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Friday, September 11, 2009

International Criminal Court and Your Neighbors

I am not sure Investors Business Daily is always correct, so I am a little dubious about this report on the International Criminal Court (ICC), showing up in Kabul to investigate the actions of our troops, and I would presume, other NATO troops.  But, then we have this in The Wall Street Journal.
The prosecutor said forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- which include U.S. servicemen -- could potentially become the target of an ICC prosecution, as the alleged crimes would have been committed in Afghanistan, which has joined the war-crimes court. However, every nation has the right to try its own citizens for the alleged crimes, and the ICC can step in only after determining a national court was unable or unwilling to pursue the case.
Further on, the WSJ says that Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court's chief prosecutor, said that "the court was also looking into the actions of the Taliban."  And who will haul the Taliban accused into court?  Maybe the NATO Troops.

The Manchester Guardian covered the issue and had this sentence:
According to Moreno Ocampo, Nato now explains to colonels during training that if they commit atrocities, they may be brought before the ICC, so that "if those who are planning know they will be prosecuted, they will do something different".
Maybe that explains why the Germans wouldn't go out and deal with the two hijacked fuel trucks, and instead left it to the US Air Force, with 70 some dead as a result.

So, I call on Mr Moreno-Ocampo to choose between my F-15E buddies and the Taliban manning the checkpoint.  Which one committed the war crime?

The good news is the following from the WSJ:
The specter of international trials of U.S. troops was central to the Bush administration's objection to joining the court, and the U.S. hasn't ratified the Rome Statute that set up the ICC in 1998. While the Obama administration has spoken more positively of the court, the president hasn't signed the treaty, which would need Senate ratification.
The good news is that President Bush did not push the treaty and that neither has President Obama.

Regards  —  Cliff

PS:  And the title?  It could be your Massachusetts National Guard buddies or someone you went to high school or college with a couple of years ago.

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