Epigram for May 2018

“Getting away with it” does not render blatant aggression any less criminal. The prevailing impunity of the powerful does not legalize their crimes. Fake news and fake law ultimately will not prevail. Geopolitical crimes such as economic sanctions that cause the death of children from malnutrition or of adults from lack of medicines are really crimes against humanity. The intellectually dishonest practice of invoking “humanitarian intervention” as a pretext to impose regime change does not generate any legal precedent — ex injuria non oritur jus– nor make the aggression somehow “legitimate”Of course, the rule of law and international order are wounded — but they are not killed. Punishment still awaits the offenders whenever the International Criminal Court is prepared to take the Rome statute seriously and to prosecute the big fish and not just defeated enemies or ousted politicians. Neither “exceptionalism” nor “legal black holes” are compatible with the international human rights treaty regime. Aggression remains the ultimate crime, because it leads to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet, the merchants of death in the military-industrial-financial complex love war and profits.

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