26/09/2014 World News Today


26/09/2014

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This is BBC World News Today. I'm Tim Willcox.

:00:08.:00:09.

Tonight - the British parliament overwhelmingly approves air strikes

:00:10.:00:11.

524 four yes, the noses, 43. The eyes have it. Faced unchecked, we

:00:12.:00:35.

will have a caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean, with a proven

:00:36.:00:40.

determination to attack our country and our people.

:00:41.:00:41.

Meanwhile the US-led coalition continues to

:00:42.:00:43.

He was last seen in public three weeks ago - now North Korea has

:00:44.:00:52.

Former British Prime Minister, Middle East envoy and now -

:00:53.:00:58.

The emergency debate in the Commons was passionate and lasted six

:00:59.:01:18.

But this evening, after a huge majority of MPs voted in favour,

:01:19.:01:24.

RAF fighter jets are poised to join the US-led coalition in striking

:01:25.:01:28.

They could attack as early as tonight.

:01:29.:01:38.

It will be the first time British bombs have been dropped in Iraq

:01:39.:01:41.

Britain will become the latest to join the US lead

:01:42.:01:44.

coalition against Islamic State militants - but only in Iraq.

:01:45.:01:46.

Parliament will require another vote if they decide to strike in Syria.

:01:47.:01:49.

The Danish government announced it was sending seven F-16 fighter

:01:50.:01:53.

But, like Britain, they have also only committed to

:01:54.:01:58.

France carried out its first attack on Iraq a week ago,

:01:59.:02:04.

targeting IS positions near Mosul, while several other countries,

:02:05.:02:08.

like Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium, are also giving

:02:09.:02:11.

Meanwhile in Syria, the US-led coalition, supported

:02:12.:02:17.

by Arab states, continues to bombard IS targets, with Saudi Arabia

:02:18.:02:20.

and the Emirates each sending four F-16s into Syria earlier this week.

:02:21.:02:28.

The latest US air strike in eastern Syria.

:02:29.:02:36.

The target - a series of small oil refineries.

:02:37.:02:38.

The goal - to choke off a vital source of funding for Islamic State.

:02:39.:02:43.

Denmark announced its offer to give seven jets to join

:02:44.:02:53.

Last evening, we received a formal request from

:02:54.:03:00.

the United States for Danish fighter jets to take part in the fight

:03:01.:03:03.

The government is of the view that it should meet that demand.

:03:04.:03:11.

The government is therefore prepared to quickly send seven jets to

:03:12.:03:14.

The Danish fighter jets will be active in the airspace over Iraq,

:03:15.:03:20.

This shows the steady increase in countries lining up

:03:21.:03:27.

In recent days, Belgium and the Netherlands have

:03:28.:03:34.

A vote in the British Parliament has now given the green light for six

:03:35.:03:43.

This is not a threat on the far side of the world.

:03:44.:03:46.

Left unchecked, we will face a terrorist caliphate

:03:47.:03:49.

on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member, with a

:03:50.:03:54.

declared and proven determination to attack our country and our people.

:03:55.:03:58.

This is not the stuff of fantasy, it is happening in front of us

:03:59.:04:02.

These national contributions are small, but nonetheless significant,

:04:03.:04:09.

The key success of the US-led coalition is to have many Arab

:04:10.:04:17.

states as active participants, but Western military contributions

:04:18.:04:20.

are also vital, with France and Australia already on board.

:04:21.:04:23.

So far, despite much misleading commentary in the press, this is a

:04:24.:04:29.

The numbers of aircraft involved is not huge.

:04:30.:04:35.

But the problem for the coalition is to sustain this activity over time.

:04:36.:04:40.

This campaign against Islamic State could potentially go on for years.

:04:41.:04:43.

Each country's contribution, leaving aside the Americans,

:04:44.:04:46.

may be small, but together, they make up a force that could continue

:04:47.:04:50.

Our political correspondent Rob Watson is live outside Westminster.

