John Rentoul on the recent stunning revelation, coming from the Chilcot Inquiry, that Goldsmith came to agree with Tony Blair:
Goldsmith thought there was no basis in international law for the use of military force in Iraq – that is, it was on the same legal footing as Nato’s intervention in Kosovo – until he discussed the negotiating history of UN resolution 1441, when he decided that there was a legal basis for it after all.
Tony Blair and Jack Straw, therefore, held to one opinion, which turned out to be correct, in the sense that no legal action has even been started successfully in the eight years since. Goldsmith held to another opinion before coming to the correct view.
What we learnt yesterday was that Goldsmith was unhappy about being kept out of the loop in the negotiating of 1441. He would have tried to make it more explicit as an authorisation of the use of force (as if “final opportunity” to comply and “serious consequences” were meaningless words). Given that this was what the Americans and British negotiators were trying to do, it seems unlikely that his closer involvement would have made a difference.
In other news, some people thought the invasion was the right course of action (including at the time the Daily Mail) and some people disagreed.