It is well known that the International Criminal Court is a highly prejudiced organisation that has never sought the prosecution of war criminals who are responsible for carnage on a mass scale – those who have killed the greatest number of totally innocent civilians. Instead, the ICC has a record of going after the poorest countries and humiliating their leaders before the cameras while the most substantial war criminals of the 21st century continue to live as free men and women.
The deeply politicised International Criminal Court, of which none of the three global superpowers (China, Russia, US) are members, has long been associated with the prosecution and persecution of African leaders. In fact 90% of all defendants brought before the ICC have been Africans. In 2016, the Gambia, South Africa and Burundi announced their intention to withdraw from the court, but later changed their decision in the face of international pressure. In South Africa, the issue is particularly sensitive as in spite of the clearly anti-African bias of the ICC, South Africa has tended towards a commitment to international organisations, no matter how ineffective, owing to the spirit of reconciliation which formed the basis of Nelson Mandela’s post Apartheid government.
But the unjust double standards of the ICC which has seen African leaders sitting before a court, deprived of any dignity, while countries with larger armed forces, vastly more weapons and a track record of large scale international war crimes have never been brought before the ICC, leaves the Court’s reputation in tatters.
Few Asian states are members of the ICC. Once The Philippines leaves as the current President Rodrigo Duterte intends to do, only Cambodia, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, South Korea, Mongolia and Japan will remain as full members. In terms of ASEAN, once The Philippines leaves, Cambodia will be the only ASEAN member to remain a full member of the ICC.
Yet while those who turned Libya into a failed state, those who illegally bombed civilians in Yugoslavia and those who turned Iraq into a festering swamp out of which Daesh (ISIS) grew remain not only free men and women but rich men and women, the ICC’s latest target in recent years has been Duterte. His “crime” is simply enforcing long neglected laws against narco-terrorism.
In reality, President Duterte’s war on drugs is as far from a “crime against humanity” as one can get. Duterte is helping to eradicate the scourge of narcotics that has ripped communities apart and turned areas of the country into a war zone where the reality of human rights is non-existent. In fighting drugs, drug culture, the drug trade and the financing of terrorism implicit in the drug trade, Duterte has done more to promulgate the basic human rights and social progress of his countrymen than any other leader in recent Philippine history.
Duterte’s anti-narcotics policies do not frankly even need to be justified to those who not only misunderstand Duterte’s war on drugs but those who misunderstand the horrors of drugs as an issue in and of itself. Those who equate the prosecution of police actions against those who poison society, those who literally kill, mutilate, burn, rape and rob anyone in their path of destruction with war criminality are not just ignorant but are in fact wicked. Thus, the only conclusion that one can draw from the fact that even as The Philippines prepares to exit from ICC jurisdiction, its authorities continue to investigate President Duterte’s war on drugs, is that the ICC is not just institutionally corrupt but institutionally wicked as it labels Duterte’s pro-humanitarian efforts as criminal while ignoring actual criminality from Kashmir to Iraq and from Palestine to Yemen.
It is against this background that President Duterte made his feelings about the ICC known in a recent speech on the institution’s meddling in The Philippines. While Duterte wages a war against drugs, it seems that the ICC is waging a war for drugs. In a rhetorical address directed at the ICC, Duterte said,
“By what right do you have to harm our children? I will say that to the judge. We’ll see each other at the International Criminal Court. Son of a bitch. Who gave you the right? By what right do you have to destroy our country and children?…By what universal authority do you have a right do destroy my country and our children”.
The ways in which those opposed to Duterte’s war on narco-terrorism go out of their way to twist the facts and spit upon morality is symptomatic of a a dangerous element in society that poses as much of a threat to The Philippines as Daesh aligned terrorists or the NPA. Duterte’s words to the ICC ought to reverberate around the world and in so doing, expose the organisation as a wicked cabal interested not in justice or peace but in deception and meddling in the sovereign affairs of nations to the detriment of the people of such nations. There is simply no other word to describe the defenders of drugs and the monsters buying, selling, trafficking and taking them other than wicked. Because of this, the ICC is itself a wicked institution but fortunately one that is losing what little credibility it ever had in all corners of the world.