So it’s a resignation after 200 deaths – but thousands lost to wars around the globe are a different matter?

Perhaps Lebanon’s citizens have a keener taste for political morality than those of us in the west, writes Robert Fisk

The aftermath of the explosion in Beirut

The aftermath of the explosion in Beirut ( AFP )

Uneasy is the head that wears a crown. But the heads – and the crowns – come in all shapes and sizes. Take an electrical engineering professor with a PhD in computer engineering from Bath University and compare him with a lawyer with a BA in jurisprudence at Oxford, and a Yale history graduate who started his career in the oil business.

The first has just resigned from his job after the death of at least 210 innocent civilians. The second and third never thought of resigning after participating on false pretences in a war that ultimately caused the death of up to half a million innocent civilians. Indeed, both continue their lives today, as unapologetic as they are safe from prosecution.

So what makes responsibility so different for Hassan Diab and the likes of Tony Blair and George Bush Jr? Poor old Hassan knew little of the explosives that would destroy the lives of his people last week. Tony and George knew very well the explosive power they were to unleash when they invaded Iraq in 2003. The Lebanese prime minister will presumably return to his necessarily humble role as a Beirut academic. The UK prime minister and US president both wrote self-serving memoirs. Blair continues to dispense worldly advice to democrats and dictators for outrageously high rewards.


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