On air: Justice or peace ?

Priya and i hit on the same area here regarding the International Criminal Court’s possible indictment of Sudanese president Omar al-Beshir.

To some this seems like a no-brainer.  The ICC will cite  :

“crimes committed in the whole of Darfur over the last five years”

But even UN secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon isn’t sure about the move . He told Le Figaro :

“It would have very serious consequences for peacekeeping operations including the political process, I’m very worried, but nobody can evade justice.”

There’ve been demonstrations in Khartoum, dark warnings of reprisals against westerners, and charities working there, and China among others have said the move will jeapardise the peace aims, however laughable they may be to some.

Here’s one author saying the ICC must press ahead.. Damien Lewis says :

“It is high time the genocidaires faced justice. Let us hope the ICC will deliver it. “

So, is justice paramount ? – or is it better to let people go if the end result works and brings peace ?

My colleague Clare Bolderson has done an interview ( a “trisco” even- that is a peculiarly WS phrase meaning “to interview three people”) about media treatment of Michelle Obama – and why maybe feminists (some of whom were strongly behind Sen. Clinton) haven’t been quick to come to her aid.

Here’s one columnist taking up the fight…Connie Schultz talks about a conversation with a friend and concludes..

“That  night, I decided the hardest person to be in America is a black woman. I often think of that conversation as the flagellations unfurl against Michelle Obama.”

Any thoughts ?

And farewell then Olive Riley , who’s made her final post. Reputed to be the world’s oldest blogger, (though she called it, jokingly, her “blob”) Olive has died in Australia at the age of 108. She talked about her memories of two World Wars and if you have a mind to, have a look at her last offering on YouTube.

Thanks to Abdi and Venessa for the weekend’s work- and for wading through some very long posts. 






84 Responses to “On air: Justice or peace ?”

  1. 1 Mohammed Ali
    July 14, 2008 at 12:13

    While it is true that there can be no justice without peace, the justice should carry the true meaning of justice itself. Justice within the context of the ICC is to prosecute those whom the west considers as hostile or rogue nations. The USA did not ratify the act creating the ICC and therefore cannot allow its citizens to be prosecuted by the court. Sudan did not ratify the ICC act and should therefore not be compel to send its citizens there. Advocating justice that will further inflame the situation in Dafur thereby leading to more destruction of lives and properties is sure absurdity and preposterous.

  2. 2 nelsoni
    July 14, 2008 at 12:20

    The ICC got it all mixed up. Peace first, then Justice. Doing it the other way round will only prolong the conflict because there will be no initiative for the sudanese government to work for peace.

  3. 3 John van Dokkumburg
    July 14, 2008 at 12:26

    Justice to reach peace , if its gooing to make more war then we have to look to our behaviour and come up with something better to hope and life ( dies ) for . Its to much of privates in every isolated world, and much are left allone . As a will for the people : For every president we must take off every self ruled authority and not to be one sided for one group our man.

    Every elected president – has to learn – to be humble , then even a beast can be president – in a prison … and hopefully come out for his crimes and become a new born man .. But i know it is new ideology for peoples .. but it is a anti agression law for the Soedan ..

  4. 4 Mohammed Ali
    July 14, 2008 at 12:59

    If the argument that because Michelle Obama is black that’s why the femenist are not coming to her defence, then her husband would not have been elected to democratic candidacy because he’s a black.

  5. 5 Mohammed Ali
    July 14, 2008 at 13:01

    I actually meant to say there can be no viable peace without justice in its true sense.

  6. 6 parth guragain
    July 14, 2008 at 13:07

    this is a very complex issue.there can’t be peace without justice and vicevarsa.why can’t international court drag people of powerfull countries to justice.when icc talk of justice it talk of poor and helpless countries.why dont powerfull and rich countries have disregard for these court until and unless these rules have same obligation for all countries these type of dicission doesn’t have any effect.

  7. 7 Melanie Chassen
    July 14, 2008 at 13:14

    Hmm. They say that justice is blind, because it’s meant to be fair to all, and not show prejudice. In my humble opinion, justice is meant to correct a wrong. Usually the differences between wrong and write are decided upon by society. But ultimately, justice is meant to revert things to a state of peace. If allowing justice to be served based on principle alone is too much trouble than its worth (allows unrest to continue longer than it would otherwise) then maybe taking an unconventional method to bring about peace is more worthwhile. This may be ‘unfair’ but if it works, isn’t that what really matters in the end?