:04:51.:05:05.

A huge majority in favour of the strikes in Iraq, but a different

:05:06.:05:12.

matter if the matter was put forward about Syria. Absolutely, and the

:05:13.:05:18.

Prime Minister went out of his way to be quite starkly open to say, if

:05:19.:05:26.

it was up to me, I wouldn't rule out using UK aeroplanes over Syria, but

:05:27.:05:29.

he said what was important now was a political consensus. A year ago he,

:05:30.:05:36.

he suffered a defeat over UK action in Syria, and he won't let that

:05:37.:05:39.

happen again, so he has gone for safety first. Passionate voices from

:05:40.:05:47.

some about why America, France and Britain shouldn't get involved in a

:05:48.:05:50.

rocket again. How much discussion was there about the exit strategy

:05:51.:05:56.

here and mission creep? There was discussion about all of these

:05:57.:06:00.

things. If you take this spectrum about this, on one hand, there were

:06:01.:06:09.

plenty of MPs saying, oh my goodness, here we go again. On the

:06:10.:06:14.

other end of the spectrum, people who support the use of air strikes

:06:15.:06:19.

in Iraq, but still say, look, we need something more comprehensive,

:06:20.:06:22.

something better thought out, there will have to be political

:06:23.:06:27.

improvement in both Iraq and Syria, otherwise air strikes on their own

:06:28.:06:31.

simply won't work. On that point, boots on the ground, everyone talked

:06:32.:06:37.

about that. They want to local forces to take on IS, but that will

:06:38.:06:42.

take months if not years to get them equipped with the right military

:06:43.:06:48.

hardware to take them on, wanted? Yes, two points there. The

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reluctance of Britain to put boots on the ground is not just because of

:06:55.:06:59.

political difficulties, they just generally think it would not be a

:07:00.:07:03.

good idea, one of the lessons from 2003. That we do want to the problem

:07:04.:07:07.

of, you will fill any vacuum left in a rack and in Syria if it Islamic

:07:08.:07:13.

State are dislodged? Even in a rack, that looks like a hard sell. It has

:07:14.:07:19.

been difficult to get the Iraqi forces to stand up, but in Syria, it

:07:20.:07:23.

looks like an even harder sell with no prospect insight of some kind of

:07:24.:07:25.

logical settlement there. Thank you. Well,

:07:26.:07:38.

on the ground in Iraq and in Syria, thousands of refugees continue to

:07:39.:07:40.

flee Islamic State forces. Many have described the beheading

:07:41.:07:43.

of captives, the torching of homes and the widespread use

:07:44.:07:45.

of rape by IS fighters. In the Iraqi capital,

:07:46.:07:47.

Shia leaders are recruiting local people to fight back, and say they

:07:48.:07:50.

don't need help from the West. The Iraqi government, though,

:07:51.:07:53.

insists that outside Our chief international

:07:54.:07:54.

correspondent Lyse Doucet sent this Britain is joining

:07:55.:08:03.

an air campaign that has already gone on for six weeks.

:08:04.:08:06.

It hasn't gone on for six weeks.

:08:07.:08:09.

on the streets of Baghdad. It hasn't stopped the funerals.

:08:10.:08:13.

This family mourns for a family member.

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He died in a battle against Islamic State fighters just south

:08:17.:08:21.

of the capital. Every death breeds defiance.

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Now all these women tell me they are ready to fight.

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So are these men. We get rare access to it

:08:33.:08:36.

powerful militia brigade. It fight in Iraq and Syria.

:08:37.:08:39.

This is how their leader has to travel.

:08:40.:08:44.

He is now recruiting more fighters, Shi'ite and Sunni, to take

:08:45.:08:47.

on this new threat and says Iraq doesn't need help from the West.

:08:48.:08:52.

America has proven it always comes to us with the face of the saviour.

:08:53.:09:08.

It hides in front of the people the ugly face of an invader.

:09:09.:09:10.

