The principles of an International Court were initially outlined in the Moscow Declaration of 1943, set out by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Churchill had put aside differences with Stalin and as a result a War crimes commission was set up in London throughout 1944 to collate a list of war criminals and ways to deal with them.
The UN set up the modern equivalent with the promise of Universal justice for all and to ensure that
“No ruler, no State, no junta and
no army anywhere can abuse human rights with impunity”
Kofi Annan UN Secretary General
“The defence that the suspects were not aware of the law will not be permissible” Hans Corell, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs
Kofi Annan recently announced that the war in Iraq was illegal. It will be interesting to see if Tony Blair is pulled before the Court as a war criminal. I mention Blair as opposed to Bush because Bush cannot be brought before the Court – and neither can any US citizen.
Although the US helped set up the International Criminal Court and signed the treaty it never ratified it. The United States together with Israel and a few other exceptions is not within the jurisdiction of International Law. In other words they can do pretty much anything, including crimes against humanity
In a communication received on 6 May 2002, the Government of the United States of America informed the Secretary-General of the following:
"This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000…"
“The price of greatness is responsibility” – Winston
not really surprising that many people find it contradictory to hear George Bush
talk of crimes of humanity. Maybe since the war was declared illegal he could be
tried in his absence. It’s not punishment or torture of George Bush that the
people of the world seek, its truth. Nobody is convinced of the Presidents
motive or justification. All we can gather is, ‘that he says he’s right,
because Churchill had been right on several occasions’. Churchill had also
been wrong on many occasions as many current wars can vouch.
“If one has to submit, it is
wasteful not to do so with the best grace possible” Winston
mistrust of Bush has gained momentum in the same way that mistrust had been
gained of Stalin.
only thing that surprised anybody about the US not finding any weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq is that they didn’t put some there to find. There are huge
doubts over the very man that controls the largest nuclear, chemical and
biological arsenal on the planet. At the local her’ say level suspicions
border on the point of fear that the Presidents security agents would use
terrorism on his own people to justify their International policy. The fact is -
that no matter how you manipulate what you say, if it doesn’t add up, it
doesn’t add up. And what Bush says, doesn’t add up verbally or verifiably.
so-called intelligence failures in predicting the International dangers of
Saddam have only added to the mistrust. Its one thing to watch a football game
live on TV and see everything as it happens, but another to watch the same match
when the commentator shouts, “and that’s a free kick to Arsenal, Beckham to
take it” – when Watford have just scored and Beckham isn’t playing.
through an International Court simply to throw light on the truth would at least
comfort those suspicious about the Bush motive. Besides, if Bush and Blair are
so positive they are right they would relieve themselves of blame for the
current crisis. They may even have the world behind them in their efforts.
Bin Laden might also take the opportunity to join them in the dock in an effort
to throw light on his motive. But none of this seems likely to happen. The best
one can suggest, is that the International Criminal Court prosecute Tony Blair
for an “illegal war”, since the two other conspirators are beyond the
jurisdiction of International Law. At least this is in the spirit of United
Nations and one of its founding fathers Winston Churchill.