Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality by Peter Lee (auth.)

By Peter Lee (auth.)

Bringing jointly either modern and ancient simply warfare ideas, Peter Lee indicates that Blair's phantasm of morality evaporated fast and irretrievably after the 2003 Iraqinvasion as the principles Blair relied upon have been taken out in their ancient context and utilized in a world political process the place they not carry sway.

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Sample text

The second issue Blair wanted to address before entering into a war was whether or not the diplomatic options had been exhausted. The main reason that just war emerged as a tradition of thought in the annals of history, and why it still remains relevant today, was to reduce unnecessary death and suffering by only fighting those wars that could not be avoided for the most just of causes. Consequently, every other option short of war should be explored as far as possible before military forces are committed.

The advantage of this moral argument is that it would appear to need no further explanation or justification once Blair implied a link between Milosevic and Hitler. Let us look at another aspect of some of Blair’s words that we have considered previously: ‘We have learned twice before in this century that appeasement does not work. ’30 The genius of Blair’s argument is that he merely referred to two world wars, appeasement and a dictator and allowed his listeners to make the connection, a linguistic technique that he used extensively in the build-up to the Iraq invasion and which will be explored further in the next chapter.

18 Blair provided a number of reasons why the Kosovo war should be counted as a just war. I have already set out his criteria for just intervention: ‘are we sure of our case? … have we exhausted all diplomatic options? … are there military operations we can sensibly and prudently undertake? … are we prepared for the long term? ’19 By the time he made this particular speech the Kosovo war was already under way but Blair had clearly taken the view that these criteria had been satisfied. He also argued that they would provide a suitable template for future interventions aimed at preserving the lives of the victims, or potential victims, of ethnic cleansing unable to protect themselves.

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