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US denying visas to International Criminal Court investigators

News Analysis |

United States of America has threatened denial of a visa for the members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) who are probing human rights violations of the U.S troops in Afghanistan. Secretary of the state Mike Pompeo has snubbed the ongoing ICC investigation citing it an attempt to undermine the American sovereignty. “The ICC is attacking America’s rule of law,” Pompeo told reporters. “It’s not too late for the court to change course and we urge that it do so immediately.”

“If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan you should not assume that you still have, or will get, a visa or that you will be permitted to enter the United States,” Pompeo added.

ICC- A brief history

International Criminal Court is the only international body having the authority to prosecute individuals, not organizations and government since such entities are out of its scope, for violations of the human rights and crimes against humanity. Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered in to force on July 1, 2002.

United States of America went to Iraq war prior to the approval of UNSC or UNGA and the result was disastrous with the strengthening of Al Qaeda and the subsequent rise of ISIS.

The Rome Statute is an international treaty that has been ratified by 122 countries and has been signed by 31 other countries that have not ratified it yet. The objective behind the establishment of such a body was to bring those warlords, armed force personnel and leaders who are part of the genocide or mass murder under the disguise of maintaining order and ensuring global security.

The United States of America, along with Russia and China, have decided not to be a part of this endeavor. The reason is obvious since these powers cumulatively enjoying most of the authority to impose their opinion over the rest of the world often find themselves into the situations which are a blatant violation of human rights.

Are International Bodies mere Rubberstamps?

As the World War II came to its bloody climax with millions losing their lives, the world decided to establish an international institution which would oversee the matter through mutual consensus to avoid a WWII like the outcome in the future. United Nations along with its subsidiary bodies were a step in the same desired direction.

Read more: Rogue state and the ICC – Imran Jan

But in the contemporary world order, the significance which United Nations, especially it’s General Assembly body, has is just of nominal nature as the shots are being called by a group of 6 countries. UN Security Council members make/veto decisions based on the larger interest of their own and their allies while the collective global interest is flushed down the drain.

United Nations and other organizations were established to protect the world from a scenario where states would impose their will upon other states. But since it has been restricted to a mere ideological notion, states have decided to ensure their security themselves ultimately resulting in the exponential armament of the globe.

The U.S – The Judge, Jury, and Executioner

“The US government, where possible, takes legal action against those responsible for international crimes,” Mike Pompeo said, noting that it has supported the prosecution of war crimes in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

It can not be left to one for few states to decide based on their own prism of interest or more rogue states might emerge in the future and the result would be nothing but chaos.

It is dangerous precedence as seen by the wake of Nazi Germany before WWII that a state has the ultimate authority to become the moral police of the world. United States of America went to Iraq war prior to the approval of UNSC or UNGA and the result was disastrous with the strengthening of Al Qaeda and the subsequent rise of ISIS.

Difference between the on-ground situation of post 9/11 and the contemporary world is the shift from unipolarity to multiple poles of powers. It can be understood from the recent Venezuela crisis, where had it not been for Russia, the U.S might have put its troops on grounds for its strategic objectives under the pretext of protecting the human right of Venezuelan people.

Read more: The War in Afghanistan: Curtains without Climax

The matters of human rights and war crimes need to be addressed by a body which has the representation and endorsement of all the states in the world. It can not be left to one for few states to decide based on their own prism of interest or more rogue states might emerge in the future and the result would be nothing but chaos.