Monday, August 15, 2011

Why no ICC indictments in Syria?

There’s a Christian Science Monitor article asking that question, as they were so quick to paper Kaddafi with charges as the Libyan civil war was ramping up international press coverage in March or April.

 I take much the same view of the article, as the International Criminal Court appears afflicted with similar problems to the United Nations, which I discussed in July.

 Consider the two leaders: Kaddafi is largely an international pariah with few friends throughout the global community, while Al-Bashir is an important economic friend to China and Russia who are less than willing to pursue charges against Al Bashir.

 Similar actions have held up meaningful action against the military leadership in Sudan for Darfur. The ICC needs to stand tall if it is ever to be taken as a legitimate institution.

Otherwise it runs the very real risk of being held hostage by the global powers and justice shouldn’t be held up to the whims of powerful at the expense of the weak.

 If Kaddafi committed crimes against humanity than surely Al-Assad has done the same with his disproportioned crackdown on protesters.

 If the ICC allows Assad to remain unpunished than every madman dictator will be racing to get behind the skirts of a powerful global actor who can shield them from the pale glare of the ICC.

Even in the best of circumstances, ICC justice is gradual and takes years, without members of the international community protecting the butchers of humanity, creating a culture of injustice for all.

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