  8. 8 parthguragain
    July 14, 2008 at 13:36

    for establising peace there should be justice.so to maintainance of peace there should be justful environtment in the country.justice and peace go hand in hand.

  9. 9 Muhammad Asim Munir
    July 14, 2008 at 14:07

    Hi WHYS!

    I hope you all are fine.

    So, is justice paramount ? – or is it better to let people go if the end result works and brings peace ?

    Justice is always a paramount as it is intrinsic part of human nature. Where there is justice there is peace and without justice there is no peace. However, as sometimes realities don’t let us do justice, so there are settlements that could be a temporary way to establish a sort of “peace”.

    Anyhow, this case has more to do with the timing and procedure of doing justice. Justice delayed is said to be justice denied so at this stage the case is getting other flavours.

    Muhammad Asim Munir
    Gujranwala, Pakistan.

  10. July 14, 2008 at 14:15

    If one is to be of enough ambition and egomania to pursue leadership position, whether it be Ariel Sharon, George Bush,Richard Nixon, Barak Obama, John McCain, or Bashir, or Sadaam Hussein-

    Then the egomaniac must be subject to facing the music, as it were. No one can escape justice or the eyes of the world in regard to human rights, and just about anything else. Sometimes the world is right, and sometimes the world is wrong, but the famous and the egocentric exist to be questioned and sometimes brought down.

  11. July 14, 2008 at 14:23

    International Law is a funny thing. To be effective it has to be recognised by the countries involved. Without that recognition it is powerless.

  12. 12 Shaun from Halifax
    July 14, 2008 at 14:33

    @ Melanie

    You make a good point, but then you’re getting into territory which begs the question “do the ends justify the means?”

    People don’t defy bears because while they look cuddly, if you poke one, he’ll likely maul your face off. They have the necessary equipment to deliver on the ever-present threat of killing you.

    Likewise, I have a friend who maintains that peace doesn’t work unless its enforced. I’d be interested to see how this attempt works out because imho, the U.N. is less than a toothless bear when it comes to any sort of international justice. What will happen is the following:

    1)The ICC will pass a ruling saying “we declare Mr. al-Beshir a war criminal” (or something to that effect) and he should be arrested.

    2) Mr. al-Beshir will laugh in the face of the ICC because there is nothing it can do as long as he is still in power.

    The U.N. is set up so it physically CANNOT go into a country and forcibly remove the leader (that’s in the mandate). Robert Mugabe has made a mockery of the U.N. and proven just how impotent and useless it is in dealing with matters of dictators. All the ICC can do is impose sanctions with the help of the U.N. And, as anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows, sanctions don’t hurt the ones in power – they have a forcefield called money and power. They still get fed and watered while the populace continues to suffer. Mr. al-Beshir has already shown a patent and clear disregard for the welfare of his people, does anybody honestly think more sanctions will make him suddenly develop a conscience? The idea is frankly laughable.

    And I’ll do myself one better: I challenge anybody out there to refute me. Name me one case where U.N. sanctions have directly lead to the overthrow of the one in power, and I’ll rescind my opinion on the potency (or lack thereof) of the U.N.

  13. July 14, 2008 at 14:39

    Please lets get the priorities right.
    First Bush (and Blair could also stand in the dock for a whole raft of reasons) on trial, then lets have a look at the rest.
    These people, and especially the US administration, have caused this situation and perpetuate this situation (150M barrels of oil in Sudan eh. Mmmm looks interesting). Zimbabwe on the other hand… na, not interesting… haven’t even got cooking oil.
    Makes me sick the way these hoodlums pontificate when they are so corrupt themselves.
    As for the UN. Oh dear. Perhaps better just keep a low profile eh, hope people don’t look too closely at that expensive toothless mess.


