Random House: London.
"On 7 March, Peter Goldsmith had submitted his final opinion. As I said earlier he had been over to Washington and had had detailed discussions with the administration lawyers. He set out the arguments for and against and on balance came out in favour. Later, much was made of the 'pressure' on Peter to do so. The truth is he was, and is, someone of genuine integrity. He really wanted to be sure. It was difficult. The world is full of lawyers, and on this, every lawyer was having his or her shout. He felt the responsibility keenly, as he should have. There was clearly a case against in law; but there was also a case for. He debated, discussed, reflected and decided. His opinion was balanced. The argument was balanced. He did his job."
"I understood the importance of the second resolution in terms of political survival and so forth. I confess I always thought it a bit odd in terms of the moral acceptability of the course of action or not. It bestowed more legitimacy, it was true, but whether we got a second resolution or not basically depended on the politics in France and Russia and their calculation of where their political interests lay. We had acted without UN authority in Kosovo. It would have been highly doubtful if we could ever have got UNSC agreement for either Bosnia or Rwanda. I never even thought about it for Sierra Leone. Yet it would be hard to argue that, morally, in each of those situations, we should not have intervened."
"I know that there was never any way Britain was not going to be with the US at that moment, once we went down the UN route and Saddam was in breach. Of course, such a statement is always subject to in extremis correction. A crazy act of aggression? No, we would not have supported that. But given the history, you couldn't call Saddam a crazy target. Personally, I have little doubt that at some point we would have to have dealt with him. But throughout I comforted myself, as I put it in the Glasgow speech, that if we were wrong, we would have removed a tyrant; and as a matter of general principle, I was in favour of doing that."
"Now I would put it differently. Actually there is a parallel [Saddam and Hitler], but it is less about the lead-up to action and more about the general ideology of this extremism based on a perversion of Islam and our attitude to it, and our attitude to the rising threat of fascism. In both cases, there is enormous reluctance to believe we are necessarily in a war. In both cases, our longing for peace blinds us to our enemies' determination to have their way. In both cases, we excuse behaviour on the part of people and states that in other circumstances we would abhor. In both cases, it seems all a bit remote from us and therefore we ask: Why do we need to intervene?"
"The brutality of the repression - the death and torture camps, the barbaric prisons for political opponents, the routine beatings for anyone or their families suspected of disloyalty are well documented. Just last week, someone slandering Saddam was tied to a lamp post in a street in Baghdad, his tongue cut out, mutilated and left to bleed to death, as a warning to others. I recall a few weeks ago talking to an Iraqi exile and saying to her that I understood how grim it must be under the lash of Saddam. "But you don't", she replied. "You cannot. You do not know what it is like to live in perpetual fear." And she is right. We take our freedom for granted."