Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Blair should face trial over Iraq war

Writing in today’s Observer, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for Blair and Bush to face the international criminal court in the Hague over the US/UK led invasion of Iraq. Accusing them of lying about the threat from Saddam with regard to weapons of mass destruction and thereby creating a backdrop for the Syrian civil war and a wider Middle East conflict,

Tutu argues that ”The then leaders of the United States and Great Britain, fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us.”

There is certainly something highly dubious about western powers encouraging opposition groups to rise up against these Middle Eastern dictatorships. It might be that the people are severely repressed, but the danger of supporting any of the opposing groups is that there is no certainty that the new group, having come to power, will be any less repressive than their predecessors – and what is certain is that thousands of innocent civilians, frequently women and children, will be killed or maimed in the process.

Tutu is one of the few high profile international figures able to make such accusations. The 80 year old cleric and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who came to prominence during the 80′s in the struggle against apartheid, is expressing what millions must think.

How strange that Tutu should make these accusations now when plans are afoot to honour Blair with a portrait bust in the House of Commons. Apparently there is a bust of every PM in the members’ lobby since 1900 and it is the tradition that these portraits are commissioned once the PM has left office and their party is out of power – so expect one of Brown to be commissioned soon after Blair’s is in place!

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