How Does That Look?

On a less frivolous note. There is this little matter of the Bush administration’s repeated, insistent attacks on the International Criminal Court, which I find massively depressing and disgusting. The Clinton administration wasn’t a great deal better, but I’m not sure they would have acted quite so aggressively as the Bush team, for instance actually bullying countries that don’t exempt the US from the Court’s jurisdiction. And I’m not sure they would have threatened to veto a UN resolution to protect humanitarian workers simply because it had the unmitigated temerity to mention the Court.

Yes I know the rationale: they’re afraid such a court would bring ‘frivolous’ prosecutions against US soldiers. Yes, but what if US soldiers do commit war crimes? What if there is another My Lai, for example? And then there’s the way the whole idea of international law is undermined if the most powerful country on the planet refuses to be subject to it. If we won’t, why should anyone else? And how do we think it makes us look to all those others? Like people who are planning to commit war crimes and want immunity in advance, is what it makes us look like. Appearances do matter.

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