MONTREAL - Michael Ignatieff, the front-runner in the race for the federal Liberal leadership, has accused Israel of committing "a war crime" during its conflict with Hezbollah last summer.I thought Iggy's remarks in August were stupid and self-serving, but these are at least as self-serving as before.
In an interview on a widely watched Quebec talk show, Mr. Ignatieff apologized for comments in August when he told a newspaper he was "not losing sleep" over an Israeli bombing that killed dozens of civilians in the Lebanese village of Qana....
"I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear."
Ignatieff wants it both ways - having proven to the Liberal right that he's a hawk and pro-Israel, he's trying to shore up the left flank by making these comments in Quebec. Didn't we used to criticize Arafat for saying one thing in English and another in Arabic?
Oh, and just to be clear: An attack on a civilian target during a conflict with a neighbour? According to Iggy, a war crime.*
A deliberate violation of the UN Charter in attacking Iraq with no threat and no evidence of a threat? According to Iggy, a just cause and something he continues to support.
I've studied under several professors of the laws of war, though none as illustrious as Michael Ignatieff. Not a single one ever argued that - under either the UN Charter or any other existing international legal framework - the invasion of Iraq was justified. So if we're slinging around the "war crimes" label, there's something a bit more important for Ignatieff to pay attention to.
*Or maybe it's not a war crime after all - tune in tomorrow to see what Iggy sez next!
(Link via Olaf.)