The WSJ Warns Against “Flirting” With the ICC
Adding to our already energetic discussion about the ICC and Kampala is the WSJ Editorial Board’s contribution today. I share many of the editorial’s skeptical views of the ICC and I think even Kevin would not find any “lies” in this article. Here is the crux of their critique, which I mostly share:
From the Balkans to East Timor to the Mideast, these pages have welcomed international action to stop atrocities. In select cases, such as the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, we’ve backed ad hoc courts with a narrow mandate, limited life and proven commitment to fairness. The ICC meets none of those standards.
Moral grand-standing via indictments also isn’t the same as doing something about crimes against humanity. The indictment of Sudan’s butcher of Darfur, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, made him harder to dislodge, and absent serious intervention, it has probably prolonged the suffering there.
Only two quibbles: 1) Why is the Yugoslavia tribunal more likely to be fair than the ICC? 2) I also don’t quite agree with the lead: “Step by tentative step, the Obama Administration is getting closer to embracing the International Criminal Court. The White House won’t join the Hague-based body soon, but that’s its logical endpoint.” I don’t see this happening anytime in this president’s term (either his first or second). And I’m not sure that non-cooperation is a viable or desirable strategy. I think the Administration’s approach is about right, assuming they end up close to the CFR Report’s recommendations.