Friday, September 03, 2010

The presumption and arrogance of Blair.

Tony Blair was interviewed by Andrew Marr (You can watch the whole thing here) and warned that we should all keep an open mind regarding the Iraq war as we might have to face a similar choice soon regarding Iran.

BLAIR: I am saying that I think it is wholly unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons capability.

MARR: But what can we do about it?

BLAIR: And, um, and um I think we've got to be prepared to confront them, er...

MARR: Militarily?

BLAIR: If necessarily militarily...

MARR: Militarily?

BLAIR: If necessary militarily. I - I think there is no alternative to that um if they continue to develop nuclear weapons and they need to get that message loud and clear.
Leaving aside the staggering implication that Blair doesn't understand that his disastrous intervention into Iraq has made confronting Iran almost unsellable to the British public, there is also a bizarre casualness to the way Blair discusses the notion of invading another nation.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the United Nations Charter simply didn't exist. And he is insisting that Iran obey the NNPT (and desist from developing nuclear weapons) whilst Blair, before he left office, ordered the recommissioning of Trident, in clear breach of our NNPT obligations.

But it's the casual attitude to invading another country which I find simply staggering.

As Daniel Larison points out, this same attitude is seen in American political circles as well.
For the last several years, American politicians and pundits have been engaged in a prolonged public discussion over whether and how to best launch an unprovoked attack on Iran on the still-unproven assumption that it is in the process of developing nuclear weapons. Whether or not they support an attack, most speak and write about the issue as though the U.S. and Israel obviously have every right to start a war with Iran if they so desire. On the whole, the main questions Americans ask about attacking Iran are technical (can it be done?) and political (will it happen?), as if it were already taken for granted that it is the right thing to do. Clearly, our political/media class has not yet learned enough from the Iraq war debacle to correct one of its most glaring flaws -- the presumption and arrogance that the U.S. and its allies are free to take military action whenever we perceive potential threats.
It simply never occurs to Blair that we do not have the right to attack other countries without a UN resolution which specifically says we will use "all necessary means" to see the terms of that resolution met.

What's he learned from the Iraq war? Zero, zilch, Nada.

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