Political system unites to condemn Omar for telling the truth

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Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Attends a panel in Clive, Iowa, Jan.31, 2020.

Photo: Marcio José Sanchez / AP

Last week Fueling the frenzy of Democratic Representative of Minnesota Ilhan Omar – including by the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives – should sow despair in anyone who clings to the faint hope that powerful Americans can discuss the world without indulging in lies childish.

It all started with an hour-long hearing on Monday by the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs under the snoozy headline “State Department Foreign Policy Strategy and Fiscal Budget Request 2022.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken answered questions from committee members, including Omar.

Omar had a serious and rational question for Blinken about the importance of American policy towards the International Criminal Court in The Hague. “You opposed the Court’s investigation in Palestine and Afghanistan,” she noted. “In both of these cases, if national courts are unable or unwilling to pursue justice, and we oppose the ICC, where do we think victims are supposed to seek justice, and what justice mechanisms do you support?” for them ?

Blinken had an insignificant and irrational response. “Whether it’s the United States or Israel,” he said, “we both have the mechanisms to make sure that there is accountability in any situation where there is concern about the situation. use of force and human rights. It is insulting false at first glance. To choose one of the hundreds of examples, there has been no US prosecution of those responsible for acts of torture under the Bush administration. More importantly, former President George W. Bush himself launched a war of aggression against Iraq and now happily spends his days delivering speeches to the government. National Association of Grocers and hang out with former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The reason for Blinken’s absurd claim is obvious. The treaty that created the ICC States that the court “will be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions”. But cases will be admissible by the ICC if the responsible state “is unwilling or unable to genuinely investigate or prosecute” – in other words, the situation which clearly concerns the United States (as well as Israel and many other countries).

The origin of the ICC can be traced back to a diplomatic conference in Rome in 1998, with 120 countries voting for and seven, including the United States, voting against. The six like-minded American compatriots on this issue were China and Israel, most likely Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, Qatar and Yemen. (Although the vote was not officially recorded, the United States, China and Israel all confirmed their negative votes; observers suspect that Iraq, Libya, Qatar and Yemen were the other votes ” no “.)

The United States nevertheless signed the treaty on December 31, 2000, at the end of the Clinton administration. But in 2002, while Bush was in the White House, then Under Secretary of State John Bolton informed the United Nations with relish that the United States had “no legal obligation arising from its signature on December 31, 2000”. That same year, Congress passed a law authorizing the president to do anything – which logically includes the invasion of the Netherlands – to prevent any American citizen from being prosecuted by the ICC.

More recently, the Trump administration became extremely upset when the ICC authorized an investigation into potential crimes committed in Afghanistan by the United States, the Taliban and the country’s government. Equally serious, the tribunal announced an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that this was not allowed and that the United States would impose severe penalties on ICC personnel.

The GOP’s take on the ICC has always been straightforward: The United States has the right to go anywhere on Earth and do whatever it wants, and it’s fundamentally illegitimate for Americans to do. facing consequences. Democrats see the problem in much the same way, but believe that equivalent goals can be achieved with less screaming. Both parties categorically reject The standard articulated by Robert Jackson, the American chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal, at the end of World War II: “If certain acts of treaty violation are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or the United States does it. ‘Germany does them. And we are not prepared to impose a rule of criminal conduct on others that we would not be prepared to invoke against us.

It was this concept of equal justice under international law that angered Republicans and many Democrats when Omar tweeted this after the hearing. Once again, the ICC has scheduled investigations into the US military and the Taliban and the Afghan government, as well as the IDF and the Palestinian forces. This is what Omar was referring to here:

The panic that followed was something to see, and it all evaded the real concerns of those who panicked – that is, making sure the ICC never prosecutes Americans.

There was first complaints that Omar was engaging in a “moral equivalence” between the United States and Israel on the one hand and the Taliban and Hamas on the other. “Moral equivalence” is a meaningless propaganda term that has been invented under the Reagan administration to get the United States to support, among other things, the Salvadoran army as it carries out the mass slaughter of the peasants. How is this morality measured? None of those who use the term ever have an explanation – which makes sense, considering that if you go by something like body count, the United States is way forward little ones like the Taliban.

Second, there were officials like Democratic Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois, who proclaimed that “democracies should never be equated with terrorists”. It is just as absurd. Of course, democracies will be “lumped together” with terrorists, if we are to have an equal justice system that treats the same offenses equally. There is also no clear dividing line between democracies and terrorists – something which is particularly clear in this case, since the United States and Israel have engaged in terrorism by a normal definition. In the end, Hamas was in fact elected, winning the Palestinian election in 2006. Then the United States, as a magnificent democracy, refused to accept this and attempted organize a coup and overthrow the new Palestinian government.

Ultimately, the backlash forced Omar on a tactical retreat: she released a statement Thursday saying she “in no way equated terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”

But it was all a game of shadows. The real reason for the war against Omar – the need to maintain the absolute impunity of the United States and Israel for their actions – is too obnoxious for those who wage the war to say it out loud. So all the top politicians in America ended up with ridiculous lies.



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