Friday, July 25, 2008

Hypocritical measures

International law is one long legacy of double dealing

By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......Consider this bizarre twist. The US Congress passed a resolution, on 22 June 2004, declaring that the violence in Darfur was state-sponsored genocide. The resolution -- named the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act -- was signed into law by President Bush in October 2006.

Between the vote and Bush's signature the United Nations conducted a sweeping investigation -- unlike Congress's rash decision which was based almost entirely on lobby and interest group pressure -- declaring, in early 2005, that both the government and militias were systematically abusing civilians in Sudan's western province. It insisted, however, that no genocide had taken place.

The US is not a signatory of the ICC -- understandably so, given that many legal experts deem the war crimes of invading and occupying Iraq as the worst since World War II. Although the ICC is, in theory, an independent body, it often investigates or provides legal opinions on cases passed on by the United Nations Security Council which is dominated by the United States, its vetoes and foreign policy interests.....

Regardless of whether the ICC judges will honour Moreno- Ocampo's request to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president the Darfur conflict cannot be settled by selective justice, self- serving politics or contract-seeking oil corporations. Justice in Sudan, or anywhere else for that matter, cannot be obtained through such practices which are at best "unhelpful" and at worse could be used by the international order's self-appointed policemen to further legitimatise their destructive policies of "intervention" -- economic sanctions, war, and the rest."

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