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African leaders want indictments of Bush, Blair and Netanyahu — NPR

Opinion
on 18 Comments

As you surely heard, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was able to visit South Africa and then fly out today ahead of calls for his arrest for charges pending against him in the International Criminal Court stemming from the genocide in Darfur. He was able to get away because some in South Africa do not accept the authority of the ICC.

National Public Radio covered the story this morning, and reporter Ofeibea Quist-Arcton was asked by host David Green why authorities in South Africa let him get away. She let this slip in the final seconds:

Quist-Arcton: It’s not just South Africa. I have to tell you that the African Union, the leaders of the African Union– have instructed member states not to cooperate with the ICC, which they say is anti-African, anti-poor, singling out African leaders. And why hasn’t it gone after the likes of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel because they are war criminals, say many Africans.

Green: We’re out of time Ofeibea.

Just now on National Public Radio, David Crane, who prosecuted a case involving Sierra Leone at the ICC, said that the defiance of the ICC by South Africa will diminish the court’s authority. But asked a similar question to the one this morning, he said there is no double standard when it comes to African leaders. Neither he nor host Melissa Block mentioned George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Netanyahu.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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18 Responses

  1. Citizen on June 15, 2015, 5:18 pm

    Why would’t they make such a demand?

  2. WH on June 15, 2015, 5:34 pm

    ‘the defiance of the ICC by South Africa will diminish the court’s authority.’

    What authority, exactly? The court has so far proved almost entirely useless.

    • Hostage on June 16, 2015, 11:13 am

      the defiance of the ICC by South Africa will diminish the court’s authority.’

      I doubt that. On two previous occasions Bashir had to cancel plans to visit South Africa because of the ICC warrant. This time, the South African executive branch had to cut short Bashir’s visit and sneak him out of the country from a military base, after the South African Courts had ordered that he be detained while hearings were in progress on surrendering him to the ICC. That might reflect poorly on the authority of the South African Courts, but it illustrates that the ICC had an effect.

      What authority, exactly? The court has so far proved almost entirely useless.

      Some of the fault for that lies with the Security Council, based upon its refusal to take action after the fact to support their own referrals, and for actively blocking referrals of serious situations. The UN is freeloading, by refusing to fund those investigations and prosecutions and in not ordering all member states to cooperate in arresting suspects, like Bashir. The two Prosecutors the Court has had so far, should have been removed under the terms of Article 46 of the Rome Statute for repeatedly delaying investigations and prosecutions of situations that had been properly referred to the Court by member and non-member states. Likewise, the judges should never allow the Office of the Prosecutor to discuss situations with political officials, like US Secretary of State John Kerry, who publicly took credit for making 50 phone calls to prevent the Prosecutor’s from accepting Palestine’s declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction.

  3. amigo on June 15, 2015, 5:43 pm

    Al Jazeera is reporting that he flew back home to Sudan today , Monday.

    I don,t know if he is guilty but as he is not a white suspect , he is screwed.The ICC needs to earn it,s keep and show us all it is a worth while institution.

    Blair , Bush and co will never see the inside of the Hague.Justice in the ICC does not work that way,

    • catalan on June 16, 2015, 9:06 am

      “don,t know if he is guilty but as he is not a white suspect , he is screwed” amigo
      Read “What is the What?”, it’s a terrific book on the subject of South Sudan. Fiction, you know.

      • amigo on June 16, 2015, 2:06 pm

        Read “What is the What?”, it’s a terrific book on the subject of South Sudan. Fiction, you know. – ” catalan.

        You refused to read a two para summary I posted for you and you want me to read a whole book.

        As to fiction –read , “Israel is a democracy with the most moral Army which goes out of it,s way t to avoid killing civillians at the risk of it,s own soldiers who are at the forefront of Israel,s enduring efforts to make peace.”

        Go back to work catalan before one of your dumb brainless American fellow workers sees you .

        ““Americans are awful at math, chemistry, history and pretty much every other subject. They do have the largest waistlines though and are best at whining -“catalan

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Poor catalan , just cannot make his mind up.
        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/time-boycott-jerrys#comment-767951

  4. echinococcus on June 16, 2015, 12:45 am

    Expect some heads to be rolling at NPR –those who let in uncensored that last sentence.

  5. CigarGod on June 16, 2015, 8:53 am

    Good stuff!
    I like the obvious hypocrisy bubbling to the surface and being commented on. I like the attempts at hiding it, too. Sometimes hiding activity…creates a lot of noise.

  6. eljay on June 16, 2015, 9:03 am

    Quist-Arcton: It’s not just South Africa. I have to tell you that the African Union, the leaders of the African Union– have instructed member states not to cooperate with the ICC, which they say is anti-African, anti-poor, singling out African leaders. And why hasn’t it gone after the likes of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel because they are war criminals, say many Africans.

    African Union, please don’t use the U.S., the U.K. or “moral beacon” Israel as your role models. Instead, strive to be as good as the best and to pursue the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

    With any luck, they will do the same some day.

    • oldgeezer on June 17, 2015, 12:42 am

      @eljay

      They aren’t suggesting the US, UK, or Israel are moral beacons. They are saying the bigger offenders are going scot free and in that they are quite correct.

      Regardless it doesn’t excuse their crimes. Just as conflicts between other middle eastern states doesn’t excuse the huge volumes of Israeli crimes.

      • eljay on June 17, 2015, 7:19 am

        || oldgeezer: They aren’t suggesting the US, UK, or Israel are moral beacons. ||

        I know. Only Israel is a “moral beacon”, and only because it said so. ;-)

        || They are saying the bigger offenders are going scot free and in that they are quite correct. Regardless it doesn’t excuse their crimes. ||

        My point exactly.

  7. a blah chick on June 16, 2015, 2:51 pm

    I can tell someone gave careful thought as to what picture of Blair to use. Excellent choice.

  8. Bornajoo on June 16, 2015, 6:02 pm

    “I can tell someone gave careful thought as to what picture of Blair to use. Excellent choice.”

    Agree ABC but they shouldn’t have airbrushed out his horns and fangs.

    And they should use his real name; The Devil

  9. peter hindrup on June 16, 2015, 9:13 pm

    Forgot John Howard of Australia! How could you? His head has to be in the picture as they line these bods up on the scaffold. Has too!

  10. watzal on June 18, 2015, 7:52 am

    The ICC is an instrument of power in the hand of the Western imperial states. As long as George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Benjamin Netanyahu and the other Western war criminals are not indicted the ICC is going to lose the rest of its little credibility.

    For German-reading Americans: http://between-the-lines-ludwig-watzal.blogspot.de/2015/06/the-icc-western-criminal-court-against.html

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