Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How the International Criminal Court keeps despots in power

George Friedman, of, points out the unintended consequence of setting up the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.  By prosecuting despots for war crimes, they pretty much guarantee that despots will do anything to cling to power when their people rise up to overthrow them rather than negotiate a transfer of power for the guarantee of a safe and comfortable exile. 

For example, Qaddafi has already been indicted for war crimes against his people.  As a result, he cannot accept a political settlement with those trying to drive him from power.  They are powerless to guarantee his safety.  The ICC will try him and find him guilty of obvious crimes against humanity.  The same has to be said for those who surround Qaddafi.  They are also undoubtedly guilty of heinous crimes and would also be sent to the Hague for prosecution. 

So, the tyrants who we want to abdicate and turn over power of their countries to the democracy movements of the Arab Awakening … can’t.  Not without being tried and executed by the Righteous in Europe.

Yugoslavia’s Milosevic died during a five year trial in the Hague.  Karadzic was sent to the Hague despite negotiations between him and the U.S. that if he ceded power he would be granted safety.   South Africa was fortunate enough to make a political transfer of power from the white leadership to Mandela and were granted forgiveness and safety as a result, but that wouldn’t have been possible if the ICC had been in place at the time.

So, the war in Libya drags on and people continue to die.

Is revenge in the ICC sufficient reason to prolong wars against tyrants that kill thousands of people?  I think not.  The ICC was probably not a very good idea, and it may be time to close it down.