And what about Britain? We see that the British are

:09:11.:09:12.

the obedient slaves for America. In Iraq, the militias operated

:09:13.:09:21.

separately from the national army and police. That means a lot of

:09:22.:09:27.

checkpoints across Baghdad, but is still not stopping the violence.

:09:28.:09:31.

These Iraqis know that between 15 or 20 mortars landed in this area in

:09:32.:09:36.

the last week, a massive car bomb exploded at a checkpoint just behind

:09:37.:09:40.

us. They have lived with danger for many years, and now this threat

:09:41.:09:49.

posed by anti-Shiite group calling itself Islamic State makes their

:09:50.:09:57.

faith even stronger. But in their fervor is no match

:09:58.:10:01.

militarily for this new enemy. That is why the Government has asked the

:10:02.:10:09.

world to help, including Britain. We do need the United Kingdom here

:10:10.:10:14.

because the United Kingdom has a long history and a rack, they

:10:15.:10:20.

understand a very well, and they understand the region very well.

:10:21.:10:32.

They have the expertise. -- Iraq. This war will be won or lost, not in

:10:33.:10:33.

the air, but on the ground. Let's go to Irbil in Northern Iraq

:10:34.:10:48.

and speak to Clive Myrie. How has the British vote there been

:10:49.:11:00.

greeted today, and is there an understanding that air power alone

:11:01.:11:05.

won't be enough? Yes, to the first point of your

:11:06.:11:10.

question, it was greeted with relief, it has to be said, and the

:11:11.:11:15.

delight. There is no doubt that certainly as far as the Kurdish

:11:16.:11:19.

person murder forces are concerned, who have been fighting and taking on

:11:20.:11:24.

the forces of the Islamic State for the last few weeks and months, air

:11:25.:11:30.

power has helped them overrun the Kurdish area here in northern Iraq

:11:31.:11:35.

and take the capital of the independent region here in the

:11:36.:11:42.

country. They are very grateful, frankly, the regional Government

:11:43.:11:46.

here that there is another important Western power that will be taking

:11:47.:11:52.

parts in targeting Islamic State positions in Iraq. At the same time,

:11:53.:12:01.

the Peshmerga, the military here, and know that it is a battle that

:12:02.:12:05.

will only really be won on the ground militarily, it is not just

:12:06.:12:09.

going to be the result of air power alone, and as a result, they

:12:10.:12:13.

continue to make that call to Western nations to arm them with

:12:14.:12:16.

more sophisticated heavy weaponry so they can have an equal fight on the

:12:17.:12:22.

ground with the force of some 20,000, 30,000 fighters who were

:12:23.:12:26.

funded to the tune of millions of dollars a day to criminal

:12:27.:12:31.

activities, that gives them access to heavy weaponry and machinery that

:12:32.:12:38.

could make this a more equal fight. Presumably, there is no purely

:12:39.:12:43.

military solution here, there needs to be a political solution, bearing

:12:44.:12:47.

in mind what happened before in 2008, 2009 when America convinced

:12:48.:12:53.

the local people to rise up against Al-Qaeda. Is there any indication

:12:54.:12:56.

that those overtures are being met with any success? It is early days.

:12:57.:13:03.

It is very early days. What you have to be able to provide for those of

:13:04.:13:10.

Sunni tribes in the different provinces, the central belt of Iraq,

:13:11.:13:14.

which is predominantly Sunni and has been taken over by Islamic State,

:13:15.:13:17.

where they found a for title audience for their creed, because

:13:18.:13:20.

those Sunnis felt disenfranchised in this country after the invasion in

:13:21.:13:28.

2003, they have to be given an alternative to turn their backs on

:13:29.:13:31.

Islamic State in the same way they turned their backs on Al-Qaeda in

:13:32.:13:38.

2007 and 2008. That will stem from a much more inclusive Government in

:13:39.:13:45.