  14. 14 Dan
    July 14, 2008 at 14:50

    If an UNELECTED ICC can set itself above countries and then indict the leaders of those countries then I have to ask what we have created?
    When will the ICC come for us?
    There are many malevolent people in the world but why start with Sudanese president Omar al-Beshir?
    What about the leaders of the Islamic world that have helped to unleash world wide terror upon us?
    When will they come for President Bush?…President Sarkozy…PM Putin….Lady Thacher etc…etc..etc.
    Who are they to decide levels of evil and what part political correctness plays in the selection of prosecutions.
    The ICC is a group of demagogue Judges accountable to no one and have in effect have set themselves up as dictators.
    As you might guess, I am opposed to their indictment and their powers.

  15. July 14, 2008 at 14:53

    Peace never possible without justice. Because all conflict are mainly dependet on Injustice. So Justice with peace is most necessary.

  16. July 14, 2008 at 14:59

    I consulted a Sudanese friend of mine and this is what he had to say.
    I agree with his point of view.

    @2008/7/14 Ali Eisawi :

    > Dear Malc,
    > It all comes because of the resources, minerals and hydrocarbon.They are planning for another Iraqi tragedy but this time in Sudan. The same scenario! is not it?
    > I am not happy about the regime in Khartoum, but I would not accept the interference of this court in my country! we have our own Judiciary authority.
    > A very important question: Why this respectful court never accuses criminals such as Mr. Bush? So the matter has nothing to do with humanitarian issues.
    > How many casualties in Iraqi per day and since the start of the war against Iraqi?
    > Compare Darfur with the situation in Gaza Strip! No one dare to say Mr. Olmert is found guilty!!!
    > I am a geologist, I know that the area is rich in valuable deposits such as Uranium, Bauxite etc. beside possible oil. Think over!!
    > My English is not so good to explain in details, but I hope you have understood the situation.
    > Regards
    > Ali Eisawi

  17. 17 Virginia Davis
    July 14, 2008 at 15:00

    Regarding working for peace – in Darfur in Sudan and elsewhere:

    Catholic social activists, around here anyway, have a bumper sticker: If you want peace, work for justice.

    What is justice in ongoing genocide in Sudan? To stop the genocide. To arrive at peace in Darfur. The ICC Prosecutor himself admitted he did not know where his
    “first step” will take us. He mentioned public opinion among the international community. And that he was aware of the threat to people and organizations in Darfur to aid and protect the people of Darfur.

    NB: The United States does not recognize the ICC. One has to wonder if George W will have the sense to keep his mouth shut.

    @Shaun from Halifax

    Instead of dissing the UN, I suggest you recognize it as a major player in a world taking steps toward justice and peace. Why be gleeful about slow process?

    Virginia in Oregon

  18. 18 1430
    July 14, 2008 at 15:12

    hello world have your say,
    i think justice should be given but only in the right ways.what i mean is that an American citizen should get equal punishments as an Indian citizen.
    so if it is justice to hang an Indian then why not to hang an American???
    But yes,killing someone would not be Justice.that is the dileima that this world is having now.thats why we should not blame ICC because even they are humans and they are bound to be confused and make errors while making decisions.
    Thank you

  19. July 14, 2008 at 15:14

    Hi Shaun from Halifax
    Akbar here in Tehran
    I am not so sure al-Beshir will laugh this one off.
    He has been coming here, but the focus now is on what he has been doing in Darfur.
    We have the same dilemma over here. Several of our citizens were arrested in UK, Georgia and Thailand, and in some cases, extradited to a third country.
    The issue is this: Should NATO, EU or any other force attack a country on a particular count, such as clandestine nuclear operations in Parchin, Natanz and Bushehr in Iran, – and kill thousands of civilians in the course of action! Or, as seems more sensible, identify and pick up the culprits!
    An indictment has enormous clout, particularly when it is issued by the Hague.
    British justice, Magistrate Courts, the Old Bailey, Penal, Criminal Law and Corporate Law obviously work, and have worked for centuries: But there must also be an international justice system that can and is empowered to apprehend suspects.
    The alternative would be to let ethnic cleansing, the slave trade and human smuggling flourish. A Rapid Deployment Force coupled with an expedient method of issuing arrest warrants and summary prosecution of the accused would remedy and stunt human atrocities in Africa and Mideast.
    lastly, you must lull your conscious, because it’s either you or them, and you’re not the bad guy?

