
When you had two million people
telling you the truth
and giving you the strong case
for why this war would be a disaster,
you cannot say you did not know.
You just did not care.
This was when people suddenly realized
well, what is a democracy
if you can demonstrate like this
but it doesn't make any difference
to what happens?
And war suddenly happened
one night in March 2003.
At this hour, American and coalition forces
are in the early stages of
military operations to disarm Iraq,
to free its people, and to defend the world.
Tonight British servicemen and women
are engaged from air, land and sea.
Their mission, to remove Saddam Hussein
from power
and disarm Iraq of its weapons.
On my orders, coalition forces have begun
striking selected targets
of military importance
to undermine Saddam Hussein's
ability to wage war.
I hope the Iraqi people hear this message.
We are with you.
Our enemy is not you
but your barbarous rulers.
And then "shock and awe" came.
And then, and then the horror.
It was over.
I think a lot of us cried.
And a lot of us screamed in fury
that these demons had started this war.
When I'm watching these missiles or rockets
or whatever they were flying across Baghdad,
it's kind of like when you see imagery
of the World Trade Center.
To most people, it's this iconic image
of a tower burning.
To me, it's an image of my brother dying
because it's very, very real
because I know he's on the 106th floor.
There's a piece in all of us
that intuitively knows
that someone's being killed
and some family is being harmed.
I think kind of the challenge for all of us
is how much of that are we willing to let in
and how much is too much to bear
and we have to turn it off.
When the hope was dashed and the war began,
I think that depressed people,
and it led to a simplistic concept
that we had the biggest demonstration
in history
and nothing happened, so we're giving up.
The morale just dropped.
It's hard to put "George Bush"
and "brilliant" in the same sentence,
but one of his more brilliant moves
was just to see 20 million people
around the world
saying, "We want you to do something,"
and then him turn around and say,
"We're gonna do it anyway
and you have no power."
All that sense of hope and possibility
that maybe we could prevent this,
we couldn't in the end.
We were still not strong enough.
Everybody please onto the sidewalks
in an orderly fashion.
Everybody on... Keep on walking.
Once you get past a demonstration,
a big demonstration
or a couple of big demonstrations,
what do you do?
We can identify probably
in retrospect positive things,
and maybe we averted other conflicts,
and all that kind of stuff,
but we didn't stop the Iraq War.
That was something that I think,
you know, it was painful.
And it made a lot of us then reflect
on why have we failed,
and certainly for me, now running 38 Degrees,
I think I can see the roots
of some of my thinking and my ideas
which lead me to want to start
a people-powered campaigning movement.
That did come out of the experience,
I think, of feeling the failure.
I got the sense from the people on the podium
that they in a way felt the job was done,
that this was gonna change
the government's opinion.
Now, we will never know
what Tony Blair and his advisers
were thinking on the eve of that day.
I'm sure they gambled on us not coming back.
Now, I really believe that
if we'd have come back the next weekend,
they may not have changed then,
but they would have certainly been nervous.
But if we'd have come back
the weekend after that,
then you never know what would have happened.
And in that sense,
I feel very frustrated
and a deep sense of regret
about the fact
that we just didn't finish the job.
I did believe, I think as many of us
believed on that march,
that we could actually change something,
and the fact that we couldn't
has stuck in our craws ever since.
It was a huge missed opportunity
because I don't think the march
in itself would ever stop the war
because people go home
and the government can live with that.
What they can't live with
is serious organization,
and that's what we needed out of that.
You have a couple of days
of mass demonstrations
during a weekend in London.
What does that do to the powers that be?
Nothing, nothing.
You need to escalate.
We had this decision
that on the day of the attack,
on 1:00pm, we're going to assemble
in Tahrir Square.
Once the strikes begin, we all go to Tahrir.
Once the war starts, at 12 noon,
everybody would go out
on the streets towards Tahrir.
So I went with my high heels,
thinking it was going to be
just an hour-Iong demonstration
and that the anti-riot police
are just going to break it,
and, you know, I had evening plans,
and, uh, I went home at midnight.
That's when hell broke loose in Egypt.
You had the biggest protests
that this capital had witnessed since 1977.
Young people, old people.
Poor people, rich people,
middle class people.
Men, women, students.
Everybody was there. Everybody was there.
I arrived on Tahrir Square with 15 people.
14 out of the 15
never demonstrated in their lives
before 20th March 2003.
It was like, for the first time,
we could see a popular movement.
From 30,000 to 40,000
or 50,000, even, protestors
were in run-in clashes in with the police.
Briefly taking over Tahrir.
That really was a turning point.
The protests here were huge
on the night of the Iraq invasion.
It was the first time I had ever seen
that protestors had overwhelmed
the security forces.
They withdrew,
and I remember a comrade, a friend,
said, "Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God."
For the first time, the really first time,
we are able to win this small victory.
