Author Topic: Neocon Think Tank: ICC warrant "Strategic Move", for "Disintigration of Sudan"  (Read 5170 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Revolt426

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,190

Neocons Gloat: ICC Indictment Will Destroy and Dissolve Sudan

March 11, 2009 (LPAC)--The arrest warrant issued by the British-controlled International Criminal Court against Sudan's President Bashir is applauded as a "strategic move with profound geopolitical implications," by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a war-crazed neoconservative think tank.

In a statement published March 6, the Foundation gloats that the arrest warrant "accelerates the ongoing disintegration of the Sudanese state." The statement argues that "There is now almost no reasonable expectation that [this year's scheduled Sudan] general elections... will actually take place," and "South Sudan [may] go its own way, taking with it some 90% of Sudan's proven oil reserves. Hence, when the election in July fails to take place, most South Sudanese are likely to draw their own conclusions and the regional government may well proceed to a unilateral declaration of independence.... Whether the secession takes place peacefully or a new north-south conflict erupts, the practical result will be the same: the rulers in Khartoum will be deprived of [these oil] revenues...."

In 2004, this Foundation for the Defense of Democracies hosted the launch of a new Committee on the Present Danger, reviving the Cold War-era CPD to try to drive the Bush-Cheney preventive war doctrine forward toward a general conflagration of permanent war.

J. Peter Pham, the neo-conservative author of the Foundation's March 6 statement (entitled "ICC Arrest Warrant for Sudan’s Bashir Has Both Humanitarian and Strategic Consequences"), is himself vice president of the Association for the study of the Middle East and Africa, whose chairman is British imperial strategist Bernard Lewis; Anglo-American Pinochet-supporter George P. Shultz is on the board under Lewis.
"Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate … It will purge the rottenness out of the system..." - Andrew Mellon, Secretary of Treasury, 1929.

Offline David Rothscum

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,683 Arrest Warrant for Sudan's Al Bashir Has Both Humanitarian and Strategic Consequences
Dr. J. Peter Pham, Jurist   
The decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week to issue a warrant of arrest [PDF file] for Sudan's President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including intentionally directing attacks on civilian populations in Darfur and pillaging towns and villages in the region, as well as acts of murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, and rape, has divided the international community as well as many individuals and groups which ordinarily find common ground on issues of global justice.

On the one side are those who applauded the ICC's first-ever indictment of a sitting head of state as a significant advance in realizing the vision of the tribunal's architects to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes which "must not go unpunished" as well as securing a measure of justice for the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups and other victims. On the other are those who contend that the Court's action will not only set back efforts to resolve Sudan's multiple conflicts, but will endanger the United Nations peacekeeping forces presently in the country as well as the humanitarian organizations relieving the suffering of the very peoples on whose behalf the ICC acted.

While it is true that the Sudanese regime reacted to the ICC decision by immediately decreeing the expulsion of more than a dozen high-profile aid groups, including CARE, Médecins sans Frontières, Oxfam, and Save the Children, whether the ban is actually enforced remains to be seen. And, as I have argued in an article for a defense publication earlier this week, given the consistent backing that Al Bashir has received from the African Union - the regional organization is currently sending a high-level delegation to the Security Council to join the Arab League in pleading for a suspension of the judicial proceedings under Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the ICC - it is highly unlikely that Khartoum would risk alienating the no fewer than thirty African countries participating in the two UN missions in Sudan by attacking their blue-helmeted military and police personnel.

The question, then, is what next? Of course, it is inconceivable that Al Bashir, who has held tightly to the reins of power since he seized them in a 1989 coup d'état against Sudan's democratically-elected government, will simply turn himself in at The Hague anytime soon. However, cumulatively ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's public application [PDF file]for a warrant last year and the Pre-Trial Chamber's decision this week to accede to his motion on all counts except the three concerning the crime of genocide where, Judge Anita Ušacka dissenting, it found the evidence of the Sudanese ruler's specific intent (dolus specialis) insufficient, represents a major turning point that shifts the dynamics on the ground in Sudan and, ultimately, opens the way for the eventual execution of the arrest order.

