The Mirror
Mar 1 2003

ROCK star Peter Gabriel signed the Daily Mirror's anti-war petition
yesterday and called on Tony Blair to back a solution to the crisis
that avoids bloodshed.

The 53-year-old co-founder of Genesis said: "This is a fundamental
issue of life and death and I very much think the Prime Minister is in
the wrong.

"I'm also sure George Bush is an affable bloke but he's highly
dangerous and I wish America was in the hands of someone else.

"To put oil interests ahead of human life is appalling.

"War is always terrible but unjustified war is obscene and on present
evidence that is what we are facing.

"People want peace and I think it's great that the Mirror is leading
this campaign."

Gabriel, who voted for Labour at the last election, said Blair would
lose his support if he led Britain into an unnecessary war.

"I think the consequences of this war would be the biggest threat to
world peace in my lifetime," said Gabriel, from his Real World studio
in Box, Wilts, which promotes musicians.

"Blair has got to get it right. To take action without UN backing would
be inviting disaster by setting the muslim world against the West. If
we are taking a moral position why did we arm Iraq when they were
killing the Kurds?

"If it's because of weapons of mass destruction why isn't North Korea
higher on the list? Not that I'd support action there. And if it's a
principle of what Iraq has done to its own people why do we bend over
for China?

"I'm sure Bush believes he is removing a scourge but he has never done
one thing in office against the interests of the oil lobby who paid for
a large part of the election.

"I don't actually believe Tony Blair is focussed on oil but if he knows
more than we do I wish he would tell us because there's no
justification so far for taking life. War with Iraq would be an
aggressive, uncalled for action. It's good the Prime Minister is
prepared to stick to his principles, going against public opinion,
because you elect leaders in part for their conscience.

"I just think it's terrible that on this of all issues he is making a
stand which separates him from the nation. I think Tony Blair is
following his conscience but I believe he is misguided.

"It could cost him the next election and I think he's aware of that.
I'd personally be sad if they lost because Labour has done a lot for
health and education, but an unjust war would be enough to lose my

"I'd like to see a reinforced UN weapons inspection team in Iraq and
disarmament much more in line with the French and German proposals."

The solo singer, whose hit single Biko was the first pop song about the
effects of apartheid, said the West had to find a way to live
peacefully with muslims or there would be many dark years of trouble
and violence.

He said: "There is a slogan which says: 'Peace is what happens when you
respect the rights of others'.

"Iraqis have rights too."

"No War for Oil!"

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