Friday, June 15, 2012

The pious War Criminal


War Criminal Tony Blair thought he could dash in and out of Hong Kong, getting a few bills tucked in his g-string in the process.  It's not that easy.

Lewis Smith (Independent) reports Tom Grundy attempted to do a citizen's arrest of the man whose lies killed millions, making it "the third occassion in as many weeks in which demonstrators have heckled the former prime minister."  Grundy is quoted stating, "I attempted a citizen's arrest against Tony Blair today because back in 2009 he admitted he would have gone to war with Iraq regardless of the WMD's [Weapons of Mass Destruction], and that means it's in defiance of the Nuremburg Principles, the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention, and a pending International Criminal Court, a Rome Statute."  Press TV notes:

Antiwar protesters have repeatedly called for the trial of Blair for war crimes. Last month, a group of demonstrators interrupted a commencement speech by Blair at Colby College in Maine, the US, shouting “warmonger” and “war criminal”.

One week later, while Blair was giving evidence at an inquiry into his links with the British media, another protester managed to enter the courtroom and demanded Blair’s arrest for war crimes.

In November last, a symbolic tribunal in Malaysia found Blair and former US President George W Bush guilty for committing “crimes against peace” when they invaded Iraq. 

The War Criminal was hoping to funnel more dough into the shell game that is the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.  Interestingly, though the 'Foundation' highlights his speech in Hong Kong, it fails to note Grundy.  For those less familiar with Tony Blair's faith or 'faith,'  Nick Cohen (Guardian of London) described it back in 2002:

During their stay at the Maroma Hotel, a pricey retreat on Mexico's Caribbean coast, Cherie Booth/Blair took her husband by the hand and led him along the beach to a 'Temazcal', a steam bath enclosed in a brick pyramid. It was dusk and they had stripped down to their swimming costumes. Inside, they met Nancy Aguilar, a new-age therapist. She told them that the pyramid was a womb in which they would be reborn. The Blairs became one with 'Mother Earth'. They saw the shapes of phantom animals in the steam and experienced 'inner-feelings and visions'. As they smeared each other with melon, papaya and mud from the jungle, they confronted their fears and screamed. The joyous agonies of 'rebirth' were upon them. The ceremony over, the Prime Minister and First Lady waded into the sea and cleaned themselves up as best they could.

The Daily Mail has video of the attempted arrest yesterday.  As does Tom Grundy at his website Global Citizen where he explains:

“This evening, I attempted a citizen’s arrest upon Tony Blair, who was speaking at Hong Kong University. I did this in the hope of renewing debate around the solid war crimes case against him, and in order that the campaign to conduct citizen’s arrests against Blair continues whenever and wherever he goes. The action was legal under cap. 221 of the Laws of Hong Kong, section 101(2) which allows for citizen’s arrest upon suspicion of serious crimes. He mis-led the British public over the 2003 Iraq invasion and caused the deaths of at least 100,000 people. I believe it to be abhorrent that HKU is sponsoring a talk about faith hosted by a man who set religious tolerance back decades.”
Blair admitted in 2009 that he would have gone to war regardless of Iraq’s alleged WMDs – international law does not allow a war of aggression in the name of regime change. He stated in 2002 that Iraq’s production of WMDs was ‘beyond doubt’ and thus misled the British people. The use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs may constitute ‘aggression’ in that they are indiscriminate and cause large civilian causalities.

Time Out Hong Kong interviews Grundy here.

While Phony Tony tried to use his 'faith' foundation to enrich his pockets and his trashy image, Iraqi Christians face real threats as a result of the illegal war.  Ann Rodgers (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) reports that an Atlanta conference of Catholic bishops heard a plea yesterday on behalf of Iraqi Christians:

"As leaders of the church in the United States, you bear a special responsibility toward the people and Christians of Iraq. In 2003 your country led the war that brought some terrible consequences," said Bishop Schlemon Warduni, an auxiliary bishop of Babylon of the Chaldeans. His nation has gone from one where Christians and Muslims were friends to one where churches are bombed and clergy kidnapped, tortured and killed, he said.
"No more war, no more death, no more explosions, no more injustice," he told the bishops, who were gathered in Atlanta for their semiannual meeting.

The following community sites -- plus, Chocolate City, The Pacifica Evening News, On The Wilder Side -- updated last night and this morning:

The BRussells Tribunal sends out the following alert:

Ayse Berktay, one of the founders of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), has been held in prison in Istanbul since October 2011. Her trial with others begins on July 2nd, 2012. She was apprehended in a wide sweep of arrests (up to 8,000 people), in an attempt to silence protest and criminalize activism under the guise of fighting terrorism. Read all about it in Ayse’s letter from prison (see below)).
It is very important that there is an international delegation to attend her trial to give a strong signal to the Turkish authorities (via the local press) that the international community is watching. Now that we know that her involvement in the WTI process is being held against her, it is all the more important that we are there. We hope to raise some 2000€ to pay some of the costs of sending a small delegation.
Our account number is: 132-5251479-37 (IBAN: BE35 1325 2514 7937 - BIC: BNAGBEBB), Delta Lloyd Bank, Sterrenkundelaan 23 – B-1210 Bruxelles - Reference: " Ayse Berktay"

For the time being the delegation consists of:
Fabio Marcelli, a lawyer, who represented the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights at the World Tribunal on Iraq
Paloma Valverde & Pedro Rojo, of the Spanish antiwar organisation CEOSI, which has been very active in the WTI endeavour
Lieven De Cauter, philosopher, president of the BRussells Tribunal
Tony Simpson, director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation

With your help, we will stand in solidarity with Ayse! Thank you!
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