  20. 20 Shaun from Halifax
    July 14, 2008 at 15:26

    @ Virginia in Oregon

    I did not, by any means, intend to dis the U.N. (but you didn’t answer my challenge). In terms of the ability to mobilize humanitarian aid and moderate conflicts (as long as both sides agree to it) it is second to none.

    BUT (and here’s the big one) my point was that in terms of its ability to back up any threats the U.N. makes, a child with a bb gun poses greater threat. Actions speak louder than words, and as far as I can tell, that’s all the ICC and U.N. do: pass ‘resolutions’ with no real effect.

    My challenge still stands: Name me one case where U.N. sanctions have directly lead to the overthrow of the one in power, and I’ll rethink my opinion on the potency (or lack thereof) of the U.N.

  21. 21 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 14, 2008 at 15:29

    I don’t agree with Ms. Schultz’ comment, “That night, I decided the hardest person to be in America is a black woman. I often think of that conversation as the flagellations unfurl against Michelle Obama.” However, I do agree that the media does not regard disrespecting a black woman, as an issue. When no one comes to your defense, whether black or white, it is not an issue. Depending on where you work, you just have to have thick skin. In the media when someone makes a snide comment, several people come around and state that these comments are offensive to black people, like the monkey commercial in Japan. However, if you are at work and someone makes a snide comment you can react the same way because senior managers may look at you with disdain. Several people have made rude comments about blacks or someone that were very offensive to me but I don’t complain. I just accept that everybody has their own opinions and everyone is not respectful.

    Until you have black men caring what people say about black women things are not going to change. If black men don’t care why should anyone else care.

  22. 22 Vijay
    July 14, 2008 at 15:58

    Justice or peace? Should read justice and peace,until the international culture of impunity is tackled there will be no justice and no peace.Start with the Sudan and keep going don’t stop until every one who should be indicted is indicted.

  23. 23 John in Germany
    July 14, 2008 at 15:59

    Life would be easier if we all took the chips off our shoulders.

    John in Germany

  24. 24 Dan
    July 14, 2008 at 16:00

    @ Virginia Davis
    The problem with Bumper Sticker policies is that it tends to simplify complex issues and then with people chanting foolishness politicians are forced into making poor choices.
    There needs to be a system of accountability of country leaders but who makes the moral decision?
    I think 3,000 years ago we were given the answer to that question.
    Too bad that evil exists and the ICC is not equipped to deal with that evil and its aftermath and the world had not yet the willingness to intervene before millions die.

  25. July 14, 2008 at 16:01

    Justice or Peace?

    In the Sudan case, the situation is a mixture of a tyrannical dictatorship plus also an unhealthy dose of arab-on-african racism. The Zimbabwe situation is simpler – a tyrannical dictator is killing his own people and destroying their economy simply because he wishes to continue stealing vast amounts of his people’s money in perpetuity and because he is scared of stepping down since he may have to face the music.

    The ICC is a great idea, but as well as prosecuting Charles Taylor, let it also prosecute de Beers (diamond company) for paying Taylor US$ 50 million (a trivial amount) to continue the war after Taylor was ready to stop.

    Above all, let us rid this planet of any and all dictators, benign and tyrannical, pro-western and anti-western. This is simple – just adopt or create a voting system which cannot be frauded – that is even easier than sending missions to the Moon and Mars.

    In the ultimate case, we have to hope that God and the Devil will exact Justice on any and all leaders who have unjustly killed their own citizens and the citizens of other countries, and especially those who have excaped justice, punishment and retribution while on earth.

    Mr Alex Weir
    Harare and London

  26. July 14, 2008 at 16:02

    Hi Dan
    Akbar here in Tehran
    You make a poignant remark regarding atrocities by Islamic groups.
    That is precisely why the Hague must be empowered to deal with murder in the name of zealotry, excesses in the guise of faith and justice, and stop stoning and live burial of adulterers.
    Anyone who commits an atrocity! Too many crimes are overlooked in the belief that the sacrosanct fraternity that issued the edict is right and must be respected. Nonsense.
    One rule for all, let common sense prevail, protect women and children everywhere, stop inquisitions and bloodbaths in the name of faith and religion.

