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View Diary: Blair Defends Iraq Invasion at Chilcot Inquiry (87 comments)

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  •  The law makes a distinction... (2+ / 0-)
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    vcmvo2, renzo capetti

    ...that, in theory, is crystal clear, but in practice is murky. Pre-emptive war, that is, attacking first when some other country is imminently threatening is considered legit. Preventive war, that is, attacking first when some other country might, perhaps, sometime in the future attack is a war of aggression.

    The British "invasion" of Norway was not as you recall it. Hitler had given a code word for invasion of Norway at the beginning of March. Churchill wanted to mine Norwegian territorial waters to block iron-ore shipments, but the Cabinet refused. Hitler ordered the attack on Norway on April 1. Although British troops were on cruisers and other ships of the Royal Navy in preparation for landing in Norway, it was decided to focus on the German Navy instead and those troops disembarked on British soil. On April 7, Britain attacked Nazi ships on the way to invade Norway. That invasion continued anyway, and met limited Norwegian resistance and no British troops in Norway whatsoever, since none were there.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:37:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the clarification on Norway (0+ / 0-)

      I got that wrong. I was struggling, I guess for an example of a nation acting to secure itself absent an actual attack.

      I think, in Iraq's case that it is one of those murky situations. We had gone to war originally to eject Iraq from Kuwait and had authorization to do so from the UN since it was a pretty clear-cut case where the UN had to act. But the aftermath of the war was kind of a no-peace no-war kind situation that dragged on with the no-fly zones to protect Kurds and Shiites from an actively predatory fascist dictator. I don't think anyone would argue with the concept of imposing an interdicting force to prevent any government from attacking ethnic groups within a country. And we have since followed the same policy in Yugoslavia. The problem with Iraq, to my mind, is that even if you had even the most liberal administration, we still would have had to face the question of what to do about Saddam. We could not abandon the Kurds and Shiites. We could not allow imports of many goods that would be militarily useful, and of course the Iraqi people became the hostages. In that context, although I utterly deplore the lies, the incompetence and the arrogance of the Bush administration, it still possible to argue that invading Iraq was a resolution of a war that started in 1990 and had simply not been concluded appropriately, thanks to GHW Bush.

      I wonder what we would say if the allies had thought that their mandate was simply to eject the Nazis from the lands they invaded and to allow the Germans to retreat within their borders there to remain until they could recover from their defeats. Clearly, we could not accept a world that contained the nazi state regardless of any niceties about national borders. So, as I say, my beef with Bush and Blair is not so much that they invaded Iraq as that they felt it necessary to lie about it and then do such an awful job in its commission.

      •  For the record ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...the U.S. did abandon the Shi'ites. Saddam slaughtered large numbers of them after 1990.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:17:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that lead to the no-fly (0+ / 0-)

          policy that also formed the basis for deciding ultimately that he had to go. You are making the point that, as the French have recently argued, there is a strong humanitarian reason to overthrow certain regimes.

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