A New Low for the International Criminal Court 85


The ICC really has plumbed new depths in the current trial of ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. I do urge you to read the analysis I wrote at the time of his overthrow. Gbagbo certainly was guilty of crimes, but much more killing and violence was done by current Ivory Coast President, and former Deputy MD of the IMF, Alassane Ouattara. My article was written at the time to counter an extremely misleading one written by Thalia Griffiths, editor of African Energy, and published in the Guardian. I have since discovered more about the role of Trafigura in funding Ouattara’s forces, and the picture becomes ever clearer.

Ouattara killed more than Gbagbo but now sits in the Presidential palace, secure with his French and CIA backers, and confines Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court. That institution shames itself by making itself a simple instrument of victor’s justice, or of prosecuting the side that the major western powers were fighting against. To underline the hypocrisy of this, yesterday Ouattara granted Ivorian citizenship to his ally Blaise Compaore, former President of Burkina Faso, to help him avoid an international arrest warrant for crimes including the murder of his predecessor. Compaore had helped Ouattara fix his election.

Please note, it is very important to avoid the fallacy of “goodies” and “baddies” in African politics. The Ivorien election was extremely unsafe and characterised by cheating on all sides. I am in no sense defending Gbagbo as an innocent.

Yesterday I met with a Western diplomat who told me they are in fact well aware that Campaore’s hand was behind the attacks in Ougadougou a month ago that were blamed on Al Qaida. It would be unfair to say that any Western security service planned or even approved of it. But it benefits their narrative in a number of ways to go along with it. Re-establishing Compaore in Burkina Faso remains a French objective, and the CIA are happy to play ball.

I am in West Africa until Saturday.


85 thoughts on “A New Low for the International Criminal Court

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  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    RoS

    I mentioned Palestine as a prime example of a place about which various imbeciles shout “genocide! genocide!” while at the same time carefully ignoring the real genocides that have been going on in various parts of Africa.

    Hope that’s clear .

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Bevin

    “Hasbarakkuk’s latest denial of Israel’s clear culpability over Gaza and several other crimes- of which it boasts and on which its leaders campaign in elections- is scandalous.”
    _____________________

    Which denial is that, Bev? Let me have the time of posting so I can re-read it.

    If on the other hand you’re referring to “genocide”, I make no apology for saying that those who accuse Israel of the crime of “genocide” are mistaken,misguided, misleading, malevolent and arguably quite mad. Genocides are what we have seen in parts of Africa in recent decades.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Martinned

    25 Feb, 2016 – 11:39 am

    @Craig; “I am in no sense defending Gbagbo as an innocent.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    “Then what is the objection to him standing trial? Or are we working from the assumption that no guilty man should stand trial unless all guilty men stand trial?”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Craig made it clear that he did not object to Gbagbo standing trial.

    Your post is quite surprising considering you’re a legal eagle.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    25 Feb, 2016 – 3:55 pm

    “Given that, for the last few decades, the vast majority of war crimes are committed in Africa, a predominantly African docket is exactly what you’d expect. That is not evidence of racially discriminatory case selection practices.”
    ____________________

    The above, from Martinned, is exactly right and one would only need to add the words “and genocides or attempted genocides” to have the complete picture.

    It is surely good that the ICJ has taken care of a few of these tyrants and war criminals because their deeds tend to be strangely overlooked by ‘liberal’ opinion in the West, which much prefers to go into orgies of anger and condemnation over ‘genocide’ in places like Palestine or Ukraine (which are of course not remotely ‘genocides’).

    ………………………………………………………

    Suspected war criminals should be subject to trial at the ICC whether they are African; European; Israeli or others.

    Equality under the law; do you not agree Habbabkuk?

  • Doug Scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    25 Feb, 2016 – 7:52 pm

    “I mentioned Palestine as a prime example of a place about which various imbeciles shout “genocide! genocide!” while at the same time carefully ignoring the real genocides that have been going on in various parts of Africa.”

    …………………………………………………………..

    Habbabkuk, you have a different view on the definition of genocide than others but leaving the subjective interpretations aside, the Israeli government; the IDF and security services have undoubtedly carried out extra-judicial assassinations; mass-murder; torture; indefinite detention without trial; crimes against children, land theft and much more.

    These actions are not the actions of a liberal democracy that you claim Israel is. [[email protected] – imputed motive deleted] However most criminal regimes in the world are backed by western governments and corporations.

