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The Moral Stance of Tony Blair on the Iraq War
Publication date: 2003-02-19

Having Failed to Justify the American War against Iraq on the Grounds of Disarmament Tony Blair Turned to Morality ... and has Failed Again ... Why?

Having failed to justify the American War against Iraq on the grounds of disarmament, Tony Blair addressed a crowd of anti‐war protestors seeking to justify the American war by the need to remove Saddam Hussain. He maintained that such action would be moral, and that not to support the American war would be immoral. In support of his argument he said that Saddam Hussain has committed many crimes against his own people.

It is true, that Saddam Hussain had committed many crimes against his own people. And among the crowd which Tony Blair addressed there were many Iraqis whose relatives were tortured or killed by Saddam Hussain. And yet they were marching against the American War. And the Blair arguments in support of the American War on moral grounds had failed to rally them to support the Americans and Tony Blair. Why?

The reason that many people do not accept the Blair argument and do not see the American War against Iraq as moral, because they believe that the purpose of the American war is not to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussain, but to achieve political objectives.

The reason that Tony Blair's arguments do not make a convincing case are as follows:

  1. If it is crime (punishable by war?) to develop or possess WMD, then it should be applicable to all countries, not just Iraq. And there are countries, whose possession of WMD is a known fact, even without the UN inspections.
  2. If it is crime (and crime it should be) for a government to interfere with person or property without a valid reason, then it is crime for any government to do so, not just for Saddam Hussain's.
  3. If it is crime to defy UN resolutions (contempt of court?), then it is crime for all nations to do so, not just for Iraq.

The problem with it all is that although the accusations against Saddam Hussain might be right, it is wrong to selectively punish one person for acts which others are allowed to commit with impunity.

The “moral argument” of Tony Blair just confirms the immorality and hypocrisy of Tony Blair himself — he uses this ‘moral’ argument to justify his politics.

At present there is no workable system of supra‐national law, which would be applicable impartially and objectively to all governments — and without such law no action by a government has any more legitimacy than taking the law in his own hands by Osama bin Laden. In fact, Osama bin Laden's actions have more legitimacy — he took law into his own hands, because there was no law he could turn to.

The US, Britain and other established nations can and should establish a workable system of supra‐national law. But they choose to take the law into their own hands as and when it is convenient to them.

They condemn others for the same crimes that they are only too willing to commit themselves.

This is hypocrisy, not morality.

And this why Tony Blair has again turned out to be his own worst enemy.

If Tony Blair really wants to re‐establish his credibility, he should learn to be honest. Honesty is the best policy.

Many governments have committed crimes against their own people, and against people of other countries. Politics in itself is a criminal misuse of government powers. So, let us proclaim a general amnesty for all governments and establish a workable system of supra‐national law. And then, if any government commits a crime, it will be punished for committing that crime, not for being a victim of another country's politics.

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