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Archbishop Tutu’s comments on Tony Blair

14 September 2012


From the Revd Tony Graham

Sir, - Two things concern me in the argument about Archbishop Desmond Tutu's condemnation of Tony Blair's committing us to war on Iraq. One is that nobody has mentioned the just-war idea. This war was not a last resort: weapons inspectors had not done their job. In a democracy, legitimate authority has to be the people: a million of us marched (or shuffled: we were so many); but that made no difference.

No real effort was made to spare the lives of civilians. On that basis, we get clear answers that do not come through in Paul Vallely's analysis (Comment, 7 September). Has the "just war" ceased to mean anything?

I carried a banner to Hyde Park that read: "not in my name". I do so wish that someone had spoken out then, in my name and in God's name, to say, as Archbishop Tutu has now done, that the war on Iraq was a sin and a crime.

The theology was expressed by the woman who marched in front of me with a loud-hailer: "In a tousan', in a million, we are all Iraqi civilians." That theology, that we are all members one of another, still needs to be worked through.

48 Springfield Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 8AH


From the Revd Kim Fabricius

Sir, - I agree with Paul Vallely (citing Canon Giles Fraser) that Dr Tutu, by his own principles of dialogue, was morally inconsistent to withdraw from a platform with Tony Blair. Mr Vallely's suggestion, however, that "there is no evidence that the then Prime Minister lied [about the casus belli with Iraq], only that he was badly informed or self-deluded, perhaps even wilfully", is ethically unintelligible.

At this stage of what we know of the Downing Street narrative, it is a toss-up between crediting the "badly informed" defence and believing six impossible things before breakfast. As for wilful self-delusion - that's supposed to be a step up on mendacity?

17 Carnglas Road, Swansea SA2 9BJ


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