In an op-ed published today, Archbishop and Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu does not mince words in his condemnation of the Iraq War:
The immorality of the United States and Great Britain's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.
But the crux of Tutu's argument is this — why aren't George W. Bush and Tony Blair accountable for their crimes?
Tutu points out the different standards when it comes to dealing with people like Robert Mugabe and Osama bin Laden. He argues that Bush and Blair "stoop[ed] to [Saddam Hussein's] immoral level," leading to the deaths of 110,000 Iraqis and 4,500 American soldiers. Not to mention the 32,000 soldiers wounded in battle.
On the basis of these figures, Tutu argues that Bush and Blair should be tried by the International Criminal Court.
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 International Criminal Court deals with cases of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, but not crimes of aggression. Because the Iraq War would likely be tried as a crime of aggression, it does not fall under the court's jurisdiction.
The practicality of his suggestion aside, Tutu's words are stirring, especially in a political climate where honesty is being questioned on a daily basis. Tutu asks, "If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth?"
Tony Blair has already responded to Tutu's piece, "In a healthy democracy people can agree to disagree." They can also start unjust wars without facing the consequences, evidently.
[Image via AP]