NRO's John O'Sullivan reports that a left-wing newspaper's publication of a government legal analysis stating that without UN approval the Iraq War was illegal, a report that Tough Tony ignored--and, perhaps more significantly, denied receiving in the run up to the war, will not lead to Labor's defeat, but more likely will lead to Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown replacing tough Tony as British PM. Bad news for the US, as Brown shares his party's dovish, UN-first instincts. Regrettably, so does the British public. The Liberals, not the Tories, will benefit from the damage to Tough Tony. Which means that the UK is poised to become Brussels West.
Does this mean that 43 was wrong to bypass the UN and go to war? No. Going to the UN was an unfortunate necessity if the Brits were to join us (and the Aussies as well). UN approval would never have come--even if WMD were found, as France and Russia would have blocked it, if only to continue profiting from Saddam's largesse. But the bald fact of life facing the US is that around the world the UN is regarded as a source of legitimacy. That the UN on its historical track record has shown, with exceptions all too rare, that it can neither organize a two-car funeral nor stop a candy store robbery, is simply beside the point to the anti-US set.
So what to do if Blair loses? Soldier on, with such coalitions of the willing as we can muster, on a case-by-case basis. US Republicans and most Israelis are from Mars; US Democrats and Europeans are from Venus. If people--and their governments--think the UN and international lawyers can stop the likes of bin Ladin and al-Zarqawi, what Alexander Solzhenitsyn said in his 1978 commencement address at Harvard, in the Cold War context, applies even more today.
Regarding Western hopes for detente, the great writer warned: "There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of petrified armor around people's minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events."
Solzhenitsyn's speech, given during the time of Jimmy Carter, proved excessively pessimistic. Within three years Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, leaders without self-delusion, came to power. Karol the Great, Maggie the Magnificent and the Gipper heard the voices of freedom from Europe's East, and led the West to victory. Sadly, the prospects of three such leaders coming forth at a given time are never good, and hardly seems likely now. Awful to say it, but it may well take a WMD 9/11 to wake up the Venus set to the UN's impotence.
John O'Sullivan: War Now Major UK Election Issue
Solzhenitsyn: "A World Split Apart"