#BTColumn – The Goose and the Gander
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Lenrod Nzulu Baraka
In November 2017, Fatou Bensouda, an ICC prosecutor, requested authorization to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
Prosecutor Bensouda did not specify any nation as the subject of the investigation. All parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan would be investigated to determine whether war crimes had been committed by any of the parties involved.
Although not specifically mentioned as a target of the proposed investigation, the US State Department immediately retaliated against the ICC. The United States has announced that it will revoke or deny visas to ICC members involved in the proposed investigations.
Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added that his government was prepared to impose economic sanctions on ICC members if investigations into the United States and its allies were launched.
The United States’ response to the ICC’s investigative proposals expresses with singular clarity the contempt of the United States and its allies for multinational and international organizations.
Not only is the United States not a member of the ICC, but The Hague Invasion Act authorizes the United States federal government to take appropriate measures to protect the United States military and other elected and appointed personnel from the US government against criminal prosecution by the ICC.
The United States and its allies can therefore act with impunity by launching special military operations in any country of their choice. The citizens of Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan have horrific stories to tell of the collateral damage inflicted on civilians during US-led military operations in those countries.
Like the deity portrayed in Jewish and Christian scripture, the United States and its allies can do no wrong, even when the evidence overwhelmingly points to wrongdoing.
The impunity with which some nations can act raises haunting questions about the power of international organizations that seem only able to exercise their authority over militarily and economically weak nations.
The disregard for the authority of international organizations by the United States and its allies has only undermined confidence in these organizations. Pope Francis has publicly declared that the United Nations is powerless. This admission by Pope Francis is a stark reminder that the current world order is not fair and needs major reform.
If the world wants to call the conflict in Ukraine an invasion, then the world must also be prepared to call US and NATO military operations in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan invasions as well.
If the world wants to call President Putin a war criminal and a butcher, the same must be said of the American and NATO leaders who are responsible for what is euphemistically called collateral damage during invasions of sovereign nations. .
The United States and its allies must be held to the same moral and ethical standards applied to the rest of the international community.
India, Russia and China are in the best position to create a breach in the current world order and exert the pressure necessary to force the United States and its allies to conform to the norms agreed within the international community. The war in Ukraine is an object lesson that what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The United States may have dropped the first atomic bomb on another country, but the United States is not the only country capable of unleashing nuclear engineering.
The US quest to maintain its unipolar hegemonic global control, if left unchecked, will ultimately drive the world to the precipice of destruction.
The world can dodge the nuclear bullet in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, but it is highly unlikely that nuclear weapons will not be fired in a war between China and the United States.
Lenrod Nzulu Baraka is the founder of the Afro-Caribbean Spiritual Teaching Center.