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Merryn Williams: Why We Had to Bomb

With great reluctance,
with a profound sense of responsibility,
I ordered air strikes.
My thoughts are with the gallant men and women
who, as I speak, are carrying them out.

I had no choice.
This act was forced upon me
by the appalling, and wholly unacceptable
behaviour of our enemies.

I deeply regret
any civilian casualties
which may unhappily (but, I hope, in small numbers)
occur as a result.
My hands are clean.
As I have explained repeatedly,
the fault is not ours, but that of other people.

Those films
the other side insist on showing
of children’s coffins (probably empty) being
carried through streets of mourners
are a disgraceful propaganda ploy
(which won’t succeed), to play on the emotions
of those who cannot see the wider picture.

Finally, may I take this opportunity
to thank you for the many greeting cards
I and my family have received this week,
and wish you all a very happy Christmas.