Just throw the old line, "we were under orders". That should work once it's all done and dusted. Just ask any member of the SS who worked the concentration camps....oh aye, hang on a mo..... ah bugger.
Anyway, who's gonna push prosecution? Saddam? The U.N.? :-/
We do have legal authority. It comes from the UK government and the UN. The UN Charter gives countries the right to defend themselves if they 'think' that another country (in this case Iraq) is a threat, they do not have to wait a UN vote first to give them this authority. The problem with 'UN speak', and in particular the Charter, is that it is designed to be all things to all men. We, as the plaintiff, are acting quite legally, unfortunately, so is the Respondent, one Mr S Hussein! Sitting on the French fence is quite legal too! We could of course, as a P5 member, insist that this ridiculous situation is changed and some proper law laid down. Yeh, yeh, lets have some proper international law but then we would have to give up Ulster, the Falklands and Gibraltar not to mention the great holiday posting of Cyprus.
Where is the only place in the world to try true international law well the EU of course and how much bitching do we get about Spanish fishermen, French farmers, German miners blah, blah, blah. If the world wants international law we all have to take the consequences. The UK's fishing fleet would totally disappear and France would have to get rid of 3 million small farmers; NO ONE WANTS INTERNATIONAL LAW UNLESS SOME OTHER FCUKER SUFFERS
1. Nobody has declared war. When the Sudatenland was annexed there was no declaration of war. There seem to be a slightly bourgois set of values at play here. Since the weapons inspectors were thrown out, our adversaries have won technical victories hand over fist. If you want an example look at our own media coverage. Al Samood missiles are shown being moved about on indiginous commercial articulated lorries that are all nicely painted in sand finish.
How nice of them to spruce them up for the worlds media! Al Samood is a variant of FROG 7 which normally moves on a fixed axle high mobility vehicle like this
. This is just one example of their deception methods.
2. We are currently engaged in coercion not war. For coercion to be effective, our adverary has to believe that we will not only step up to the wire, but cross it as well. Unfortunately we can not achieve this by writing to the Spectator, or debating it at Poets Essayists and Novelists and the Poetry Cafe. A brainy boxhead once wrote that
" War is an extension of Diplomacy by another means." By his reconning we are still at "Diplomacy" and not at "War"
3. The press is free, it is also supposed to be impartial and objective. By you introducing " a war crimes " theme, places you close to Tony Benn's " you're being orderd to kill innocent women and children" line of sofa TV this morning.
A slight twist in objectivity, that places you
both closer to the indoctrination methods of North Korean and Viet Cong POW camps, than my Dad's NUJ chapel would normally accept.
I find it difficult to argue for the authority of law when the argument is "we uphold the law" as long as it agrees with us... So GB & TB when they sought the authority of the UN now no longer need it because the UN does not agree with them? -
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the Council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 below;
11.. Directs the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA to report immediately to the Council any interference by Iraq with inspection activities, as well as any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations, including its obligations regarding inspections under this resolution;
12. Decides to convene immediately upon receipt of a report in accordance with paragraphs 4 or 11 above, in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security
13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;
The main problem with interantional law is that it means all things to all men.
This is good news for Tony as he can fully justify going to war without a second resolution on tha basis of past UNSC resolutions and Saddam's failure to comply.
But many others can take the opposite view and find justification for their views in international law.
However Old Retired Groundie, Jake is entirely correct in that both the government and any soldier may be hauled before the International Criminal Court for committing war crimes (ie waging an "illegal war") beacause we have fully signed up to this organisation. (Unlike the Yanks.)
To make matters worse, the government has also signed up to the so-called "european arrest warrant" which permits another European state to issue an arrest warrant for a UK citizen and arrest him for any of the listed crimes, one of which covers war crimes.
Further, depending on that state's own laws, foregign individuals can petition for that arrest to be made (remember Pinochet).
Over to the Attourney General to get Tony off the hook I think!!!