Do Something!,  Iraq,  Moonbattery,  Stoppers

Arrest Blair!

George Monbiot is putting his supporters’ money where his mouth is and launching an arrest Blair campaign.

[T]oday I am launching a website – – whose purpose is to raise money as a reward for people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former prime minister. I have put up the first £100, and I encourage you to match it. Anyone meeting the rules I‘ve laid down will be entitled to one quarter of the total pot: the bounties will remain available until Blair faces a court of law. The higher the ­reward, the greater the number of ­people who are likely to try.

At this stage the arrests will be largely symbolic, though they are likely to have great political resonance. But I hope that as pressure builds up and the crime of aggression is adopted by the courts, these attempts will help to press ­governments to prosecute. There must be no hiding place for those who have committed crimes against peace. No ­civilised country can allow mass ­murderers to move on.

Indeed, I’m sure we can all agree with the last statement. But of course, there are numerous other dictators and criminals far worse than Blair. If can’t arrest them, why should we make the effort to arrest Blair? Monbiot obviously hasn’t worked this idea through fully. I mean will George be popping over to Iraq to sort Chemical Ali out? (Only joking, you are too late George).

Still, entering into the spirit of things, I’ll give George Monbiot £200 if he goes and puts his hand on the shoulder of Omar al-Bashir, and says “Mr al-Bashir, this is a citizens’ arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against the people of Darfur. I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge.”

Via Poblish.

UPDATE: Some time ago, the usually sensible Dave Osler stated in an article entitled: Karadzic and Blair: morally equivalent

what is needed above all else is logical consistency. Blair clearly has a case to answer; the Iraq invasion has taken, at the very least, 100,000 lives. Famously, he is on record as revealing that he is prepared to be held to account by God for ‘those who have died or have been horribly maimed as a result of my decisions’. So justifying them before a panel of judges should not present any particular problem, should it? May the Lord have mercy on his soul.

The difference is, of course, that Karadzic was indicted for war crimes and genocide, whereas Blair was arguably enforcing a UN resolution against an odious regime and did not deliberately seek to commit genocide against the Iraqis (rather the opposite). Even if you accept the dubious assertion that the war was illegal, largely because the current UN doesn’t see fit to enforce its own resolutions or seek the removal of genocidal tyrants, there is no moral equivalence between Blair and Karadzic.

Karadzic has far more in common with the murderers who killed Iraqi civilians in markets, and who are probably directly responsible for more deaths than Blair ever will be.

It’s the failure of people like Monbiot to accept that such differences exists that poison this debate.