The Dispensable Jeremy Greenstock 69


I know from personal experience that Jeremy Greenstock is an unusually kind person. It was interesting to watch his evidence this morning, and I am particularly pleased that Sky gave us two hours of it uninterrupted.

Jeremy’s contention that the Iraq war was legal but not legitimate is an interesting attempt at nuance. I don’t buy it, but it illustrates that he was plainly very uncomfortable about the whole thing. I am not sure that even now he has really come to the terms with the fact that all he was involved in was a charade. Bush and Blair had decided to invade at Crawford, a full year before Jeremy’s painstaking crafting of fig leaf resolutions and attempts at consensus building. As Greenstock conceded, the military timetable had been decided and the diplomacy had to try to run ahead. When it stumbled, the invasion carried on regardless. Greenstock was ridden over.

I thought Jeremy’s attempts to convince himself rather than us that Britian’s “commitment to the diplomatic route” won friends and helped to build a consensus after the invasion, was a rather pathetic (in the true meaning) attempt to explain away his own futility.

There was one hilarious abandonment of logic when Jeremy said that he believed Iraq did have WMD, but they are still hidden. He offered two attempts at evidence for this. One was that they had a concealment committee. Well, if so, somone on the committee would have leaked post-invasion. The second was that some fighters had been buried in the sands, and revealed when the wind blew away the sand. He offered that as evidence that weapons can be concealed in the desert sands. Actually, Jeremy, it is evidence that they can’t.

But what was entirely plain is that Greenstock is much more sceptical of the Iraq War than the committee who were questioning him. The packing of the committee with confirmed war supporters (Greenstock at one point made what I believe was a sly dig about committee member Rod Lyne’s role at the time in question) makes the whole exercise futile, not least by limiting witnesses to answering non-sceptical questions. There was a priceless moment when Gilbert invited Greenstock to agree that the French and Russians only opposed the war from national and personal interests, and Greenstock declined to do so.


69 thoughts on “The Dispensable Jeremy Greenstock

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  • anno

    Abe Rene

    In the course of the program, she used the word violence 9 times in relation to Arabs and 2 times in relation to Northern Ireland.

  • daydreamer

    Hi Abe Rene

    I’m not disputing the details of your wikipedia reference above, but I will say that wikipedia is part of the battle to own the truth, and what I’ve seen of its coverage of Zionist issues is more than a little unbalanced (in a pro-Zionist way, need I add). Understanding the Zionist perspective is important, obviously, but it should not be confused with the truth. Unless you’re a post-modernist of course.

  • anno

    Abe Rene

    I’m sorry you only listened to the first nine minutes of the programme because you missed her statement that ‘Palestinian identity… is so related to violence… either as victims or perpetrators of violence..’

    If a Muslim had made the statement: ‘Israeli identity.. is so related to violence… either as victims or perpetrators of violence…’ the statement would have been challenged rightly so because there is much more to Israel than violence. It is the Holy Land, the home of Jesus and many other prophets before him.

    There is no point complaining to the BBC after they made their position clear by refusing to raise funds for Gaza last year.

    Audrey Kurth Cronin may be an academic as well as being a political advisor, but it does not give her the right to denigrate the Palestinian people over our airwaves at the anniversary of Israel’s bombing Gaza with molten phosphur and during an important review of the war in Iraq. That’s just the BBC pushing the Zionist cause.

  • daydreamer

    Hi Abe Rene

    Wonder away. Sorry, but I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. Do you really suspect that Jews are better educationally equipped than Palestinians to edit wikipedia pages? How hard do you think it is? If I were a Palestinian I might be insulted.

  • Subrosa

    Thanks for confirming my thoughts on Jeremy Greenstock’s performance Craig. I found his body language revealing at times when he was trying to keep his composure. It’s good to hear an account of an interview by someone who knows the person in the hot seat.

  • Abe Rene

    Hi daydreamer

    You seem to have misunderstood my statement, which wasn’t about Palestinians at all. It was about the ubiquity of Jews in every kind of cultural activity, including wiki. Since Jews are liable to support the state of Israel, this ubiquity is liable to make people wonder if there is some Zionist conspiracy present even if there isn’t. That’s the point I was making.

  • Neil Craig

    Legal but not legitimate is obviously a finagle as anybody looking at the words can tell.

    However the main thing is that all these people co-operated fully in the previous Kosovo war which they knew for a fact was neither legal nor legitimate being fought on a lie (that Milosevic was engagedin genocide) & fought for the specific purpose of letting NATO’s KLA employees engage in genocide, ethnic cleansing, the sexual enslavement of children & the dissection of living people to steal their body organs,

    The politicians & diplomats who did that are one & all obscene Nazi war criminals who in a law abiding society would have swung by the neck. All this stuff about Iraq is simply misdirection by people who think they can at least palm off the guilt for that one on Bliar.

  • MD

    People dismiss the legal but of questionable legitimacy statement too lightly. Legality and legitimacy are, and should be seen as often distinct entities, which only on occasions come together. The key here is the SC. If people believe the Rwandan genocide should legimately have resulted in international intervention but could only go ahead without SC authorisation (for whatever reason) then one could argue the case would have been one of illegality but legitimate. If people recall the Kosovo Report headed by Goldstone made the same point ‘illegal but legitimate’. It may be a rhetorical device in this case, however I regard Greenstock’s arguments as more sophisticated than people here give credit for – mainly because of their firmly established views regarding the war. If you regard international law as the summum bonum fine, but don’t cry out if the SC takes a different decision of matters which you regard as illegitimate because they will likely be acting within the scope of legality as defined by the UN Charter and their role in enforcing it.

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