First, unless the legal proceedings in Prosecutor v. Al Bashir are suspended - an action that would take a resolution of the Security Council that seems highly unlikely given that all five permanent members would have to agree to it and, given the commitments it made with respect to the ICC in general and the Darfur prosecutions in particular during the recent campaign [PDF file], it would be politically difficult for the Obama administration to support such a measure - the Sudanese ruler will inevitably become progressively isolated. While the AU as an organization may not like the indictment, some thirty of its fifty-three members adhere to the ICC, constituting the largest regional bloc within the Assembly of States Parties, and bound under Article 89 of the Rome Statute to arrest and transfer those sought by the tribunal. Even though Sudan is not a signatory to the Statute, the Article 98 exception covering cases where "a request for surrender or assistance...would require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international law with respect to State or diplomatic immunity" would not be applicable if Al Bashir continues to travel abroad since the Darfur investigation was referred to the ICC by the Security Council acting under the authority of Chapter VII of the UN Charter [PDF file]. Both Article 103 of the Charter and the constant jurisprudence of various international tribunals affirm that the obligation to cooperate when mandated by decisions of the Security Council such as the dispositive part of resolution 1593 takes precedent over any immunities under customary law which might otherwise exist. Thus, even if they are loath to actually detain a fellow leader, Africa's heads of state will not appreciate being put in an awkward position by their counterpart from Sudan. So, for want of willing hosts, Al Bashir can expect to be staying home more often than not.

Second, while Al Bashir may momentarily be able to rally support among his core domestic constituencies by appealing to nationalism, his authority will weaken if he is increasingly marginalized internationally. Others within Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the military establishment may come to regard him as too much of a liability and, either by themselves or in tandem with influential rivals of Bashir within Khartoum's ruling Arab Islamist elite, like his former mentor Hassan Al Turabi, will move to push him aside in the same way the clique around Charles Taylor decided to turn on the Liberian leader and survive rather than to go down with him after his indictment by the Special Court for Sierra Leone was unsealed by prosecutor David M. Crane in 2003. Certainly there will be entrenched interests within the Sudanese political and economic power structures - including the People's Republic of China which has invested billions of dollars in the country and depends on it for nearly one-tenth of its petroleum imports - which will conclude that it is well-nigh impossible to maintain the investment climate that has hitherto delivered annual GDP growth rates near 10 percent while saddled with an indicted war criminal as head of state.

Third, the arrest warrant accelerates the ongoing disintegration of the Sudanese state. Even before the prosecutor's move against Al Bashir last year, the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended the decades of civil war between the Northern-dominated government in Khartoum and the peoples of South Sudan was faltering with almost every benchmark for implementation missed. There is now almost no reasonable expectation that the general elections, including that for the presidency, which are supposed to be held by July will actually take place. While some worry that a delay in the poll may complicate matters for the all-important self-determination referendum for South Sudan scheduled for 2011, a more realistic analysis would posit that the latter vote was never going to take place. No government in Khartoum can afford to allow South Sudan to actually exercise its option under the CPA and go its own way, taking with it some 90 percent of Sudan's proven oil reserves. Hence, when the election in July fails to take place, most South Sudanese are likely to draw their own conclusions and the regional government may well proceed to a unilateral declaration of independence without waiting two more years. Whether the secession takes place peacefully or a new north-south conflict erupts, the practical result will be the same: the rulers in Khartoum will be deprived of the very revenues which they have up to now used both to purchase the allegiance of supporters and to fuel their violent campaigns in the peripheral regions like Darfur, thus forcing whatever regime elements eventually succeed Al Bashir to seek a genuine settlement of Sudan's conflicts.

