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NGOs Plot Wave of Criminal Referrals to Legitimize International Criminal Court
By Staff News & Analysis - December 28, 2012
NGOs Submit Evidence to ICC on Crimes Against Humanity and Impunity in Honduras, Call on Court to Take Up Case ... Today, two leading human rights organizations submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, including expert testimony, periodic compilations of crimes against humanity committed in the last year, and evidence showing there has been no accountability so far for the crimes in Honduras since the 2009 coup. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) made the submission. – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Dominant Social Theme: The International Court fights for you and me – and worldwide justice against those that disobey our perception of what is correct with impunity.
Free-Market Analysis: We don't usually pursue sourced stories because we analyze memes. But regular readers are well aware that a dominant social theme is not merely a hypothetical elite suggestion. Such themes can generate their own reality via something we call directed history.
When it comes to manmade enterprises like the International Criminal Court, directed history can be enlisted to provide legitimacy. And in this case, sourced prognostications of NGO support for the ICC in South America are borne out by articles like this one, excerpted above.
We've learned from sources that NGOs throughout South America and Africa are conducting an organized effort to identify crimes against humanity that can be referred to the ICC.
While there has been considerable pushback against the ICC in the West, such concerns are not so predominant in various developing countries. Here's some more from the article:
Said Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Attorney Pam Spees, "Hondurans have been courageously doing all that they can to ensure accountability in the face of such violent political persecution, and many have paid an awful price. The evidence we submitted today shows not only that they cannot find justice in their own country for the killings and other abuses committed after the coup, but that they risk their lives in doing so, which is why it is imperative that the ICC take up the case."
Since the coup, hundreds of people, including journalists, trade unionists, land activists and human rights lawyers have been killed or disappeared, most recently, Antonio Trejo Cabrero, a lawyer representing peasant cooperatives, on September 23rd, and Manuel Eduardo Díaz Mazariegos, a special prosecutor for human rights, on September 24th.
Documents obtained by the Center for Constitutional Rights testify to the impunity of a leading human rights abuser in his home country, which speaks significantly to the question of jurisdiction since the ICC is considered a court of last resort. Some of the evidence submitted was obtained in the course of litigating a human rights case in the U.S. on behalf of the parents of Isis Murillo, a youth killed by the Honduran military at a peaceful demonstration shortly after the June 28, 2009 military coup. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the case on June 23, 2011 against Honduran coup leader Roberto Micheletti Baín, the former head of the de facto government immediately following the coup.
This is just one example of an upcoming wave of cases, sources have told us. The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis has been characterized in the international community as a "coup d'état." According to Wikipedia, "The coup took place in January 2010 ... when President Manuel Zelaya was arrested and forcibly sent to San José, Costa Rica. Zelaya attempted reentry into the country on several occasions. According to the constitution, it is illegal to expatriate any Honduran citizen."
While it sounds legally appropriate for some sort of august body to look into such goings on, in fact, never in the history of humankind that we know of has one single, over-arching legal body claimed a brief to do so. The US does not recognize the ICC, nor do many other countries.
As is always the case with elite memes, the developing world is being dragooned into legitimizing what would not be feasible within the so-called first world. It is all part of what would seem to be a power elite plan to build a full panoply of legally realized governmental structures.
There is NATO, the military arm of the UN, the UN itself, which functions as a global political body, the IMF, which can be seen as the world's central-bank-in-waiting, etc. The ICC is part of a group of legal facilities that claim worldwide legitimacy even though there is no legal precedent for its establishment or operation.
The ICC's existence is justified by the idea that bad actors in various countries can no longer begin or continue their behavior "with impunity." The trouble with such tropes is that the ICC and the 2,000-plus NGOs that the ICC has been able to assemble in support of its mission are the ones deciding who is behaving with impunity and who is not.
We've written about the Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, for instance, who is awaiting trial before the ICC. Gbagbo served as president of the Ivory Coast for most of the first decade of the 21st century. In April of 2011, Gbagbo was arrested by the Republican Army of the Ivory Coast for refusing to step down after being defeated by Alassane Ouattara in the October 2010 presidential election, and again in November 2010 in the second round, the results of which he disputed, leading eventually to his arrest.
The arrest on its face seems unjust, as President Ouattara's vote total was challenged by Gbagbo. The Ivorian Constitutional Council threw out many of Ouattara's votes and declared Gbagbo the winner. At this point, the French along with the UN stepped in and demanded that Gbagbo resign. When he declined, the French and UN forces fought Gbagbo's forces and eventually arrested him and turned him over to the Hague and the ICC.
The Ivory Coast has not become calmer since his arrest on grounds of crimes against humanity. Ouattara, a former IMF official who intends to rule in a technocratic style, has not been able to do so yet. Instead, he has arrested thousands of Gbagbo supporters and has set up makeshift prisons.
Gbagbo supporters are said to be kept awake with kicks and blows from rifle butts while some whose interrogations are not deemed sufficient are kept in makeshift privies among feces for an unspecified amount of time. We've covered this story in some detail and our articles can be seen online. Search for "Gbagbo" and "The Daily Bell."
The point is that Ouattara, who happens to be Muslim, is no less or more culpable for the current violence wracking the Ivory Coast than Gbagbo. Yet it is only Gbagbo that is jailed, having apparently been tortured during his arrest before being deposited in the Hague.
The French, who yet run The Ivory Coast from afar, have used the ICC justice system as a way of removing a man who was inimical to their interests in favor of a Muslim technocrat who will organize The Ivory Coast's lucrative cocoa trade along lines that French industrialists desire.
This is just one example of why centralized judicial proceedings are dangerous to the large civil fabric of individual countries. The ICC in particular – and the UN generally – are available for manipulation by great powers. Justice then simply becomes "politics by other means" ... an extension of a tool box that includes war, black ops and various methodologies of suasion, violent or not, that allow Western elites to keep control.
There is no chance that Gbagbo will get a fair trial if he actually makes it that far. The ICC is not really set up to deliver justice but is merely an extension of Western powers' policies – a way of continuing to enforce what the power elites wishes to impose on the developing world as part of a drive toward global governance.
The mechanisms as regards the judiciary are certainly in place, from what we can tell. An emergent "international criminal law" paradigm is taking shape. University students can now specialized in international criminal law even though there is no legitimate enforcement mechanism to support their newfound degrees.
In such a manner is international criminal law being erected, by creating a phony demand for an illegitimate judicial system. The crimes don't really matter, nor are they necessarily valid ones except from the perspective of the larger powers-that-be that want certain enemies punished and specific "atrocities" illuminated.
And while the current emphasis is on crimes against humanity (a contradictory accusation itself) the International Criminal Court is surely not going to restrict its purview; over time expect the court to expand into more mundane areas such as drug smuggling and sex trafficking.
Eventually, it will not be leaders of countries who will appear before the ICC but normal, everyday people snared by manufactured "justice" and helpless to combat the elite's voracious appetite for international power.