The Hague Comes of Age 138

I am delighted by the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo at the International Criminal Court. As I explained at the time in a series of articles, Gbagbo was ousted as President of Ivory Coast by a corrupt election and an armed insurgency, both funded by Western oil interests, chiefly but not solely by Trafigura plc.

Gbagbo was guilty in western eyes of failing to do what left wing African leaders are supposed to do, allow himself to be quickly butchered and his supporters massacred. So Gbagbo ended up at the International Criminal Court as a war criminal, while Big Oil’s puppet, Alassane Ouattara, is now comfortably ensconced in the Presidential Palace of Ivory Coast, and getting very rich indeed.

So the acquittal of Gbagbo today – which comes as something of a shock – represents a very important coming of age for the Hague. I have always, as an internationalist, supported the International Criminal Court, but its failure to be pro-active in prosecuting Tony Blair on the Nuremburg aggressive war precedent, and its serial record of convicting only the Western powers’ designated enemies, made it very difficult to defend.

The media, insofar as they have noticed the Gbagbo acquittal, portray it as a failure and an embarrassment for the court, as though the role of a court is simply to declare guilty and bang up everyone before it. In fact this may be the occasion on which the ICC finally came of age and discovered a nodding acquaintance with the concept of justice.

The number of foreign correspondents employed by British newspapers has fallen by over 90% in 20 years. One purpose of this blog is to supply information on countries and situations which I know personally, to which the MSM simply do not pay attention. It is worth noting that this blog has been campaigning against Chinese persecution of the Uighurs for 12 years before it became the latest fashionable cause or pretext for neo-cons to pretend concern about. Indeed when I started writing about the Uighurs in 2005, I am willing to bet not one of the MSM so-called journalists who have recently churned out copy and paste articles on the subject, had ever heard of them. In a fortnight’s time I am heading for other areas where the FCO travel advice strongly advises British citizens not to venture.

Remember tonight, there is a world beyond the Brexit debate and the crass and sordid mess of Westminster politics.

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138 thoughts on “The Hague Comes of Age

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  • Geoffrey

    Amnesty International called the acquittal “crushing disappointment to the victims of post election violence” apparently.
    I thought they were good guys.

  • Sharp Ears

    More US military deaths in Manbij, Syria. Manbij is in the North of the country and is under Kurdish control.

    ‘Four US soldiers were killed and three were injured, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed American official.

    Al Jazeera sources earlier said the death toll includes two US soldiers, one Kurdish fighter, and six civilians. Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak said five Americans were killed by the explosion. Another unconfirmed report said the target was a restaurant where US, French and Kurdish troops were meeting to discuss security arrangements for the city.

    Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) mouthpiece Al-Amaq said the terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. A graphic video surveillance footage of the blast has been shared on social media, showing a group of people near the restaurant and passers by consumed by a huge fiery blast. It appears to confirm the attack was a work of a suicide bomber.’

    • michael norton

      It is being said, this is the deadlyist attack ( on the ground) of U.S. personnel, in Syria, since the start of the Syrian War.

      • Baalbek

        It was a false flag attack orchestrated by Trump to shore up his troop withdrawal plan. Just kidding 😉

    • Borncynical

      If they weren’t there illegally, the families of the dead US soldiers wouldn’t be mourning their loss. I hope someone explains to them that their Government is entirely responsible. One saving grace in my mind is that, by declaring their responsibility, IS have at least prevented the US from accusing the Syrians, Russians or Iranians of being behind the attack which I feel sure that they would otherwise have done, such is their perversity.

        • michael norton

          On 15 January, a woman suicide bomber exploded next to a US patrol in Manbij killed 18 people, including four US service personnel, and wounded 18, on the same day that US vice-president Mike Pence claimed that ISIL had been defeated.
          The Americans have not said Islamic State were responsible, very down-played by the BBC

          Four Americans were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, officials said.

          Two American service members, a U.S. Defense Department civilian employee and a contractor supporting the department were killed while “conducting a routine patrol,” according to a spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, and a statement from U.S. Central Command.

