NOTABLES SPEAK OUT
Religious leaders and politicians are continuing to voice
their opposition to war in Iraq.
Opposition comes as the head of Nato said countries had a
"moral obligation" to support military action.
Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson said the United
States would not need to act unilaterally against Baghdad
because if the UN route failed Nato would provide "whatever
support is required" to crush Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
But leading church members said the case for "just war" had
not been made and that military strikes against Iraq were
not "morally legitimate".
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope used their
Christmas messages to warn against war.
Even the priest who led the Christmas Day church service
attended by the Blair family accused the Prime Minister of
a "moral surrender" over threats to attack Iraq.
The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev Richard Harries, said the
"remarkable" unanimity among church leaders against war
showed that the case was not yet made.
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams made a
controversial start to his term at the head of the Church
of England when he likened "strategists" to the Three Wise
Men who told King Herod about the birth of Jesus on their
way to Bethlehem, prompting a massacre of children.
"Even on their way to the Christ child, the Wise Men create
the type of havoc that complicated people create," he said.
"Telling Herod about the Christ child, they provoked the
massacre of the children of Bethlehem."
Charles Kennedy and other leading Liberal Democrats warned
the Government against "drifting into a war" with Iraq
without clear evidence as justification.
In a letter to The Times newspaper from Liberal Democrat
leader Charles Kennedy and three colleagues, they said such
a war could lead to increased terrorist activity.