“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help?” Isaiah 10:1-3, Bible, New International Version
The world continues to be exposed to the horrors of war in Eastern Europe along with Western demands that something be done, and Russia’s president be held accountable for what some called genocide. Images of alleged massacres of civilians, the bloody aftermath of missiles striking a crowded train station and recent charges of more than 900 civilians slaughtered have kept the cries for “justice” growing. Ukrainian police said Russian soldiers “simply executed” people while withdrawing from the region around the capital city Kyiv.
The reports April 15 added more incidents to the lists of alleged abuses and violations of international law laid at the feet of Vladimir Putin and his invading army.
President Joe Biden, Ukrainian officials and some allies denounced President Putin as a war criminal who should be put on trial.
Despite the claims and counter claims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression, and genocide levied, blood saturates the hands of the very powers calling for justice, whether America, Britain, France, or Russia. But what court can call them to account for global warmongering, oppression, and exploitation?
America, Russia and the European powers serve as “judge, jury, and executioners” who frame wickedness into law and exempt themselves from accountability.
If the venue for justice is the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Haig, Netherlands, or the International Court of Justice, the highest court of the United Nations, neither has power to try and judge Russia’s president or the major powers. A clear double standard and hypocrisy arises when these bloody-handed countries speak of international justice.
“It’s going to be very difficult for the United States to pursue war crimes charges against Mr. Putin and his comrades,” commented Dr. Gerald Horne, a political scientist and analyst at the University of Houston.
Neither Russia nor America are signatories to the ICC.
“Washington should be very careful about discussing the International Criminal Court because we know that the ICC has opened a file on United States human rights violations during this lengthy occupation of Afghanistan,” added Dr. Horne.
To the chagrin of the United States and her ally, the ICC is also looking into the Zionist state of Israel and human rights violations in Palestine. “Washington needs to tread carefully because to the extent that it lends authority and authenticity to the International Criminal Court, it could come back to bite Washington,” he said.
A group of U.S. lawmakers is pushing the Biden administration to reverse the hypocrisy and join the International Criminal Court. Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar led the group with a legislative package that will repeal a George W. Bush-era law known as the “Hague Invasion Act” that legally exempts Americans from being investigated by the International Criminal Court.
Rep. Omar said in an April 13 Washington Post op-ed that Mr. Putin and anyone responsible for this illegal war of aggression must face justice. But, she added, U.S. balking at joining ICC is “antithetical to our commitment to human rights, accountability, and the rule of law,” and hamstrings America it seeks accountability for Mr. Putin. “If we oppose investigations into countries, like our own, that haven’t joined the ICC, how can we support an investigation into Russia, another country that hasn’t joined the court?” Rep. Omar asked.
Earlier this month, Rep. Omar co-sponsored the “Ukraine War Crime Deterrence and Accountability Act,” requiring the State Department to collect and preserve evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine and report to Congress about U.S. support for proceedings at the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. “In order to be legitimate, the same standards of justice we want to apply to Putin must be applied to everyone, friend or foe. No war crime should go unpunished, and no war criminal should be exempt. It is long past time the United States joined the International Criminal Court,” she said.
In the Russia-Ukraine war, rhetoric has been flying about seeking a Nuremburg-like trial for Mr. Putin for atrocities or a UN-based tribunal. The Nuremberg trials after World War II had Nazi Germany’s political, military, and economic leaders prosecuted for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
The countries that won WWII against Germany convened the trials against the losing side. That scenario is unrealistic in the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, where there is unlikely to be an outright victor.
As for an UN-authorized tribunal, Russia has veto power at the Security Council to block any prosecution. “And if they did not, their comrades in China certainly would,” Dr. Horne said.
“The United States has insulated itself against being charged and tried before any international tribunal,” added Lennox Hines, a professor emeritus at Rutgers University and international human rights lawyer. America has been accused of war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, in her drone wars in Pakistan and for missile strikes in Yemen.
Today the call is against Mr. Putin and Russia, which has a history of rights abuses during conflicts with predominately Muslim Chechnya and Northern Dagestan, former Soviet republics.
Russia was condemned in 2019 for rights violations in the Chechen Republic that included “harassment and persecution, arbitrary or unlawful arrests or detentions, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions.”
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President George W. Bush were once called out as war criminals. Nobel prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in 2012, wrote, “The immorality of the United States and Great Britain’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.”
His editorial appeared in the UK-based the Observer newspaper and argued the leaders of the Western democracies invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein and should be tried. Their war led to massive suffering, instability and death, he said.
“Last year, an average of 6.5 people died there each day in suicide attacks and vehicle bombs, according to the Iraqi Body Count project. More than 110,000 Iraqis have died in the conflict since 2003 and millions have been displaced. By the end of last year, nearly 4,500 American soldiers had been killed and more than 32,000 wounded,” he wrote in 2012.
And, because of convoluted legal theories put forward to justify U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, there was fear that once George W. Bush left office that U.S. personnel could be open to charges of being war criminals for torture and violations of the Geneva Conventions that govern conduct during military conflict.
America has kept herself out of the hands of international justice for infractions in the Middle East while meddling in conflicts throughout the Motherland with its Africom military command.
America not only refuses to submit herself to the jurisdiction of international courts but bullies the world through threats and sanctions.
So physical war rages on one level, but America uses sanctions to break the economic backs of other nations. These policies are economic warfare, declared Sanctions Kill, a broad coalition of social justice, solidarity, and peace forces focused on exposing the devastating impact of U.S. embargoes and punishments on civilian populations globally.
“Sanctions kill many thousands just as bombs do,” said the group.
Sanctions create hyperinflation, artificial famines, social upheavals, and health crises that punish ordinary people. Over 40 countries and millions of people are targeted by America’s sanctions today. Among sanctioned nations are Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Countries trading with targets of U.S. sanctions face heavy fines and isolation.
The U.S. and countries imposing economic sanctions are the wealthiest, most powerful, industrially developed nations. The larger powers “choke” the economies of poor, formerly colonized countries, said Sanctions Kill. For America, sanctions are a part of her fiendish policy of maintaining influence as a global thug at the expense of the innocent.
In the scriptures there are numerous warnings that double dealing by those who frame laws and unjust policies will lead to a sorry end.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has warned, based on scripture, that White world rule is over. All White rule must end so that the kingdom of God can emerge, and the Ukraine war is part of the process, he warned during his Saviours’ Day 2022 address Feb. 27 in Chicago.
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said: ‘Justice is a principle of fair dealing; justice is the law that distinguishes between right and wrong,’ ” wrote Minister Farrakhan, referring to his Teacher, in an article previously published in The Final Call newspaper.
“But he also said, ‘Justice is a weapon that God will use in the Day of Judgment,’” Minister Farrakhan continued in the article titled, “The Principle and the Need for Justice.”
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “if justice were in the world there would not need to be a Judgment, but since the world is run by a satanic mind and justice is not the order of the day, justice is denied,” wrote the Minister.
“What is justice? It’s ‘what you sow, you have to reap it. That law is at work every single day of our lives. If the courts don’t do their job, the law of justice contained in the universe will do that job,” Minister Farrakhan continued. “This is the day when the God of Justice will give to every man, every woman, every nation, what that nation has earned.”
What about the evil of America and the evil the country has perpetrated against Black and Indigenous people? he asked. Those are crimes the enemies of our people have not paid for yet, the Minister pointed out.
“But this is reaping time. I am happy to announce to the enemies of justice: Your time has come, and you will not escape the Wrath of God,” Minister Farrakhan warned.