The International Criminal Court’s decision over the weekend not to launch an inquiry into whether U.S. soldiers and CIA agents committed war crimes in Afghanistan is an important victory, both on the merits and in principle. Once again the United States has won a battle against an international body taken hostage by forces hostile to America and its allies.
In September, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the administration would employ “any means necessary” to protect its people from “unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.” He added that “for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”
The court’s decision is perhaps one of the final nails in the coffin for a body that has been rapidly losing its international prestige.
The judges ruled against the court’s prosecutors, saying that despite evidentiary material showing that Americans carried out war crimes in Afghanistan, their prosecution would not serve justice. The judges also noted that there was no point in pursuing an inquiry because of the time that had passed since the period in question (2002-04).
The decision was handed down after the United States revoked chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s visa and denied entry to other court officials.
The ICC’s attempt to create a multilateral global order has been shown to be what it is: a theater of the absurd that doesn’t even come close to matching the power of America, the world’s leading superpower.
U.S. President Donald Trump is redefining the rules, ensuring that tyrants will no longer be able to abuse such multilateral institutions to prop up their regimes. He has also reiterated his pledge not to let the ICC prosecute Israelis and troops of other U.S. allies. The Palestinians and their allies should take note; they would be ill-advised to ignore his threat to punish the court if it takes action against Israelis.
Trump is implementing the Iron Wall doctrine that was articulated by the late leader of Revisionist Zionism, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, not just vis-à-vis the Arabs but globally. He is waging a campaign against all those who have tried to co-opt the U.N. for their own destructive agenda.
Eldad Beck is an Israeli journalist and author.