Tuesday, September 11, 2018

John Bolton Comes Out Swinging

The Trump-hating left, along with the Trump-hating right, has been warning of the horrors that are soon to befall us. They might be prophets. Or else, they might be Chicken Littles running around shouting that the sky is falling. If they supported the weak and pusillanimous Obama foreign policy, they might well qualify as ... chicken.

Apparently, by their warped reasoning, another piece of the sky dropped down on us yesterday. National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened the International Criminal Court, and especially its judges, if it dares to undertake an investigation of American war crimes in Afghanistan… or, presumably, anywhere else.

To top it off, Bolton told the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who run the organization-- one to which the United States does not belong-- that  it will visit the same penalties on the court if ever it should decide to do the bidding of Palestinian terrorists and indict Israeli leaders.

Clear, precise, to the point. It's called taking the gloves off. You can see why the Trump haters believe that our president is Adolph Hitler reincarnated. What could be more Nazi than standing up for Israel… or, for standing tall and proud for America.

The Court was established by Bill Clinton. George W. Bush withdrew from it. It has prosecuted war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is one of those multilateral, universalist organization so beloved by the Obama administration and by anyone who believes in world government. Of course, world government must necessarily infringe on national sovereignty… and risks doing the bidding of some very bad actors.

Besides, what enforcement powers does it have? Who selects the judges? Considering that the international left believes that America and Israel are both criminal conspiracies, how long was it going to be before the ICC would use its non-power to attack America and its allies.

Anyway, AFP summarizes some of Bolton’s remarks:

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body "unaccountable" and "outright dangerous" to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be "an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation."

"If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly," Bolton said.

He said the US was prepared to slap financial sanctions and criminal charges on officials of the court if they proceed against any Americans.

"We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system," he said.

"We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans," he said.

Apparently, a prosecutor has recently called for a war crimes investigation of United States troops in Afghanistan:

Bolton pointed to an ICC prosecutor's request in November 2017 to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the US military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees.

Neither Afghanistan nor any other government party to the ICC's Rome Statute has requested an investigation, Bolton said.

He said the ICC could formally open the investigation "any day now."

And, as you know, the Palestinian Authority has wanted to indict Israeli officials for what it considers to be war crimes. The ICC will never prosecute Palestinians for terrorism:

He also cited a recent move by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at the ICC for human rights violations.

"The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton said.

"We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own."

Is the ICC a boondoggle used to placate those who believe in world government? Is it a simple waste of time and money? Bolton was unwavering:

Bolton also condemned the record of the court since it formally started up in 2002, and argued that most major nations had not joined.

He said it had attained just eight convictions despite spending more than $1.5 billion, and said that had not stemmed atrocities around the world.

"In fact, despite ongoing ICC investigations, atrocities continue to occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and many other nations." he added.

But Bolton said the main objection of the administration of President Donald Trump is to the idea that the ICC could have higher authority than the US Constitution and US sovereignty.

"In secular terms we don't recognize any higher authority than the US constitution," he said.

"This president will not allow American citizens to be prosecuted by foreign bureaucrats, and he will not allow other nations to dictate our means of self defense."

In other news yesterday, the State Department is shutting down the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington. The reason is not only the PLO refusal to negotiate seriously for peace, but also the Palestinian attacks on Israel initiated from Gaza. The administration has previously cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority… as a message that it rejects the disease of moral equivalence and has taken the Israeli side in the dispute between the two nations.

Naturally, the usual appeasement chorus has denounced the Trump policy. They want America to remain neutral, to be a fair and honest broker in the dispute. One might ask what anyone has gained from their failed negotiations. As always, when the Trump administration sides with Israel, it is denounced.

The Palestinians are naturally outraged at these steps, especially the administration’s refusal to continue to fund terrorism. And yet, they have fewer and fewer allies.

I would point out, as a pure speculation, that the Trump administration could not have done this without the support of other Arab nations. These nations have long since wanted to develop better relations with Israel. They have tired of terrorism as a tactic and are fed up with Palestinian intransigence.

Thus, I suspect that they have either chosen to green light the new American policy or have chosen to remain silent. It’s part of a major strategic diplomatic realignment in the Middle East.


Sam L. said...

Can you say "Past Due", boys and girls? Yes, I knew you could.

Lou Siefer said...

Am sure Ares will be totally outraged at Bolton's behavior.

Sam L. said...

And yet, so far, no comment, Lou.