Iraq. The Prime Minister Alla body -- the Prime Minister here says he

:13:46.:13:51.

will give greater representation for the Government, and they could be

:13:52.:13:56.

part of the future for the country. Once that is established, the list

:13:57.:14:02.

can be pushed out to the Sunni community, after saying they have a

:14:03.:14:05.

future in the country and therefore should turn their backs on the

:14:06.:14:11.

extremist that came through Syria from the North.

:14:12.:14:19.

Jonathan Russell, of the Quilliam Foundation, is with me now. Thank

:14:20.:14:31.

you for joining us. Just looking at the vote in the Commons today, is it

:14:32.:14:35.

pretty clear that this is the first of several stages, and that mission

:14:36.:14:40.

creep really is inevitable average well, mission creep seems to be

:14:41.:14:43.

designed into the Government's strategy. It is pretty obvious that

:14:44.:14:48.

from the statements both made by the Prime Minister and by the many MPs

:14:49.:14:51.

who were supporting him that the question about the border between

:14:52.:14:56.

Iraq and Syria, which is virtually nonexistent, controlled by ISIS, is

:14:57.:15:02.

an artificial border. And so, I think that also we have heard from

:15:03.:15:05.

various MPs that the legal impediments are there, there are

:15:06.:15:09.

sufficient legal covers which would allow us. So I think the Prime

:15:10.:15:13.

Minister almost revealed the fact that he has only come to the House

:15:14.:15:19.

because all he felt confident of getting was support for Iraq at this

:15:20.:15:24.

stage, but that in due course, the possibility of strikes over Syrian

:15:25.:15:28.

territory would be considered. And again, this debate about boots on

:15:29.:15:31.

the ground will probably start raging now. It may result in a

:15:32.:15:36.

request for some limited ground Force assistance as well. Presumably

:15:37.:15:41.

there are special forces already on the ground anyway? Well, yes. Of

:15:42.:15:48.

course, the British devilment, as a matter of policy, does not comment

:15:49.:15:53.

on special operations, so we could assume that that may well have

:15:54.:15:56.

happened, and certainly could happen in the future. In terms of the force

:15:57.:16:03.

and potency of Islamic State, which is not a regular army, what are the

:16:04.:16:12.

dangers of radicalising them yet further? I think we have got to be

:16:13.:16:19.

aware of that danger, when we do engage in military. There are

:16:20.:16:24.

various things that can prevent that. Having Arab states in this

:16:25.:16:29.

international military coalition is one important way of doing that.

:16:30.:16:32.

Should there be boots on the ground, it is important that they are Sunni

:16:33.:16:38.

Muslim troops initially as well. But also, we should remember that the UN

:16:39.:16:44.

has a role. Very underreported was a resolution from the Security Council

:16:45.:16:46.

yesterday in flooring all of its member states, and passed

:16:47.:16:51.

unanimously, I might add, to redouble their efforts to prevent

:16:52.:16:53.

foreign fighters joining Islamic State. But individual countries have

:16:54.:17:01.

done that, haven't they? I think we have got a grass now showing the

:17:02.:17:07.

countries who have been providing fighters for Islamic State. Dr

:17:08.:17:17.

Ashraf, first of all, the largest contributor is Tunisia. Now, is that

:17:18.:17:33.

a surprise? Yes, this is something which the King's College centre has

:17:34.:17:36.

done, and it has been out on the streets, this information, for a few

:17:37.:17:42.

days. It is believed to be because of a combination of factors,

:17:43.:17:44.

political unrest, also economic depression. There is not a great

:17:45.:17:50.

deal but a lot of these young people can do, apart from join

:17:51.:17:54.

organisations such as this. The rest of the other countries seem to map

:17:55.:18:00.

areas where there is a combination of economic downturn as well as

:18:01.:18:04.

political instability. What binds fighters from all of these 70

:18:05.:18:10.

countries is the adherence to an ideology, and a belief in the

:18:11.:18:15.

narrative of Islamic State, and other similar organisations. So it

:18:16.:18:18.

is surely only by tackling this ideology at its root that we can

:18:19.:18:23.

have any effect of stemming the flow of fighters to the Islamic State.

