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In Historic First, ICC Preparing to Investigate US War Crimes in Afghanistan


#1

In Historic First, ICC Preparing to Investigate US War Crimes in Afghanistan

Nika Knight, staff writer

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is preparing to initiate a full investigation into potential war crimes in Afghanistan, including those committed by U.S. military personnel, Foreign Policy exclusively reported Tuesday.

The magazine writes:


#2

I'm torn on stuff like this. After all, it's more than a dozen years after the fact--imagine the Nuremberg trials taking place in, say, 1958!-- and the offending party isn't even a party to the process in any punitive way. It's more symbolic than anything else, like the Spanish prosecutor that took on Cheney and Bush's crimes.
Is it better than nothing? Probably. At least maybe a report can be used down the road to clear the historical record. But this isn't justice. Not by a long shot.

And just as two ridiculous junior enlisted reservists bore the entire punitive brunt of the Abu Ghraib crime, it's hard to see this kind of thing doing anything other than steamrolling the lowest of the henchmen.


#3

Little if anything will come of this since the US is not a state party to the Rome Treaty, the bombing has already been the subject of a Pentagon investigation, and the political pressure from the US and its allies will be intense. And I question the wisdom of focusing on individual tragedies like the bombing of the MSF hospital when the broader issue is US foreign polices and military interventions that violate international law. On a broader level there needs to be reform of the UN Charter and the entire international system that will help dissuade states in the first instance from starting wars or violent conflicts that give rise to these situations. For example, what penalty did the US suffer for one of the most egregious violations of the UN Charter in its history, i.e., the unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.


#4

Bennis observed: "One of the questions that will have to be dealt with by
the prosecutor if she decides to go forward is: do you go all the way
up? Do you go after George W. Bush for using torture as a part of U.S.
strategy?

Given his part in promoting and starting the Iraq War, the suggestion of going after George W. Bush for using torture as a part of U.S. strategy is akin to going after Al Capone for tax evasion. Capone's tax evasion and Bush's use of torture followed from their earlier and far more heinous crimes.

Why stop going up at George W. Bush (and I trust that will include much of his administration)? Seriously, ICC go all the way up, to the war profiteers and those elites who encouraged and successfully pushed for the illegal and destructive US aggression and flaunting of international law. A sizable number of the World's people took to the streets to tell the American and British power structure that what they were about to do was wrong, to stop it. We clearly told them that they were about to commit a serious crime and they went ahead and did it.

I welcome the ICC's investigation and hope that it will proceed successfully.


#7

I am not a practical man, I am not particularly vindictive, and I am a dreamer. The thought of Bush ending his years in a similar manner to Pinochet's last years, where he is hounded for his crimes, this thought does bring me some comfort. What I want to see is the world recognizing and remembering Bush (& co) as the war criminals that they are. Give me this and I do not much care that they can drag out the court processes until they have passed on.


#8

One of the reasons Bush and Cheney were so callous in their taking of innocent lives was that they were confident that they would never be held accountable for their crimes.

Perhaps Obama would not have ordered so many assassinations and drone strikes if Bush had been held accountable.

Possibly, just possibly, a future leader will think twice about committing such atrocities if she knows that she will be held accountable.

That is why this investigation is so important.


#9

All part of La Lucha; bring charges and convictions! Things will change; the People's Revolucion is happening!
The mass murders from bush/cheney to obomber and their lackeys will have justice served to them!


#10

Well, well, the chickens are finally coming home to roost! For a very long time now, I have denigrated the ICC as being a sham, because for its cases against numerous nations and leaders for war crimes, it never brought the US war crimes before it. Now it seems the dam has broken. Once started the cases against the US will go on infinitum as the war crimes the US has committed are endless!


#11

esta vida es una lucha


#12

The peace vigil here is a brief one hour on Saturdays. Every Saturday since the war began, warm with farmers market and music or below zero and windy. There are other vigils still going. Many people have been waiting a long time for US war mongers to go on trial.

Corporatistas that sell death to both sides cannot escape the Nuremberg principles. Death eaters have become far to blatant acting publicly as state sponsored war mongers in fancy clothes.

Baltasar Garzón, the spanish judge that nailed Pinochet has predicted that crimes against Earth will become part of this. Burn pits upwind of towns and sleeping soldiers are war crimes against Earth. Depleted uranium shells are crimes against Earth whether they are blasted at US bases during practice or on the streets around the world.

Bring in Baltasar Garzón and these trials will go straight to the top.


#13

All well and good, Joe; changing US foreign policy and rewriting the UN Charter, not so easy. But, remember; Al Capone was busted for tax evasion.


#14

about as much attention as you paid to my post, I suppose.


#15

Understandable hope, but let's face it, they hung a ton of Nazis at Nuremberg, and did that deter anyone from any atrocities? I'm going with a resounding "no" here.
Again, I acknowledge that there might be a historical comfort, but I think sometimes these kinds of activities diminish a more aggressive--and enforceable--response as the cost of a symbolic gesture.
It's obviously debatable, which is why I'm torn on it. But in my lifetime, my government seems to get worse, not better.
So whatever we've been doing to deter bad behavior is clearly not working.


#16

Will it go right to the top? The USAian judge at Nuremburg did.

The USA is not party to the Treaty of Rome. Nor was Hitler's Germany.

End of story. Murder is murder and torture is torture, whoever does it wherever they do it. And those who order it are as complicit as those who carry out the orders. and there can be no statute of limitations for such people.

I note that not long ago a British Court held the British government liable for torturing former Kenyan Mau Mau terrorists who were also torturers and murderers.


#18

The Lilliputians bound Gulliver with hundreds of tiny ropes, no one of which would have held him.
Every act to rein in the excesses of The Empire is welcome.
More rope please!


#19

De acuerda amigo! Cada persona y cada pais, lo es el camino!


#20

In answer to your question, none! However better later than never.


#21

As you say, this trial is mostly symbolic, because the US is not a signatory to the ICC and nobody is going to march into the US and drag the criminals out. But It has enormous shame value. Also anybody convicted by the ICC will risk arrest in any of the countries, who have signed on. Thus one practical result of any conviction by the ICC is that it does restrict the international travel severely.

As Andrewboston pointed out, they are still dragging people who have committed crimes during WWII before the courts, even today.
To put that into perspective, any body at the age of 21 in 1945, a very low age for making decisions in any capacity, is today 92 years old.

If our present system either is drastically revised (revolution) or collapses within the next 20 years, there is is plenty of time to still hold a lot of convicts responsible, For Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa


#22

Meaning??? (I know that is says "Okay friend! Every person and every country, it is the way!", but what do YOU mean by throwing that in?


#23

Look at my reply to drone1066 (post # 21)