What we say v what we do

The Times a couple of days ago on Bashir’s invitation to the Saudi summit.

If President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan attends the meeting this weekend with Mr. Trump, human rights advocates said, it would be a destructive breach of longstanding American policy.

The United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court but has long sought to ostracize defendants who defy the court’s arrest warrants, including Mr. Bashir, who has led Sudan for nearly three decades.

He was indicted in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region. In refusing to honor the indictments, he has come to symbolize impunity toward the Hague-based court.

The White House had no comment, the Times said politely. My guess is that that’s because they have no clue what the problem is.

Rights advocates expressed alarm at the possibility.

“Any interaction by President Trump with al-Bashir in Saudi Arabia, should al-Bashir attend the meeting, would send a terrible signal to the victims of the crimes and raise major questions about U.S. commitment to justice for them,” said Elise Keppler, associate director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. “Al-Bashir belongs in The Hague facing the charges against him, not hobnobbing with officials in Saudi Arabia.”

Mind you, we’d be in a better position to express outrage if we hadn’t refused to join the ICC ourselves.

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