The ICC is such a joke

A coalition of lawyers and human rights groups yesterday unveiled a bid to use the UN's new International Criminal Court as a tool to restrain American military power.

In a move Washington said vindicated U.S. claims that the court would be used for political purposes, the rights activists are working to compile war crimes cases against the United States and its chief ally in Iraq, Britain.

"There is a way that the United States can be accused ... of aiding and abetting war crimes," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

The U.S. last year renounced the ICC, predicting it would become a political tool for opponents of U.S. foreign policy to launch frivolous prosecutions against U.S. military and diplomatic personnel.

"It appears they are trying to manufacture a case against the United States," said a senior official with the Bush administration. "So this clearly would be an example of the type of politicization that we're concerned with."

As a non-member, the United States would normally be outside of ICC jurisdiction unless it was suspected of crimes in a country that is an ICC member, which Iraq is not.

But the fact that Britain is a member has given the rights activists a springboard for a case that argues U.S. air raids that killed civilians were war crimes.

"The U.S. used bombers that took off from England ... and from Diego Garcia, also U.K. territory," said Mr. Ratner, referring to a British Indian Ocean island possession.

Britain, as an ICC member, could be prosecuted on a much wider array of activities that resulted in civilian deaths, the activists said.

Both U.S. and British officials have repeatedly said their forces make maximum efforts to avoid civilian casualties and never target civilians, which would violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

Rights activists joining Mr. Ratner yesterday were Phil Shiner of the British-based Public Interest Lawyers, and Roger Norman of the Committee on Economic and Social Rights.

They said five eminent international lawyers will outline a case against the United States and Britain next month for submission first to an international "alternative" court called the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal in Rome, then the prosecutor's office of the ICC in The Hague.

People who had volunteered as Saddam's "human shields" will be among those contributing testimony. "Any evidence we can get hold of, we will present," Mr. Shiner said. "The [ICC] prosecutor would have a duty to investigate if there was credible evidence."

Mr. Shiner said the activists' case will probe the coalition's use, or suspected use, of cluster bombs, depleted uranium ammunition and fuel-air explosives.

These weapons are unauthorized, he claimed, because they "can't distinguish between civilian or military" targets.

A cluster bomb consists of a canister that breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. Because it has no precision guidance, it can wander off target if dropped from medium to high altitudes. Some of the bomblets typically do not explode, presenting a long-term threat to civilians.

While coalition forces say they do not use such bombs in civilian areas, U.S. forces launched an investigation into reports U.S. cluster bombs killed at least 11 civilians in Hilla, a city 100 kilometres south of Baghdad and the scene of heavy fighting.

Depleted uranium ammunition can pierce armour. But as a by-product of uranium enrichment, depleted uranium is mildly radioactive. It is also a heavy metal, and therefore potentially poisonous. "We know it has been used," Mr. Shiner said. However, he admitted the use of fuel-air explosives, which create giant fire balls, is not certain.

Mr. Shiner said the activists' case would also question coalition "methods," citing strikes on shopping markets and an attack that resulted in the deaths of two journalists at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. The United States and Britain have said at least one market strike may have been caused by Iraqi anti-aircraft fire. U.S. forces said U.S. troops were returning fire from suspected Iraqi forces in the Palestine Hotel.

The Bush administration official said: "This is a baseless accusation and we'll treat it as such."

The ICC opened its doors for evidence collection on July 1, 2002, and has jurisdiction over crimes committed after that date. Canada is a strong supporter of the court. Philippe Kirsch, a Canadian international law specialist, is president of 18 ICC judges, but a prosecutor has yet to be selected.

In 2000, the prosecutor for the UN's special war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia threw out a bid by activist groups to prosecute NATO for war crimes over the 1999 bombing of Kosovo.

That experience provided lessons, however.

"We wouldn't be wasting our time if we didn't think this was credible," Mr. Shiner said.

