This House believes that all foreign troops should leave Iraq immediately
Wednesday December 14 2005
MOTION PASSED by 70% to 30%
James ZogbySpeaking for the motion
James Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington DC-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. Since 1985, Mr. Zogby and AAI have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the US. Through voter registration, education and mobilization, AAI has moved Arab Americans into the political mainstream.
A co-founder and chairman of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in the late 1970s, Mr. Zogby later co-founded and served as the executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In 1982, he co-founded Save Lebanon, Inc., a private nonprofit, humanitarian and non-sectarian relief organization which funds health care for Palestinian and Lebanese victims of war, and other social welfare projects in Lebanon. In 1985, Mr. Zogby founded AAI. In 1993, he was asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders for Peace, a private sector committee to promote US business investment in the West Bank and Gaza.
A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues, US-Arab relations, and the history of the Arab American community, Mr. Zogby appears frequently on television and radio. He has appeared as a regular guest on all the major network news programs. After hosting the popular 'A Capital View' on the Arab Network of America for several years, he now hosts 'Viewpoint with James Zogby' on Abu Dhabi Television, LinkTV, Dish Network and DirecTV.
Since 1992, Mr. Zogby has also written a weekly column on US politics for the major newspapers of the Arab world. The column, Washington Watch, is currently published in 14 Arab countries. He has authored a number of books including two recent publications, 'What Ethnic Americans Really Think' and 'What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns'.
Ali Al-BayatiSpeaking against the motion
Ali Al-Bayati is consular general for the Iraqi Embassy in London. He joined Iraq's Foreign Ministry in 2004, after 29 years in exile from his native country.
Mr. Al-Bayati was active against Saddam Hussein's regime while still in Iraq but eventually had to leave in 1975. He had been arrested in the wake of a public demonstration against executions but escaped and made his way to the UK.
Upon relocating to London, Al-Bayati became actively involved in UK-based opposition to Saddam Hussein's government, participating in and organizing opposition conferences advocating for democracy in Iraq over the years.
Mr. Al-Bayati is a long time member of SCIRI-the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. SCIRI is one of the two main Iraqi Shia parties. He was the director of SCIRI's London office in 2003 and has met Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Najaf and London.
Reg KeysSpeaking for the motion
Reg Keys is the father of a British soldier who was killed in Iraq. His son Thomas, one of two sons serving in the British military, was killed in southern Iraq in June 2003 by a hostile mob alongside five colleagues from the Royal Military Police.
Frustrated by unsatisfactory explanations as to the circumstances of his son's death, Mr. Keys began a very public campaign to acquire answers, not only in regard to his son's death but to the justifications for the Iraq war generally. He staged a much publicized one-man protest at the Labour Conference in September 2004 and became a founding member of British Military Families Against the War.
In February 2005 he was invited to Westminster to meet a cross-party section of MPs and dignitaries to explore the feasibility of impeaching Prime Minister Tony Blair for misleading Parliament on the threat that Iraq posed.
In March 2005 Mr. Keys stood as an Independent candidate in Blair's home constituency of Sedgefield. Several celebrities lent their support to his campaign, financially and strategically. Mr. Keys finished fourth behind the three main parties, securing 10.7% of the vote, drawing much attention to his anti-war platform.
He has made frequent appearances on TV and radio, as well as at anti-war conferences and demonstrations in the UK and the US.
Raymond TanterSpeaking against the motion
Raymond Tanter served on the senior staff of the US National Security Council and as personal representative of the US Secretary of Defense to arms control talks in Europe in the Reagan-Bush administration. He teaches Terrorism and Proliferation as well as an introductory course on International Relations in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
Professor Tanter is also visiting researcher in the Government Department, conducting academic research on "bounded rationality" in foreign policy decision-making. His research compares rational choice and prospect theory as complementary explanations of US decisions regarding Iraq, Iran and North Korea. He is adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, carrying out policy research on Iran and Iraq.
He wrote 'Classifying Evil: Bush Administration Rhetoric and Policy toward Rogue Regimes' and 'Rogue Regimes: Terrorism and Proliferation', which includes chapters on Iran, Iraq and freelance terrorists who operate in a borderless world of failed states like Afghanistan. He also co-authored 'Balancing in the Balkans', as well as 'Rational Decision-making: Israel's Choices'.