In the face of charges in South Africa over the last weeks that he was a war criminal for starting the Iraq war, former British Prime Minister, and current Obama advisor Tony Blair, yesterday in South Africa, not only defended his actions in instigating the Iraq war (which his lies started), but also called for two more: He said that now Syria and Iran required the same kind of decisions. He made the statements in a presentation and reply to questions at a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The conference was made controversial by calls by South African protesters against his visit because of the critical role played by his lies, which alleged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, in starting the Iraq war. Protesters staged a demonstration yesterday outside the Convention Center, to support a warrant of arrest to charge Blair for crimes against humanity relating to the invasion of Iraq.
"It is hoped that one or more demonstrators will be able to make a citizen's arrest on the day and put Tony Blair in jail and extradite him to the Hague for trial," said Ganief Hendricks, leader of the Muslim political party Al Jama-ah. The party is one of the organizers of the protest.
An arrest warrant was sought against Blair by the Society for the Protection of our Constitution (SPOC). "We filed a complaint with the SA [South African] Police Service yesterday and a 'crimes against the state' docket was opened," Muhammed Vawda, secretary of Spoc, said Thursday.
South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel prize winner, was a scheduled speaker at the event, but pulled out Aug. 28 rather than appear with Blair. Tutu said Blair's false allegations alleging Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, was "morally indefensible."
Blair couldn't ignore the charge: He said the decision was difficult, but said that Saddam was so bad that "I don't think you could say that leaving Saddam Hussein in place was a morally superior choice."
He then said that the same kind of decisions had to be made concerning Syria and Iran: "We are faced with the same types of decisions now with Syria. Do we intervene or not intervene? With Iran, do we allow them to get nuclear capability? Are we prepared to intervene and stop them?"
Security was tight, so no warrant could be served.