American Hypocrisy on Libya & Int'l Criminal Court

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 4/16/2011 12:54:00 AM
I read with no small amount of amusement the grandiosely titled op-ed "Libya's Pathway to Peace" by Barack Obama, David Cameron, and Nicolas Sarkozy. One way or another, none are free from hypocrisy to keep things lively. When the Libya mess erupted, Cameron was on a junket to the Middle East selling arms. Meanwhile, Sarkozy in the not-too-distant past was encouraging Western defence firms to hawk their wares in Libya.

As usual, though, the Americans take the grand prize in the hypocrites' sweepstakes. Sometime ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the chutzpah to suggest China and the Southeast Asian countries disputing islands in the South China Sea resort to "international law" when the US was famously not even a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In the grand American tradition of paying international cooperation lip service but flouting the United Nations' various conventions and instruments, the lead author and president of a country that hasn't signed up to the International Criminal Court had this to say:
Our duty and our mandate under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove Qaddafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power. The International Criminal Court is rightly investigating the crimes committed against civilians and the grievous violations of international law. It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. The brave citizens of those towns that have held out against forces that have been mercilessly targeting them would face a fearful vengeance if the world accepted such an arrangement. It would be an unconscionable betrayal.
That's pretty rich stuff, Obama. Why don't you get Congress to sign up to the ICC, then you can talk about it investigating "grievous violations." Indeed, US policy concerning the ICC is built around non-signatories being free from its jurisdiction. From a rather helpful article comes this summation of US policy concerning this very issue:
This article examines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over nationals of states not party to the ICC Statute. The article first addresses the US argument that the exercise of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of non-parties without the consent of that non-party would be contrary to international law.
As I've said, one reason for UN dysfunction is its ill treatment at the hands of its hosts. As for Obama's obvious vexation with international law and the ICC, let's just say he's even worse than Clinton. Clinton's hypocrisy was wanting to subject others to laws the US itself did not follow. Obama's hypocrisy is claiming that Libya should be investigated by the ICC in accordance with international law when the unrevised US position is that the ICC exercising jurisdiction over citizens of non-signatories is a contravention of international law.

These US foreign policy statements are strictly amateur nite.