League of imperialist criminals denounces the International Criminal Court

Jordan ShiltonAndre Damon22 May 2024 – https://www.wsws.org/
Demonstrators raised their red-painted hands to protest US sponsorship of the Gaza genocide during testimony by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday. [Photo: C-Span]

The war crimes charges lodged against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Secretary Yoav Gallant by the lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have elicited howls of indignation from the world’s leading imperialist war criminals.

US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have joined hands with fascistic Republicans Mike Johnson and Lindsey Graham to condemn the ICC and assert the right of Israel and the United States to commit war crimes with impunity.

In remarks on Monday, Biden condemned the ICC, declaring, “We reject the ICC’s application of arrest warrants against Israeli leaders.”

Biden absurdly declared:

It is clear that Israel wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection. Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that.

What world is Biden living in? The two men charged by the ICC prosecutor have not only killed tens of thousands of civilians, they have made clear that this massacre is motivated by genocidal intent. Netanyahu referred to the Palestinians as “monsters” and “Amalek,” while Gallant referred to the Palestinians as “human animals.”

If this is not genocide, what is?

In fact, Biden’s response to the ICC charges has exposed his government’s open and unabashed support for the physical extermination of the Palestinian population by Israel.

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday, Blinken pledged to “work with” congressional Republicans to sanction the ICC.

Blinken made this statement in response to Republican Senator Graham, who earlier this month implied that Israel should use nuclear weapons against Gaza by invoking the precedent of “Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

In his remarks at the Senate hearing Tuesday, Graham said that the prosecution of Israel sets a precedent for prosecuting the United States for war crimes. “If they do this to Israel, we will be next,” Graham said.

Graham pressed Blinken, “So I want to take action, not just words. Will you support a bipartisan effort to sanction the ICC not only for the outrage against Israel, but to protect our own interests in the future?”

To this, Blinken replied, “I welcome working with you on that.”

Graham, who had previously stated that “there is no limit” to the number of civilian casualties Israel should be allowed to cause, and who defended collective punishment against the population of Gaza because it is a “radicalized population,” praised Blinken and Biden for their response to the war crimes charges against Netanyahu and Gallant.

“I want to thank you,” Graham said. “I want to thank President Biden for issuing a strong statement. Your statement was terrific, Mr. Secretary.”

As Biden was publicly denouncing the ICC, his national security advisor Jake Sullivan posed for a photo shaking hands with Yoav Gallant in Israel. This took place as the Israeli defense minister was asserting his intention to expand the attack on Rafah.

“We are committed to broadening the ground operation in Rafah,” Gallant told Sullivan during their meeting.

Israel’s genocidal onslaught has proceeded without interruption for seven-and-a-half months. It has officially claimed the lives of over 35,000 Palestinians, overwhelmingly women and children. Unofficially, well over 45,000 have lost their lives, with thousands of bodies remaining under the rubble. Over 75,000 people have been injured, and over 70 percent of the enclave’s housing stock has been demolished. Added together, the Israel Defence Forces has killed or maimed five percent of Gaza’s population.

None of these crimes would have been conceivable without the support of the imperialist powers. American and German imperialism have led the way with their delivery of high-powered weaponry and military equipment to the far-right Zionist regime.

At home, the North American and European imperialist powers have witch-hunted all opponents of the genocide as “antisemites,” banned protests, and let loose the riot cops on anti-genocide demonstrations and encampments.

The imperialist powers’ complicity in the barbaric genocide in Gaza demolishes their cynical posturing as defenders of “democracy” and “human rights,” claims they have used to sell every war of aggression since the Stalinist dissolution of the USSR.

Beginning with the first Gulf War, US imperialism unleashed one war after another in what has become more than three decades of uninterrupted military conflict. The assertion that American imperialism and its European allies were the most indefatigable proponents of “human rights” served the purpose of providing their political and media propagandists with a justification for these wars.

