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Try Blair for Nuremberg Crime of ‘War of Aggression’

July 7, 2016 (EIRNS)—London Guardian columnist George Monbiot cut to the chase by raising the Nuremberg statute, in discussing yesterday the implications of the Chilcot Report’s findings on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Monbiot noted that the Chilcot Inquiry had been given a narrow mandate, which excluded the crucial issue of the legality itself of the Iraq war. Yet:

"The most damning and consequential judgement of all was the one with which Sir John’s statement began: ‘We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.’

"This is as clear a statement as Chilcot was permitted to make that the war was illegal," Monbiot wrote.

"The language he used echoes Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations, which lays out the conditions required for lawful war. He has, in effect, defined the invasion of Iraq as a crime of aggression, which was described by the Nuremberg Tribunal as ‘the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’ "

Thirteen years later, the evil of that whole still accumulates; the wars and terrorism that the invasion and occupation of Iraq set into motion far beyond Iraq’s borders continue to kill, maim and send millions fleeing as refugees. In Iraq itself, some three million people are displaced from their homes; 10 million need humanitarian assistance. The death toll from one Ramadan truck bombing in Baghdad last week alone, rose to 292 children and adults today, and could rise further.

"Could Tony Blair Be Put On Trial for His Role in the Iraq War?" asked Adam Taylor, a Washington Post foreign affairs writer, in a story today. Despite his attempt to argue how slim a possibility this might be, Taylor raises the question, "What does this mean for other world leaders?," reflecting nervousness in broader quarters that the Chilcot Report could unleash the Erinyes against others. Taylor quotes Mark Kersten, a researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, to make his point:

"Every legal action against a senior political figure, irrespective of where they are from or who they are, would set a precedent."

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