Friday, 29 January 2010

The Blair Witch Hunt

Something Sam posted on his blog [H/T] the other day has got me thinking. The link alludes to the nature of an apology vis a vis this miserable affair (the Iraq war). Now with Tony Blair about to have his day in front of the Iraq Inquiry the whole process seems to have taken on the spectre of a medieval witch trial, with a huge waiting list for seats. My view for what it's worth, is, this whole saga [war] has been an ill-conceived tragedy from start to finish. But the question that reading Sam's link prevoked is what are people looking for from Mr. Blair, an apology?, some sort of legal justification for the action?, which is looking unlikely too, or, I suspect simply the hollow satisfaction of watching him squirm in front of the panel.

Now the wider thought about all this that I wished to express was, that war, or any act of violence for that matter is the result of a complete breakdown of intellectual, civilised means of solving an argument. To try to put a legal framework around something like war (the ultimate expression of violence) seems kind of absurd to me. In other words once we start hurling bullets and bombs at each other the genie is out of the bottle.

I think the perfect metaphor for this contradiction is the 'eco-bullet', the environmentally friendly bullet that contains no lead, being developed by the military to be kinder to our environment.

I'm not so naive as to suggest there are not occasions when we have no other course than to use military force but historically these instances have always seemed to me pretty obvious by comparison to the Iraq war. None of us can guess what the outcome would have been to taking no action at all against this awful regime, but I'm am curious to learn what Messrs Blair and Bush's exit strategy was.

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