Not Because Putin Is So Great, But Because His Crimes Pale in Comparison to the Real Criminals
On Friday, the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the alleged war crime “of [the] unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine.”
I have no personal knowledge of whether U.S. government-funded claims of such transfers are true, or whether removing orphans from an active war zone is in fact a war crime. It is notable that the ICC did not allege war crimes based on the crime of aggression (see also here), i.e., the invasion itself, perhaps because that might set an unfortunate precedent:
By way of a little background, the U.S. was one of seven countries that voted against the 1998 creation of the ICC (the other six were Israel, China, Iraq, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen). In 2002, U.S. President, and soon-to-be murderer of one million Iraqis, George W. Bush, signed into law the American Service Members Protection Act (also known as the “Hague Invasion Act”), which “authorize[d] the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the [ICC] court, which is located in The Hague.” In 2020, President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who had opened an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan.
Bensouda was replaced by Karim Khan in February 2021, who promptly dropped the U.S. from its Afghanistan war crimes probe. Khan, a British lawyer, is the ICC prosecutor who brought the present charges against Putin.
Remember, these charges relate to Russia’s treatment of children. Apparently, removing children from a war zone is a war crime. But the U.S. starving 500,000 of them to death is not:
Nor is it a crime for the U.S. to burn children alive (see also here); explode children to pieces; shoot children at point blank range; fire generational birth defect-causing depleted uranium at children; rape children (see also here and here); overlook its Afghan warlord allies’ systematic rape of children; and punishing its own soldiers for trying to stop it.
Many of the above examples came to light because of Julian Assange. He’s currently in prison facing extradition to the U.S. for exposing them. Daniel Hale exposed that the U.S. drone program kills 90% innocent civilians, including women and children. He’s currently in prison for exposing that. John Kiriakou exposed that the U.S. tortured detainees. He went to jail for exposing that. But the people who launched these Wars and committed these crimes are not in prison – there’s not even an ICC arrest warrant out for them.
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