Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

ICC lossing favor and usefulness

 “Palestinians move to join ICC.”  Washington Post Jan. 1, 2015.
One day after a failed bid at the UN to push a Middle East peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority President moved to join the ICC –  in preparation for ‘war crimes’ charges against Israel.  Israel’s Netanyahu said it was the Palestinian Authority that had reason to fear such ICC charges because of Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israeli population centers and their use of civilians as human shields.
US response was to down play the PA move. Senator Schumer (D-NY) is threatening to cut funding for Palestinians if an ICC investigation of Israel is initiated.  Neither the US or Israel are signatories of the ICC but ICC prosecutors in the past have made it clear that they will investigate all allegations of misdeeds in a dispute, not just those of one side.  But, even if the Rome Statute is ratified by the Palestinian Authority it is a safe bet there will be no ICC investigation of Israel or the PA.

Most unprejudiced people would agree that there must be accountability for anyone committing war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.  Unfortunately, the ICC has no real power or enforceability as evidenced by its own statutes.  And it can only work where nation states, even those accused of crimes, allow it to.
This is yet another painful example of international law and the existing UN re-enforcing the domination of national sovereignty over human rights.  A clear case of obvious mass murder violations overlooked.
Just a few days earlier the Washington Post lead editorial “On Shaky ground” subtitled “The ICC lacks clout and credibility” acknowledged this fundamental flaw in its creation.  It says the ICC “has brought just 21 cases in eight countries, all of them in Africa.  Only two have resulted in convictions – of relatively two obscure Congolese rebel leaders.”  Even though “139 countries signed the founding treaty…The most horrific crimes against humanity perpetuated in the world in the past decade—in North Korea, Syria and Sri Lanka, among other places – remain outside of the ICC reach. Worse, in two big cases the court bet that it could bring current heads of national governments to trail—and lost.” In December the ICC was “forced to abandon a case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta…accused of orchestrating a 2007 campaign of ethnic violence…” because the Kenya “government refused to cooperate with the prosecution, making it impossible to gather sufficient evidence”. 
This is not justice. This is not a deterrent against mass murder, crimes against humanity or genocide, as the ICC was originally well intended.  Believing this fundamental flaw will change anytime soon without a profound change in mass public opinion is madness.
The sovereign rights of ‘we the people’ must eventually take priority over the interests of nation states and the supremacy of national sovereignty -- if international law is to be considered anything other than hopeful ideals. A wishful desire that only perpetuates the status quo.


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