29 May Just One Question…
The British newspaper The Guardian is currently having Hay Festival, major book festival.
With all these writers and public figures around, there are some fun possibilities. As the folks at The Guradian put it:
Hay is full of the cleverest and sharpest minds, but if they could ask one person just a single question, who would they choose – and what would they ask? We brought them together to find out.
Here are two examples that I thought Opinio Juris readers might find interesting:
George Monbiot, author and Guardian columnist asks John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN
Q The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression … is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime”. You were instrumental in manufacturing the case for war with Iraq, using false intelligence. Why should you not be put on trial as a war criminal?
A Since the Security Council’s unanimous 1991 adoption of Resolution 678 – the ceasefire resolution ending the first Persian Gulf war – Saddam Hussein’s regime repeatedly violated it. By systematically demonstrating its unwillingness to abide by Security Council resolutions, Iraq violated the terms of the ceasefire in countless ways. By so doing, Iraq vitiated the ceasefire, and revived the initial authority under Security Council Resolution 678 to use all necessary means to deal with the threat posed to international peace and security by Iraq. Accordingly, the premises of your question are erroneous in law and erroneous in fact.
John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN asks James Naughtie, broadcaster
Q How much longer will the state own the BBC and why?
A If John Bolton hasn’t yet worked out the difference between state-owned and publicly funded, it’s probably too late to hope for enlightenment. But the distinction is the one that matters. The implication that the BBC’s public funding puts it in thrall to government is simply wrong. The founding charter protects us from interfering ministers just as it obliges all of us to practise independent journalism. I think that has produced a healthier broadcasting environment than the one the US now enjoys. And as it happens, many Americans seem to agree, because the number of listeners and viewers there is rising fast. So I hope our form of ownership remains indefinitely.