Fake gods
Posted on March 7th, 2020

Editorial Courtesy Island

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has given Uncle Sam a right royal wedgie. It has ruled that alleged war crimes by the US and others, in Afghanistan, be probed. The Trump administration has seen red. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who condemns other countries that are not US allies for alleged human rights violations, lost no time in rejecting the ICC ruling and vowing to protect the US ‘citizens’. He minced no words when he called the ICC a ‘renegade, unlawful, so-called court’. Surprisingly, he stopped calling it a ‘cesspool of political bias’. He implied that retaliatory action would be taken. This is how the US reacts when allegations are levelled against it, but it relishes making such accusations against others.

If a country like Iran or Cuba had been at the receiving end of the ICC ruling, all major international human rights groups would have promptly welcomed it and even called for sanctions to ensure compliance. Curiously, they have chosen to remain silent on the war crimes probe ordered by the ICC. Is it that they are wary of antagonising the US government?

Shouldn’t the UN Secretary General appoint a special committee to probe the allegations of war crimes against the US? Marzuki Darusman, Yasmin Sooka and Steven R. Ratner could be its members. The US and its allies are full of praise for them, aren’t they? Former UNSG Ban Ki-moon could be appointed the head of that committee.

The US, which tried to be a hero in Geneva by condemning other countries for alleged human rights allegations, has become a villain in the Hague!

What will the UNHRC’s response to the ICC ruling be? Shouldn’t its members, especially the UK, move a resolution on the US, calling for an international investigation into the war crimes in Afghanistan and ask Washington to co-sponsor it? The western powers should practise what they preach to others, shouldn’t they? After all, they say such resolutions are beneficial to the countries against which they are moved.

Australia has denied visas to some Sri Lankan military personnel due to unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes against them. Will it mete out the same treatment to the head of the US army and other high ranking American military officers if they seek to enter its territory? There shouldn’t be double standards. As a country in the forefront of defending democracy and human rights, Australia shouldn’t be seen to be hypocritical.

Instead of trying to vilify the ICC and its judges, shouldn’t the US, being a self-proclaimed defender of human rights, across the world, face the war crimes probe to be launched and try to clear its name? This is what it keeps telling other countries to do as regards damning UNHRC resolutions that call for such investigations. It should lead by example since it considers itself the global policeman and standard bearer for human rights lest the various civil society outfits dependent on it for funds to protect democracy, the world over, should think less of it. What the US stands accused of, in the Hague, could be considered the human rights version of custodial rape.

Time was when the West could use human rights as a powerful weapon against the developing countries which it wanted to keep under it thumb to further its geo-strategic interests, on the pretext of protecting global democracy. But the ICC ruling, which has sent the US reeling, shows that they cannot fool the world any longer.

Being exposed for what they really are—a bunch of hypocrites—will not deter the self-styled western crusaders for human rights from continuing their campaign against other countries. But nothing will help them cover their nudity.

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