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  1. #1
    Hitch 22 Hitch 22 is offline

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    Archbishop Desmond Tutu demands Bush and Blair face war crimes charges

    According to Tutu, a Nobel peace prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid struggle:

    "The then leaders of the United States and Great Britain," Tutu argues, "fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us."

    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.
    In response Tony Blair has made a robust defence of his actions:

    "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. We have just had the memorials both of the Halabja massacre, where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam's use of chemical weapons, and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million including many killed by chemical weapons.

    "In addition, his slaughter of his political opponents, the treatment of the Marsh Arabs and the systematic torture of his people make the case for removing him morally strong. But the basis of action was as stated at the time.
    Tony Blair should face trial over Iraq war, says Desmond Tutu | Politics | The Observer

    What does Tutu think should have been done about Saddam?

    The WMD story was bogus - but we only know it was bogus because Iraq was invaded after all and no weapons were ever found.

    But putting that aside - how else would Iraqis have a multi-party democracy today with a democratic constitution, a democratically elected Prime Minister and democratically elected President unless Saddam had been removed by two possible methods (a) a full scale military invasion or (b) by armed groups financed, trained and supplied by Arab or Western governments?

    Does Tutu seriously believe Iraq would be better off today with Saddam Hussein still in power or possibly his sons Uday and Qusay in power today after their father's demise?

    Would the people of Libya and Syria be inspired to overthrow their own odious regimes without the overthrow of Saddam Hussein?

    Does not the current broad liberal support in many Western countries for the Arab Spring which aims to overthrow other odious dictatorships stem from an grudging acceptance that overthrowing Saddam was actually the right thing to do?

    Supposing an openly totalitarian white South African fascist military junta has taken power and unleashed a campaign of genocide against blacks much like Saddam slaughtered thousands of Kurds would Tutu (presuming he was still alive and not gunned down) have supported military intervention?

    Supposing the Americans and British fabricated evidence of WMD in order to justify the overthrow of the white dictatorship in South Africa and the result was a multi-party democracy with the majority black population in charge would Tutu have supported it?

    In the case of Northern Ireland, many hardline republicans would have welcomed a military invasion of Northern Ireland to end the Stormont government and still howl at the Republic of Ireland for failing to intervene.
    The regime of Saddam Hussein was surely infinitely worse than the horrible sectarian regime that did exist in the 1960s.

    Yet many Irish socialists and republican hardliners claim that the republican armed struggle was justified yet the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was not?

    Indeed in the streets of Dublin an estimated 100,000 people marched not in support of the Iraqi people and in support of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein but in opposition to any military action!

    Millions more around the world - students, trade unionists, writers, intellectuals, activists and so forth also marched in opposition to the overthrow of a fascist dictator. These people would have been expect to supported overthrowing a genocidal fascist surely?

    Desmond Tutu's wrongheaded position proves that many on the left - who should be champions of human rights and freedoms and have been in the past - have simply lost their way.
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  2. #2
    RobertW RobertW is offline
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    It was an illegal invasion which did not have the backing of the United Nations and broke international law.

    In 1991 Bush Sr and John Major did not invade Iraq for precisely these reasons.
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  3. #3
    Des Quirell Des Quirell is offline
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    You're rationalising it after the fact.

    The arguments you make for the invasion were not used to justify it, and with good reason. Invasion for the purposes of regime change is illegal.
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  4. #4
    drjimryan2 drjimryan2 is offline

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    in a week when the striking miners were charged.....

    tu tu and the anc mst have borrowed the vatican's communications guide.....
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  5. #5
    Hitch 22 Hitch 22 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertW View Post
    It was an illegal invasion which did not have the backing of the United Nations and broke international law.

    In 1991 Bush Sr and John Major did not invade Iraq for precisely these reasons.
    So would you prefer no Iraqi democracy existed and Saddam was still in power? Seriously?

    If you didn't support overthrowing Saddam then do you oppose overthrowing Assad today? Did you oppose overthrowing Gaddaffi?
    Should David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy faces war crimes charges for their support of the Libyan uprising?

    Is it only right to overthrow dictators when you get permission?
    Do oppressed peoples anywhere in the world need permission from lawyers to overthrow dictators and seize their freedom?
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  6. #6
    Des Quirell Des Quirell is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjimryan2 View Post
    in a week when the striking miners were charged.....

    tu tu and the anc mst have borrowed the vatican's communications guide.....
    ???

    Tutu was due to attend a conference this week. A conference which also featured Tony Blair. Tutu decided that he couldn't in conscience share a podium with Blair and explained his reasons.

    Are you implying that just because the prosecutors are charging miners Tutu should, for some bizarre reason, attended the conference and kept his mouth shut?
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  7. #7
    Hitch 22 Hitch 22 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Des Quirell View Post
    You're rationalising it after the fact.

    The arguments you make for the invasion were not used to justify it, and with good reason. Invasion for the purposes of regime change is illegal.
    So if Germany invaded Britain and Ireland in World War I and as a result Ireland gained independence would that have been wrong? That's what Pearse, Connally, Clarke et al would have wanted after all. They served neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland. However they were prepared to stomach German support.

    I supported the overthrow of Saddam for the simple reason he was an evil dictator.
    I never gave a sh*t about WMD and I don't think many Iraqis gave a sh*t either. They wanted him gone.
    An Iraqi who lied to the the British and Americans about the extent of Iraq's WMD admits he did so to bring about the end of Saddam's regime.
    He thinks it was worth it:

    Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

    "Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-lies-iraq-war
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  8. #8
    Phil Maker Phil Maker is offline

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    Yawn, the Nobel Committee are regretting a past award this morning...
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  9. #9
    drjimryan2 drjimryan2 is offline

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    no, I am saying he should be using his considerable pr ability/influece to concentrate on the plight of the miners......

    will he defy the ANC?....obviously not
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  10. #10
    Cruimh Cruimh is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitch 22 View Post

    Desmond Tutu's wrongheaded position proves that many on the left - who should be champions of human rights and freedoms and have been in the past - have simply lost their way.
    I'm not a fan of Tutu, but he has a point.
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