'Corrupted' ICC Is a Tool to Be 'Used by NATO Leaders, But Never Against Them'
NATO is trying to use the "corrupted" International Criminal Court against Russia, as the ICC’s recently issued "arrest warrants" against President Vladimir Putin and his children’s rights commissioner prove, Tim Anderson, Director of the Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies, emphasizes.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), which on 17 March put out "orders of arrest" against Russian President Vladimir Putin
and children’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, has been captured by states belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to serve its purpose, writer and academic Tim Anderson told Sputnik
The ICC justified its decision on the grounds of alleged "unlawful deportation" of Ukrainian children from the conflict zone to Russia, despite Moscow repeatedly insisting that it is trying to relocate civilians, including children, away from frontline areas. Russia’s officials and diplomats have publicly highlighted that residents often face indiscriminate shelling attacks by the Kiev regime
on civilian infrastructure.
"However, just like the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was corrupted for use against Syria, similarly, now it is not surprising that NATO is trying to use the ICC against Russia," Tim Anderson, Director of the Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies, said.
The expert was referring to documented OPCW efforts to censor and smear
agency whistleblowers who revealed that the watchdog’s report on the April 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, was doctored to implicate the Assad government. Furthermore, the timing of the move by the Hague-based ICC against Russia’s President has been likened to "some kind of sick joke" by Anderson. Coming on the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq
, he said it could only serve as a reminder that the court in question was a tool to be "used by NATO leaders and never against them".
"Up until now the ICC has mainly been used against African leaders. Washington and the Israelis reject any cooperation with the ICC, so as to maintain their self-proclaimed 'exceptional' status... Still no ICC arrest warrant [has been issued] against George Bush and Tony Blair for the illegal invasion of Iraq?" Tim Anderson observed.
The fact that US President Joe Biden vocally supported the ICC's "arrest warrant"
against Vladimir Putin, saying on Friday that it is "justified", is a typical case of double standards
wielded by Washington, Dr Marco Marsili, Researcher at Cà Foscari University of Venice, told Sputnik
He also recalled how Moscow earlier dismissed the warrants
, saying The Hague's decrees were "legally null and void
", since Russia is not a party to the ICC's Rome Statute and has no obligations under it, and is not engaged in cooperation with this body.
"South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia (2016), Russia (2016) and the Philippines (2018) withdrew from the ICC, accusing it of being an instrument of political pressure of Western powers. They revoked their withdrawal. Russia did not," recalled the associate fellow at the Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis, adding:
"In March 2018, the Philippines withdrew from the ICC after the Court began an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte. Former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir also had an arrest warrant when he was head of state and he was stopped while in South Africa (that's why South Africa withdrew from the ICC). Bashir was also accused by the US of being a war criminal, but after Washington settled some questions, he was removed from the black list... Israel also does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC because its leaders do not want to be tried for crimes against Palestinians."
As for "double standards" at play, Dr Marco Marsili quoted remarks made by US officials denying the ICC's authority over the US and its ally Israel.
"The US government has always accused the ICC of being an 'unlawful, so-called court', a 'crazy, renegade, political body', 'an unaccountable political institution, masquerading as a legal body'. I am citing then US State secretary Mike Pompeo in 2019 and 2020," Marsili said.
Indeed, Pompeo, under the presidency of Donald Trump, fumed in June 2020 that, "the ICC and the world will see that we are determined to prevent having Americans and our friends and allies in Israel and elsewhere hauled in by this corrupt ICC".
However, according to the former election observer for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the US "supported" the ICC's targeting of President Putin, but "denied the Court prosecutor and her assistants the authorization for entering the country to investigate American political and military leaders for alleged crimes committed in the war on terror on foreign soil (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc)."
"This is double standards," Marsili concluded