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Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Military action: Plaid Cymru viewpoints
Elfyn Llwyd and Helen Mary Jones of Plaid Cymru
Elfyn Llwyd and Helen Mary Jones oppose full-scale war
Opinion is forming on just what measures could be taken after the terrorist attacks which left thousands dead in the US.

Plaid Cymru's leader at Westminster, Elfyn Llwyd MP, and Llanelli AM Helen Mary Jones, a former Equal Opportunities Commission manager, told BBC News Online what they think should happen next.


Helen Mary Jones

There should not be any sort of retaliation at all. We should identify the individuals responsible for planning or perpetrating these wicked crimes and bring them to justice.

We need to locate these criminals and bring them to trial in a neutral country.

If the US starts bombing Afghanistan, we will see even more innocent children, women and men getting killed.

That will fuel the fire in the Muslim world and create a breeding ground for terrorism.

Osama Bin Laden, al Quaeda
Ms Jones said strikes in Afghanistan could popularise Osama Bin Laden
Nothing can forgive those terrorists for the attacks, but the US needs to understand the level of hatred felt toward it by many other countries throughout the world.

Heavy-handed retaliation will just make it much worse, though there would be nothing wrong with a controlled, SAS-style attempt to snatch Bin Laden and his men and bring them to book.

The rhetoric being used by Mr Bush and Mr Blair is a legitimate expression of anger and grief, but it makes me feel very uncomfortable.


We could finally build a New World Order based on justice, proving the west's critics wrong

Helen Mary Jones AM
I can imagine us getting into a Vietnam-type situation in which British troops could be bogged down for years.

But fighting Afghanistan or wiping out the Taleban won't solve the problem. Bin Laden is unpopular with most Afghans, but many more would support him if the West started bombing Kabul - he will become a welcome guest.

If we go to war over this, we will lose thousands more innocent people.

I hope the prime minister will say to Mr Bush: "Hang on a minute". The last thing we should do after this disaster is follow the US into a war.

Neutral trial

It needs to be dealt with in an entirely judicial manner, extraditing the suspects to a neutral country or a non-NATO country such as Denmark, Sweden or Spain to be trained in a court under American law, along the same model as the Lockerbie trial.

No-one would have put money on Libya giving up the suspects in that case, but they did and now there has been a fair trial in the Netherlands.


Fighting Afghanistan or wiping out the Taleban won't solve the problem

Helen Mary Jones AM
That would put America and the west on a higher moral footing and undermine the terrorists.

This is an opportunity for leaders from the West to prove to their critics and those who hate them for their arrogance and bully boy tactics that they are wrong.

We could finally build a New World Order based on justice.

Bush needs to have a much more consistent foreign policy and not disregard the international community by, for example, ripping up the Kyoto agreement and throwing his weight around.

In Wales, mosques have already been attacked and Muslims have received hate mail. That has got to stop.


Elfyn Llwyd

I think if there is firm evidence about who perpetrated these crimes and groups can be pinpointed without any risk of killing innocent people, then I can fully understand the need to attack.


Loss of innocent life will create a situation which could lead to large-scale war.

Elfyn Llwyd MP
Any retaliation action would be carried out by the US and NATO.

And whatever military action will be taken will have to be proportionate.

Any loss of innocent life will create a situation which could lead to large-scale war.

But this is clearly not legally a war because there are no states involved, as such, that are being held responsible as of yet. And who exactly are we going to attack?

'War momentum'

President Bush has called this a war and Mr Blair has declared a war on terrorism, but I think it is inappropriate to use that word.

With what they are saying at the moment, it does look like things are gaining momentum and heading for a war. I hope to God I am wrong.

Before British troops are used, any military action should be debated carefully in parliament.

President Bush has taken his time in announcing a course of action, and that is entirely appropriate because immediate war will not be helpful.

Tony Blair speaking in Downing Street on Sunday
Tony Blair's language could lead to war, Mr Llwyd said
I just hope that his time lag does not disguise the fact that he has already made up his mind on what to do next.

The prime minister has given Mr Bush carte blanche support, but he wheeled back a little, when he said any retaliation must be based on firm evidence.

We must now open up all channels of communication to displaced Muslim communities and the Muslim world generally and ask ourselves if we are creating martyrs by imposing harsh sanctions on people in the Middle East region.

This is a very good opportunity to bring peace to the Middle East.

Hand-in-hand with any retaliation, we need to make efforts to rejuvenate the peace process.

Bringing that process back on track would help a lot.

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