Fourth, if only to escape the opprobrium which Al Bashir has brought on the Sudanese state, almost any future government in Khartoum will likely prove more cooperative with the ICC, especially with respect to the arrest warrant [PDF file] issued by the court in 2007 for the current minister of state for humanitarian affairs, Ahmad Muhammad Harun, and janjaweed leader Ali Muhammad Al Abd-Al-Rahman, a.k.a. Ali Kushayb. In their decision regarding Al Bashir, the judges noted Sudan's systematic noncompliance since then and warned that the competent chamber "may make a finding to that effect" and "refer the the Security Council." It goes without saying that such an Article 87 referral back to the Security Council would be the last thing any government trying to overcome the bitter legacy of the current regime would want and hence Khartoum might find it expedient to surrender Harun and Kushayb. The trial of these two mid-level figures would, in turn, not only contribute to the ICC's own progress as a working tribunal, but also to the further laying of the evidentiary groundwork for the eventual prosecution of those with even greater responsibility for the terrible crimes which have taken place in Darfur these past six years.

In short, while the judges who authorized the arrest warrant for Al Bashir may not have envisioned it in this perspective, theirs was not only a legal action with normative force, but also a strategic move with profound geopolitical implications. And because of the particular realities on the ground in Sudan, it might well prove that international human rights law and realpolitik converge in this case to give both Al Bashir and his victims their day in court.

Offline Revolt426

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,190
They are saying "Unless this warrant is suspended, there will be pure chaos" , and then they are saying "YES!".
"Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate … It will purge the rottenness out of the system..." - Andrew Mellon, Secretary of Treasury, 1929.

