Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fire up the welcome wagon II

Tony Blair's visit to New Zealand has been confirmed. He will be ariving in Auckland on March 28th, and leaving the next day. That's only two weeks away, so if anybody up there is planning to welcome him (with, say, a fake arrest warrant for waging an illegal war of aggression), then they should probably start organising it now.


Idiot, you claim that Blair has waged an "illegal war of agression". Which court of law has determined this?

With Melosevic your view was -

"...his defence will never be tested, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia will never deliver a verdict - meaning that we will never really be able to say whether he was guilty or innocent."

So for him his guilt or innocence cannot be determined because the court could not complete its task. But for Blair you have already determined him guilty on the basis of no court procedings whatever.

Shouldn't you be qualifying this with "in my opinion"?

Posted by Anonymous : 3/14/2006 10:38:00 AM

isn't a blog almost by definition 'in my opinion'?

Posted by Anonymous : 3/14/2006 02:02:00 PM

neil - this post does not assert Blair is guilty of waging an illegal war of aggression, it merely implies that there is sufficient evidence for charges to be brought (as I suspect I/S believes to have been the case with Milosevic).

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 3/14/2006 04:06:00 PM

It's rather simple Neil. Western countries overthrow a murderous tyrant who attacks his neighbours and it's illegal. A Balkan tyrant invades seceding republics, engages in genocidal activities and deportations (and was matched somewhat by others), and we don't know if he "really was guilty".

The question is whether it is moral to use force to overthrow a tyrannical regime (not the strawman of whether there is an obligation to do it), and it simply is.

Posted by Libertyscott : 3/14/2006 09:31:00 PM

Neil: Firstly, I think that Milosevic was guilty; I'm annoyed that there will never be a verdict to point to and wave at his apologists. As for Blair, as Graeme points out, I think there's sufficient evidence for him to be charged; if Blair thinks his behaviour can be justified, let him try justifying it to the judges in The Hague.

LibertyScott: I was thining more of moral consistency: it is illegal to wage a war of aggression, no matter what side you are on. Saddam was unquestionably a tyrant - but that does not mean it was either moral or legal to invade Iraq at that time, in that manner, in violation of the UN Charter. Tyranny is not a blank cheque, and opposing it does not absolve you of moral responsibility for your actions.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/15/2006 12:20:00 AM

Of course it may not be too long before we know whether Blair's war was illegal - preliminary hearings in the court-martial of Malcolm Kendall-Smith take place in a couple of days' time.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 3/15/2006 01:25:00 AM

Is it moral to overthrow a tyrannical regime by force? Well, that depends on how tyrannical it was, how much force is involved, and what replaces the regime. When the regime is pretty average for early 21st century Earth*, the force involves killing thousands of civillians directly and wrecking the infrastructure of the country leading to far more deaths, and it's replaced by ongoing occupation by trigger-happy foreign troops who make no significant progress on reconstruction and civil war between extremist fundamentalists, then no, it's not moral.

(* how many countries can you name that don't seriously abuse human rights on a regular basis?)

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 3/15/2006 01:11:00 PM