Putin Indictment Exposes Hypocrisy of NATO Allies and International Criminal CourtBy Harley Schlanger
by: Harley Schlanger
March 25—The indictment of Russian President Putin on March 17 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) provides further evidence that western governments intend to use the war in Ukraine to destroy Russia, and is a project run by arrogant elitists, with no contact with the real world.
The announcement, made by ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan, a British attorney, charges Putin, along with Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, with illegally deporting Ukrainian children to Russia. Claims have been made that at least 16,000 children were kidnapped by Russian forces—with some Ukrainian "human rights" groups charging, without evidence, that more than 300,000 children have been removed! The Russians admit that 1,400 children were moved from the areas of Ukraine annexed by Russia, mostly from orphanages and hospitals in war zones, for their protection.
The idea that it is a war crime to move displaced children, whose parents died in the war or cannot be located, to a safe place, is being mocked in Russia as absurd and unacceptable. Official comments range from Putin's spokesman Peskov stating that this is meaningless, as Russia "does not recognize the court", to Dmitri Medvedev's less diplomatic suggestion that the indictment is toilet paper and not worthy of response. Lvova-Belova, who adopted one of the orphans, quipped, "It's great that the international community appreciates the work to help the children of our country...that we don't leave them in war zones, that we evacuate them, create good conditions for them...." By "our country", she was stating that the children involved come from districts of eastern Ukraine annexed by Russia.
President Biden called the charges "justified" and said it "makes a very strong point", while acknowledging that, like Russia, the U.S. does not recognize the ICC as a legitimate authority. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asked during a hearing by Russophobe Senator Lindsey Graham, if he would encourage European allies to "turn over" Putin, called on all members of the ICC to comply with the warrant, to "fulfill their obligations."
The pro-war mainstream western media was full of ecstatic comments hailing the indictment. Typical was the Washington Post, which spoke of the damage done to the "shunned and isolated Putin", while an op-ed in Foreign Policy smirked that "shaking hands with an accused war criminal is bad optics." The British-U.S. think tank Atlantic Council, which has been clamoring for a war crime tribunal to target Putin, triumphantly posted links to ten "experts" (i.e., Atlantic Council fellows) commenting on the action, with one calling it a "moment of moral clarity", while another stated that it has "geopolitical implications from the Global South to Washington."
That the indictments are part of a broader plan to dismember Russia is clear from the statement issued by Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine's President Zelensky. Podolyak, who plays a key role in Ukraine's aggressive campaign of information warfare against Russia, said this is "the beginning of the end for the Russian Federation in its current form on the world stage."
Where Is the “Moment of Clarity” Regarding U.S./NATO War Crimes?
The timing of the indictment is replete with ironies, coming on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's summit with Putin in Moscow, and when U.S. media are reporting that military and intelligence officials now believe that Ukraine cannot win, and the time has come for negotiations. Former Austrian Foreign Minister Kneissl tweeted that the ICC action "renders diplomacy nearly impossible. Timing was no coincidence."
An even more profound irony, however, which probably escaped Biden's questionable powers of discernment, is that the indictments came two days before the twentieth anniversary of the launching of the Iraq war, an occasion marked by multiple articles pointing to the failure to hold accountable any of the military or government officials responsible for that war. Neither the ICC nor any other legal body has prosecuted George W. Bush nor Tony Blair for launching the war on false pretenses, which is estimated (by British medical journal Lancet) to have led to more than 601,000 deaths of Iraqis between March 19, 2003 and 2006, and countless more in the following years, due to civil society breakdown, and the outbreak of terrorism and religious civil war resulting from the invasion.
The BBC reported on April 19, 2019 that the ICC rejected a "request to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan, citing instability in the country...." Further, as to Afghanistan, Julian Assange remains in isolation in a British prison, awaiting extradition to the U.S., for publishing in Wikileaks U.S. documents exposing war crimes in Afghanistan. And while the State Department has hyped the investigation of "Russian war crimes" in Ukraine, the New York Times reported on March 8 that "the Pentagon is blocking the U.S. from presenting evidence of Russian atrocities", as military leaders "fear setting a precedent that might pave the way for it to prosecute Americans."
The justification for the decision to attack Iraq came from the fabricated dossier claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and that Saddam Hussein was allied with the Al Qaeda terrorists alleged to have been the perpetrators of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S. An MI6 dossier making the WMD claim was delivered by the Blair government to U.S. officials, and provided the meat of the "evidence" cited by Bush's Secretary of State Powell, in his address to the U.N., advocating an invasion of Iraq—though Powell later admitted he knew the charge was false!
Blair used his speech on the launch of the war on March 20, 2003 to reiterate these lies. Today, he said, we "face a new threat of disorder and chaos born either of brutal states like Iraq armed with weapons of mass destruction or of extreme terrorist groups...My fear, deeply held, based in part on the intelligence that I see [a reference to the MI6 dossier], is that these threats come together and deliver catastrophe to our country and our world."
Based on the fabricated intelligence he cited, he ordered military action in Iraq, with the mission to conduct regime change, "to remove Saddam Hussein from power and disarm Iraq of its [non-existent] weapons of mass destruction."
Tony Blair and George W. Bush and their teams of neocon war hawks, many of whom are still active today in promoting NATO's war in Ukraine against Russia, are correctly seen by most of the world as war criminals, who have inexplicably not been brought to trial for their crimes—while the ICC, founded in part due to the initiative of George Soros' Open Society NGO, has indicted Putin for removing defenseless children from a war zone! Knowing this helps explain why most of the "Global South" has refused to join the U.S. and NATO in condemning Russia and arming Ukraine, for the purpose of regime change in Russia.