    July 14, 2008 at 16:14


  28. 28 John in Germany
    July 14, 2008 at 16:24

    Why should there be different types of justice for different people?.
    Here comes the old Vip advantage to shine once more. Why should this man be freed from facing a court because of supposed crimes committed, then he is at the moment an accused. There is however no reason why he should not face the court, just like every other accused, no matter who he is and where he comes from.

    John in Germany

  29. 29 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2008 at 16:31

    Is there any question as to the guilt of the Sudanese president?

    If there is not, why have the Sudanese courts not given and carried out his sentence?

    I find all of this finger pointing at Blair and Bush as a crime against our morals and intelligence. If your neighbor kills his wife, does that give you license to do the same? Do you keep on talking and dealing with your murdering neighbor?

    Well, maybe you do in Africa, but you should not.

    And there is difference between ordering rape to be used as a means to kill and terrorize your population, to kill indiscriminately, as opposed to fighting a war in the midst of a civilian population. Should Bush be Impeached and held to account? I think yes, and it has come before the legislature of the US, though sadly it was struck down. But lets not gloss over and forget, that Saddam Hussein was a monster at the head of a country which he had used to attack his neighbors allready.

  30. 30 Shaun from Halifax
    July 14, 2008 at 16:33

    We all agree that threats without enforcement are meaningless, and we all agree that there are Bad People out there who should probably go away one way or another. But the big question is how do we ensure that the U.N. and ICC are given the respect necessary to make them an institution that can actually be effective.

    So in an attempt to answer the question, I’d like to postulate something: let’s give the U.N. a military wing. Give them all the tools to do their job except nuclear weapons (nukes don’t solve anything).

    We can start with funding: part of the ‘dues’ the member states pay to be a part of the U.N. goes to supporting the military arm. In order to attract soldiers, do the same thing businesses do when they’re trying to hire away the competition: give the soldiers better training, pay and reward than they can expect in their home country. In reward for service, the soldiers become recognized U.N. Citizens and get free passage through any member state (or something to that effect).

    Secondly is the protections: draft a checklist or rubrick with all the conditions necessary for a U.N. intervention. If a leader is mismanaging his/her country in a way that the U.N. determines is wrong, then they get a few chances to fix the situation. After that, the hammer goes down. I believe the U.N. already has a document or procedure in place to describe a leader who is not managing their country properly.

    Thirdly: training. I propose we take the model of the French Foreign Legion (only make it less tough). The French military has done a fairly good job of taking soldiers from diverse backgrounds and molding them into an effective fighting force, so let’s copy that model. As to leadership, I’m sure there are capable and honorable military leaders in all parts of the world. The only caveat: the leader MUST HAVE fought in a U.N. conflict before this and has to have had front-line battlefield experience (General. Roméo Dallaire perhaps?). This is based on the theory that somebody who has seen combat is the most likely to view war as an absolute last resort.

    Fourth: control. How do we ensure that the military arm doesn’t get misused? The same checks and balances that exist now. The security council gets the final say on most things, so why not this. This way the hawks in administrations can beat the war drums to their heart’s content, while still having a chance that cool, rational heads can prevail.

    Of course this is only a proposal and I haven’t fleshed it out fully in this, but I’d be interested in people’s response. Would a U.N. military force give its sanctions some teeth? Is it a good idea?

  31. 31 haider meghjee
    July 14, 2008 at 16:41

    justice should be for everybody.
    killers in darfur should be brought to justice so should the killers of iraqis and afghanis. i mean george bush and his henchmen. the hague should be the final resting place for all killers not just a few poor african dictators and a couple of lower ranking bosnian serbs.if the hague is to be taken seriously then its challenge is to try the organisers of the illegal invasion of iraq. and i mean bush and blair.take these two to the hague and the world will be a peaceful place.

  32. 32 gary
    July 14, 2008 at 16:45

    The ICC can indict all it wants. Omar al-Beshir is a good target; but why stop here? There are many, many more in the world. Trouble is, its writs would just sound silly, because it cannot bring the defendants to the docket. Indictments would simply throw this fact into sharp relief. This current pitiful effort is yet another wonderful example of humankind’s glaring inability, from schoolyard to world stage, to properly and justly deal with bullies.

