by paco on 30 Jan 2009 | Comments
An excellent blog post by Raj Purohit and Amjad Atallah in the PSA blog, titled “International Justice Systems and the Muslim World: Why Bashir is Wrong” points out the absurdity of the argument saying that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should not be indicted by the ICC because it is acting as a tool of the west in its fight against the Muslim world. Let’s not overlook the fact that the people targeted in Darfur by the al-Bashir regime are Muslims, so this argument doesn’t hold much water. To the argument that if Israel is not charged with war crimes because they are protected by major powers, then Sudan shouldn’t be charged either, the authors say,“There is an obvious absurdity to the argument that as long as anyone can commit a war-crime, everyone should be allowed to commit a war-crime.”
The problem of Israel’s conduct raises the issue of UN Security Council reform, because as long as the major powers can exercise veto power over resolutions, it is highly unlikely that a resolution will be passed asking the ICC to investigate Israel for committing war crimes. And Middle Eastern countries should follow Jordan’s lead and join the ICC, because if Lebanon were a member state of the ICC in 2006, for example, it would have allowed the ICC to open a case against Israel. As pointed out by the Costa Rican representative at a recent meeting of the UN Security Council regarding the Sudan/al-Bashir case, Costa Rica joined the ICC to gain some measure of protection from aggression by larger states with firepower, reasoning that the rule of law could be their shield.
If the evidence gathered by the ICC holds up, then al-Bashir, as well as Sudanese Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmad Haroun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb, both indicted by the ICC, they will someday be convicted of orchestrating a genocidal campaign to drive the people of Darfur from their land and into extinction. Unlike the temporary ad-hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the ICC is a permanent court and will still be here after leaders like al-Bashir fall from power. I’m convinced they will face their day at the Court.