  • Macky

    Why are those who not just facilitate & provide the means for comitting war crimes, but actually cash-in on conflicts in which war cimes are known to be taking place, not also charged & brough before the ICC ?;

    “Figures reported by the Independent in January showed British arms firms cashing in on the conflict, with sales of bombs and missiles to the autocratic regime surging from £9 million to £1 billion in just three months last year.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/saudi-arabia-arms-export-embargo-european-parliament-eu-wide-arms-export-embargo-uk-a6895226.html

  • giyane. I may well be a person of interest

    In the world of botany and agriculture we seem to have realised that plurality, variety and difference is a gift from God which we need to preserve and nurture. Why is it that in the non-science of politics, that diversity, plurality and difference have to be exterminated at all costs?

  • Phil the ex frog

    Craig
    “That is why I am so disappointed by the decline of the ICC into an instrument of neo-con hegemony.”

    The decline? Hilarious. A decline requires a higher position to descend from. The record unambiguously shows the ICC has always been the partial court of the victorious, prosecuting the enemies of empire.

    Your idea of the ICC is as misplaced as your suggestion of the good old days of the FCO.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    These actions are not the actions of a liberal democracy that you claim Israel is. […] most criminal regimes in the world are backed by western governments and corporations.

    This, though trivial, is telling:

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/02/25/when-tony-blair-called-sacha-baron-cohen-about-kazakhstan/

    When Nazarbayev asked Blair to stop Sasha Baron-Cohen from making fun of Kazakhstan (he didn’t: his own account has him haughtily informing Nazarbayev that the UK was a democracy, but speaking truth to power was never Tony’s style) Blair later complained to ‘Borat’ that the film had caused problems because ‘we’ were ‘doing trade’ with the autocrat. Yes, you nasty little man. Money is far more important than freedom of expression, and it is deeply regrettable that I can’t throw you in the slammer…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Why is it that in the non-science of politics, that diversity, plurality and difference have to be exterminated at all costs?

    Please, Sir, I know this one. It is because homogeneous societies are easier to fleece for profit. We don’t want any wild goats in the flock, thank you.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Marinned
    “3. Only if African heads of state were selected out of (all) proportion to how many crimes were committed in different continents. Given that, for the last few decades, the vast majority of war crimes are committed in Africa, a predominantly African docket is exactly what you’d expect. That is not evidence of racially discriminatory case selection practices.”
    And Hab,

    “The above, from Martinned, is exactly right and one would only need to add the words “and genocides or attempted genocides” to have the complete picture…”
    have both been corrected by Martined:-
    “the vast majority of war crimes are committed in Africa”
    martinned often makes interesting points but here he goes off the deep end into CIA-scale delusions. Some kind of patriotic self-hypnosis has enabled him to forget all crimes under the rubric of US/UK aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Syria. Martinned also either ignorantly or dishonestly fails to consider the ICC’s gravity threshold for crimes of concern to the international community”
    with whom I agree.
    Reading along this thread, I don’t think that the real point is where there is the greatest concentration of human rights violations and atrocities but that when certain countries in the West perpetrate same, there is no legal consequence and/or prosecutions.

    Do we argue that the Geneva Conventions(s) should apply to some – yet, not to others?

    The picture that emerges is – one law for me – another for you.

  • Herbie

    Came across this argument that Blair and Bush etc can’t be prosecuted by the ICC for technical and procedural reasons:

    Assumes that the preference is that they would be prosecuted for “crimes of agression”, then argues that there’s currently no properly ratified definition of “crimes of agression” available to the ICC, and further that should such an offence be properly defined then it couldn’t be backdated to the Blair/Bush events.

    Makes another argument about jurisdiction problems so far as the US is concerned and that because the UK might be deemed capable of launching its own investigation then the ICC would expect it to proceed domestically.

    http://jurist.org/dateline/2012/09/jesse-oppenheim-desmond-tutu.php

  • Macky

    @Herbie, who is this Jesse Oppenheim who “assumes” that Tutu “assumes” that the ghouls responsible for the destruction of Iraq have to be prosecuted for ““crimes of agression”, which as he states is technically, if not rather conviniently, not possible ? Why does he overlook the fact that those responsible for the destruction of Iraq, can be prosecuted under any, or indeed all three of the ICC’s ratified remits of “International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes” ?

    Here’s John Pilger to remind us of a precursor to Iraq, where Western interests in looting natural resources caused a genocide worse than that of Plo Pot;

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/26/the-rape-of-east-timor-sounds-like-fun/

  • fwl

    That was me muddling up courts and confusing myself. My post at 6:09 yesterday was actually about the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia). Off topic(ish) but is the ICTY generally considered to have been balanced and independent?

