Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Seriously, Iggy?

Why does anyone in the Liberal Party respect this man? Does he have a single scruple, a principle, a spine at all?
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.

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."
I thought Iggy's remarks in August were stupid and self-serving, but these are at least as self-serving as before.

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.)


Stephen said...

Good post.

Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have both pointed to violations of international humanitarian law by Israel and Hezbollah during the recent conflict.

If those deserve designation as 'war crimes,' however, then the illegal Iraq war a fortiori deserves to be recognized as such.

In fact, Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz this summer called the invasion of Iraq an instance of the 'supreme international crime' of aggression.

Ignatieff supported the commission of this crime: his attempts to distance himself on the grounds that Bush et al. screwed up the occupation are as irrelevant as would be the claims of a vigilante who complained that his mob's leader had botched their act of rough justice.

Jeremy Kirouac said...

Indeed, a good post.

Iggy has angered the Lebanese voters and now he's making the Pro-Israeli voters angry.

There is no consistency in his policies, despite the fact that he's been a noted scholar in these issues for decades.

Even more important though is his record supporting the war in Iraq. News today of a study estimating over 650, 000 civilian deaths that would not have occurred were it not for this war is absolutely astounding and morally reprehensible. How can we possibly think to elect a man who supports such a war?

M. Simon said...

Saddam violated the cease fire agreements numerous times. He fired on American planes numerous times. Acts of war.

The Kurdish areas of Iraq prospered under an American military umbrella.

So in 2003 it seemed reasonable to depose Saddam. The prospects seemed good. In fact the actual results have not met expectations.

Happens all the time in engineering. And you expect the much more chaotic venue of war to be any different?

However we got into this mess, we owe it to the Iraqis to stand with them until they can stand on their own. It would be cruel to abandon the democrats of Iraq to the tender mercies of the head choppers.

However, I think as a big fan of Bucky (as I am) you are missing the most important thing we could do to turn around Iraq.Electricity.

zack said...

Does he have a single scruple, a principle, a spine at all??


Michael Ignatieff, the front-runner in the race for the federal Liberal leadership

I'm beginning to see a connection!