The American occupation of Iraq
is the occupation of the entire Arab world,
including Egypt,
and therefore, the impotency
of our regime is very clear.
That's exactly when I was thinking,
and others,
that if we were triple that number,
or four times that number,
we could take down Mubarak.
Little did we know
that that was a rehearsal
for the 2011 revolution.
That spring of 2003
was really the beginning
of the democracy movement.
Iraq was torn to shreds.
It was a consequence of the invasion,
but it wasn't presented that way.
Like the Fallujah attack,
which was a major war crime.
For example, I haven't seen a word
in the United States,
in the mainstream, at least,
about the fact that the radiation levels
and effects of excessive radiation
in Fallujah
are apparently worse than Hiroshima.
We know exactly how many people were
killed on September 11th, exactly.
We have no idea how many civilians
were killed in Iraq.
Why is that?
Hey, back up! Back up!
Sure, Saddam Hussein was awful.
He was a murderer.
But when Saddam was harming
his own people, that was on him.
But the American invasion is on us,
and the people who are harmed
post-invasion is on us.
It's on our collective national conscience.
Every person is important,
and every person does matter,
and we should know exactly
how many people have died
as a result of this invasion.
This was a total failure.
Cost, most of all for the Iraqis,
lives and property
and now ten years near anarchy.
My father fled Iraq
when I was barely a year old.
I have all my life been an opposition
figure to the Baathist regime.
But as horrendous and as dark
and as bad and as miserable
as things got in Iraq under Saddam Hussein,
incredibly enough,
now they are far, far worse.
That's what we were there for
on 15th February 2003.
To stop this from happening.
My husband is going
to make a short statement.
He has felt extremely upset
of the injustice of the war,
and he remains very upset.
Professor Stephen Hawking.
The war was based on two lies.
The first was that we were in danger
from weapons of mass destruction.
The second was that Iraq
was somehow to blame for 9/11.
It has been a tragedy for all
the families that have lost members.
As many as 100,000 may have died,
half of them women and children.
If that is not a war crime, what is?
The deaths in Iraq mount daily,
but we haven't had a running total
or indeed an accurate body count.
Now we have a shocking figure.
American and Iraqi
public health experts calculate
that about 600,000 Iraqis have been
killed as a result of the invasion.
The number of orphans created
by the Iraq war, 1.25 million.
Iraqi children suffering from
chronic malnutrition, 28 percent.
The number of refugees created
by the Iraq war, four million.
So tonight I'm gonna do one of my slideshows.
These are actual unstaged photos
pulled from the files
of the White House photo office.
Those weapons of mass destruction
have got to be somewhere.
Nope. No weapons over there.
Maybe under here.
Yes, there are consequences of war.
People will die and some will be innocent,
and we must live with the consequences
of our actions,
even the unintended ones.
I wanted to ask him,
"Have you ever seen what happens
as somebody rolls a grenade into a tent?"
"Have you ever imagined what it would be like
to kneel down beside a soldier
you sent into battle
and tell him why he's dying?"
Well, I'd never say that the mass loss
of life of those in the conflict,
civilians, is worth intervention.
But I would say that,
were I in the same situation
with the same information
and the same perspective,
I would have done the same again.
I mean, now we know so much more.
I believed, and I believe,
that the decision was right.
The Secretary General of the United Nations,
a man who's always insisted
that America and Britain went to war
without the legally required authority
of the UN.
Well, Kofi Annan was asked
whether he thought that the action was legal.
I have stated clearly
that it was not in conformity
with the Security Council,
with the UN Charter.
And then the next question was,
"So you mean it was illegal?"
It was illegal?
Yes, if you wish.
Which I think the vast majority of
international lawyers in the world
would say yes, he was right,
and I certainly affirm that it was true.
Crimes against humanity
were plainly committed.
War crimes were plainly committed.
There's no issue.
The photographic and documentary
evidence is overwhelming.
The holding nations accountable, you know,
that's for Liberia,
or that's for some small country.
None of the major heads of state,
when they engage
in these crimes against humanity,
are made accountable.
He's probably the only British
Prime Minister there has ever been
who cannot appear on the streets of London
or anywhere in the country
without there being near riots.
Why are the people who basically
pressed the button and said go
not accountable for the fact
that they blatantly lied to all of us?
It was a crime of the century.
We've campaigned now for an inquiry
for six and a half years.
Please, Mr. Blair,
give us 15 minutes of your time.
That's all we're asking.
Our loved ones gave their lives.
They gave the rest of their time.
Tony, we want just 15 minutes of yours.
We have formally sent a letter
through to his office,
and that request has been totally ignored.
We, like you, have also experienced
at first hand
the anger which is still felt
by many people in this country.
Can I ask whether you have regrets?
Responsibility, but not a regret
for removing Saddam Hussein.
