Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Why the U.S. Can't Win: Sudanese Protest ICC Referral

Sudan's government is (not surprisingly) refusing to hand over alleged war criminals to the ICC, as it is required to do per the U.N. Security Council's resolution last week. Indeed, according to the BBC, tens of thousands of Sudanese are protesting the U.N. referral and even directly blaming the U.S.

"We are coming here to say to America 'no' to these orders. We are not people who have to listen to orders from anybody except the Sudan," one demonstrator said.

This is ironic, to say the least, because the U.S. has been pummelled for weeks by the European and U.S. media for blocking an ICC referral in the first place. Having finally relented, they will no doubt be blamed for whatever the ICC ends up doing in Sudan as well. Sometimes, it's no fun being the world's only superpower...


Blogger Chris Borgen said...


The backlash would have likely been even worse if the court was a U.S.-led ad hoc tribunal as the Administration originally sought. There would have likely been little European involvement and it would have looked like the hegemonic US and a less-than-credible coalition of the(weak and) willing. Enforcement would largely have been left to the US.

Here, with a referral to the ICC, the Europeans (who want the Court to do well) will face the political pressure to enforce compliance. Don't be too quick to come to a conclusion, let the situation play out.

4/05/2005 11:25 AM  
Blogger Peggy McGuinness said...

The US is often the target for generalized -- or even misplaced -- grievances. One interesting historical incident: When Salman Rushdie's book "The Satantic Versus" was published and Iranian clerics issued a fatwa against him, the US cultural center in Islamabad was attacked by an angry mob -- notwithstanding the fact that Rushdie was British. In this case, my guess is that protesting against the EU states (who do indeed bear responsibility to make sure this process works) won't have the same bite as protesting against the US.

4/05/2005 12:52 PM  
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