:18:24.:18:28.

Just tell us a bit more about the philosophy of Islamic State, we are

:18:29.:18:34.

all aware of the brutality, but this idea of trying to create a society,

:18:35.:18:43.

people like plumbers and teachers and suchlike? The idea comes from

:18:44.:18:49.

the idea of political Islam, which started about 100 years ago. This

:18:50.:18:56.

particular branch is a subset, a violent Islamist strand, which was

:18:57.:18:59.

personified through Al-Qaeda's ideology. Ultimately, there is no

:19:00.:19:04.

ideological or theological difference between Al-Qaeda and ISIS

:19:05.:19:10.

it is a political and strategic difference, humming down to the fact

:19:11.:19:13.

that these people are primarily political. The religious overtones

:19:14.:19:20.

are just there for identity purposes, but the reason they kill

:19:21.:19:24.

each other, Al-Qaeda and ISIS have been killing each other, and the

:19:25.:19:29.

reason is purely political, because they have not a single difference

:19:30.:19:31.

theological or ideological. These are political movements, they have a

:19:32.:19:37.

lot more in common with the fascist and communist movements of the

:19:38.:19:40.

beginning of the last century than they do with old religious

:19:41.:19:44.

movements. Finally, are we looking at Gulf War three? It certainly

:19:45.:19:50.

looks like it, but we can learn the lessons of the first and second Gulf

:19:51.:19:55.

War. Can we? Yes, I think we can. I think the key difference is having

:19:56.:20:01.

Sunni Muslim countries in this coalition, and by thinking about the

:20:02.:20:04.

long-term problems of Islamic State as an idea, rather than as an

:20:05.:20:12.

organisation. So, more needs to be done to persuade Qatar and Saudi

:20:13.:20:15.

Arabia to stop the funding as well? That is one point which came out of

:20:16.:20:19.

the debate. Whether it is true that those countries are funding is

:20:20.:20:23.

irrelevant. What is true is that people believe that they have been

:20:24.:20:27.

supporting extremists. That point was made very powerfully today in

:20:28.:20:31.

the Commons, and they will have to respond to it.

:20:32.:20:38.

Now, where is the supremely dumb? That is the question on the Korean

:20:39.:20:44.

peninsula, after the disappearance of North Korea's leader, Kim

:20:45.:20:50.

Jong-un. He has been missing for a few weeks. It has prompted a flurry

:20:51.:20:56.

of speculation in South Korea about his health. Now, the north has

:20:57.:21:03.

admitted he is suffering from an uncomfortable physical condition.

:21:04.:21:10.

This report from Sol town. It is the empty chair which is significant.

:21:11.:21:15.

This is the supreme meeting of the rulers of North Korea minus the

:21:16.:21:21.

supreme ruler of them all. It is the first time since Kim Jong-un

:21:22.:21:26.

inherited power from his father three years ago that he has not been

:21:27.:21:30.

present. The North Korean authorities said he was feeling

:21:31.:21:35.

discomfort. How serious an admission of ill-health that is remains

:21:36.:21:39.

unclear. It is more than three weeks since he last appeared in public,

:21:40.:21:45.

with a limp. Kim Jong-un has been a thorn in the side of the West, as

:21:46.:21:48.

North Korea develops nuclear weapons, and the missiles to deliver

:21:49.:21:54.

them. He rules an isolated country squeezed by sanctions. In a way, he

:21:55.:22:00.

dominates the life of the people here in South Korea, issuing

:22:01.:22:07.

bloodcurdling threats. He is developing nuclear weapons, aimed at

:22:08.:22:11.

this country and that the United States, so this place buzzes with

:22:12.:22:16.

speculation. Having said all that, not too much should be made of that

:22:17.:22:20.

speculation. After all, he vanished from public view for two weeks last

:22:21.:22:25.

