Bartender places Tony Blair under citizen's arrest for unprovoked war against Iraq


#1

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#2

Ideology makes people do some really stupid shit.


#3

Agreed. Blair did some really stupid shit.


#4

I wish it was ideology that made Blair do his stupid shit. I think it was more some kind of naked ambition combined with stupidity.

I wanted to like Blair at one point, but that time passed long ago - around the time the first tanks entered Iraq.


#6

A brilliant manner in which too make ones life the focus of obsequious security interests.


#7

"and ask him to come to a police station"
"and ask him"

See, now, there's your problem.


#8

Man did not clearly understand what is printed on his tee shirt.


#9

Still I do not endorse tactics like this. It strikes me more as a narcissistic publicity stunt by the bartender than a serious attempt to bring the war crimes to light. It makes advocates of charging them with war crimes look ridiculous by association.


#10

Is it any different to this?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/mar/06/zimbabwe.andrewosborn


#11

T-shirt and hair: potentially craazay~! Eyes and words: thoughtful and moderate.

Of course the action came to naught: but the thought (I believe) was in the right place.

I'm so sorry "we" ever went into Iraq....what a fucked up shitshow for ego and muddled geopolitics.


#12

That, and the plan to take Blair to a local police station. Clearly if this thing is going to get anywhere someone will have to get him to the Hague.


#13

Basra would be a better choice.


#14

I think this is just the modern, internet-savvy version of "Fuck you Blair, I quit this shithole!"


#15

I heartily approve of rubbing the elites' noses in their shit every chance we get.


#16

Well he got the whole internet talking about those war crimes, so I'd say he did more than his part for the cause.


#17

Nope.

Mugabe is obviously a much worse criminal but 'citizens arrests' of politicians are self-indulgent nonsense. Democracy means relying on and working through the institutions, not declaring yourself to be the instrument of the true law and arresting politicians you don't like.

What would you think if some rightwing nutjob tried to make a citizens arrest of Bill Clinton or Barak Obama?


#18

I'm not sure what definition of narcissism you're working with here but this has been the daydream of leftists since the Bush era at least. Not for Mr. Blair per se but certainly for his US partner in crime. I think we'd all like to live in a world where you can point out that the emperor has no clothes and get some things done.

It's not narcissism. It's idealism. Obviously that too can be a negative but it's not inherently the same sort of negative.

The fact that Mr. Garcia tried to follow through with what many of us wanted to do to Bush ... I don't think that's the wrong kind of idealism. As wrybread pointed out, he's got us talking about Mr. Blair's war crimes again. Not to say much will come of it but it's certainly something more than we had the day before he pulled the citizen's arrest.


#19

He got BoingBoing talking about it. But people who like his stunt already think Blair is guilty, people who were on the face, and actually heard about this, are probably put off because of him.

That's the problem, the story isn't about Blair's war crimes, it's about the bartender who put himself in the centre of it. Now when these people hear about Blair's war crimes in the future they're going to associate the argument against him with self-indulgent 20-somethings. He didn't advance the case against Blair, he discredited it.


#20

With the greatest respect, that's utter rubbish. When people hear about Blair's war crimes in the future they'll hear about dodgy dossiers, dead weapons experts and thousands of dead Iraqis.


#21

Yeah, I think this is the key point that a lot of people miss. Step outside of our ideology for a moment and look at it from the perspective of a normalz. Would a red neck in a confederate flag shirt trying to arrest Obama for illegally making death panels or whatever convince you of anything other than that right wing nut jobs are idiots? A dude with an afro and a "beast mode" shirt trying to arrest Blair for an illegal war is essentially the liberal equivalent of a red neck in a confederate flag shirt babbling incoherently about death panels.

Sure, everyone who agrees already cheers, but everyone else is put off and thinks that this guy is an idiot. Not all, but a lot of protest methods I think are generally counter productive. I think the dividing line is "seriousness". If you look serious, people tend to take it more serious. If you look like you are having a good time or are an idiot, people assume that you are an idiot and your cause is more likely to be shit. Blocking whaling ships, cutting lines, and drawing attention is effective. Throwing stink bombs at those same ships is less effective because it goes from serious and life threatening to juvenile. People dressed in normal clothing holding a mass protest is effective. People dressed in costumes, waving anarchy flags, and having a concert are less effective because it either looks like a fun party or a collection if idiots. If I could be the dictator of any sort of march, regardless of the cause, the attire would be business suits, business casual, or (if you have nothing else) clothing you wear to your grand mother's house.

At least for me, what makes a lot of the old civil rights march video from the US look so gut wrenching and effect is that, even if you understood absolutely nothing about what the cause is for or its context, it looks like normal people being brutalized by police, rather than police chasing around belligerent and rioting kids.