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America’s war crime probe against Russia is a farce

Russia, Vladimir Putin, International Criminal Court, Russian, Joe Biden, Russia

Opinion

America’s war crime probe against Russia is a farce

America has tried every possible way to smear Russia in a bid to instigate the West’s and even the world’s hostility toward Russia, so as to send Russia and Putin into the whirlpool of public resentment and pave the way for more sanctions on Russia. Writes Wang Wenwen

Since the Ukraine crisis, the US has been sending arms aid to Ukraine with unprecedented scale and speed to prolong the conflict. Meanwhile, Washington has also been keeping its propaganda machine running in full swing.

US President Joe Biden has condemned Russia and President Vladimir Putin on several occasions. He equaled the killing of Ukrainian civilians allegedly committed by Russian forces to a “war crime” which even qualified as “genocide,” and called for evidence to be gathered to put Putin on trial.

According to a Washington Post report on Tuesday, the Biden administration is compiling information about alleged war crimes in Ukraine that may be used to hold Putin and his aides accountable.

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The US is exploiting the excuse of “war crimes” in the already tense opinion war, while as the initiator of various wars, including the ongoing Ukraine conflict, it is shirking its own “war crimes.”

A well calculated opinion farce

When the Biden administration said it wanted the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and conduct war crimes trials against Russia, it equals a criminal holding a gun toward the head of the judge and telling the judge to indict others, said Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, “Isn’t it a farce?”

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The US counts on the ICC to step in and put the Russian leader on trial of “war crimes,” but it is worth noting that the US relationship with the ICC is historically fraught. The US was one of seven countries to vote against adopting the Rome Statute as the founding document for the ICC. The American Service-Members’ Protection Act, known informally as The Hague Invasion Act, which became effective in 2002, prohibited almost all US support for and cooperation with the ICC and, most controversially, allowed a US President to use “all means necessary and appropriate” to free Americans “being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court.”

The US has attempted to garner support from the international community by playing the card of “war crimes”. It has tried every possible way to smear Russia in a bid to instigate the West’s and even the world’s hostility toward Russia, so as to send Russia and Putin into the whirlpool of public resentment and pave the way for more sanctions on Russia.

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Shen believes that the harshest measure against Russia the US could adopt is finance and economy, but the US is unable to withstand high inflation. The US actions during the Ukraine crisis, including its plot in “war criminal” prosecutions targeting Russian leaders, are bravadoes aimed at creating an effect of drama.

Evading war responsibilities

“The US is instilling the world a double thinking through its discourse power. It proclaims superiority and the power to try others while evading investigation and prosecution against itself,” Xu Liang, an associate professor at the School of International Relations of Beijing International Studies University, told the Global Times.

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It is ironic that while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been punished and striped of his freedom for exposing US war crimes, the US sanctioned the ICC for its investigation into its war crimes in Afghanistan. In 2020, the Trump administration accused the ICC of infringing on the US national sovereignty when it launched the investigation, and imposed sanctions which allowed the US to block the assets of ICC employees and stop them from entering the country. John Bolton, the hawkish national security advisor of Trump, said, “We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead.”

The US double standards are fully exposed. It smears others, but turns a blind eye to its own war crimes and try to evade responsibility. Just look at the figures: In the Afghan War alone, more than 71,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians were estimated to have died as a direct result of the war, according to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs in Brown University.

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The US is the country that most deserves the investigation and prosecution by the ICC for its war atrocities. The US is a hegemon addicted to war and the biggest source of risk of global peace and stability.

“We’re a rogue state, the leading rogue state by a huge dimension – nobody’s even close. And yet we can call for war crimes trials of others, without batting an eyelash,” Noam Chomsky said in a recent interview. He noted that the Global South opposes Russia’s actions, but “the basic response is: What’s new? What’s the fuss about? We’ve been subjected to this from you (the US) from as far back as it goes, Biden calls Putin a war criminal; yeah, takes one to know one.”

Just as he said, “there’s a lot of work to do in the United States simply to raise the level of civilization to where we can see the world, the way the traditional victims see it.”

Wang Wenwen is an editor with the Global Times.

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