US makes both itself and allies immune to International Criminal Court

US pays absolutely no mind to ICC, lets allies commit whatever crimes they want

A curious document has appeared online that highlights consequences that US-backed countries may follow if they get into trouble with the International Criminal Court. Their fate is unenviable.

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The bill, dated from 2001, (became law in 2002) is called the American Servicemembers Protection Act. The document protects not only them, but also other elected and appointed officials of the United States government if they are prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), "to which the United States has no connection".

Allied representatives also fall on the list of the "protected individuals" (SEC. 7). These are the military, elected or appointed officials, and others employed or working on behalf of:

  • the government of a NATO member country,
  • a major non-NATO ally (including Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Argentina, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand),
  • Taiwan.

The law guarantees that no person from this contingent shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or imprisoned by the ICC.

The message of the law is simple: "We will cover up any of your crimes."

In practice, this means sanctions against ICC judges, repressive measures against those countries that honour ICC warrants. France and Belgium that pledged to execute ICC's arrest warrants on Israel's leadership (if issued) may draw the ire of Washington. One may assume that there is a major European scandal brewing.

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The list of unconditional US allies in the second and third paragraphs is quite curious.

Jordan is on the list, but Saudi Arabia and other monarchies of the Persian Gulf are not (they are unreliable). Washington sponsors Jordan's leadership to ensure support for Israel and sealed borders. Indeed, Jordan opens its airspace to NATO warplanes, there are US military bases in the country too. Jordan actively participates in joint exercises with the US army.

Egypt, with the 1978 Camp David peace agreement with Israel, also plays the role of USA's partner in supporting Israel. Egypt currently mediates ceasefire talks in the Gaza Strip. Yet, today's Egypt, with its military leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi differs greatly from the Egypt of the early 2000s. The Gaza agreement is not progressing as Egypt refuses to accept Palestinian refugees not to let them stay on its territory forever. Egypt intends to join BRICS too. Cairo has been developing relations with Russia and China. It is particularly dangerous for this country not to be pro-American as it will be destabilised all the time.

The same is true of Argentina, which used to be a pro-American country, a US stronghold in South America, at the beginning of the century. The Kirchners (Nestor and then Cristina) had held power in Argentina for more than twenty years. Since then the country has been unable to stabilise its economy. It has a huge debt to the IMF (almost $43 billion). Javier Milay's victory in the presidential election last year was not incidental. Milay, like Ukraine's Zelensky, is a libertarian. Argentina refused to realise its right to join BRICS, and Milay can now quietly engage in the destruction of his own people. He can do it with the help of libertarian shock measures — establishing the allegedly free market, which does not actually exist in the era of protectionism.

Taiwan takes a special place on the list. The US knew at the turn of the century that China's desire to reunite with Taiwan would trigger a war. How else could Taiwan's leadership or military fall foul of the ICC? The US has been taking every effort ever since to weaken China.

There is neither Ukraine nor another post-Soviet country in the law. Apparently, in 2001, the US assumed that Russia had been defeated and broken forever.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov