Tag Archive for International Criminal Court

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America’s Endless Air Wars

F-15 Eagles from the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, taxi to the runway during the final day of Anatolian Eagle June 18, 2015, at 3rd Main Jet Base, Turkey. The 493rd FS recently received the 2014 Raytheon Trophy as the U.S. Air Force's top fighter squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Eric Burks)

Like his predecessors, President Obama is relying heavily on aerial bombardment to wage war across the Mideast, but the vague notions of who is the enemy and the horrific civilian casualties have continued to generate an endless supply of new enemies, writes Nicolas J S Davies.

The Gaza Test for World Justice

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed his case for the military offensive against Gaza in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2014. (Israeli government photo)

The future of world justice – with powerful nations held as accountable as the weak – may be decided by how the International Criminal Court handles allegations of Israeli crimes in last year’s war on Gaza. Will the same standards apply to influential Israel that are enforced against Third World violators, asks Lawrence Davidson.

Can ICC Mete Out Justice to Powerful?

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo credit: Vincent van Zeijst)

The International Criminal Court brought hope that victims of serious crimes of state could finally get some justice, but instead the truly powerful have retained their impunity while alleged violators from weak countries are dragged before the ICC, a reality that may yet change, says Lawrence Davidson.

Seeking Accountability for Gaza

The Israeli government has cited rocket fire from Gaza as justification for its bombardment and assault on the narrow strip of land holding some 1.8 million Palestinians. (Graphic from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Facebook page)

Israel and the Obama administration insist that Israel’s recent slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza was justified by indiscriminate rocket fire from the blockaded area, but some international law advocates think the disproportionate response justifies prosecution of Israeli and U.S. officials for war crimes, says Marjorie Cohn.

Will Israel’s War Crimes Go Unpunished?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

The credibility of the International Criminal Court has fallen into question because it focuses on human rights abusers in weak countries while ignoring those in powerful countries or with powerful friends, a criticism being tested again by Israel’s slaughter in Gaza, as Brian J. Trautman notes.

US/Israeli Hypocrisy on Human Rights

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Oct. 1, 2013. (UN Photo by Evan Schneider)

After World War II, the U.S. government was the champion of international law and human rights, but a selective application of those rules – shielding U.S. actions and those of allies like Israel – has made a mockery of these universal principles, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Right’s Anti-Treaty Bias

A key argument of the American Right is that treaties are an affront to U.S. “sovereignty” and “constitutional governance,” even though the Founders embraced treaties with other nations. Today’s anti-treaty bias threatens to undermine U.S. influence in the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

American Exceptionalism’s Hypocrisy

U.S. politicians often speak of “American exceptionalism” as some God-given grant of special status that puts the United States above the rules that apply to other nations. In geo-politics, this concept has meant that international law is enforced against countries that offend Washington but not against those in Washington’s good graces, as Lawrence Davidson explains.