I think the counter argument would be along the lines that the ICC and like actions of the UN do not truly constitute "stepping up to the plate". Instead they are merely gestures to placate the consciences of complacent and action-adverse Europeans. Problems of the type cited by proponents of the ICC continue to go on, quite unaffected by it. It is a remedy in search of a problem, and one readily capable of malicious misuse.
I see this as yet another case of wanting to have your cake and eat it. You criticize the "action-adverse Europeans" in the same breath as you condemn a precedential venue for action.
You can't have it both ways.
As to the issue of being readily capable of misuse I again disagree. I think this common complaint has more to do with an inherent aversion to any supra-nationalistic authority than understanding of the ICC. That the opponents of the ICC are oponents in-principle and objected to the mere concept is something I consider evidence of the nature of the objections having more to do with nationalism than the pretexts that serve as the objections.
After all, if the real concern is the misuse, then why not build in safeguards? Instead, the opponents object to the very concept of international authority, which is the real point.
It would be refreshing to see evidence that the ICC or the UN were able to deal in a meaningful or effective way with issues such as occurred a few years ago in Rwanda or which are occurring now in Sudan or Zimbabwe, or the Congo. Certainly the actions of Islamist terrorists in Saudi Arabia, Spain, Palestine, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia, Philippines, and the United States can be construed to be "Crimes Against Humanity" under the ICC statute. Many of these countries are signatories, and yet no action has been taken to deal with the perpetrators. Why?. The point is that the ICC has not so far shown itself to be a meaningful remedy for any unsolved problem facing the world.
In addition, the baby in the bath water has not yet shown himself to be a true leader. Let's throw him out.
Come on George! The ICC is in its infancy, and has had strong
US opposition since its inception. To find fault for these actions not having taken place is to misunderstand the scope of the ICC.
If you want such actions, the ICC needs to be strengthened. Yet you side with undermining it using the lack of action as a justification.
Again, the opponents can't have it both ways. A more honest argument would be that they simply dislike the notion of an authority over the US.
A simple test for this would be for you to describe an international authority that you would favor, and how the existing authorities might be made to reach this ideal.
The case against Rumsfield demonstrates its only real utility, and that is to constrain the United States.
This is an oft repeated fear and a claim laden with absolutism rather than evidence. It is also a criticism that neglects to demonstrate that the actual downside is undesireable.
It is, however, revealing in that it's the most honest argument against the ICC.
The ICC is seen as a threat to US hegemony. This is the underlying objection to all the significant counter arguments I have seen.
The problem is that this Gulliver does not accept the constraints the Lilliputians are offering...
Case in point, this objection has more to do with magnanimous self-image than the objections repeatedly cited.
The United States has no reason to investigate its Secretary of Defense, merely because some NGO has filed a frivolous lawsuit in Germany under this absurd statute.
Nor does the US have any obligation to, under the ICC. Copious lawsuits of a frivolous nature don't cause you to dismiss our own legal system out of hand.
I submit that you oppose the ICC not because of this mere frivolity but because of an inherent objection to the very concept of international authority.
Vexatious abuses like these are a legitimate concern for nations like the United States. (China and India take similar views - odd that there is no expressed concern about them.)
Do you have suggestions for safeguards against such issues beyond instinctive rejection of the concept itself?
Alternatively, if the UN or even the ICC were to show themselves able to deal in a serious or effective way with any of the several really serious abuses of humanity going on in the world, I would quickly revise my opinion.
I submit that if you want the ICC, a court, to also have the equivalent of a police force to bring people to said court, that your arguments should be for it to be strengthened.
Perhaps they could start with the internal political, economic, and public health situation io Zimbabwe; or there is Darfur and the Sudan; or, perhaps, abuses of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea. or Chechnya; consider Tibet or that China stoutly resists any interference. There is always the problem of Islamist international terrorism - waiting for effective action by either institution.
George, this is absurd. You want the ICC to gain support for its very existence through herculean feats of strength. You've not set the doorknob high, you have set it on the other side of the door and have argued that for the bastards to get a doorknob on their side they should be able to open the door with ease.
It is very easy to theorize about the potential of this or that imaginary remedy: much harder to deal in a meaningful way with real issues confronting the world. If the ICC and the UN can truly "step up to the plate" and show themselves effective in preventing or dealing with real problems, then they should be taken very seriously and given the deference they earn. Until then they don't deserve much attention.
This just doesn't make sense.
[parody]Until the complicated structures required to deal with this problem magically deal with this problem no attention toward building such structures should be given.[/parody]
This is a straw man. The United States need not "submit itself" any more than any of the other signatories. At present the natural objection to your reasoning is merely that the United States might better ensure the effectiveness of the ICC if the United States ceased the very strong efforts to undermine and oppose its very existence.
This, of course is an accurate expression of what many in Europe and other areas really want - a controlling voice in the management of political affairs in this country. I note that Europe is quite content to deny us a voice in the management of their political affairs, and believe we should retain the same rights in ours.
Earlier we briefly touched on South American fantasy and its comparison to reality. I think this is a similar case in which your fantasy does not correlate with reality.
The ICC does not in any way grant anyone a "controlling voice" in our political affairs.
If you claim otherwise please show me the evidence of this.
Finally, it is an illusion to suppose that those who are unwilling themselves to act in cases in which action is obviously needed - as for example a decade ago in Bosnia - will suddenly become emboldened if they can function under the "guidance" of yet another international bureaucracy. The supposed bad manners of the United States are merely the current excuse for inaction by the timid and complacent. If we concede, they will merely find another excuse.
If your objection really were the lack of action you would not oppose the existence of the ICC, you would wish for it to be actively acting on the geopolitical stage.
These are the real issues here. The problem is that they aren't acknowledged by the advocates who are so aroused and defensive about it all.
George, the opponents of the ICC are the "aroused and defensive" ones railing against it and actively opposing it.
I think the concerns raised need to be addressed, but I can't help but think the point of the opponents is not
to address this but to instinctively oppose international authority.
Again, a simple test is for such an opponent to describe what structural elements they think such an international authority should have.