Why Don’t You Want To Join The ICC — What Could Ever Happen?

Why Don’t You Want To Join The ICC — What Could Ever Happen?: Ever since the Bush administration shot down the International Criminal Court I’ve seen plenty of conversations that go about like this…

Concerned Conservative: The International Criminal Court is a threat to our sovereignty. You know that we’d see lots of politically motivated prosecutions of American politicians and troops…

Left-Wing Internationalist: Har, har, har! You Conservatives are so paranoid! There are lots of safeguards to prevent American soldiers from being unfairly treated & signing up will prove that we’re not unilateralists. There’s nothing to worry about.

Ahem — Fast forward to a story in today’s Independent

“Ministers face the real prospect of waging an illegal war, which could lead to British soldiers being prosecuted by the newly constituted International Criminal Court (ICC).

…Stephen Solley QC, an international human rights lawyer, said yesterday: “I feel this is a defining moment in our history which our children will want to ask us about. No one has made a legal case for war.”

But he said it was also clear British troops could be the first to face war crimes charges at the ICC. The court, which was formally opened in the Hague yesterday, has the power to bring to trial individual soldiers, commanders and politicians charged with war crimes.

“International lawyers argue that any military attack that killed Iraqi civilianscould lead to British soldiers being prosecuted at the new court.

…But potential sentences of life imprisonment for soldiers acting on the orders of the Prime Minister will have concentrated the minds of the Government’s law officers. Peter Carter QC, chairman of the Bar’s human rights committee, said British commanders would have to “adapt a very different attitude to their American colleagues so they can justify every military act of attrition against every target.” He said it could cause real difficulties in joint actions between the forces.”

So if let’s say Saddam puts all kinds of military hardware in a civilian area and a Brit accidentally kills an innocent knocking it out, he — not Saddam — may have to go up on charges. Uh-huh — what do you want to bet that no Frenchman who accidentally kills some civilian fighting rebels on the Ivory Coast will ever have to go up on charges? But luckily, we’re not hampered in the way that the Brits are…

“But because America and Iraq are not signatories to the Rome treaty, which created the ICC, their soldiers are immune from prosecution.”

Since the ICC won’t be able to get the grand prize (Americans) they’ll have to settle for the Bronze (the Brits) until the Israelis give them an excuse to persecute them.

Aren’t you glad Bush didn’t commit us to that sham court?

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