Following his decision to cancel his ‘Leadership’ talk at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg last week with Tony Blair, Desmond Tutu has penned an article for the Observer outlining his rationale behind the well publicized snub:
On what grounds do we decide that Robert Mugabe should go the International Criminal Court, Tony Blair should join the international speakers’ circuit, bin Laden should be assassinated, but Iraq should be invaded, not because it possesses weapons of mass destruction, as Mr Bush’s chief supporter, Mr Blair, confessed last week, but in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein?
The cost of the decision to rid Iraq of its by-all-accounts despotic and murderous leader has been staggering, beginning in Iraq itself. Last year, an average of 6.5 people died there each day in suicide attacks and vehicle bombs, according to the Iraqi Body Count project. More than 110,000 Iraqis have died in the conflict since 2003 and millions have been displaced. By the end of last year, nearly 4,500 American soldiers had been killed and more than 32,000 wounded.
On these grounds alone, 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 actions in the Hague.
The chances of this happening are close to zero, but it’s good that prominent global figures like Tutu continue to ostracize Blair for his outrageous behavior over the Iraq war. The former British PM is not a popular character in Britain, or most of the world outside of America, and rightly so. While the cost isn’t particularly high for him (he has retired to a rather nice life of bank consulting and charity work), having to live with armed security in his own country for the rest of his life is some consolation to the millions of lives he helped destroy.
To understand just how much Blair is hated, check out this clip from a new BBC comedy show called ‘The Revolution Will be Televised’ where the host Heydon Prowse tries to petition people to make Tony Blair a Saint, then goes to Blair’s house to deliver a stained glassed window with Blair’s face on it:
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.