Tutu: Bush, Blair Should Face Trial for Iraq Actions

Posted September 2nd, 2012 at 6:15 am (UTC-5)
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Archbishop Desmond Tutu says former U.S. president George W. Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair acted like “playground bullies” when they decided to invade Iraq in 2003, and should face trial for their actions.

In a scathing assessment of the pair in Britain's Observer newspaper, Tutu wrote “they have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the specter of Syria and Iran before us.”

Tutu said the decision to invade Iraq was “premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.” He said that decision “has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.”

The South African peace icon and retired Anglican bishop argued Western leaders are held to a different standard than their African counterparts. He said the death toll during and after the Iraq conflict was sufficient for Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush to face trial in an international court.

Archbishop Tutu said “in a consistent world, 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 action in the Hague.”

The Nobel Peace laureate asked “what should we teach our children” if it is acceptable for leaders to take “drastic action on the basis of a lie, without acknowledgement or an apology when they are found out.”

Tutu also explained his decision not to attend a recent South African leadership conference. He said as the date of conference drew near, he “felt an increasingly profound sense of discomfort attending a summit on 'leadership' with Mr. Blair.”

Tutu said in the article “good leaders are the custodians of morality. He said Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush “should not have allowed themselves to stoop to Saddam Hussein's level.