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Paul T Horgan: You can rely on The Guardian to pick the wrong side in any conflict


Well, there’s been an atrocity in Europe. But The Guardian is on form. Apparently any kind of retaliation may be illegal under international law, it says. Writing on the website today under the headline “Isis attack on Paris may be an ‘act of war’ but retaliation may not be lawful“, Australian writer and activist Paul Farrell unknowingly retreads portions of my article posted here way back in February.

Before I proceed, I am struck by a question. Is there actually anyone who writes opinion columns for The Guardian who is not also an activist? This does indicate that the writer is not actually providing an objective commentary but an opinionated one. That may be okay in the opinion pages, but it does mean that every opinion article published by The Guardian is completely one-sided to the point of ignoring reality. It also means that people should not read the newspaper’s output if they are looking for objective and reasoned writing. A former editor of The Guardian stated that ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’. However comment is based on ‘sacred’ facts and some commentators on the paper do play fast and loose with them.

Of course, everything I write is reasoned. But then I do not write for The Guardian. And I am not an activist. The pay and the hours are terrible.

Farrell argues that although an illegal organisation has committed illegal acts including atrocities, it may be against international law as a recent decision by the International Court of Justice stated that it is not lawful for a state to commit acts of self-defence against non-state organisations.  This so-called loophole was one I highlighted months ago. The case heard  in the court concerned Israel’s building of anti-terrorist walls. According to Farrell, this is because building a wall is identical to taking action against an organisation that sends Kalashnikov-armed bomb-vest wearers to massacre people in Europe.  Farrell omits the fact there were dissenting opinions. It was not unanimous.  He also forgets to mention that the opinion provided was advisory, not binding. However that is enough for Farrell, and by implication The Guardian, to argue that the current military action may be illegal.

To paraphrase Seumas Milne’s all-time favourite political leader, how many tanks has the International Court?

And yet there are airstrikes in Syria. In fact there was one that killed a particularly vicious serial decapitator who travelled under the protection of a British passport. The French Air Force has made a record number of attacks since the atrocity and its navy is sending an aircraft carrier so it can make more attacks. Wither advisory decisions?

Of course the airstrikes are legal. This non-state organisation has declared war on the civilised world and is targeting the peoples of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. What legal protection is it entitled to? It has managed the previously impossible feat of uniting the former World War II allies against a common enemy in a way that has not happened since 1941, especially since the bombing of a Russian airliner.

All that has been demonstrated is that, once again, international law and its lawyers have to play catch-up on real events. It was Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, chancellor of Imperial Germany, who stated ‘necessity knows no law’ to defend the unjustifiable invasion of Belgium in 1914. However, the events here are different.  Belgium posed no threat to Imperial Germany.  Isis are a clear and present danger to the civilised world. They have declared war on us, just not in a way The Guardian is happy with. But then it does appear difficult to please The Guardian on international matters when provoked Western powers start getting justifiably violent. Isis must be crushed, and soon. There is no ‘get-out clause’ because Isis do not have a seat on the UN.

War is legal by a member of the UN in self-defence. Isis has murdered civilians from a dozen nations. Attacking them is a clear act of self-defence. The sooner Isis is destroyed, the sooner our people will stop being murdered.

But is also shows that there is no limit to the anti-war West-is-always-in-the-wrong position of The Guardian. The virtue-signalling has to come to an end. You can’t be loftily oh-so-nice to everyone everywhere all the time as the pages of this paper try to do. People are being machine-gunned in our streets. There is a war on. Civilisation as we know it and humanity are threatened by a murderous death cult.

It is now time to pick a side. Knowing The Guardian, the only newspaper happy to pay Stalin-loving Corbynite Seumas Milne for his perverse outpourings, they will pick the wrong one.

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Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan worked in the IT Sector. He lives in Berkshire.

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