The rights activists also said yesterday the United States should rethink its rejection last week of an ad hoc UN court to deal with the past crimes of Saddam's regime and any crimes by Iraqis against coalition forces. The U.S.-proposed alternative was "victors' justice," according to Mr. Ratner.

The United States is in the process of identifying Iraqi jurists who can help create new Iraqi courts that will try key members of Saddam's regime for past crimes. Washington also reserves the right to try Iraqis itself for war crimes committed during the current conflict. Among those alleged crimes are mistreatment of coalition prisoners and the deceptive use of the white surrender flag.

Because Iraq is not a member of the ICC, Saddam Hussein cannot be brought before it.

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Heheh. This is funny.If the United States were part of it, and they tried to do anything to the American President, it would be a delcration of war.

And how exactly do the agendas of hate of a few fringe groups suddenly convert the ICC into a joke?

The US opened itself up to this when they put those two Libyans before the tribunal at The Hague. If the US expects to bring others before international courts, it shouldn''t be surprised when other nations try to do the same.

"Koesj" wrote:
And how exactly do the agendas of hate of a few fringe groups suddenly convert the ICC into a joke?

Because the ""few fringe groups"" are the ones running the court. It''s a mess.

False, the Libyans were prosecuted by a Scottish court on the neutral ground of Zeist, Holland. Still, again, stuff like this happens all the time in domestic courts, unjust accusations and greedy claims to name a few examples... how does a claim that has nothing to do with the ICC except for the trial''s setting turn the ICC into a joke?

"Koesj" wrote:
False, the Libyans were prosecuted by a Scottish court on the neutral ground of Zeist, Holland. Still, again, stuff like this happens all the time in domestic courts, unjust accusations and greedy claims to name a few examples... how does a claim that has nothing to do with the ICC except for the trial''s setting turn the ICC into a joke?

Look at the ICC charter. Then come talk to me.

Because the ""few fringe groups"" are the ones running the court. It''s a mess.

No. A group of ''five eminent international lawyers'' is trying to get this case under the investigation of the ICC''s prosecutor. If I were to go to court because I accused you of stealing a pile of games from my home then I would also have to submit this case to investigation right? It doesn''t matter how unjust a case is the prosecutors always have to investigate, the problem here lies not with the ICC but with the idiots that try to bring a non-ICC member to trial. I wholly agree with you on the point of idiocy of these fringe group guys but in this instance the ICC has nothing to do with it.

Btw, why do I have to look up the charter? Because you feel the ICC is making an ass out of themselves by merely existing? I guess you are entitled to having your own opinion but this case isn''t a specific example of ''all the things'' that are wrong with the ICC

"Koesj" wrote:
Because the ""few fringe groups"" are the ones running the court. It''s a mess.

No. A group of ''five eminent international lawyers'' is trying to get this case under the investigation of the ICC''s prosecutor. If I were to go to court because I accused you of stealing a pile of games from my home then I would also have to submit this case to investigation right? It doesn''t matter how unjust a case is the prosecutors always have to investigate, the problem here lies not with the ICC but with the idiots that try to bring a non-ICC member to trial. I wholly agree with you on the point of idiocy of these fringe group guys but in this instance the ICC has nothing to do with it.

Btw, why do I have to look up the charter? Because you feel the ICC is making an ass out of themselves by merely existing? I guess you are entitled to having your own opinion but this case isn''t a specific example of ''all the things'' that are wrong with the ICC :?

All I want is for Bush to be arrested or detained. Blair would work too. It would allow us to levae the United Nations.

Damn, the things the guy would have to do to get arrested Blowing up the world could work

"Ulairi" wrote:
"Koesj" wrote:
Because the ""few fringe groups"" are the ones running the court. It''s a mess.

No. A group of ''five eminent international lawyers'' is trying to get this case under the investigation of the ICC''s prosecutor. If I were to go to court because I accused you of stealing a pile of games from my home then I would also have to submit this case to investigation right? It doesn''t matter how unjust a case is the prosecutors always have to investigate, the problem here lies not with the ICC but with the idiots that try to bring a non-ICC member to trial. I wholly agree with you on the point of idiocy of these fringe group guys but in this instance the ICC has nothing to do with it.

