Ratko Mladic's extradition is a great day for international justice … Mladic's detention in the Hague is a triumph of the global movement for accountability. Now let's get the US fully on board … At last they've got him. There's not much good news from Europe at the moment, but the fact that Ratko Mladic (left) is now sitting in the detention cell of an international tribunal in the Hague is a cause for unqualified celebration. The man is directly responsible for the massacre of 8,000 unarmed men and boys at Srebrenica will now be held to account for that and other atrocities. This is another step forward in one of the great developments of our time: the global movement towards accountability. – UK Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: We got the fellow! Murderers MUST come to justice.
Free-Market Analysis: We've written about Ratko Mladic and the International Criminal Court (ICC) before but this article (excerpt above) is a dead-on power meme when it comes to what is known, laughingly as "international justice." We couldn't pass it up.
We want to state up front that the apparently 8,000 Muslims Mladic had his troops gun down was a heinous obscenity. But nonetheless, we are not, in fact, inclined to celebrate such groups as the ICC – as Guardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash does.
Of course he has every right to and is certainly an educated man … a historian, political writer and Guardian columnist, his bio reveals. He is also (take a deep breath) a professor of European studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and he contributes to the New York Times and Washington Post.
Obviously, given the above resume, Ash knows what he is talking about. Indeed, he makes a good case for celebrating the life (and death) of a monster such as Mladic. He begins, as befits such an obviously literate person with a poem by the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz: "You, who harmed an ordinary person … do not feel safe … the poet remembers."
For Ash, the remembrances of a poet were about a time when mass murderers had little to fear other than poets. He recalls that World War II began to change that situation. The 1945 Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders were an "imperfect moment," but a start, he writes. Unfortunately, there was backsliding. "Monsters died in their beds, with their medals still hanging from the uniform in the wardrobe."
Yet post-1945 ideals were never discarded and starting in the 1970s the international community began to create standards and "accountability." These were many and varied, he writes, but the ultimate solution of an international court "is the best way yet discovered to deal with the vilest of the vile: those credibly accused of crimes against humanity. In national courts, there are generally legal contortions and the strong suspicion of a partisan political agenda." Ash, in trying apparently to write a balanced article despite his stated bias, provides us with arguments against International courts, as well:
"Why do you prosecute X but not Y?" Why Miloševic and the Liberian Charles Taylor, but not Than Shwe of Burma or Bashar al-Assad of Syria? To this there are several answers. One is: if you can't catch all murderers that doesn't mean you shouldn't catch any. Another is: maybe the ICC should be prosecuting Y too. And a third: differential responses don't always mean double standards. If a leader oversteps the very extreme mark that qualifies you for a charge of crimes against humanity, then he or she should everywhere and always be liable to prosecution in an international court. If, however, their past misdeeds fall short of that very demanding standard, there is room for local understandings.
In the rest of the world, the charge of double standards is mainly directed against the west, and especially against the US. From Latin American dictators to the current rulers of Saudi Arabia – so runs a popular indictment – Washington's tyrannical friends have got away with murder while its foes are liable to be assassinated. Over the past 60 years, there have been too many individual instances of such extreme "realist" double standards. However, the killing of Osama bin Laden does not belong on that list. Yes, in some ideal world, Bin Laden would now be sitting in a cell in the Hague, down the corridor from Mladic, Gotovina, Gaddafi and many more. But does anyone seriously believe the Pakistani security services could have been relied on to deliver Bin Laden to an international court?
Ash to his credit spends much of the rest of this article wrestling with the issue of US culpability. And he finishes the article with a virtual battle cry: "To celebrate the arrest of Mladic, the US should join the International Criminal Court." While this is a stirring, if not noble, sentiment, we can't see it happening. In fact, we hope it does NOT. We would much rather see these institutions wither and fail than continue. Surely some "monsters" would escape justice, but the larger terror these institutions will eventually visit on the world seem to us incontrovertible.
The real issue we have with the ICC is one we have mentioned before. It is an illegitimate institution in a pantheon of illegitimate entities that the Anglo-America power elite is constantly advancing under the guise of "justice." For tens of thousands of years, human beings self-administered justice (violently or through negotiations or through the decisions of clan and tribal elders). But today, seemingly every minute, new crimes are invented and new judges and lawyers are minted to adjudicate them. New police (until recently) were created in their thousands to enforce such newly discovered "crimes."
One example: As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, insider trading was not enforced as a crime until the 1980s in America and now people routinely get 20-year jail sentences. (The US Congress is still exempt but that may be changing.) The "law" is riddled with this kind of strangeness. The vaunted Western judiciary system at this point is merely (or mostly) a methodology for protecting the interests of the larger elites, and specifically the Anglosphere elite.
Ash uses a number of examples to make his case for the ICC. He speaks of 9/11 and the death of bin Laden. In the case of 9/11, the jury is still out on what actually happened (at least the official story has been well-debunked); in the case of bin Laden, it is most likely that he died close to 10 years ago. There is something clearly wrong – if not malicious – with using a false-flag intelligence attack to justify a criminal court. It puts the whole charade in perspective.
The Anglo-American elites without doubt have been the most promiscuous warmongers for decades if not centuries. The ICC – a George Soros invention, apparently – has emerged out of the City of London not to make things fairer but as a tool of repression and terror. It is the Anglosphere that shall administer justice, and that justice is to be administered within the contact of Western Jurisprudence.
Eventually, these international courts will grow. The bastard child of Money Power and Western Admiralty Law, these courts will gradually expand into civilian murder and then beyond. Eventually they shall adjudicate elections; and thus the Anglosphere shall be in the position of determining who gets elected or not.
The great civilizations always started out separately; the Greek Islands of the Golden Age; the Seven Hills of Rome; the city states of the Italian Renaissance. That was because when government became oppressive, one could pick up and move to another, nearby region and begin again, still speaking the same language. Thus civilization is built from separated environments.
What the elites are trying to do is to centralize every aspect of human existence. There is to be no place to go, no place to hide from the merciless justice of the (mostly) Western state. This theoretically might be OK if the West's systems of authority were rigorously honest and fair. But they are not. The West, under the growing influence of Anglosphere elites is hopelessly corrupt and violent.
In Afghanistan and Iraq its leaders have made a specialty of the war crimes for which the ICC tries others. African leaders know this and it is said that Kenya and other African nations intend to withdraw from the ICC. Outside of the EU, we can't think of a modern governmental entity, the collapse of which we would welcome more.