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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 11:04 GMT
War relative's message for Bush
Lance Corporal Keys
Lance Corporal Keys was among those killed

A grieving father whose son died in Iraq said he would walk to London from north Wales just to tell US president George Bush what he thinks of his war effort.

During his visit to the UK, Bush wants to offer his prayers and tell the bereaved families their loved ones did not die in vain.

But Reg Keys, who lost his 20-year-old son Tom in June 2003, said he holds Bush and Tony Blair responsible for his death.

They didn't die for a noble cause, they died for Bush's political reasons, they were just sacrificial lambs
Reg Keys

"I don't know how the man (Bush) has the nerve to show his face in this country after costing the lives of 53 British servicemen," said Mr Keys, of Llanuwchllyn, near Bala.

Tom Keys died days before his 21st birthday.

He was one of six military policemen shot dead in Al Majar al-Kabir last June.

President Bush
Bush's visit begins on Wednesday

The servicemen were chased into a police station and shot.

The British Army said all the deaths were murder.

Mr Keys said other nations had the "backbone" to stand up to waging war on Saddam Hussein.

Mr Keys said: "I haven't had an invitation for an interview with Mr Bush, if I did I would literally walk from Wales to London to meet the man, look him in the eye and tell what I think of him.

"They didn't die for a noble cause, they died for Bush's political reasons, they were just sacrificial lambs."

Mr Keys has demanded to know why his son and his fellow officers did not have back-up.

And the acting rector Heather Fenton of the family's local church, St Deiniol's, has said the circumstances must make it harder for the family to come to terms with the death.

Mr Keys said little has been achieved by the war effort.


"As Tom used to say in his phone calls - 'Dad, you will never westernise this country, they will never be democratic, there are too many tribal factions in this country for it to be a democracy'."

"He felt they were getting nowhere, they would try to train Iraqi police, you couldn't trust them anyway, you could put them in charge of weapon searches and they would just let their friends drive through with weapons.

"He felt it was futile, they were trying to impose Western values on a country which would not be westernised."

Mr Keys, a former paramedic officer, said he has analysed his grief.

"Most people look for someone to blame and I have analysed this myself but logically I'm not," he said.

Cenotaph wreaths for Iraq soldier
09 Nov 03  |  North West Wales
Military farewell for commando
12 Apr 03  |  Wales
Prayers for Iraq soldier
29 Jun 03  |  Wales


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