March 26, 2005


Free Saddam and jail Blair? (Daily Telegraph, 27/03/2005)

When the International Criminal Court was set up in 2002, the Americans refused to recognise its authority. They explained their reluctance on the basis that to give overarching authority to an international court would not ensure that decisions on vital international issues were made by judges independent of political control. It would simply hand those decisions to another set of politicians with their own political agendas - which might be flatly opposed to the fundamental interests of the United States.

Tony Blair passionately endorsed the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), arguing that Britain must be subordinated to its rules. In the run up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Prime Minister was determined to join President Bush's coalition to invade Iraq. But he also repeatedly insisted that he would not go to war with Iraq unless it was in accord with international law. His own moral convictions may have led him to that position, but there was also the small matter of parliamentary approval for the invasion. Gaining that support would be impossible if the Prime Minister admitted that he was committed to supporting an "illegal" war.

"Illegal", however, is precisely what it seems to have been. Indeed, according to Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the deputy head of the Foreign Office legal department who resigned over the issue of the war, practically all the Government's lawyers believed it would be illegal to invade Iraq without a second UN Security Council resolution explicitly authorising that step. The Prime Minister did everything he could to achieve a second resolution. He failed so comprehensively that the issue was never even put to a Security Council vote. [...]

Tony Blair must be arrested and tried by the ICC, and Saddam should be the primary witness against him. That is the inescapable logic of the champions of international law. It should make every-one realise how unreal is the world in which they live.

Yet if there's one thing we can all agree on it is that Tony Blair is smart and George W. Bush a moron...

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2005 8:40 PM

It wasn't a second resolution; it was a 17th.

Posted by: George at March 26, 2005 10:31 PM

It wasn't a second resolution; it was a 17th.
How could the war be illegal if the first war was legal and this war represented a continuation thereof after Saddam breached the cease fire agreement?

Posted by: George at March 26, 2005 10:32 PM

Because Kofi said so.

Posted by: MB at March 26, 2005 10:47 PM


I think that should read "b/c Saddam paid Kofi to say so."

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 26, 2005 11:13 PM

Saddam's still got a ways to go before he earns full Mumia status among the trendies on the left, but the trial may give him a boost in that direction.

Posted by: John at March 27, 2005 12:07 AM

I think the editorial was sarcastic and satire.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 28, 2005 12:04 PM