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May 03, 2005

Monbiot on BP

I think Old Georges is being a bit harsh on BP here. West Papua (Irian Jaya to Indonesians) was indeed sold down the river, is indeed a land occupied, is indeed suffering from the violent imposition of that occupation. However, there’s one huge sticking point here, at least for all of those who think that international law exists or has any validity.

However disgusting the original occupation was, under that very international law it was legal. Indonesia is the de jure sovereign government of West Papua. It may not be de facto, it may not be morally correct that it is de jure, it may not be acting morally as that government, but according to international law, it is the government. And we are supposed to obey international law, yes?

Or, do we only obey it when it already agrees with what we want to do? Which rather opens a can of worms, doesn’t it?

May 3, 2005 in United Nations | Permalink


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Zing! However, I suspect that if Tony Blair were to announce that he was declaring war on British Petroleum, killing tens of thousands of its employees and making no real plan for running the company after putting Lord Browne in jail, George Monbiot would probably vote against that policy too. I know I would.

Posted by: dsquared | May 3, 2005 1:38:12 PM

In arguing that BP is legally but not morally entitled to prospect for gas in West Papua, he is in effect undermining the entire Lefty Philosophy.

The war in Iraq was, so they keep saying illegal - But was it immoral? Its a big argument in itself, but legal trumps moral is the usual response.

If Indonesia doesn't have true Sovereignty over Papua because it doesn't have the implicit consent of the people, then how can Saddam have been said to be in any way a legitimate ruler of Iraq?

The UN recognises Indonesia as Sovereign. Is it possible that they could be wrong? If so why should we ever listen to them again?

I think he may have a small point for a change, but its unfortunate for him that for once not being a complete Moonbat, undermines all the times when he is.

Posted by: EU Serf | May 3, 2005 3:32:41 PM

>George Monbiot would probably vote against that policy too.

If you changed "killing the employees" to "making most of them prisoners for the duration", then I suspect George would vote for the policy.

Posted by: Pog | May 3, 2005 9:12:07 PM