Tells Blair: Apologize for 'Immoral' War
by Nigel Morris, February
Tutu will challenge Tony Blair and George Bush today to apologize
for their pursuit of a counter-productive
and "immoral" war in Iraq.
In a scathing analysis of the background to the invasion, he
will ridicule the "dangerously flawed" intelligence
that Britain and the US used to justify a military action
which has made the world a "great deal less safe".
intervention of the Nobel peace prize winner in the controversy
over Iraq follows a series of deadly terrorist attacks
in the country over the past week, including an armed raid
station on Saturday in which 22 people died.
the Longford Lecture, sponsored by The Independent, the emeritus
Archbishop of Cape Town will argue that the
turmoil after the war proved it is an illusion to believe
and brutality" leads to greater security.
" How wonderful if politicians could bring themselves to admit
they are only fallible human creatures and not God and thus
by definition can make mistakes. Unfortunately, they seem to think
that such an admission is a sign of weakness. Weak and insecure
people hardly ever say 'sorry'.
" It is
large-hearted and courageous people who are not diminished
by saying: 'I made a mistake'. President Bush and Prime Minister
Blair would recover considerable credibility and
they were able to say: 'Yes, we made a mistake'."
will link Mr Bush's support, when he was Governor of Texas, for capital
punishment with a new philosophy
behind the invasion of Iraq. He will say: "It may not be fanciful
to see a connection between this and the belligerent
militarist policies that have produced a novel and dangerous principle,
that of pre-emption on the basis of intelligence
in one particular instance have been shown can be
dangerously flawed and yet were the basis for the United States going
war, dragging a Britain that declared that intelligence
reports showed Iraq to have the capacity to launch its weapons of mass
destruction in a matter of minutes.
" An immoral
war was thus waged and the world is a great deal less safe
place than before. There are many more who
resent the powerful who can throw their weight about so callously and with
who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984, will suggest that
two leaders have
is right - and to hell with the rule of international
Sir Menzies Campbell,
the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said yesterday: "These
comments from such a widely respected figure
of independent mind emphasizes the extent to
reputation and possibly influence have been
affected by the military action against Iraq.
" I doubt
if President Bush or Mr Blair are going to apologize, but they
should certainly reflect seriously upon the alienation
of figures such as Desmond Tutu."
Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The
Government's position on Iraq has been
made clear. We will wait
to see what the archbishop says and respond in due course."
In his lecture the archbishop will draw on
his experience in South Africa after
the downfall of apartheid to
argue that "retributive
justice" ignores victims' needs
and can be "cold and
He will instead
champion the concept of "restorative justice" -
in which offenders and victims are brought
together - and point to South Africa's
Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
he headed, as an illustration of the
idea being put into practice.
Now 72, the archbishop is spending
several weeks in Britain in his role
professor in post-conflict studies
He will also
take a swipe in his speech at the steady increase in the British
prison population in recent
that harsher sentencing does not "stem
the tide of recidivism".
He will warn that sending first-time
offenders to prison increases the prospect
of them becoming repeat offenders,
sentences "quite costly".
This article was originally published
by the lndependent/UK on February 16, 2004.