  33. 33 Melanie Chassen
    July 14, 2008 at 16:46

    @ Shaun

    I cannot debate your point, as I am not well versed in the UN. But it seems appropriate to remind you that nothing is perfect. An imperfect UN is better than none at all. And I truly believe that trying and failing is better than not trying at all. I can’t comment anymore because I am not very familiar with the specific topic at hand… but it would seem to me that peace is in the eye of the beholder. Justice is constructed by social limits and values. As is the case in the Canadian justice system, I favour the “innocent until proven guilty”. I would rather see a guilty person go free than an innocent person incarcerated. But I digress…

    that’s all for now.

  34. 34 Will Rhodes
    July 14, 2008 at 16:49

    Justice or peace? Both!

    But you have to have peace before justice can take hold. The ICC isn’t ratified by a few nations, so those nations who haven’t ratified it should keep mum – hypocrisy comes to mind.

    Michelle Obama isn’t like simply because who her husband is. I have seen her interviewed a few times and she is a very likeable person.

    Those feminists who won’t come out to support her because they went for Hillary – I have no idea why they won’t. Probably the same reason they don’t come out to support the women in Saudi and other oppressive nations.

  35. 35 Dan
    July 14, 2008 at 16:53

    Hello Akbar,

    Yes, I agree but who makes the rules as to what is an atrocity?
    I learned my values from my religion and then as I grew was able to examine and challenge those values.
    I cannot see that freedom in the Islamic world.
    Sadly the UN is today controlled by those anti-Democratic countries.
    Are we in a Catch 22?

  36. 36 viola
    July 14, 2008 at 17:06

    @Angela in Washingon: “If black men don’t care why should anyone else?

    I find that statement offensive and outrageous. Please explain why you think black men have to care about another human being before you or I can or should.

  37. 37 Luz Ma
    July 14, 2008 at 17:24

    I think the ICC Prosecutor made a very bold move. It is -in fact- a risk going after Omar al-Beshir, but my belief is that the situation of Darfur merits this kind of action.

    Do you really think that the current peace efforts in the region would have a positive outcome? I don´t think so. There are many political interests to keep the situation as it is.

    I know that the ICC and the UN does not have enough “teeth”, but soft law sometimes can do more than expected. I am hopeful that this case would become a historic paramount of personal accountability regarding genocide and crimes against humanity.

    @Michelle Obama and U.S feminists
    I agree with Will. Some western feminists only care about the cause of caucasian women. It is a shame this happens within a movement that it is supposed to fight inequality.

  38. 38 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    July 14, 2008 at 17:27

    Justice! Justice! Justice! it will ever be?
    Well, that “God’s time is the best” it doesn’t matter where and when this Justice to start…But let this ICC remember and pay a great attention to many crying voices around the world…Let this ICC be more serious than ever before because it encouraged instead Injustice to prosper…People like Omar al-Bashir, Mugabe Robert, and those responsible of Rwandan genocide and aftermath right to those responsible of killings in DR Congo etc. must give account for millions of lives, suffering, sorrow, pain, and misery caused.

  39. 39 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 14, 2008 at 17:32


    I did not mean that statement as an insult. Well, here in the US there are rap songs demeaning women and most people don’t care. I mean most people thought it was funny that Obama’a wife was referred to as his Baby Mama. I care about what people say about black women but you don’t have Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson talking about the way people treat or refer to black women, however, I can stand either one of those individuals. In other words, most people don’t see demeaning black women as an issue or that they don’t deserve the same respect. Again, I did not mean to offend by that statement.

  40. July 14, 2008 at 17:32

    Let Omar El Bashir eat dust with Charles Taylor at the Hague. It’s his chickens coming home to roost!

  41. 41 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 17:41

    the issue here is genocid, everthing else is just blowing smoke. the reality is that the arabs with goverment support are ethnicaly cleasing dafur of it’s indegineous people, while the rest of the world is sitting on the by-lines and watches.

    the question is how much more will it take until the collective morals of the world are finally waking-up and are willing to do something. or are we now all too afraid to get involved, since it a conflict that involes muslims ….. world where are your bollix?

