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Two Long-Standing American Traditions: Committing War Crimes & Ignoring International Law

The United States threatened Monday to arrest and prosecute judges and officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American convicted of war crimes in Afghanistan.(2)

The United States (and it’s vassal states that make up NATO) has long shifted to a permanent war doctrine. Under the guise of fighting “communism” then “terrorism” or “the war on drugs” it has militarised every part of the globe.

Were it not for the “war on drugs” they’d be no reason for US destroyers to be sailing up and down South American rivers (even while Afghanistan heroin production sky rockets under US occupation).

Were it not for the “war on communism” the US wouldn’t have been funnelling millions in arms and weapons to the Muhjadeen (who would later morph into Al Qaeda) and Osama Bin Laden in the 1980s.

Were it not for the “war on terror” there would be no reason for the US to invade and occupy countries in the Middle East. (Ironically enough, the US is on the side of the jihadists in Syria against a secular and inclusive government whilst fighting them across the border in Iraq.)

Preventing Americans who have committed crimes against humanity are actually codified into US law with the American Service-Members’ Protection Act (nick-named the “Hague Invasion Act” as it would involve invading the Hague in the Netherlands).(3)

It is incredible that the United States plans to invade Europe should an American servicemen be called before an International Court for war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Now people may think the American people would be against this. That they would be for the prosecution of American soldiers. That surely if American soldiers were guilty of crimes against humanity they would be for the prosecution of those.

However it’s worth remembering Hugh Thompson bravely stood between a murderous platoon of US troops who brutally murdered 500 vietnamese civilians (mostly women and children). When Hugh Thompson returned home he was vilified by the American public.

“I’d received death threats over the phone…Dead animals on your porch, mutilated animals on your porch some mornings when you get up.”

– Hugh Thompson

The United States contempt for international law is neither new nor an aberration but a long standing tradition between both democrats and republicans in the United States.

In another stunning example of human rights abuse by the United States is the case of Khaled El-Masri. Who happened to have the misfortune of having the same name as a terror suspect. He was subsequently kidnapped, flown to Afghanistan and was tortured and sodomosied.(4)

“Masri’s treatment at Skopje airport at the hands of the CIA rendition team — being severely beaten, sodomised, shackled and hooded, and subjected to total sensory deprivation — had been carried out in the presence of state officials of [Macedonia] and within its jurisdiction,” the European Court of Human Rights ruled. (Idid.)

When the International Court of Justice ruled against the United States in 1986 in favour of Nicaragua and found the United States was guilty of many international laws and human rights violations it simply upped and walked away from the court. (5)

The US benches were empty when the court announced its decision. Among the Nicaraguan delegates was the Foreign Minister, Father Miguel d’Escoto, who said he hoped that the verdict would help the Americans to re-evaluate their position and stop defying the law and the court.

Dutch legal experts argue that the decision is legally binding on the US, despite the American refusal to recognise the court’s jurisdiction. One said: ‘The USA has always recognised the ICJ. It should have changed its position earlier if it wanted to duck the court in this case.

‘It is a well-known principle of international law that, if a country submits to the jurisdiction of a court, it cannot sidestep the court after the judges have started their work,’ a professor of international law at Amsterdam University said. (Ibid.)

In 2002 the psychopathic Washington regime and a familiar moustached face (John Bolton) issued a threat to the head of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Jose Bustani. In 2001 Colin Powell had sent him a letter thanking him for his progressive work but by 2002 the Washington Regime had wanted him out. Why exactly? Negotiating with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to allow OPCW weapons inspectors to make unannounced visits to that country — thereby undermining Washington’s rationale for regime change.(6)

“Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”-Ibid

Bustani was ousted from his position 16 years ago despite having done so much to prevent conflict and chemical weapons useage. The flagrant disregard for human rights, the willingness to use rape on detained suspects and the utter contempt for rule of law by the United States shows it for the rogue state that it is.

The one silver lining is that the ICC has stood firm and will continue to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan (which is a member to the ICC).

“Bolton’s added bellicose language that ICC judges and prosecutors face possible prosecution in the US is a distressing extension of the Trump administration’s attack on the judiciary — both domestic and now international.

“The ICC was created for the noble purpose of ending impunity for perpetrators of the most heinous crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, when nations are unwilling or unable to prosecute.”(7)

One can hope that some of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity will end up in a dock in the Hague. But more likely we will see some more of that “American exceptionalism” they love to bang on about.

References

(1) https://theintercept.com/2018/03/29/john-bolton-trump-bush-bustani-kids-opcw/

(2) https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/10/trump-administration-to-take-tough-stance-against-the-hagues-icc.html

(3) https://www.democracynow.org/2002/8/6/hague_invasion_act_bush_signs_a

(4) https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/dec/13/cia-tortured-sodomised-terror-suspect

(5) https://www.theguardian.com/world/1986/jun/28/usa.marktran

(6)https://theintercept.com/2018/03/29/john-bolton-trump-bush-bustani-kids-opcw/

(7) https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/sep/11/icc-will-continue-undeterred-after-us-threats-john-bolton

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R S Ahthion is a geopolitical analyst living in the UK. The author’s work focuses on questions of social and international justice whose work has appeared in The Greanville Post. Never fails to be disgusted by capitalism. Spends his free time writing fiction, studying history, politics, ideology and philosophy.

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