12) Why the US is beyond the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

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 Churchill

Its 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 Churchill

Deep mistrust of Bush has gained momentum in the same way that mistrust had been gained of Stalin.

The 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.

The 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.

Proceedings 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.

Osama 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.