          Three other U.S. service members were also injured in the explosion in the Syrian city of Manjib, near the Turkish border

          • michael norton

            Turkey is playing this for all it is worth ( for Turkey)
            Turkey-backed rebels await ‘zero hour’ to attack Syria’s Manbij
            The YPG fear the U.S. withdrawal will open the way for a threatened Turkish attack into northern Syria, including Manbij, but U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Turkey of “economic devastation” if it goes ahead with the attack.

            The Americans have not yet put the blame on IS.

            Who would benefit and who would not benefit by the American withdrawl?

            The Russians, the Syrian and the Iranians would probably all gain benefit.
            The French would loose out, Turkey might loose out, the Kurds might loose out.
            But the rebels who are backed by Turkey might loose out the most.

            As far as we all understood, IS had been wiped out in Manbij
            what could they gain by attacking the American rear-guard?

  • Martinned

    Yes, it’s curious that everyone seems to think that an acquittal is a failure for the court, instead of a failure for the Office of the Prosecutor. On Twitter, (international criminal law scholar) Kevin John Heller has been interpreting this in the context of a tension between ICL and Human Rights Law.

  • Godfree Roberts

    “this blog has been campaigning against Chinese persecution of the Uighurs for 12 years”.

    In your original post (Think About The Uighurs, 7 Jul, 2009) you spoke of ‘the massacre of Tiananmen Square,’ which never happened (

    Is it possible that Chinese persecution of the Uighurs is also a fiction? America and its allies, under the guise of the War on Terror and humanitarian intervention, have droned, bombed and killed millions of Muslim children, women and civilians in a dozen of countries from Afghanistan to Yemen, and displaced millions more. In 2011 President Obama ordered the execution of Anwar al Awlaki, an American extremist preacher, for preaching the same kind of Wahabbist extremism, and separately executed al Awlaki, his sixteen-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, without trial. This is why Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim mass organization, and the world’s Muslim governments have not condemned China’s actions: they know that the US stirs up trouble in every Muslim country. The West is engaged in full-scale irregular war to destabilize China. The US created the Uyghur problem in Xinjiang by sponsoring terrorists there–the same tactics it used in Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

    Groups like the World Uyghur Congress have offices in Washington D.C. and are funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The NED’s website admits to meddling and breaks down its targeting of China into several regions including mainland, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang/East Turkestan (“East Turkestan” is what Uyghur militants and separatists call Xinjiang). Beijing does not recognize this name and the NED – by recognizing the term “East Turkestan” – implicitly admits that it supports separatism in Western China, even as the US decries separatists and alleged annexations in places like Donbass, Ukraine and Russian Crimea.

    The NED funds The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which exclusively refers to China’s Xinjiang province as “East Turkestan” and refers to China’s administration of Xinjiang as the “Chinese occupation of East Turkestan.” Here’s the 2017 NED report:

    NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY China (Xinjiang/East Turkestan) Advocacy and Outreach for Uyghur Human Rights (Uyghur Human Rights Project): $310,000. To raise awareness about Uyghur human rights issues, and to bring such issues to prominence globally. The grantee will research, document, and provide independent and accurate information about human rights violations affecting Uyghurs in China. It will also conduct outreach to Chinese citizens in an effort to improve the human rights conditions for Uyghurs, as well as providing international advocacy.

    Uyghur Human Rights Advocacy: World Uyghur Congress. $246,000. To raise awareness and support for Uyghurs’ human rights. The grantee will organize leadership and advocacy training seminars for Uyghur youth; monitor, document, and highlight human rights violations in East Turkestan/Xinjiang; and strengthen advocacy on Uyghur issues at the United Nations and the European Parliament.

    • Stonky

      I’m with you on this one Godfree. Increasingly, I find that if I want to be on the right side of any debate on any current matter of consequence, I need do no more that open the Guardian online, see where they stand, and move to the opposite pole.

      Over the last three or four months, the Guardian has published about thirty increasingly shrill pieces on the horrors being inflicted on the Uyghurs by the evil despots of China. And that’s pretty much all I need to know.

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