  • Macky

    Fwl; “is the ICTY generally considered to have been balanced and independent?”

    Hardly;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Tribunal_for_the_former_Yugoslavia#Criticism

    You only have to consider that the one time Chief Prosecutor at the ICTY, Carla Del Ponte, was pushed out for political reasons, as her cards were marked from the time when in a newspaper interview, she answered in the affimative that if asked, she was prepared to press criminal charges against NATO personnel for alleged war crimes; and she also later stated that that the UN Mission in Kosovo did not provide the Hague Tribunal with the necessary evidence regarding Albanian organ trafficking in Kosovo, because NATO & the KLA, were allies in the war, and so couldn’t act against each other.

    Another indication of the perjudical slant of the ICTY, was the employment of revisionism “academic” Marko Attila Hoare, as a war crimes investigator; a man later self-exposed as a propagandist who was prepared to lie & smear;

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/chomsky-and-his-critics/#comments

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Macky

    “Why does he {Jesse Oppenheim}overlook the fact that those responsible for the destruction of Iraq, can be prosecuted under any, or indeed all three of the ICC’s ratified remits of “International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes” ?”
    __________________________

    I don’t think he “overlooks” it and that’s because he doesn’t see it as a “fact”.

  • Macky

    “I don’t think he “overlooks” it and that’s because he doesn’t see it as a “fact”.”

    It is very much a fact that the ICC has ratified remits covering “International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes”.

  • nevermind, Elliot Johnson bullied by Tory peers?

    whip, lash and much control, that is what is needed here!

    and in Africa. Mutual needs are cited to be the basis for France’s military ‘cooperation’ in a resource rich Mali.

    Translated this means France is deeply energy dependent on Mali’s uranium mines and will try its utmost to work with every Government that comes along. France will fight to keep this resource going, anyone.

    And then there are the ‘Islamists’ who want to destroy this fragile relationship, which, should they have any chance, will ultimately mean a destabilised France in Europe.

    Now, who would such a scenario benefit, who’s ambitions would be fulfilled? what agenda needs a pacified and kowtowing Europe?

    just sayin’

  • Herbie

    “@Herbie, who is this Jesse Oppenheim who “assumes” that Tutu “assumes” that the ghouls responsible for the destruction of Iraq have to be prosecuted for ““crimes of agression”, which as he states is technically, if not rather conviniently, not possible ? Why does he overlook the fact that those responsible for the destruction of Iraq, can be prosecuted under any, or indeed all three of the ICC’s ratified remits of “International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes” ?”

    Dunno, Macky. Could just be a cnut hoping for a job at CFR or somesuch.

    I think “genocide” is probably a bit of an ask. They seem rather loathe to define anything as genocide these days, unless it’s like “third worlders” doin it.

    “Crimes against humanity” or the Nuremberg definition make much more sense.

    Lest we forget, eh.

  • Herbie

    There’d have to be a radical shift in world power before any of these are brought to trial I’d imagine, other than a bit of scapegoating, here and there.

    Even were the US weakened financially or militarily, it’s still difficult to see Russia, China etc prosecuting.

    It’d be more of a stalemate kinda thing.

    UK representatives are of course in a much weaker position.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The death of Slobodan Milosevic was certainly the low point of the International Criminal Court in The Hague when the fall guy for the crimes of many others, like Blair, Clinton, and Albright, was falling apart, and he was conveniently disposed of while the trial was still in progress.

  • Exexpat

    Macky is right.

    I have met Ms Del Ponte. She was and still is my hero – especially that she stood up against the system and we all know what happens when you do that.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Right, Exexpat, but it is still just a stacked, Western court to deal with rebellious blacks and Africa, like the ICTY which dealt with the communists of former Yugoslavia as it was blown apart by NATO.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Macky

    ““I don’t think he “overlooks” it and that’s because he doesn’t see it as a “fact”.”

    It is very much a fact that the ICC has ratified remits covering “International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes”.”
    _______________________

    Yes, it is a fact that the ICC has those remits.

    But you claimed that Jesse Oppenheim was overlooking “the fact that those responsible for the destruction of Iraq, can be prosecuted under any, or indeed all three of the ICC’s ratified remits of “International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes” .

    In other words, you’re saying that it is a fact that “those responsible for Iraq” can be prosecuted under those remits.

    That is what I’m disputing – it’s not a fact, it’s merely your opinion.

    Do you understand the difference, Macky?

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