South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu challenged Monday British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush to apologize for their pursuit of an "immoral" war in Iraq.
"How wonderful if politicians could bring themselves to admit they are only fallible human creatures, and not God, and thus by definition can make mistakes," Tutu said in an evening lecture delivered at Church House, Westminster, in central London.
Bush and Blair would reap a revival in credibility if they apologize for waging the war against Iraq, Tutu said at the event sponsored by the British Independent newspaper.
"Unfortunately, they seem to think that such an admission is a sign of weakness," said Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his nonviolent struggle against apartheid in hisnative South Africa.
"Weak and insecure people hardly ever say 'sorry'. It is large-hearted and courageous people who are not diminished by saying, 'Imade a mistake,' " he added.
In his speech, Tutu also described the intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction Britain and the United States used to justify the military action in Iraq as "dangerously flawed."
"An immoral war was thus waged and the world is a great deal less safe place than before," Tutu said.
The turmoil after major military campaign in Iraq was over proved that it was an illusion to believe that "force and brutality" leads to great security, argued Tutu, who is spending several weeks in Britain in his role as visiting professor in post-conflict studies at King's College, London.
Tutu's speech followed a series of deadly attacks in Iraq over the past week, including an armed raid on a police station on Saturday in which more than 20 people died.