Thursday, January 28, 2010

He stoops to conquer

In his evidence Goldsmith, the most senior legal adviser to Tony Blair's government, said he:

• Agreed that the wording of the crucial UN resolution 1441 used to trigger an invasion was unclear and ambiguous.

• Told Tony Blair in January 2003, two months before the invasion, that its lawfulness was questionable.

• Said he knew, however, that the United States would never agree to a fresh UN resolution.

• Subsequently told ministers and defence chiefs that his "better view" was that war would be clearly legal after all.
More Goldsmith; in this episode the former AG demonstrates his extraordinary acuity of mind. Notice how his thinking develops over the first two stages and then, with infinite subtlety, reverses. While at first he believes that the lawfulness of invation is questionable, he then develops a "better view," one informed by the brute intransigence of the United States. This, gentle readership, is New Jurisprudence: a theory of laws the like of which we had never seen before.

Of course, it is not just a theory. Armed with the "better view," Blair happily joined the invasion, committing countless lives to premature ends and many more to permanent disabilities. Of course there were many jurists who maintained that war would be illegal; but they did not have a "better view," so they were ignored.

Here is a video by the Monochrome set, one which makes more sense than a "better view" and is considerably less harmful:

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