By Madeleine Albright, Marwan Muasher
It is time for the international community to take a stand against Syria’s use of violence against its citizens. On Monday the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Muammer Gaddafi and two of his closest lieutenants for alleged crimes against humanity. The United Nations Security Council should now direct the ICC to investigate whether Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is guilty of crimes against humanity. The charge: using lethal violence to repress peaceful demonstrations in support of democratic rule. At present, the international criminal justice system is the best available way of confronting Syria.
Ms Albright may do well to first get Washington to become a State Party to the Statute before exhorting those of the ‘international community’ that are party to the ICC to lay down new principles in its modus operandi. Of course, under the new circumstances the likes of GW Bush, D Rumsfeld and now Obama, are responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent non-combatant men, women and children, by ordering the use of excessive force in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Thereby, making them susceptible to similar prosecution were they to set foot in any country party to the Statute, where they may have been charged with similar misdemeanours that Albright refers to. She forgets that Mr. Rumsfeld cancelled a trip to Switzerland when they raised the spectre of arresting him for a “swift trip to the Hague”.