The only place I want to hear him speak is in the dock at the Hague at the International Criminal Court facing trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. — George Galloway, former British MP and the director of The Killing$ of Tony Blair
Canada’s head of state, also the queen of Canada, has made the war criminal Tony Blair a “Sir.”
Many will ask, “Isn’t prime minister Justin Trudeau Canada’s head-of-state?” No, he isn’t. Queen Elizabeth is Canada’s head-of-state. No, she isn’t a Canadian. So a Brit is Canada’s head-of-state. That elitist, colonial vestige remains intact in the year 2022.
Having a foreign head-of-state has ramifications for Canada. First, under this constitutional arrangement, Canada has no say as to who its head-of-state will be. Second, the monarchy is thoroughly undemocratic. It is determined by birth order in one family. Third, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Roman Catholics, etc need not apply. The monarch is the supreme governor of the Anglican church. That is the same church that ran so many Indian Residential Schools in Canada that sought to disappear Indigenous kids. As the Canadian civil servant in charge, Duncan Campbell Scott, stated: “I want to get rid of the Indian problem…. Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question…”
Elizabeth has never apologized for the monarchy’s role in the Anglican church-run residential schools in Canada.
Usually a sovereign country would like its head-of-state to align with the foreign policy of the country. However, despite sharing a titular head with another country, it is unsurprising that those countries would occasionally differ on foreign policy objectives. Canada’s foreign policy does at times deviate from that of the United Kingdom. For instance, Elizabeth blessed the dispatch of British troops to wage war against Iraq, a war that Canada refused to send its troops to join, especially since Canadian citizens were much opposed to the war.
UN secretary general Kofi Annan called the invasion illegal. Former UN secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali concurred on the illegality of the war. Nonetheless, Elizabeth decided to grant knighthood to the war criminal Tony Blair.
On 1 January, Blair became a member of the Order of the Garter, England’s oldest and most senior order of chivalry. The BBC explains, “The appointments are the personal choice of the Queen, who has up to 24 ‘knight and lady companions’.”
George Galloway was flummoxed by the queen’s decision. He pleaded with his queen: “Tonight I find myself in the unusual position of beseeching her majesty the queen to turn back from a disastrous error of judgement which she has made.”
Canada does not even permit knighthood for Canadian citizens. Yet Canada finds itself in the position of having its head-of-state honouring a war criminal. Just how much blood is on Blair’s hands? One “catastrophic estimate” cited a figure of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths subsequent to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Whether it is 2.4 million deaths, half of that, or a quarter of that, whatever the actual number is, the queen’s actions indicate that it is ostensibly a price worth bringing one of the war’s scoundrels into the queen’s inner circle.