Monday, July 14, 2008

"The Old Man is staying because I'm not ending up in The Hague"

Time has an article today on why the ICC is, arguably speaking, completely screwing up Africa's politics for the next generation. (They're a bit more diplomatic than that, of course.) Yes, you can make the "no justice no peace" argument that the next generation of African leaders won't commit war crimes for fear of punishment by international tribunal. But in Sudan, in Zimbabwe, in so many places, dreams are bowing to reality. African leaders, it turns out, are still committing war crimes, they're just more stubbornly unwilling than ever to cede power. As long as Bashir holds office, he's not going to face the ICC, no matter what Prosecutor-General Ocampo has to say about it. And the indictment of him today pretty much guarantees that he will stay in power until he dies or is killed. As for Zimbabwe, not only Mugabe but also his top generals and others who have committed atrocities all have an investment in staying in power. If the ICC had existed in the '70s, Idi Amin might never have left his country to spend a quiet retirement in Saudi Arabia. To me, how Amin spends his final days is far less important than the future of his country. A quiet retirement for such a man might be infuriating to witness, but it's better than this.

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