Friday, March 6, 2009

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Well, it looks like the Iranians, along with Hamas, are sending their sympathies to Sudanese president Omar El-Bashir, whose arrest warrant was issued earlier this year, following his indictment in July 2008.

This is a stupid, stupid, stupid move. Iran, a country rich with its own oil wealth, with no need for standing amongst the Arabs, and no reason to spite the ICC (and plenty of reasons to cheer for it), is behaving in an unfathomably stupid manner. Hamas, whose power is confined to the beaten and bloodied Gaza strip, has nothing to gain from relations with El-Bashir's government either, besides a bad reputation.

If El-Bashir had really done nothing wrong, his response to the ICC arrest warrant should have been simple: Send a representative to the ICC, and plead innocent, while keeping himself as far away from the Hague as possible. If the court refused to hear the case in the presence of his surrogate, the situation would have been defused, and he could have blamed the court for the failure of the process. If he were found guilty, he still could have stayed away. If he were acquitted, he could trumpet his victory.

In this last case, the cause of a functioning system of public international law, with an enforcement mechanism, would also have been served as the fairness of the process, having reached its first acquittal, would have been proven.

Unfortunately, El-Bashir is not concerned about a functioning system of public international law, except in the very limited sense that he himself is, almost without a doubt, a war criminal, if not for Darfur, then for the civil war in southern Sudan.

It is sad that any other international actor would even consider taking his side.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: