Desmond Tutu Wants Bush, Blair To Be Tried In The Hague
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was scheduled to attend a peace conference in Johannesburg but pulled out Tuesday, saying it would be morally indefensible to appear alongisde Blair. Tutu blamed him and Bush for the conflict which he asserted "has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history."
"The US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart," Tutu wrote. "They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us."
Tutu also charged that Western leaders escaped justice due to racial inequity.
"Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague," he said.
From the Guardian:
But it is Tutu's call for Blair and Bush to face justice in The Hague that is most startling. Claiming that different standards appear to be set for prosecuting African leaders and western ones, he says the death toll during and after the Iraq conflict is sufficient on its own for Blair and Bush to be tried at the ICC.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, the first permanent international criminal court, was established ten years ago. It is recognized by the U.K. but not the United States. But there are other road blocks to this matter being heard in the ICC. From the Associated Press:
While the International Criminal Court can handle cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, it does not currently have the jurisdiction to prosecute crimes of aggression. Any potential prosecution over the Iraq war would likely come under the aggression category.
Blair responded by complimenting Tutu's efforts against apartheid but defended the decision to remove Saddam Hussein.
"To repeat the old canard that we lied about the intelligence is completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown," Blair said. "And to say that the fact that Saddam massacred hundreds of thousands of his citizens is irrelevant to the morality of removing him is bizarre."
More than 110,000 people have been killed in Iraq since the war began, according to the Iraqi Body Count Project.
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