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Further pondering 9/11, Tutu regretted: “When we looked at the terrorists we did not see ourselves, we did not consider how our actions and posturing in the world may have contributed to the crime. No. We saw ‘others,’ and we demonized them.”
Tutu serves in a group called “The Elders,” comprised largely of left-leaning retired statesmen and activists who advocate international peace and human rights. Among them is former President Jimmy Carter, whose comparisons of Israel to Apartheid South Africa echo Tutu’s own views. Another “elder” is Graca Machel, now wife to Nelson Mandela, and formerly wife to the late Mozambican Marxist dictator Samora Machel, for whom she served as Minister of Education and Culture during their FRELIMO regime’s bloodiest and most repressive years. Evidently Tutu has had sufficient time to overlook the crimes and repressions with which she was complicit but is not able to forgive Tony Blair for helping to liberate Iraq from Saddam.
In 2004, Tutu declared God’s “shocking” and “radical” love, saying: “People are shocked when I say that George Bush and Saddam Hussein are brothers, that Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon are brothers, but God says, ‘All are my children.’” In 2008, Tutu proclaimed: “No one is an outsider in God’s family.” After all, “We are all interconnected – and that includes, black, white, red, yellow, gay, lesbian, the so-called straight, Bush and Bin Laden. We cannot be human in insolation.” After bin Laden was killed, Tutu noted he was a “child of God.” But is Tony Blair excluded from Tutu’s circle of divine love?
A spokesman for Blair responded to Tutu’s shunning: “As far as Iraq is concerned they have always disagreed about removing Saddam by force – such disagreement is part of a healthy democracy.” Noting “these decisions are never easy morally and politically,” the spokesman added: “As for the morality of that decision we have recently had both the memorial of the Halabja massacre where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam’s use of chemical weapons; and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million including many killed by chemical weapons.”
In Tutu’s grey world, all are equally God’s children, although seemingly homicidal terrorists and mass murdering dictators are the recipients of more grace than the lawful presidents and prime ministers who try to neutralize their evil.
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