Friday, April 29, 2005



Forced to publish in full

The leaking of Lord Goldsmith's summary of his advice on the legality of invading Iraq has forced the government to publish the full advice. It explicitly rules out self-defence and humanitarianism as justifications for war, and states flat-out that if military action is to be justified on the basis of prior UN resolutions, it must be aimed solely at disarmament;

Regime change cannot be the objective of military action.

It then goes on to argue that a second resolution would be needed, without which he could not guarantee that British politicians and soldiers would not be prosecuted for war crimes. Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq are already preparing their case against Blair. Hopefully The Hague won't be too far behind.

Blair has called this a "damp squib", but its not so much about what the advice says (frankly it tells us nothing that we didn't know already), but the way in which Blair systematically lied about it to the armed forces, to his own cabinet, to Parliament, and to the British public. This was done explicitly in order to subvert the checks and balances within the system (can anyone imagine the UK Cabinet voting to go to war on advice this week? Can anyone imagine the UK Parliament doing so?) and to minimise the political damage to himself. And that is what the British public must punish him for.

Update: Fixed title. I plead lack of caffeine.

6 comments:

I agree that the British electorate *should* punish him for this, but unfortunately in all likelihood they won't because they are too afraid (probably rightly in my view) that the Tories would be even worse, and because the UK electorate, sadly, still doesn't think of the LibDems as a viable governing party.

Posted by BerlinBear : 4/29/2005 09:36:00 AM

Iraq's President Talabani, a Kurdish human rights lawyer, has said - "In the eyes of a majority of Iraqis, it was you who brought us our own equivalent of VE Day. Of course, the liberation of Iraq was controversial, as all wars should be. But Saddam's war against the Iraqi people was ongoing; we have evidence which demonstrates that the regime was executing its challengers until the last day of its rule. It was that war, lasting almost 40 years, which was the true war of Iraq. It was never controversial, never discussed, simply ordered and executed by him and his thugs. Our struggle for a better, emancipated Iraq now is only possible because of the coalition of the willing."

Posted by Sock Thief : 4/29/2005 01:43:00 PM

That's what you would expect Mr Talabani to say not wanting to bite the hand that now feeds, and of course he would NOT say that the Western freedom-loving democracies assisted Saddam up until he threatened the security of their oil supplies by invading Kuwait. It's all so bloody sordid.

Do you think this blog's gruesome death counter would be as high under Saddam? He cunningly released almost everyone from prison a month or two before the invasion - as to "executing its challengers until the last day of his rule."

Posted by t selwyn : 4/29/2005 03:58:00 PM

Sock Thief: Again, while there's a (IMHO bad) case to be made for humanitarian intervention, Blair didn't make that case. Instead, he chose to lie. That may have been acceptable to Plato, but it ought to be anathema in a democracy.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/30/2005 01:34:00 AM

I'm more inclined to agree with an Iraqi human rights lawyer who risked his life fighting Saddam that the humanitarian intervention case was a strong one.

Some actual evidence that Blair lied would be handy.

Posted by Sock Thief : 5/02/2005 11:46:00 AM

Interesting isnt it that we constantly hear people saying "blair lied" but no one provides evidence to back it up or makes any reaonable attempt to prove their case. I guess its classical political debate "I dont ned ot be convinced I was convinced before I saw the evidence"

Posted by Genius : 5/03/2005 07:36:00 AM