Will Justice Be Done?


Yesterday, The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the current President of Sudan. The counts are: Murder, Extermination, Torture, Rape, Pillage, Forcible Transfer of People, and Deliberate Attacks on Civilians. That’s a lot of bad stuff this guy has allegedly done.

For those of you who don’t know the details about the carnage in Sudan, here is a capsule summary:

People in Darfur don’t live well. One reason is that the Darfur region is woefully short on water and thus arable land. This, through some event I’m not sure of, caused certain groups to start a rebellion in Darfur. The Sudanese government did not like this, so they tried to , and continue to do so presumably, crush rebels and anyone else they feel like. Keep in mind that the Darfuris are Black and the Sudanese government is Arabic.

In any event, Mr. Bashir is responsible for a staggering amount of severe human suffering. Unless there is a conspiracy amongst thousands of world news outlets, I believe there is ample evidence to show the Sudanese government did in fact commit serious crimes against humanity. Now, comes an attempt at justice from the ICC.

On its face, this looks like a good idea. Mr. Bashir committed these crimes and needs to be held accountable. Discord continues to exist in Darfur, and it does not appear that Sudan’s government is willing to remedy the situation. The arrest warrant could just be a political ploy to pressure Bashir to cooperate in bringing peace to the Darfur region. In reality, however, this guy does not seem a cooperative, gregarious person. Maybe there is a purely retributive purpose to the arrest warrant. There are two primary directions that this warrant can lead to.

1. The ICC wants to take a firm stand against perpetrators of the ugliest caliber. If they actually arrest Bashir, this could be an important precendent setting event that no matter who you are, you will be punished for your crimes. Maybe, but probably not, the ICC could deter future state actors from committing heinous crimes with impunity.

2. The ICC made a poor political decision. It is clear that there are too many nations (i.e. China and Russia) that couldnt’ care less about starving Africans in the middle of a desert. Therefore, it is not likely that Bashir will change his ways because of an inadequately backed warrant. Without that support, the UN may suspend the ICC arrest warrant, and Bashir is again free to do what he pleases. If the latter scenario unfolds, the ICC will also lose credibility and be less able to carry out any future prosections of war criminals.

Which one do I think is more likely? Number 2. Mr. Bashir is going to an Arab Summit meeting somewhere in the midde east soon. The prosecutor for the ICC said that Bashir may be arrested if he leaves Sudan. I find this scenario a little absurd. Who will put the cuffs on him? Which Country will want to risk the ire of China or Russia by actually doing the deed? Probably no one.

Nice try, ICC, but I’ll give you a break in that three of the most powerful nations didn’t feel like signing on. The only way to succeed is for the U.S. to take a lead and join the ICC, and for us to arrest that fucker Bashir.


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