UK: if the war was illegal, what then?

The UK government has just said it won’t release the advice given to it by the Attorney General prior to the Iraq War - citing regular procedure for its decision.

If it turns out that the AG said “this will be an illegal war”, and the report is leaked into the public domain somehow, what will happen?

Will it bring down the government? Could Teflon Tony possibly survive that, or would it be his Watergate?

very interesting

given the apparent mood of youse guys over dere I’d guess that it’d cause him some serious trouble.
Over here I don’t think that many would give a rats’ ass if the invasion were illegal.

I think we should revisit Lend-Lease myself.

Illegal war with gigantic crimes against humanity trials afterwards: illegal versus ILLEGAL. I’m against ILLEGAL.

I suppose this is some sort of statement of justification.

IOW, I think I understand what you’re saying but I am not sure I UNDERSTAND. You know, understand versus UNDERSTAND

How’s killing over 10,000 civilians under false pretexts not a “gigantic crime”? Certainly fits my own definition of ILLEGAL.

Assuming hypothetically that one could produce cast-iron proof that the war was illegal, there might be some abstruse legal proceedings that someone somewhere could instigate to make Bliar and Co pay for their ‘crimes’, but in reality nothing whatsoever would happen. The media would enjoy kicking Bliar around for a while, but that would be about it. There might even be some public protests, but as we know from experience these have absolutely no effect on anything at all, and all concerned might just as well spit into the ocean for all the difference it makes to our politicians.

The only real question is whether the Iraq war and the aftermath will make a difference to Bliar’s chances in the next General Election. The last was June 2001 so the next one will probably take place not before late 2005 or in 2006 if Bliar wants to hang on longer. I doubt Iraq will make much difference to the outcome.

Basically, UK general elections tend to come down to personalities and who the people want to entrust with the keys to 10 Downing Street and the red button that fires off the nukes. In the 1996 election, Major and the Tories had made themselves so hugely unpopular that the Labour crowd could have been led by a ventriloquist’s dummy and still have won. The Tories then managed to elect an utterly un-electable and unpopular leader (something they have a genius-like gift for doing) in William Hague, followed by another in Iain Duncan-Smith. The new leader, Michael Howard, is a much more capable leader and politician, and can be seen each week getting the best of Bliar at Prime Minister’s Questions. But come the GE, I reckon more people will still opt for Bliar than Howard, and Iraq will be irrelevant.

At least many of those stupid, stupid journalists who never seemed to appreciate how insincere Blair was when he first took office are now voluntarily eating humble pie.

I am usually easily taken in by people, but I never, EVER, for one second found anything genuine, honest or sincere about Blair.

Sadly, I don’t think this will bring him down - unless Michael Howard does a John Howard and takes the next election on anti-immigration, coupled with anti-scroungers party.

  1. You are still counting deaths wholly unrelated to US actions, unless you count spending billions to reconstruct Iraq as “war” and al Qaeda and Ansar al Islam as “Iraqis.”

  2. This website is for people like you, who just can’t stand the US being an actor for good in the world. As a matter of logic and reason, there is No Body Count to speak of.


In Afghanistan, according to Chomsky (at least in part, he’s never admitted his predictions were backwards) we averted millions of deaths from civil war, starvation, and refugees.

Do you read what you link to anymore?
This page offers absolutely no rebuttal whatsoever to RF’s numbers.This is the third non-sequitur link of yours I’ve seen in 24 hours. You getting enough sleep?

Right. I just pointed out how the numbers are being calculated, and how that is bullshit.

Any refutations, other than personal insults?

This place is the debate equivalent of I provide information, people doubt it, I provide more information, people doubt it.

I have an idea, why don’t the people that provide numbers out of thin air – NOT ME IN THIS CASE – justify their methodology.

I’m merely pointing out the obvious, that the US saves far more lives that it takes. I should not have to bother pointing out that our military methodology since Vietnam has centered on reducing civilian casualties. Nor should I have to point out that Saddam was a butcher every single day of his reign.

I know, “Saddam was a bad man” but ethically it was somehow better to leave him in power.

But Claire Short was present at the relevant Cabinet meetings and heard the advice. However, if it can be proven the A-G had been leant on prior to the Cabinet meetings in which he laid out the official legal position, we have another scenario entirely.

In effect Blair would have lied to the country and, more importantly from the pov of his tenure, to the Commons


Lie to the Commons = Resignation or face a Vote of Confidence = PLP vote for Brown = Blair is available for after dinner speaking and the lecture circuit.
But it’s highly unlikely that a link between the A-G and Blair can be established – unless the A-G wants to shaft Blair. And he wouldn’t have been given the job in the first place if he was a risk.

So it’ll play like the evidence to Hutton – it’ll have Campbell’s MO all over it but you won’t be able to prove a damn thing.

Campbell was just too good, imho.

No, the ‘official’ advice would have been doctored long before it got to be aired in Cabinet in front of Claire Short, etc. and there won’t be any kind of trail to find - but we live in hope.

Beagle writes:

No, I am most certainly not. I realize that war supporters such as yourself are likely to find the Iraq Body Count site awkward as it destroys what little you have left by way of ‘justification,’ but no one has been able to effectively dispute either their numbers or methodology.

For the sake of [your] argument, let’s lower that number by half. Are you still going to sit there with a straight face and tell us that is “not a gigantic crime against humanity”? Because, IIRC, what started the Bush Adm. on this killing rampage was the death of a ‘mere’ 3,500 victims.

Afghanistan and Iraq combined easily triple that number. Is that enough revenge or do you still feel more should be forthcoming?

Wow, just wow! You point me towards a chickenhawk’s deluted blog by way of “refutation”? I’m having december flashbacks and yet I am sure this is February.

The fact alone that he is using ten year old data in order to divine the future should have made you weary – that he concludes the US is actually “saving” 138 Iraqi’s a day would be laughable if the reality on the ground wasn’t so tragic.

Guess I’ll never cease to be amazed at the contortions the pro-war crowd will put themselves through to justify the unjustifiable.

And one last point, “people like me” constitute an overwhelming majority in life outside the secluded American borders – not to mention the fact that even inside the US the number of “people like you” is decreasing almost daily.

“Noble mission” indeed.

Well the latest is that the AG is reported to have changed his advice:

Furthermore, a majority of lawyers are saying that the war should have been deemed illegal without a second UN resolution, significantly at odds with the AG, which gives credence to the thought that he may have been leant on.

Meanwhile, I am delighted to report that Sky News earlier described Clare Short as: “A political bunny boiler”. Genius! :smiley:

My take on it is that folk would be interested in the semantic juggling of various UN motions and wordings of reports.

The actual advice from the Attorney General would certainly be that the war was legal, it’s how he got to that position that counts.

We might just get the wording of the legal authority, though I doubt it, but we will not get the thought process and logical progression that led to that decision, and this is without doubt the main issue.

This advice itself does not mean it was or was not legal, what it means is that it provides the cloak for Blairs justification for war.

Perhaps of more importance is that it is being reported that military chiefs wanted an unequivocal endorsement of authority by the governments so that the military cannot be accused of acting without parliamentary political authority, and it appears from some reports that this authority was insisted upon but we do not yet know why they had such doubts.

If the decision was weak in its logic, then the suspicion would be on Blair, it would look like there was some leaning going on, but proof of that will be doubtless impossible to find.

At worst, Blair might have a slight shadow over him for a few days, but UK political life will move on.

“Bowed to pressure from the . . . US” !! The US ? You’ve got to get up early to catch that Campbell . . .