In this comment on another Dave Osler classic, debating the moral equivalence of Blair and Karadzic
‘Sorry to be picky, but if you want to know, say, the quantity of people who died as a result of Tony’s decision to participate in the invasion of Iraq (how many he murdered), the number you are looking for is: “number who died” minus “number who would have died if the Americans had gone it alone”. I have no idea what that number is, but we cannot rule out the possibility that British participation saved lives (I’m not making that argument here). Unless you want to argue that the Americans would not have invaded without British participation.’
I am not going anywhere near the ‘was the Iraq war justified’ decision. Nor am I hoping to be educated on this by Dave Osler, who (previous post) needed 25 years to realise that the deliberate targetting of the Thatcher Cabinet with a bomb in 1984 might not have been quite justified.
It seems to be a variant of Goodwin’s law: the more contentious an issue, the closer some participant comes to using a truly ridiculous example to ‘prove’ his point. So, apparently, Blair is a mass-murderer, according to Monbiot the ethically pure.
I clearly find this ridiculous. What Karadzic is accused of is a calculation that runs along the lines of whether the murder of civilians of a different ethnicity to his may work to produce the nationalistic aspirations he has. A fascist venture, a plan to kill enough Muslims/Croats/whatever to make liebensraum for his race.
Blair is accused of starting a war against a known vicious dictator. His reasons are difficult to pin down exactly, but they could come from a wide variety. But I am sure that his intention was not to murder millions of Muslims because he hated them and wanted their land and other goods. It may have been to do with weapons of mass destruction, which even the French thought were in there. It may have been because he thought it could benefit Iraqis. He may have wrongheadedly expected flowers and democracy. He may have reasoned that allowing a bleeding and furious superpower to do this all alone would have disastrous consequences for Iraq, international relations, future peace. He may have totally underestimated how much Iraqis would start murdering each other once Saddam’s protective hand was taken off them.I don’t really know.
All I know is that his calculations worked along a totally different plane to those of the mass-murdering fascists that a hysterical Monbiot and his ethically-confused ilk like to compare him to. Intelligent people can see that.
Monbiot talks about the memos that determine whether or not the war was legal. This really gives the game away. A memo cannot determine whether a person turns out to have been a mass murderer. You can’t discover a memo from the 1930’s that would have excused Mao, Stalin or Hitler. A mass murderer is not discovered to be such by the wording of past lawyers. Grow up, Monbiot. The millions of genuine victims of mass murder over the years are insulted by the comparison.