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War and the National Interest: Arguments for a British Foreign Policy Paperback – 1 May 2004


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British involvement in the war against Iraq may have been a crime: it was certainly a mistake. It advanced no British interest. It has instead caused thousands of deaths, and destabilised the Middle East, and has brought this country into various degrees throughout the world of hatred and ridicule. To say this, one does not need to be a socialist, or an internationalist, or in any sense disloyal to Queen and country. Opposition to the war is the most natural response of any conservative or libertarian. So argues Sean Gabb in his latest book. Made up of essays written between September 2001 and May 2004, it can be read as a running commentary on the war with Iraq. It may also be read as a sustained argument that the only legitimate foreign policy for the British Government is one that preserves the ability of the people of the United Kingdom to go safely about their everyday business. Such a policy need not be simple or direct, but it must credibly relate to this end. Perhaps the only benefit this war has brought the country is the destruction of Tony Blair as a credible political figure. But great as it may be, can this be justified in terms of the suffering inflicted on others?

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