April 01, 2005

ICC Not Enough

Ugh. The new Democracy Arsenal blog was kind enough to link to me, so I'm hesitant to start wailing away just yet, but this post by Suzanne Nossel, on the recent UN vote to approve International Criminal Court jurisdiction over Sudan, misses the point in a fairly depressing way:
Relatedly, we need to take credit for our successes. I am looking forward to seeing how the Administration will spin this - likely as a courageous stand on behalf of American servicemembers. But the truth is that conservatives have resisted mightily calls to refer Darfur to the ICC. They made a convoluted argument that, notwithstanding the US's longstanding position that international tribunals cost too much and are inefficient, rather than relying on the ICC a new, separate, ad hoc Court ought to be created for Sudan.
So the internationalists won, and get to score some partisan points. Fantastic! We're going to prosecute us some war criminals eventually. Wonderful! But how does this stop the massacres and the starvation and the genocide right now? Oh, right, it doesn't. Khartoum's war criminals aren't going to be deterred by the threat of the ICC—considering that most of them are already guilty of genocide and destined to harsh sentencing if (and when??) they ever get caught, so a bit more genocide obviously isn't going to make their punishment any worse. No reason to stop, then.

Meanwhile, the ruling National Islamic Front has opposed kicking any and all Sudanese war criminals out of the country. Frankly, the NIF isn't going to care that the UN just voted to freeze their financial assets and ban them from traveling. (Or that they strengthened the arms ban. Whoo! No doubt Russia's planning to follow those sanctions down to the letter, huh?) No, at this point, it seems the only way prosecution will ever happen is if we kick down Sudan's doors and physically haul out the people responsible for the rape, pillage, murder, death.
-- Brad Plumer 3:00 AM || ||