Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Bu$hco seeked immunity for War Crimes before Iraq Invasion
While the folks here in the US were demonstrating against Bu$hco in the months leading up to the invasion of Baghdad, the Neocons were actively conducting a campaign against the International Criminal Court (ICC). The demonstrations against the war, all over the world, were the largest in history, and were, of course, underplayed by the Mainstream Media.
On the eve of Iraq war America snubs new International Criminal Court
By Stefan Steinberg
17 March 2003
On Tuesday March 11 the newly founded International Criminal Court (ICC) was officially opened in a ceremony in The Hague, capital of the Netherlands. Taking part in the ceremony, which included the swearing in of the courts first 18 judges, were Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Washington pointedly snubbed the ceremony, with US Ambassador to the Netherlands, Clifford Sobel, turning down an invitation to attend the gathering.
The ICC is supported by a total of 89 countries. An additional 50 countries have signed on to the statutes of the court but have yet to ratify their collaboration. The ICC has been described as the descendent of the tribunal at Nuremberg set up after the Second World War to try leaders of the Nazi party for conducting wars of aggression and war crimes. The court is mandated to deal with any war crimes and crimes against humanity committed after July 1, 2002. These would include genocide, the bombing of civilians, and systematic rape and torture.
Among the most prominent non-signatories to the court are the United States, Russia and China. The United States is the only country to have actively conducted a campaign against the ICC and has signed treaties with more than 20 nations giving its citizens immunity from the ICC.
The timing of the ceremony, on the eve of an American-led war against Iraq, was not lost on those attending the occasion. Just a day before the opening in The Hague, Kofi Annan declared that, should the UN Security Council fail to agree on a second resolution authorizing the use of force, a war against Iraq would be illegal. Nevertheless, Edmond Wellenstein, director general of the Dutch task force for the ICC, tried hard to counter any speculation that the first task for the court would be an investigation into the crimes committed in the course of a war with Iraq. The opening ICC ceremony, he said, was “about hope, and fighting impunity. It is not about a cynical coincidence.”