War is Legal When We Say So, by Saints Clegg and Miliband
Nick Clegg has set out his latest piece of semantic hypocrisy (last one here). According to a Liberal Democrat news release, he was asked:
You opposed the intervention in Iraq. There was evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Saddam. You opposed intervention against him. Why are you, as a party, now supporting intervention against President Assad?
NC: I was opposed, the Liberal Democrats were staunchly opposed, to the open-ended military intervention in Iraq for all the reasons that we know. But we know this is quite different to that boots on the ground intervention in that country. This is about taking proportionate, legal and carefully circumscribed steps to ensure that everybody understands, the world round, that we will not stand idly by when chemical weapons are used in complete breach of international law.
Quite different. Completely.
The main difference being that St Clegg of Nicholas is now in government, having to take hard decisions about complicated situations abroad, and realises that chirruping “illegal war” at the despatch box no longer cuts it.
Depending on your definition of “illegal”, military intervention in Syria is less “legal” than that in Iraq, which was at least in (ambiguous) furtherance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Same goes for St Miliband of Ed, the one who opposed the Iraq war. At least he never called it illegal. But now he says:
The use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians is abhorrent and cannot be ignored.
When I saw the Prime Minister this afternoon I said to him the Labour Party would consider supporting international action but only on the basis that it was legal, that it was specifically limited to deterring the future use of chemical weapons and that any action contemplated had clear and achievable military goals.
We will be scrutinising any action contemplated on that basis.
Give me a bit of straight talking any time (non-pay-wall version of Tony Blair’s article in this morning’s Times).Tagged in: ed miliband, nick clegg, syria
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter