Arresting Politicians – British Hypocrisy

This is a cross post from ModernityBlog
The media is full of stories concerning Tzipi Livni and a potential arrest warrant issued against her in the British courts.
That is, I think, a little bit unusual?
I can’t remember of any other nationality, or nation, being subject to these ad hoc arrest warrants, from British courts.
Even when General Pinochet, the murdering ex-dictator of Chile, was in Britain, he was only held under house arrest on a Spanish warrant, not a British one.
Further if we think of the variety and intensity of dictators, potentates and other assorted politicians who have graced Britain with their presence in the past 30 years it is hard to remember which of them were subject to warrants issued by British courts, or even the threat of arrest.
Was Vladimir Putin indicted for Russian barbarism in Chechnya ? Certainly not.
Was Robert Mugabe chastised for brutalising, starving and murdering Zimbabweans? No, not really.
Were King Fahd or his successor, King Abdullah II ever prosecuted for having the worst human rights record in the Middle East? Not at all.
You could go through the list of state visits from 1955 onwards and find any number of rogues, villains and the culpable, but what is surprising is that no one in Britain has seen fit to even **attempt** to acquire a warrant or two in the British courts, except when it comes to Israelis.
Moreover there are people in Britain who consider that Tony Blair is a war criminal for his advocacy of the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent bloodshed which ensued.
But as far as I know, not one single Brit has taken the trouble to apply for warrant arresting Tony Blair, even though some of them consider him a war criminal, which seems to suggest that their indignation is rather selective.
I can only suppose that if Tony Blair were an Israeli that there would be a stampede to the Law Courts, pleading for an arrest warrant at great haste.
Yet none of the political windbags that attack Blair would even dare to venture near the Law Courts where he is concerned, or they would have long since done it.
My bet is none of this top twenty worst human rights offenders have anything to fear in visiting Britain, Amnesty reports:
Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Algeria, Sierra Leone, Egypt, North Korea, Sudan, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, China, Libya, Burma, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Congo (Republic).
However, should their leaders decide to visit Britain then, no matter how much blood is dripping from their fingers, they will probably receive a warm welcome in Blighty, and be patted on the back in true imperial fashion.
As long as they are not Israelis.
Countries may come and go, but there is one constant in history, good old British hypocrisy.

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