By Peter Lee (auth.)

Bringing jointly either modern and old simply struggle strategies, Peter Lee exhibits that Blair's phantasm of morality evaporated fast and irretrievably after the 2003 Iraqinvasion as the rules Blair relied upon have been taken out in their ancient context and utilized in an international political process the place they now not carry sway.

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Additional info for Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality

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The idea of protecting the weak resonated across most of the world and the daily TV pictures of suffering and death enabled Blair to secure widespread support from the British people and others abroad. As a moral argument the notion of helping the weak has a long history in the just war tradition, even though the principle of intervening across state borders on humanitarian grounds was not written into international law when the UN Charter was agreed at the end of World War II. However, such was Blair’s reliance on this particular moral justification for military action in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq that it will be explored at length in Chapter 7.

Second, he presented himself as a liberator of the oppressed by setting free those who had previously been at the mercy of Foday Sankoh’s killers. In his later recollections Blair was even more strident about the way he justified intervening in Sierra Leone, on moral and not legal grounds: ‘We had acted without UN authority in Kosovo … I never even thought about it for Sierra Leone. 39 Though Blair referred on a number of occasions over the years to his role in liberating Kosovo and Sierra Leone, he did not apply a consistent moral standard.

However, two difficulties present themselves when his arguments are closely scrutinized. The first difficulty emerges in the relationship between morality and law at a most general level: does law precede morality or does morality precede law? Blair said that his just war – itself a moral claim – was based on a number of values; values that included the rule of law. When it came to military intervention therefore, Blair’s moral basis rested on law: the law came first. While this segment of his interventionist doctrine may have provided the sound-bite so loved by the news channels, it was just plain wrong.

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