Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called Sunday for Tony Blair and George Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Tutu, the retired Anglican Church’s archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to “answer for their actions.”…. The Iraq war “has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history,” wrote Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984…. “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 added.
Murder is one of the few crimes for which, at least in most jurisdictions, there is no statute of limitations. It’s why you see so many true crime television shows featuring police detectives doggedly pursuing leads in decades-old murders. If you kill someone, you deserve to pay for your crime. That’s almost universally true…unless you happen to be a former President or Prime Minister. If you’re George W. Bush and Tony Blair, you can lie your way into a war and send thousands of your fellow countrymen to their deaths…and walk away without remorse or consequence. That doesn’t even take into consideration the between 108,455- 118,517 documented civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of our immoral invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation under false pretenses.
A very wise man once told me that if you steal a thousand bucks, you’ll go to jail if you’re caught. Steal millions, perhaps even billions, and you’re more likely than not to be considered a hero and get off with a slap on the wrist at worst. The same seems to be true with Bush and Blair; if you’re directly responsible for thousands upon thousands of deaths…well, I doubt George W. Bush lies in bed at night worrying about being called to account for his war crimes…and “war crimes” is the correct term. Considering the lies, the misinformation, and the propaganda employed to purchase war in Iraq, Bush and his minions should be in custody in the Hague awaiting trial for the deaths stemming from their cynicism and dishonesty. And Blair- “Bush’s poodle”- should also stand accused of war crimes.
Getting an absolutely accurate and definitive count of US soldiers killed in action (KIA) in Iraq depends on whose numbers you use. The Defense Dept. has an interest in keeping the numbers as low as possible, and so uses a very narrow definition of KIA. Other groups have the opposite interest, and thus use a much looser definition of KIA. For my part, I’m using CNN’s calculations, which as of 9.3.12 shows that 4802 Americans have been killed in combat operations in Iraq. Whatever the numbers may be, the reality is that none of them- soldier or civilian- should have died. All of them- every last one- died because of the lies served up by the Bush Administration and in turn parroted by Tony Blair.
What’s been missing from the equation is a loud and sustained demand for the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes stemming from the war in Iraq. The lies and propaganda peddled to the American Sheeple by George W. Bush and his Administration were directly responsible for the deaths of over 120,000 human beings. Their crimes may not, strictly speaking, fit the definition of genocide, but the deaths they’re responsible for are no less tragic and senseless. How can the deaths of so many human beings NOT be considered a war crime? And why has the Obama Administration determined that it’s so important to “look forward” instead of seeking justice for the many thousands of innocents who died as a result of the war crimes of George W. Bush and Tony Blair?