Btw, why do I have to look up the charter? Because you feel the ICC is making an ass out of themselves by merely existing? I guess you are entitled to having your own opinion but this case isn''t a specific example of ''all the things'' that are wrong with the ICC :?

All I want is for Bush to be arrested or detained. Blair would work too. It would allow us to levae the United Nations.

Yeah, because thats exactly what we need, greater splintering of the international community at US hands. And I dont give a damn if the UN is useful or not, its a symbol of good faith, that we will at least try to cooperate with other countries. Its not like I think us leaving the UN will start WWIII, but all it would accomplish is more chaos and pissing more countries off. What do you think is good about us leaving the UN?

"Pyroman[FO" wrote:
""]Yeah, because thats exactly what we need, greater splintering of the international community at US hands.

""I will be a uniter, not a divider."" - then Governor George W. Bush

""I will be a uniter, not a divider."" - then Governor George W. Bush

Ouch!

""I will be a uniter, not a divider."" - then Governor George W. Bush

He was referring to uniting congress, not the international community. You''re taking it out of context.

Yeah, Congress is real unified right now. It makes the divisions from the Clinton years seem positively harmonious.

Ulairi, please drop a note when you''re done with trying to prove the evil behind the peace movement, France, the ICC, UN, etc. etc., so people can start caring again before reading your posts.

Well, both houses of congress and the President are all the same party.

"Pyroman[FO" wrote:
""]
And I dont give a damn if the UN is useful or not, its a symbol of good faith, that we will at least try to cooperate with other countries.

Well, that''d be all fine and dandy if the effort of pretending to act in good faith didn''t cause the loss of untold millions of lives.

The UN and ICC are mostly useless. Not for the fact that they try to bring about a stable world (and bully for them, for trying), but b/c they utterly fail to accomplish anything and string along the process to death while doing it. Trying to reach an agreement with various countries (each with their own agenda) at the expense of countries, just isn''t going to fly...unless of course you have the backing of force to ''protect'' the ''world''s '' interest. Let''s see how much more effective the UN will be, without U.S. backing.

The ICC is just pissing on the flames. Yeah, in an ideal world we would hold each other accountable for actions harmful to each other, but in case you haven''t realized it by now, this ain''t an ideal world. Nothing short of some alien race appearing from the skies and threatning to destroy our entire planet unless we get our collective head''s out of our asses is going to change the way it is.

The atomic bomb did more for peace then the UN ever has.

Ulairi, please drop a note when you''re done with trying to prove the evil behind the peace movement, France, the ICC, UN, etc. etc., so people can start caring again before reading your posts.

Please don''t speak for the rest of us, I always find Ulairi''s point of view well-informed and interesting to read.

"Certis" wrote:
Ulairi, please drop a note when you''re done with trying to prove the evil behind the peace movement, France, the ICC, UN, etc. etc., so people can start caring again before reading your posts.

Please don''t speak for the rest of us, I always find Ulairi''s point of view well-informed and interesting to read.

Indeed. Without him, I''d look like a right-wing jerkoff.

"Yomm" wrote:
Indeed. Without him, I''d look like a right-wing jerkoff. :lol:

Yes, together you look like a pair of right-wing...

"Rat Boy" wrote:
"Yomm" wrote:
Indeed. Without him, I''d look like a right-wing jerkoff. :lol:

Yes, together you look like a pair of right-wing...

Well, that''d be all fine and dandy if the effort of pretending to act in good faith didn''t cause the loss of untold millions of lives.

How exactly does this happen?

If you mean by delaying the invasion of countries that kill thier own citizens, you have to understand that invading the country may not stop the killing of those same citizens. Either the ""peacekeepers"" stay and impart a government of thier design, and unrest ensues, or they let them democratically elect thier own leaders, in which case they may or may not be better off. Not to count the lives lost in the invasion.

If not, what do you mean?