Desmond Tutu: What If America Would Say “I’m Sorry” to Iraq?

From: Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: President-elect Obama supports an end to the war in Iraq but a surge of soldiers in Afghanistan. What are your words of wisdom to him?

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Well, I say that obviously it’s to end the war—yeah?—to end the occupation, to—but I’ve also said it would wonderful if, on behalf of the American people, he were to apologize to the Iraqis and to the rest of the world for an invasion that was based on lies. You know, saying “I’m sorry,” that’s a very powerful phrase in human relationships. The current prime minister of Australia, one of the very first things he did was to apologize to the Aborigines. And it’s amazing what those words, some of the most difficult words in any language, how powerful they are in changing. That’s what I’ve said.

And one would hope, too, that, you know, they see that war hardly ever resolves problems. You just have an exacerbation. I mean, look at Iraq. I mean, and when you think—we don’t speak about the casualties that have been suffered by them. I mean, they are spoken of as “collateral damage.” I think it’s an obscenity, really. But the damage that has been done to infrastructure, the insecurity that has people living, not sure from one moment to the next whether they will be alive—and say, if the money, all the funds that were expended so disastrously, had been used for building up, I mean, you can imagine. You can imagine what it would have been like.

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