- Come on!
- I think he was...
Be quiet, please.
They've got to give the appearance
of an inquiry
because people are so angry
about what happened,
but it's set up and framed in such a way
that nobody will be challenged.
Um, and it's...
It's what we call a whitewash.
Blair will go to his death
with Iraq printed on his heart,
and unforgiven.
Injustice doesn't go away.
It stays in the psyche.
It will eventually need to come out.
It will come out. Blood will have blood.
Sir Roderick...
There may be things said behind closed doors.
There may be doors
that are closed silently to Tony Blair.
But from my point of view, I'm sorry,
I think he should be, you know, at The Hague.
He should be tried
for war crimes against society.
I think he should.
If it were my choice to have
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld,
George Bush go before some kind of tribunal,
and I had to go with them in order to be...
in order for that tribunal to be successful
or to even have a chance for success,
and that it was also possible I would be
in that conviction, if you will,
I'd do it in a heartbeat.
- You feel that strongly about it?
- I feel that strongly about it.
- Hello, ladies.
- Hello, Mr. Rumsfeld.
- Hi. How are you.
- Hi.
- How are you doing?
- Terrific.
They're all war criminals.
I saw Donald Rumsfeld
on the street in Washington
last year one time, and I was aghast.
"They let you walk around on the street
like a normal person?
Why aren't you in jail?"
- What are you here for tonight?
- It's the Correspondents' Dinner.
OK. Well, enjoy your evening, sir.
- Thank you very much.
- And madam.
Thank you.
- Good evening.
- Hello, folks.
- Welcome back.
- Thank you.
- Mr. Secretary.
- War criminal!
War criminal! War criminal!
Arrest this man! Arrest the war criminal!
War criminal!
- Arrest this man!
- Joyce, Joyce.
War criminal!
War criminal!
You're protecting a man
who's responsible for the deaths
of millions of Iraqis!
Shame on you!
Here comes the war criminal Donald Rumsfeld!
War criminal!
He killed people in Iraq!
War criminal!
We follow Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush
and Condoleezza Rice and Karl Rove
and the people in these think tanks
that lied to get us into the war
and the journalists who lied
to get us into the war.
We are constantly following them.
We feel that we are
the sanity in this country.
We are the people who are
the conscience of this country,
and I think history will prove that we are.
Donald Rumsfeld, war criminal!
He killed people in Iraq!
War criminal! There's the war criminal!
After seeing everything
that the media was feeding us
and being misled by the Bush administration,
seven of us young veterans
got together in the same place
at the Veterans For Peace Conference
and formed this organization
called Iraq Veterans Against The War.
We continued to demonstrate
throughout all those years...
and ever since February 15th 2003,
we now thought of ourselves
as a global peace movement.
I never blinked. I never blinked.
I knew what my morals were.
I knew that the war was wrong,
and every ounce of my being compelled me
to continue protesting that war.
- No NATO, no war!
- No NATO, no war!
- We don't work for you no more.
- We don't work for you no more.
My name is Jason Hurd.
I spent ten years in the United States
Army as a combat medic.
I deployed to Baghdad in 2004.
I'm here to return my Global
War On Terrorism service medal
in solidarity with the people of Iraq
and the people of Afghanistan.
These were lies. I'm giving them back.
I'm one of 40,000 people that left
the United States Armed Forces
because this is a lie!
Our enemies are not 7,000 miles from home.
They sit in boardrooms. They are CEOs.
They are the millionaires and
billionaires who control this planet,
and we've had enough of it.
So they can take their medals back.
Egypt is tasting
its own dose of people power.
Such defiance here is rare
and could mark the beginning
of something bigger.
There is a big myth both in Egypt,
in the Arab world,
as well as the West
that this revolution in Egypt
broke out of the blue.
Some people deliberately tried to call it
a Facebook revolution or a Twitter revolution
or an internet revolution
or even a youth revolution,
uh, in order, more or less, to dismiss
the fact that this revolution
has been in the making
for at least ten years.
The demonstrations did not stop
after the invasion of Iraq. They went on.
True credit goes to these people
who were out there
ten years before it would actually
flower into something.
So God bless. That's what...
That's what revolutions come from.
11th February at 6:00 p.m.,
my mother told me, "Open the TV."
This huge, you know, headline
was spread across the screen.
And I was screaming and jumping up and down
and saying, "He's gone.
He's stepped down. He's stepped down."
I don't know. I lost control.
The first thing people of my generation
when they met,
obviously, you know, you get
the hugs and kisses and so on.
But the first words we would say is
"We lived to see it."
No matter what happens,
even if we end up in the short term
having an authoritarian military regime,
I think we realize that nobody
can do to us what used to be done.
Nobody can boss us around anymore.
No one can enslave us anymore
the way Mubarak did,
and eventually I think we're going
to get rid of the military.
