Tuesday, July 5, 2011

African Union Slams Qaddaffi Arrest Warrant

The African Union last weekend indicated that its member states would ignore an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for the arrest of Moammar Qaddafi. The ICC, located in the Netherlands, sought to bring Qaddafi to trial for crimes committed by his regime.

Even though Qaddaffi is a violent dictator with a history of terrorist acts, it is a positive step when any body claiming international jurisdiction gets undermined, humbled, and ignored. The African Union complained that the ICC ignored so-called crimes committed by Western nations. This complaint raises a valid fear. What if the ICC got a wild hair and decided to issue a warrant for an American military officer or diplomatic official acting under orders of the president and/or Congress? If it succeeded in capturing said person, then any real president would send in the special forces to rescue that official rather than allowing them to stand trial. International organizations should have no jurisdiction that supercedes the national.

The African Union made a valid point that the arrest warrant made a peaceful solution more difficult. It would have narrowed the options for Qaddaffi to leave Libya and live out the remainder of his days in exile somewhere else.

Just because an evil tyrant is the issue here does not mean that we should support the continued posturing of an international organization that could someday abuse an American's rights.

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