This must have been the title of the clickbait advertisement the Trump administration saw and decided to click on when the International Criminal Court rocked up to investigate US war crimes in Afghanistan. Because only the innocent attempt to obstruct justice, right?
The US invasion of Afghanistan began soon after the 9/11 terror attacks that brought down the WTC in 2001. There is a much longer history in the region, most of which was the precursor to 9/11 and the subsequent war (that still continues to this day), such as Russia’s invasion in the 1970’s and the US’ initial backing of Osama bin Laden.
The ICC has been working towards an investigation of war crimes that have taken place in the war-torn country since May 2003, and in November 2017 they announced that prosecutors will begin taking action. This absolutely includes investigations into the conduct of US personnel in the region – realistically this is just a formality, as we already know the extent of the US’ imperial tendencies, both in the Middle East and elsewhere across the globe.
The US also have an extreme history, along with other superpowers, of obstructing justice, not only in their own country, but internationally as well. The UN Security Council veto, for example, that they (along with the other permanent members of the UNSC (US, UK, France, Russia, and China)) hold is one of the greatest flaws in how the UNSC functions, as it very much limits the scope of the UN’s supposed role and power. A quick aside here though, as I feel it necessary to state. Russia most certainly has a lot to answer for regarding its role in the Middle East, but the difference between them and the US is that on ‘our side’, we know Russia has done immense wrong. We are, however, led to believe for the most part that the US is a ‘peacekeeper’, the one fighting for freedom. The wrongdoing on the US’ behalf needs to be emphasised simply to prove there is no ‘good guy’ in these scenarios, only insane and devastating proxy wars between multiple chaotic powers.
In this ICC investigation, this obstruction takes the form of simply blocking them from the US. “I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel.” That was what Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, said last Friday. When looking this up I also found an article by the Jerusalem Post that gave another reason for US attacks on the ICC – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both the US and Israel have warned the ICC from further pursuing investigations into Israeli conduct, especially in regard to war crimes and illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories.
In both Afghanistan and the Occupied Territories, there is no doubt at all that war crimes have been committed. I am slowly getting through a book, Gaza Unsilenced, about the Israeli offensive into Gaza in 2014, and some of the stuff has been harrowing. Pompeo defended his decision by saying the ICC “could illegitimately target American personnel for prosecutions and sentencing.” I fear there is nothing illegitimate about investigating US atrocities in wars around the world; it is entirely justified.
To prevent the ICC and other international bodies from carrying out these types of investigations and going as far as to threaten them if they push for it is simply an admission of guilt. They know what they have done, and that it is in violation over International Law, so they do everything they can to shut down prying eyes and ears.
Liked this? Read Calling Out AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic
Previous piece: Politicians Squabble After Christchurch, Coalition Is Complicit