This is one of the fruits
of the anti-war movement,
of the global anti-war movement, of course.
This, according to a UK intelligence
document released today,
was a chemical attack which killed
more than 300 people in Damascus.
This kind of attack threatens
our national security interests.
I don't believe we can let that stand.
Every war that comes along,
it's the same damn language.
"They are horrible. They are not human."
"They cannot be trusted.
We cannot negotiate with them."
How many times and how many wars?
Take out Vietnam, put in Afghanistan.
Take out Afghanistan, put in Iran.
Take out communism, put in terrorism.
The same thing.
Hands off Syria! Hands off Syria!
Hands off Syria! Hands off Syria!
It was like this feeling that...
Take a deep breath and go full steam ahead.
Once again we are out on the streets
to stop yet another war.
The controversial decision
to go to war in Iraq,
made here ten years ago,
has had a profound influence
over this debate.
Overwhelmingly, the people of Britain
are telling us
no to immediate action, no to strikes.
MPs are doing their job.
They are listening to what the public want.
All of our constituents are scarred
by the Iraq and Afghanistan experience.
I cannot sit in this House
and be duped again.
The well of public opinion was well
and truly poisoned by the Iraq episode,
and we need to understand
the public skepticism.
The MPs in Parliament should do
what not enough of them
had the guts to do ten years ago
and vote against!
Order, order.
The ayes to the right 272,
the noes to the left 285.
The House of Commons
sees itself in a new light today
after last night's historic defeat
for a British Prime Minister.
It is clear to me
that the British Parliament,
reflecting the views of the British people,
does not want to see British military action.
I get that,
and the Government will act accordingly.
What? The retrieval of democracy in the UK?
This is one of the occasions
when something sensational
has happened in Parliament.
- Parliament matters.
- Yeah.
As of now, I think we would all agree
that we're in some kind of state
of social revolution.
Quiet, quiet revolution.
MPs have, as you say, listened to the public,
and the public was so appalled
by what happened
under the Prime Ministership
of Tony Blair and the Iraq War
and the dodgy dossier
that actually they say, "No more."
And I have been on this platform
over many years,
from the time of Suez onwards, over 50 years,
and usually we've found
that we have lost a battle.
But what we must remember
is that all the campaigns
we've been engaged in
have culminated in the decision
taken by Parliament last week.
It's been without any doubt
the most powerful political campaign
in my lifetime.
We said, "Wow, if the British Parliament
is actually listening to the British people,
then why can't the US Congress
listen to the American people?"
Protestors have been outside the White House
almost constantly.
The President has spent days huddled
with his advisors at the White House,
but when he emerged from the Oval Office,
no one expected this outcome.
Many people have advised against
taking this decision to Congress.
And undoubtedly they were impacted
by what we saw happen
in the United Kingdom this week
when the Parliament of our closest ally
failed to pass a resolution
with a similar goal.
Then came the decision that borrowed
from David Cameron's playbook.
I will seek authorization
for the use of force
from the American people's
representatives in Congress.
Now we must stand up and act.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
The Committee will be in order.
The Committee will be in order.
- We don't want another war!
- May I ask the police to escort her?
Wait a minute! Nobody wants this war!
Launching cruise missiles means another war!
- Easy with her.
- The American people do not want this!
You know, the first time I testified
before this Committee
when I was 27 years old,
I had feelings very similar
to that protestor.
That is exactly why it is so important
that the Congress itself will act
representing the American people.
It was like a magical moment.
It was one of the rare moments
that our Congress people
were actually listening to us.
And we won. That was the extraordinary part.
We're finished.
History will record this vote on Syria
as the time that the American people,
thanks in large part to the British people,
were able to stop the empire
from going to war before it started.
What everybody now knows
is that these deranged lefties
were absolutely right,
that the Stop The War Coalition
was incredibly right,
whereas all the people with MI6,
the CIA, the British Foreign Office,
the Prime Minister, the Conservative Party,
the mainstream Labour Party, were wrong,
and that's quite something.
This handful of people
have kept this movement going,
and the result is good
because it maintains an anti-war presence
in British political culture.
If you keep coming back, at some point
you will make the change.
If a million people come out
on the street in the future,
then what government is going
to say they're wrong now?
When the last time the public expressed
the opposition that way,
namely 15th February 2003,
history said that the people
on the street were right
and not the people in the government.
I think it shaped people.
The fact of that march
has shaped political debate
and the public understanding ever since.
The Iraq War marks a turn
in history in this respect,
and I'm optimistic about it.
I think there will be less use
of military action in the future.
They are few, and we are many,
and if we come together, we are a force.
There are two forces at work always.
A hatred of injustice, which makes you angry,
and a belief you can make a better world,
which makes you optimistic.
And anger and optimism coming together
are a very powerful force.