year. Kim Jong-un is not a man who shuns publicity. He usually travels

:22:26.:22:29.

the land he rules with cameras nearby. Here's a to be feared. Last

:22:30.:22:35.

year, his uncle and political mentor was executed. The official statement

:22:36.:22:46.

from North Korea about his illness says he continues as leader. But it

:22:47.:22:51.

must raise questions about the seriousness of the illness and his

:22:52.:22:53.

ability to continue. One of Britain's leading

:22:54.:23:07.

publications for the gay community is publishing a list of the top gay

:23:08.:23:12.

icons over the past three decades. Some probably do not surprise you,

:23:13.:23:17.

the likes of Boy George and Barbra Streisand. But one man on the list

:23:18.:23:21.

might - Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister. The obvious question is

:23:22.:23:32.

why? Let's have a look at Tony Blair's reaction to the accolade. It

:23:33.:23:37.

is something I am very proud of, he said. I consider it a significant

:23:38.:23:44.

part of my legacy. I disliked the hypocrisy where people had to

:23:45.:23:49.

conceal their own identity. We can discuss this now with somebody from

:23:50.:23:54.

the Daytimes. I think you said today that you do not need to be gay to be

:23:55.:23:59.

a gay icon. What has he done for the gay community? When you look back,

:24:00.:24:03.

you have got things like the equal age of consent, the repeal of

:24:04.:24:08.

section 28, being able to be openly gay in the Army, protection in the

:24:09.:24:13.

workplace, and his biggest introduction, civil partnerships, it

:24:14.:24:16.

was introduced ten years ago in October. That is what his interview

:24:17.:24:21.

was really to mark. Is this the choice of the publication, or

:24:22.:24:27.

according to a poll? We sat down and we looked at the past 30 years of

:24:28.:24:31.

issues we had done, and we had Tony Blair on the cover in 1997, and

:24:32.:24:35.

there were lots of questions about whether he would do what he had

:24:36.:24:39.

promised in that manifesto, and he did. We thought, he gets such flak

:24:40.:24:45.

for all sorts of things, but on this issue, I think we should recognise

:24:46.:24:48.

how much was done. Did he change the political weather, as far as the

:24:49.:25:02.

British establishment is concerned? Absolutely. When I interviewed Tony

:25:03.:25:06.

Blair a week last Monday about this, he said that he thought the most

:25:07.:25:09.

important thing about his political legacy in this respect was the

:25:10.:25:14.

Conservative Party, and how they have now come on board. He remembers

:25:15.:25:19.

in the latter half of his premiership, they were voting for

:25:20.:25:22.

gay equality, whereas previously that had been unimaginable. I think

:25:23.:25:28.

he is link. I spoke to David Cameron a few months ago, when same-sex

:25:29.:25:33.

marriage came in, and he said Tony Blair should take a lot of credit

:25:34.:25:37.

for changing public opinion. It seems strange to think back 20, 30

:25:38.:25:43.

is, where it was a story if a politician was discovered to be gay.

:25:44.:25:47.

It was. We used to do this thing called media watch, in the first 20

:25:48.:25:52.

years of Daytimes, and we would look at things which publications had

:25:53.:25:56.

printed, which you would not possibly see these days. In terms of

:25:57.:26:03.

his political legacy on other fronts, was that difficult,

:26:04.:26:10.

perhaps? He is controversial, but anybody who tough decisions ends up

:26:11.:26:21.

being a reversal. For Gay Times, and for me personally, you can have

:26:22.:26:27.

different opinions on different subjects, but on gay rights, he

:26:28.:26:32.

stood up for it, and he stood up for gay equality. Previous prime

:26:33.:26:38.

ministers had not done that. Thank you very much for joining us. That

:26:39.:26:41.

is all from the programme. Next, the weather.

:26:42.:26:58.

We are likely to see some patches of mist and fork forming overnight,

:26:59.:27:06.

particularly across some areas of southern England.

:27:07.:27:10.

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