Citing his role in the Iraq war and other devastating conflicts, hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and beyond are demanding that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair be stripped of his recently awarded accolade.
By Thursday afternoon, over 900,000 people had the Change.org-Petition signed, which aims to revoke Blair the title of “Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter” – one of the highest accolades a British monarch can bestow on a subject. On Friday the initiative had already reached a million signatures. Queen Elizabeth II announced Blair’s accolade on New Years Eve.
Unassigned Petition for Tony Blair Reaches 1 Million Signatures / Labor MP Burgon: “It says a lot about what’s wrong with our system to have one of the leading architects of the Iraq war honored while Assange expose war crimes has to face extradition and life imprisonment. “
Petition to revoke Tony Blair’s knighthood hits 1m signatures/Labor MP Burgon:”Says a lot about what’s wrong w/our system when 1 of leading architects of Iraq war..is honoured ..while Assange, who exposed war crimes,faces extradition & lifetime in prison.” https://t.co/yeP4wOig5w
— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) January 8, 2022
“Tony Blair has done irreparable damage to both the UK Constitution and the fabric of society in the country,” the petition said. “He was personally responsible for the deaths of countless innocent civilians and soldiers in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes. “
“Tony Blair is the least deserving public honor, especially when bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen,” the petition reads.
Blair also sent thousands of troops into the US-led war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, a conflict that killed over 200,000 people and displaced millions more. In August last year, as US troops withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and occupation, Blair criticized what he described as the “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary” American “task” of the country.
In addition to harsh criticism of Britain’s involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and support for brutal dictatorships around the world, Blair was also convicted for participating in the devastating NATO air war against Yugoslavia in 1999. Echoing then US President Bill Clinton, Blair cited one of the main reasons for the bombing – which targeted civilian infrastructure and killed hundreds of men, women and children – to protect NATO’s “credibility”.
According to a January YouGov poll, only 14% of Britons are in favor of Blair’s accolade, with 79% Conservatives and 56% supporters of the former Prime Minister’s Labor Party against. See source for more details.