The first Gulf War, everyone was told, was a crusade to free Iraq from the barbaric Saddam Hussein regime, which was killing babies in incubators in Kuwait and oppressing the Kurds. To justify the destruction of the major European city of Belgrade by NATO warplanes in 1999, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was cast as the reincarnation of Hitler himself, guilty of “genocide” against Bosnians and Kosovo Albanians.

Seizing on al-Qaida’s 9/11 terrorist attack, Washington’s leadership of a two-decade-long neocolonial occupation of Afghanistan was presented as a mission to secure “women’s rights” and bring “democracy” to the long-suffering Central Asian country.

The US-led “coalition of the willing” that destroyed Iraqi society following the 2003 illegal invasion portrayed itself as a “liberating” force as it butchered civilians and inflamed internecine ethnic and religious conflicts.

NATO’s 2011 air war on Libya claimed tens of thousands of lives, led to the brutal murder of Muammar Gaddafi and plunged one of the continent’s most advanced societies into a fratricidal civil war that continues to this day. Its advocates, relying on a pretentious pro-war academic theory cooked up in a project funded by the Canadian government, asserted that the war was justified by imperialism’s “responsibility to protect” civilians from a supposed impending massacre by Gaddafi. Similar lies were used to legitimise the incitement of civil war against the Assad regime in Syria, which the imperialists hoped would produce regime-change in Damascus.

These crimes have now reached a new level of savagery. US imperialism’s uninterrupted series of wars has metastasized into a rapidly escalating third world war involving all of the major powers in a global struggle for markets, raw materials and geostrategic influence. Washington’s backing of Israel’s “Final Solution” of the Palestinian question is bound up with its preparations for a region-wide war against Iran, aimed at consolidating American dominance over the Middle East.

The other two main fronts in this war are in Ukraine, where the crusaders for “human rights” are allied with genuine antisemites and the political successors of Nazi collaborators in their war against Russia, and in the Asia-Pacific against China.

American imperialism and its European allies seek to subjugate these two countries to the status of semi-colonies so they can capture natural resources and, in the case of China, prevent its emergence as an economic and geopolitical “peer competitor.” To this end, they are prepared to commit any crime, including genocide, and risk the destruction of human life itself in a nuclear conflagration.

The pursuit of such predatory goals demands the mobilization of the most reactionary political forces at home and abroad. The standing ovation in September 2023 extended to the Nazi war criminal Yaroslav Hunka by the Canadian Parliament, joined by diplomatic representatives from every G-7 member country, underscores that global imperialist war must go hand in hand with the rehabilitation of fascism and dictatorship. The brutal repression meted out by governments in North America and Europe against anti-genocide protesters is part of the abrogation of workers’ democratic rights.

As the World Socialist Web Site wrote in its 2024 New Year’s statement:

All the “red lines” that demarcate civilization from barbarism are being effaced. The motto of capitalist governments is: “Nothing that is criminal is alien to us.”

Millions of workers and young people around the world recognize the hypocrisy and lawlessness of the imperialist powers. This is testified to by the mass movement against the Gaza genocide, including the launching of a strike by US academic workers to protest the brutal police clampdown on anti-genocide demonstrators. But the challenge now posed is to draw political conclusions from these facts.

Like Mussolini and Hitler, who contemptuously brushed aside the League of Nations as they plundered Abyssinia and marched into one European capital after another, Biden, Scholz, Sunak and Macron–the leading imperialist barbarians of the 21st century–will not permit the United Nations or the ICC to restrain them. Appeals to these institutions to hold accountable war criminals like Netanyahu, or Biden for that matter, are doomed to fail.

The same capitalist contradictions that produce imperialist barbarism are propelling the international working class into struggle. It is the independent political mobiliation of this social force that the students and young people protesting the genocide and the complicity of the imperialist governments must fight for.

Prosecuting the war criminals, halting the genocide, and preventing the further escalation of a third world war are tasks inseparably connected with the fight for the revolutionary transformation of society under the leadership of the working class, which will replace capitalist barbarism with socialism.