George Bush and Tony Blair, two of the most recognizable world leaders in the past decade, need to face up with the consequences of their previous actions over Iraq, according to South Africa's Desmond Tutu.
In a scathing piece he wrote for the UK-based publication The Observer on Sunday, the retired Anglican archbishop argued that as the rest of the world comes to terms with the direct results of conflicts cause by the arrogance of some world leaders, the time is ripe for the two towering figures to be brought to justice.
Mr Tutu insisted that they must answer before the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is based at The Hague, Netherlands.
As leaders of the United States and Britain respectively, Mr Bush and Mr Blair mustered an international coalition that attacked and invaded Iraq in March 2003, peddling the pressing argument that the country' strongman, Saddam Hussein, was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The plan gained the nod of the UN Security Council and Iraq was eventually overrun by international forces, with both Mr Bush and Mr Blair leading the way.
But the WMDs harped about by the two leaders were nowhere to be found until now.
And the best accomplishment that came out of the Iraq War, which raged longer than expected by the U.S and Britain, according to Mr Tutu, was to make the world more restive.
"(It) has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history," the Nobel awarded wrote in his piece.
The war killed thousands, most of them civilians, as Iraq flirted with a deadly civil war that pitted it majority Shiites to the formerly ruling class of Sunnis.
Lives were unnecessarily lost and sufferings were inflicted on innocent Iraqis because "the then-leaders of the U.S. and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart," Mr Tutu lamented.
Worst, the actions of Mr Bush and Mr Blair "have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand ... with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us," he added.
As warlords that were responsible for conflicts in Asia and Africa were haled before the ICC, it's only logical that the two chief architects of the Iraq adventure must also made to answer for their deeds, the influential South African religious leader said.
Next to Nelson Mandela, Mr Tutu is arguably the most influential voice to come from the region, analysts said, and he did not hold back his dissenting views as the U.S. and Britain plotted to turn the might of the world against Iraq following the 9/11 attack.
It is unlikely, however, for Mr Bush and Mr Blair to be brought before the ICC anytime soon, according to The Associated Press, as the court currently has limited jurisdiction that effectively leaves out aggression, which is one the most likely charges that can levelled against the two.
Another complication is the U.S. government has yet to recognise the authority of the ICC, AP said, creating more doubt on the ability of the court to flex its muscle against the nationals of two of the most powerful nations in the world.
In a statement, Mr Blair called the arguments on Mr Tutu's article as 'bizarre'.
"To repeat the old canard that we lied about the intelligence is completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown," the former British prime minister told AP.
To contact the editor, e-mail: