20 years since the fake illegal war against Iraq and the International Criminal Court

Today, March 20, 2023, is exactly 20 years since the US began its occupation of Iraq. It was an illegal war without a UN Security Council mandate. U.S. President G.W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and their allies waged this war under unsubstantiated claims of alleged weapons of mass destruction possessed by Iraq, even though no such weapons were confirmed by the UN inspection team there.

In this context, the US relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which the US helped establish, is interesting. It was G. W. Bush who withdrew from the ICC. The question is for what reason? Presumably so that he could wage illegal wars around the world and so that he and his allies could not be punished for various war crimes?

Currently, a number of countries do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, including Russia (withdrew in 2016) and the US (signature withdrawn in 2001). Ukraine is not a member of the ICC either.

One may wonder why the ICC has not issued arrest warrants for G.W. Bush or Tony Blair. After all, both were illegally conducting a military operation on foreign soil and both are suspected of various offences there. Yet Blair and some others had to admit their mistakes after the war.

After the illegal wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq, and after other interventions, the perception of international law changed profoundly. When the great powers stopped recognising international law, other countries stopped taking it seriously and only comply with it pragmatically if they have to. It is difficult to achieve justice in this situation.

As long as the hypocritical politicians of the great powers demand that only those countries and politicians who are their enemies comply with international law, and violate it themselves, we will continue to be in a severe crisis, with millions of people likely to fall victim to it. Citizens should oppose such hypocrisy and aggression. Fair law should be upheld by all.