Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chemical Weapons? Tell it to the ICC!

Benjamin B. Ferencz, prosecutor during the Nuremberg war crimes trials

I hate to burst Congress' (and Obama's) bubble, but if the declaration of war on Syria they're debating is predicated on crimes involving chemical weapons, they're usurping the authority properly assigned to another body.

I'll take the liberty of quoting in full a letter from yesterday's New York Times:
Using poison gas has been a war crime since the 1920s. The Nuremberg trials made plain that crimes are committed by individuals. Only the responsible leaders should be held to judicial account.

No one wants the United States to be the policeman of the world. Congress is not a suitable forum to determine facts and responsibility. The United Nations Security Council should refer the issue to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is competent to penalize crimes against humanity.

Delray Beach, Fla., Sept. 1, 2013

The writer was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War II.
I wonder what it would look like if all of the lawyers serving the United States Congress were to show some respect for the law when it comes to allegations of criminal use of chemical weapons?

Maybe it's time to listen to Ben . . . .

Related posts

Here's a modest proposal: the United Nations should use the occasion of the convening of the General Assembly to address both the actions of the Syrian government (including use of force against civilians) and the actions of the United States government (including the use of drone strikes to kill civilians and terrorize civilian populations).

(See Will the UN Be Talking About Chemical Weapons Instead of Drones In September? (Why not BOTH?) )

If the American public knew the nature of the crimes that its government was committing in Afghanistan, could it possibly sit still and not force an end to the war, and the removal of U.S. military, intelligence, and contractors from Afghanistan?

(See VAU Afgh 101: Attacks Against Civilians)

Virtual Antiwar University (VAU) 101 focuses on eight categories of U.S. war crimes, selected from Mike Haas' book, George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes.

(See VAU Afghanistan 101: US War Crimes )