Offline David Rothscum

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,683

The arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, could tear the country apart, Middle East experts have warned.
In 2006, Khartoum and the Darfur rebel groups began negotiating a resolution – the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) - to end the conflict.
Badri Shafai, an Egyptian expert on African affairs, believes that the ICC indictment threatens to undermine the DPA and existing peace agreements with rebel groups in other Sudanese provinces.
"The north-south agreement will face more trouble and the same thing will happen to a peace deal with Darfur. The rebel movements in Darfur will continue to destabilize the Darfur region, harming an already troubled government, and perhaps reigniting another civil war," he told Al Jazeera.
"The situation in Sudan will be a lot more difficult to deal with on all levels and the country will become increasingly unstable in the coming months," he said.
Fragile peace deals
Africa's largest country has been embroiled in a number of conflicts since 1954, a year before it gained independence from British and Egyptian rule.
Currently, there are 13,000 UN and African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Darfur and a 13,000-strong UN mission in southern Sudan enforcing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended the decades-long north-south war in 2005.
The war, which killed more than two million people and displaced four million others, was fought between the Muslim-led Khartoum government in the north and Christian and animist groups in the south over resources, power, the role of religion in the state and self-determination.
Some UN commentators are surprised the deal has held this long, but an arrest for Bashir could damage Sudanese unity and threaten to undo the progress the country has made since he took power in a 1989 military coup.
A year later, the Eritrea-brokered Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (EPA) was signed in October 2006 between the government and two rebel groups in the east.
The Beja Congress and Free Lions rebel groups waged a low-intensity rebellion claiming they had inadequate access to health care and few opportunities for education. They accused Khartoum of negligence in the face of persistent drought, famine and land degradation.
In 2008, Sudan and Chad ended five years of hostilities and border incursions between the two countries.
Safwat Fanous, a political analyst in Khartoum, believes the arrest warrant against Bashir will encourage rebel groups across Sudan to toughen their positions and in a worst-case scenario, lead them to abandon the existing peace deals entirely.
"Rebel movements in Darfur will have no incentive to negotiate with a government whose leader is indicted, because if they do issue an arrest warrant, Bashir will lose his legitimacy as a leader and as an effective role player in solving Sudan's problems."
In a January 2009 report issued by the Chatham House, a UK-based think tank, Edward Thomas said: "Failure now could lead to the sort of breakdown seen in Darfur, and time and opportunities are running out."
He says that while Bashir's National Congress Party is prepared to make changes in order to survive, "the changes must reduce the tensions between the centre and the periphery, and to do this they must address the need for a fairer division of wealth and power."
But Fanous believes that a paralyzed government could also force peace deals to collapse altogether.
Some rebel groups have already signaled that the ICC arrest warrant provides them with legitimacy to push their campaign against the central government.
Khalil Ibrahim, the JEM leader, said: "When this warrant comes, it is, for us, the end of Bashir's legitimacy to be president of Sudan."
"We will work hard to bring him down ... If he doesn't cooperate with the ICC, the war will intensify," he said.
Anger and indifference
The arrest warrant makes Bashir the first serving head of state indicted by the ICC for war crimes.
Ahmed Haroun, Sudan's minister of humanitarian affairs, is also being accused of committing war crimes; he says the ICC's interference has obstructed ongoing peace talks.
Haroun described the ICC verdict as a way to reinforce the Darfur crisis and encourage violence throughout Sudan.
"Every time a new round of negotiations is announced or conflicting parties get close to meeting at the negotiation table, the timings of the UN Security Council always come to obstruct and hinder on going peace efforts," he told Al Jazeera.
Abdullah Ashaal, an Egyptian expert on international law, believes the ICC should take into consideration how the arrest warrant could destabilize Sudan.
"They are ignoring all the ramifications that could take place after the decision," he said.
"It is obvious they are politicizing the conflict in many respects which is why there is a general sense of anger in the Arab world toward the court," he said.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a statement in July 2008, that the move to issue an arrest warrant could either create big opportunities or big risks for Sudan.
"The problem for international policymakers is that the prosecutor's legal strategy also poses major risks for the fragile peace and security environment in Sudan, with a real chance of greatly increasing the suffering of very large numbers of its people," the statement said.
The statement further suggested that a deferral of the decision would give Bashir's government an incentive to resolve its internal rifts.
The Arab League also issued a statement emphasizing the priority of a peaceful settlement in Darfur over Bashir's arrest. The African Union backed the Arab League, citing "widespread anarchy" if the ICC went on to issue the warrant.
Delay request 'ignored'
Under Article 16 of the Rome statute of the ICC, which established the court in 2002, the UN Security Council has the power to suspend any indictments under "deferral of investigation and prosecution".
African Union and Arab League representatives gathered at the UN headquarters in New York on February 17 to push for delaying the ICC decision for one year, but efforts failed.
The meeting resulted in Western powers, led by the United States, Britain and France, wanting the prosecution to proceed, but China and Russia, who maintain strong political, economic and military links with Sudan, were opposed to the possible indictment.
Ahsaal told Al Jazeera that ignoring previous endeavors made by the Arab League and AU to postpone the indictment is a flagrant violation of the statute.
"They should bring up these charges to the ICC. Now, more than 40 African countries are thinking of pulling out as members of the court," he said.
Ashaal said: "I've seen more than 400 complaints that have been submitted to the ICC concerning crimes in Gaza and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Ocampo has made it very clear that he will not pursue an investigation in any one of these cases."
He believes Ocampo's refusal to investigate other war crime cases is a clear indication that he is not acting within the framework of ICC's statute.
"If it were the case, then the ICC would have ordered an indictment for former President Bush and his cohorts for waging war against Iraq and Afghanistan and for the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo."
'Conspiracy against Sudan'
Sudan is a country rich in oil, uranium, copper – natural resources that have been coveted by superpowers for decades.
Some Sudanese officials claim they have become a victim of the age-old intrigues and conspiracies of Western powers that wish to further interests in their country by destabilizing it.
Ali al-Sadiq, the Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman, said in February 2009 that the court is "a mere tool for political conspiracy against the Sudan and that it has nothing to do with the international justice."
In the context of US- Sudan relations, Fanous believes the US and other Western powers wish to make Sudan a weak country and divide it for many reasons.
Sudan has supported Hamas, the Palestinian group ruling the Gaza Strip, as part of a series of decisions that run contrary to US foreign policy.
Fanous explained that the indictment could harm relations between the north and south, forcing them to split. Once the south secedes, it would be open to negotiate with the US and others since it holds most of Sudan's oil.
He said that Darfur, a region that is rich in petroleum and which has considered declaring independence in previous years, could also break away with US support.
Fanous also believes that a weaker Sudan would threaten national security for bordering Egypt, and a weaker Egypt would only allow the West to gain more influence in the Arab world.
"Nevertheless, the US refuses to negotiate with the Islamic governance in Sudan, and watching the country collapse would allow Washington to change the country's political landscape."