Monday, June 27, 2011

Hague to Gadaffi: "You're under arrest!" 

I am no fan of Muammar Gadaffi, but for some reason, it was slightly amusing to me to read that the ICC has issued an arrest warrant:
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Monday for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and rebels trying to oust him said their forces had advanced to within 80 km (50 miles) of the capital Tripoli.

The court approved warrants for Gaddafi as well as his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity. ICC prosecutors allege they were involved in the killing of protesters who rose up in February against Gaddafi's 41-year rule.
I hope Gadaffi falls from power, but the legal gymnastics of the ICC amount to little more than window dressing. Whenever the ICC or UN issues a similar edict, it is in large part based on the implied threat of the ability of the U.S. to project military force, pretty much anytime, anywhere. Lacking such an implied threat, it reminds of a scene in a pretty funny movie (no, not Team America and the angry letter scene with Kim/Blix, NSFW), when actor Brian Keith, playing a policeman on a New England island, takes out his pad and tries to write a ticket to the Soviet submarine commander in "The Russians Are Coming." A young Alan Arkin is excellent in that scene and the entire movie, and does a great accent.

That is, law enforcement at any level only works when you actually have the power to enforce. Under the previous U.S. administration, it was clear that the ICC was not particularly friendly to the U.S. or the U.S. military (I recall serious discussions by significant European politicians with influence at the Hague to indict Bush and/or Rumsfeld); now, the ICC relies on the U.S. to provide its warrant with some meaning.

: Spelling "Hague" (not Hauge), as pointed out by Southern Roots in the comments below.


By Anonymous Dennis, at Mon Jun 27, 12:51:00 PM:

Does this mean that the International Court (is that body official enough for Caps?)has assumed jurisdiction of Mr. Khadaffi (sp?)?; does it have that authority? If they do have jurisdiction, is killing him an illegal act? Does that make the war (from this point on) illegal from an international standard?

It doesn't seem to me that you can treat this as both a war (or an armed intervention) and a legal matter at the same time.

But, then, I'm not a lawyer.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Mon Jun 27, 11:35:00 PM:

Ah yes! The Russians Are Coming!

I remember seeing that at the Drive-In as a little kid.

One has to admire the style of New Englander portrayed in the movie, ready to fight a submarine crew armed with a deck gun and machine guns with nothing but small arms. They weren't going to cut and run or cower under the bed until 'the authorities" arrived. They were going to defend their homes. Personal cost was secondary.

It's a great moment. I think it says a lot about the America of 50 years ago.

Would New Englanders do the same thing today in similar circumstances? Sadly, I think not.

It was a different world 50 years ago.  

By Anonymous SouthernRoots, at Tue Jun 28, 12:32:00 AM:

escort - small note; it's spelled Hague.

Makes you wonder what took so long for them decide he was a bad guy.  

By Blogger sykes.1, at Tue Jun 28, 09:23:00 AM:

It is almost certain that most Libyans, especially women, would be much better off if Gaddhafy (sp?) wins than if he is deposed or killed (which the US is trying to do).  

By Blogger bob, at Tue Jun 28, 10:16:00 AM:

Where's Assad's arrest warrant?  

By Anonymous Dennis, at Tue Jun 28, 11:51:00 PM:

No, Really. They may be silly or stupid questions but I would really like answers (see 1st comment above)  

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