When international law designed to stop war crimes is used by war criminals.
A historic ruling handed down by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found former-US President George W. Bush and his associates guilty of war crimes including torture. Using standards provided by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and based on the precedent set by the Nuremberg trials, the tribunal succeeded in observing existing international standards in reaching its verdict before forwarding the results to the ICC and the United Nations.
Video: Nile Bowie reports on the conclusion of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal held in Malaysia earlier this month, which found former-US President George W. Bush and his associates guilty of war crimes. Those involved in the trial are under no illusions that the ICC and UN will most likely do nothing regarding very real war crimes, but recognize the importance of the trial in exposing this fact.
However, for those involved, they are under no illusions that the ICC or the UN will take actions against the accused. As noted by Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the Centre for Research on Globalization, the very institutions charged with maintaining international rule of law, have been in fact instrumental in facilitating its violation by the hands of powerful Western nations. Professor Chossudovsky stated, “the fact that if war criminals are not prosecuted by the domestic and international legal system, that means that the legal apparatus, the judicial system is turned upside down and is serving the interests of the war criminals who actually call the shots.”
Indeed, it is clear, as in Libya, genocidal terrorist organizations, stated as such on both US and British terror organization lists, were empowered by this very upturning of “international law,” where baseless claims of “human rights” violations were not only used to accuse and undermine leaders of sovereign nation-states, but used to justify acts of war in deposing targeted governments. In Libya, not only were militants led by terrorist organizations like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group committing very real atrocities, but NATO itself did as well. Militants on the ground purposefully blockaded entire cities, cutting off food, water, electricity, and medical supplies while NATO flattened the city with daily airstrikes. In other words, NATO did demonstratively before the eyes of the world what it accused the Libyan government of doing used to justify its military intervention in the first place.
We see a similar scenario unfolding in Syria, however, now, the US has already admitted that despite a UN brokered ceasefire, it is arranging the arming of militants now exposed as having direct ties to Al Qaeda and other extremist organizations, admittedly carrying out a campaign of terror across Syria, specifically targeting civilian populations. The US has also admitted, in the midst of an alleged UN ceasefire, that it is attempting to trigger a violent Kurdish uprising. As Professor Chossudovsky has illustrated, “international law” has clearly been turned upside down to the benefit of real, demonstrative war criminals.
So then, the tribunal held in Malaysia successfully exposed “international law” as dysfunctional and in fact, counter productive – enabling, not deterring gross acts of global injustice, wars of aggression, and the systematic abuse of human rights and freedom in nation after nation by an expanding international criminal cartel centered on Wall Street and London. And while this is useful in and of itself, the tribunal and those involved, by extending convictions beyond figure heads like George Bush and Richard Cheney to include advisers and policy makers of corporate-funded think-tanks, a wider network of criminality has been exposed as well.
The ICC and UN will predictably do nothing regarding this ruling. This should not even be expected. Instead, the tribunal should be understood in the context as not only a form of protest, but the boycotting of a corrupt system and the creation of a viable, more inclusive alternative. Legal proceedings are designed to examine evidence and convict guilty parties, then determining appropriate and practical punitive measures.
Those involved in the crimes described by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal are but a small proportion of a much larger international criminal cartel representing the largest corporate-financier powers on earth. While imprisonment may be the most ideal punishment to level against those convicted in Malaysia, it is not currently practical.
Instead, identifying the individuals, corporations, and institutions directly responsible and in fact harboring many of those convicted, and imposing “sanctions” on them, is not only practical, but will help erode the unwarranted base of power from which these global elite operate with absolute impunity. Eventually, if the silent majority finds the resolve to act on the tribunal’s ruling, and impose “sanctions” on the special interests driving these criminal acts, and should this atmosphere of impunity be eroded, imprisoning international war criminals may eventually become a practical reality.