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International institutions are useless

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By John Barnhart

    It’s been a little more than a month since the International Criminal “Court” issued its “arrest warrant” for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. It charged him with crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

    What has transpired since shows what a farce this so called “court” is. The immediate result was the expulsion of 13 aid agencies from Sudan. The month ended with al-Bashir’s warm welcome at an Arab League summit held in Doha, Qatar. Qatar is a thumb that juts out from the Arabian Peninsula into the Persian Gulf. Al-Bashir's fellow Arab dictators and autocrats offered him sympathy, support, and maybe some camels.

    The International Criminal Farce has proven itself utterly useless in dealing with the on-going horror story in Darfur.

    Meanwhile, another nasty fellow, Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s dictator, continues to breathe out threats and menaces. North Korea test launched a missle Saturday. The country claims it intended to launch a satellite, but everybody knows it was a test of a long-range ballistic missile. Another international farce, the United Nations, issued quite some time back a resolution calling for North Korea to abstain from test-launching ballistic missiles. It’s obvious how effective that little bit of diplomatic theater was.

    International institutions, such as the U. N., are worthless for containing thuggish dictators. Even when the U.N. takes a break from acting as a soapbox for people who hate us or from condemning Israel, to issue a resolution, that resolution’s subject will simply ignore it. This is what Kim did over the weekend..

    Some international institution actions, such as the International Criminal Farce’s “arrest warrant” for al-Bashir, can make matters worse. As I suggested last month, this action guarantees that al-Bashir will cling to power at all costs as there is a risk that a successor could hand him over in order to get him permanently out of the country. Remaining in power means that he’s safe and there are plenty of safe places to which he can travel in luxury.

    There is no easy answer to these sort of despots and I imagine that we will always have an Omar al-Bashir, Kim Jong-Il or Robert Mugabe misruling and pillaging some country. Most of the time, there is going to be little that can be done about them. The despot’s neighbors may be unwilling to do much more than fuss about him. Or, maybe there may be a strong country that, for one reason or another, supports the thug. China has been an enabler for al-Bashir because it needs Sudanese oil. Russia sells stuff to Iran and has consistently blocked our efforts to use the U. N. Security Council to impose effective, serious sanctions on that country to deter its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

    Nor can we go and whack these guys simply because they are nasty. The United States can’t be the world’s policeman. Even under the best of circumstances, our military and economic resources do have their limits. Furthermore, intervening militarily in conflicts where our national interest isn’t at stake won’t be appreciated. It reminds me of Proverbs 26:17, “Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.” (NASB)

    Sometimes an opportunity to unseat a despot may present itself, as happened during the Reagan administration. Should President Obama spot one of these opportunities, he certainly should take advantage of it. Otherwise, he should focus on looking out for America’s national interests and put no confidence in the U. N. or other international organizations..