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American Exceptionalism Must Be Rejected

We condemn Trump’s authorization to sanction ICC over Afghanistan war crimes probe. The US President, Donald Trump, has clearly demonstrated his hipocracy and double standard of the highest order. He has authorized sanctions and additional visa restrictions against International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel probing whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Trump issued an executive order on Thursday, saying that the United States would block all American property and assets of anyone in the ICC involved in the probe. Trump administration officials accused the ICC threatens to infringe upon American national sovereignty and accused Russia of manipulating it. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement to reporters that ICC is a kangaroo court. The Trump administration alledged Russia is “manipulating” the ICC to serve a Russian agenda.

We reject this allegation on the pretext Trump’s administration was trying to bring accountability to an international body. We see this is an attack against international rule of law.

US is flexing its muscle to force the world to accept whatever US wants to do even committing war crimes against civilians. Blocking ICC from excercising its function is double standard and a denial of justice for victims of serious war crimes whether in Afghanistan, Israel , Iraq or Palestine.

The world cannot remain silent on this brazen obstruction of international justice. What right does US has to obstruct ICC’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate possible crimes committed between 2003 and 2014 including alleged mass killings of civilians by the Taliban, as well as US troops and members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ?

The ICC has decided an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan in March. This is under the statutes of the ICC. The investigation was to probe into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan since May 1, 2003.

ICC has the prerogative of giving a green light to investigate US war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan. In 2006, the ICC’s prosecutors opened a preliminary probe into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Asian nation since 2003. In 2017, prosecutor Bensouda asked judges to allow a full-blown probe, not only into Taliban and Afghan government personnel but also international forces, US troops and members of the CIA.

US is iterating its self exemption from being investigated and went to the extend of revoking the Gambian-born chief prosecutor’s visa as part of broader restrictions on ICC staff probing American or allied personnel. Even the former US national security adviser John Bolton warned in 2018 that the US would arrest ICC judges if the court pursued an Afghan probe.

The US invaded Afghanistan to overthrow a ruling Taliban regime in 2001. American forces have since remained bogged down in the country through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. About 2,400 US soldiers have been killed and America has spent more than $1 trillion in fighting in Afghanistan. US has devastated Afghanistan. Fighting has continued ever since — last year more than 3,400 civilians were killed and almost 7,000 injured, according to data provided by UN agencies.

Over 100,000 Afghans have also been killed or injured since 2009, when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties. We call on all the countries of the world to unreservedly condemn the US assault against the ICC . We demand that the US be sanctioned for its attrocious behaviour against the ICC.

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid
President of Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations (MAPIM)

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