An arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Vladimir Putin has put The Hague firmly back on the map. Not only the world capital of law, but also the target of threats. Now Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev (Putin’s President) released the following message on Monday: “It is not difficult to imagine a target attack by a hypersonic Onyx missile from a Russian ship at The Hague. sea.”
Now it may be a while before Putin is handcuffed so residents of The Hague don’t lose sleep over Russian missiles. Also, they are used to threats, the US has already issued a ‘Hag Invasion Act’: if a US soldier is ever detained by the ICC, Washington authorizes itself to use force to free that person.
An illegal war on false pretenses
That law dates back to 2002 — in fact, the year before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an illegal war, under false pretenses, that the U.N. Unsupported by the Security Council, it culminated in many atrocities, I mention only the key words Abu Ghraib and Haditha here. No way George W. The Americans will allow war criminals from Bush to the soldiers on the ground to one day be brought before an international court. If it has to be prosecuted, the US will do it. Or definitely not. Most likely not. But that’s always their business, no one else’s.
This approach undermines international law, hence the case against Vladimir B.. When a great power like the US believes that law applies to others but not to itself, the world notices, and the ICC blames it. Joe Biden this week welcomed the arrest warrant against Putin, but immediately said the US does not recognize the ICC — a painful confusion. If the court is not good, you should not send anyone, not even Putin. If that’s right, you should rejoin the 123 countries that hold the court.
Of course, there has always been a tendency to use law as a political tool, a product of power, not of legal necessity. Indeed, international law is young, and the historical fact that the law of war is the ‘law of the victor’ cannot be easily erased. Look at the Nuremberg trials where Nazi leaders were tried; Any crimes committed by the Allies remained untouched and were not tested elsewhere. Was the bombing of German cities, which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and left millions homeless, an example of legitimate military action? It was never brought before a judge, and it hurts regardless of what the verdict should be.
The International Criminal Court is a bold attempt to separate law from power; It is no coincidence that countries like Russia and China did not participate. They call it a hypocritical Western invention, and Washington is sad to confirm it. Call it a figurative rocket in hack.
Three times a week Stevo Ackerman writes a column in which he preaches ‘hard subtlety’ and ‘spacelessness on the one hand and on the other’. Read them again here.
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