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< Back to question Is Tony Blair a war criminal? Show more Show less

The Chilcot Inquiry into former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq argues the invasion was unnecessary and against the UN's recommendations. Many argue this disregard for international law makes Tony Blair a war criminal, and he should be tried in an international court for war crimes.

Yes, Tony Blair is a war criminal Show more Show less

Tony Blair broke international law, leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. This shows that Tony Blair is a war criminal.
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300,000 people died as a result of Tony Blair's actions

The monstrous scale of unjustified fatalities at his hands means he must be tried. Tony Blair is a war criminal.
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Proponents


Context

The consequences of the Iraq war are devastating and Tony Blair is mainly responsible for it because he instigated the war.

The Argument

The human toll of the Iraq war is extremely high and the effects on the local communities perdure until today. Especially the two battles in the city of Fallujah that were carried out by the US and UK armies against Iraqi insurgents in 2004 were extremely deadly to the population. In addition to civilian deaths that were later declared to be collateral damage, these attacks also provoked large displacement of the locals to other parts of the country or beyond its borders. Another factor that amplifies this tendency is the rise in bombings and ground attacks carried out by the Coalition (Western countries taking part in the armed conflict). As a result, minorities and other vulnerable parts of society are put into great danger and had to leave their homes. According to data by the UNHCR, 2 million Iraqi refugees crossed the borders and 1,9 million were internally displaced. Overall, the operations carried out by the British Army under the command of Tony Blair provoked widespread poverty, destruction and death rather than stabilising the situation in the country or defending democratic values as it was made to believe to the public. The humanitarian cost of the Iraq war instigated through the efforts of Tony Blair is extremely high. It is important to note, that these consequences cannot be justified under International Law and have be widely criticised. This is reflected by the involvement of the International Court of Justice who is reinvestigating the “alleged war crimes committed by United Kingdom nationals in the context of the Iraq conflict and occupation from 2003 to 2008”. As the individuals that may be tried were under the command of Tony Blair at the moment when their actions were executed, we can say that he also needs to take responsibility for these crimes. Tony Blair could be considered as a war criminal according to this line of arguments.

Counter arguments

1) Under the definition of war crimes under Article 8 of the Rome Statute which serves as the basis for the International Criminal Court, war crimes need to be in grave breach of the Geneva Convention or other important breaches of international customs and law. Until Tony Blair is not tried and found to be a war criminal under this section for the humanitarian cost the engagement of the UK created in Iraq, he cannot be considered as a war criminal. 2) The body count of people dying during the Iraq war is not enough to qualify Tony Blair as a war criminal. Death and destruction are causalities of war that can be justified to achieve an overarching goal, in this case preventing Saddam Hussein from using his alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Framing

Humanitarian costs inflicted by an individual can make them a war criminal.

Premises

[P1] Human cost and suffering delegitimise war.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Human cost is the price of war that sometimes has to be payed.

References


    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 14:16 UTC

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