War allows men (and sometimes women) who would otherwise live within the rules of civilized society to become animals. But for the most part, animals do not display the calculated and indiscriminate savagery of humans, who are not killing to obtain food.
Were the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a "breach of the rules of warfare"? How about our use of Agent Orange in Vietnam or the secret bombings of Cambodia and Laos? Furthermore, since Obama has simply continued many Bush-era policies, does this make him guilty of the same crimes?
We must pursue all political avenues for saving lives. Yet this investment in diplomacy should not eliminate more significant kinds of intervention. Without greater pressure, the Syrian regime is unlikely to consent to a transitional government, or even decelerate its killing of its own people.
At the international level, if those who promote and organize atrocities on both side of a conflict are not subject to accountability, the message of impunity to the citizens of that country undermines the establishment of a peaceful and well-functioning society.
Here is the tough thing about war crimes: at the time they are committed, they are often difficult to distinguish from the seemingly random violence occurring all around them. History, though, rarely forgives us for our lack of clarity or our desire for more details.
I, for one, don't want to look back at Syria, the way I'm now looking back at Rwanda and the start of World War II. I know military strikes aren't simple. I understand the consequences. I know the heavy price soldiers pay. My mother was one.
Africa is just like the West and needs to be treated as such. Yes, just like us when it comes to the crimes/justice that the ICC is tasked with. Justice demands a level playing field. Justice demands this because without justice before the bar we all become shadows.
Within a large convention hall in the suburbs of The Hague, The Netherlands, one of the most important matters in international justice is under debate, and sadly, only the most ardent stakeholders are paying attention.
What are the ethics of irretrievably mutilating an entire planet? When will humanity express its moral outrage that it is wrong to devastate an entire planet for countless generations to come, just to satisfy the consumer desires of a fraction of humanity for a single lifetime?
In the not-too-distant future, will politicians who intentionally ignore global climate change, or who obstruct action to implement conscientious policies to prevent deterioration of climate conditions, be deemed criminally negligent?