  42. 42 Shirley
    July 14, 2008 at 17:44

    I firmly believe that there can be no pace without justice. This is the truth tht no-one wants to acknowledge about the Middle East, Iraq, Tibet, Myanmar, and other occupied and oppressed nations around the world. The same is also true for the people of Darfur. Pursuing legal justice against the genocidaires of Sudan will serve as an example to other Sudanese leaders to stand down to face the same; and it will (inshallah) serve as a beacon of hope to the people of Darfur. Every step forward brings us closure to both goals, justice and peace.

  43. July 14, 2008 at 17:47

    Hi Dan
    Akbar here in Tehran
    The issue of atrocities and infringement of privacy, forced seizure of property, heavy-handedness and thuggery begin when intimidation has set in.
    This is why I suggested streamlining the system so that it is transparent, clear and effective.
    Slaughtering people on account of some religious edict, whether Islamic or Christian as during the Inquisitions in the Middle Ages come under the notion of zealotry. It never stops because it gives power and wealth to the perpetrators.
    The EU is facing immense difficulties because it hasn’t an expedient and efficient arrest and prosecution process.
    There must be a universal system of speedy justice in order to dampen the enthusiasm of organized crime, drug and human trafficking, all the way to infringement of civil rights by government agencies. If law offenders realized that they were not immune to arrest and prosecution, and knew someone was on their trail, they would think twice before resorting to crime.

  44. 44 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2008 at 17:52


    You shouldn’t disrespect anyone. But until you can set an example of respect by one’s own actions, its hypocrisy to go screaming after other people who follow your bad example.

    This is true of any ethnic, national, or whatever group.

  45. 45 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2008 at 17:57

    Jens… the world’s never had any bollix. Individual countries have had bollix… and we’ve seen how that was regarded by the world.

    The world at large is mostly corrupt, and mostly doesn’t want other people poking their noses into their dirty laundry. If we are willing to poke our noses into genocide and human rights in Darfur, who might we take a look at next? China? Iran? The US? Nobody wants that.

    So no, nothing will be done.

  46. 46 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 18:09


    that is exactly the problem. some countries do have them and others do not. if one takes action one is likely to screw it up at one or the other point. what gauls me are for example the gauls who sit on the fence telling everybody how to do something, but do not have the gonads to actually do something.

    and so we shall carry on sitting on the by-line, watching the theater of genocide, while drinking champage and congratulate ourselves on our empathy and well-meaning-thoughts and being the stewart’s of the mockery that is the UN. well done and cheers to ethnic cleasing

  47. 47 Chris Marston
    July 14, 2008 at 18:11

    Why are there only two options, now or never? I suggest a third option, namely LATER, once doing so will not cause negative repercussions?
    C.M. Arkansas, USA

  48. 48 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    July 14, 2008 at 18:12

    Justice for Darfur
    Justice can sometimes be a motivator of peace is used corretly. However, in this istance I think it may hurt the people of Darfur. I think the president has no feelings for his people and he can not attack anyone other than his people.

    Michelle Obama and U.S feminists
    I saw Michelle Obama on the Today show a month back. I saw a woman mad at every question asked. Mr Obama did not even get to answer the qeustions because she did. I remember when Mrs. Clinton was in the same spot she did NOT act that way. Michelle Obama should rember that her husband it the one to become president.

  49. July 14, 2008 at 18:16

    Peace is a definable and absolute term. The dictionary references very absolute values to peace. Things like “tranquility”, “oppression”, and “harmony” are mentioned. In its simplest terms, take the 10 commandments, or any other religions variation, and peace exist were those attributes are common.

    Justice, on the other hand, is a relative term. One man’s “justice” is another man’s “human rights violation.” Example, according to some cultures laws; a woman that has sex out of marriage dishonors both families. That culture sees “justice” in honor killings. The rest of the civilized logical world sees irrational acts of selfishness by her killers.

    Many people try to bind justice and peace as relative to each other. They are not. The whole first testament of the bible was based on this misconception. “An eye for an eye”, “plagues”, and other vengeful commandments and acts are common in the old book. Christianity is based on a realization that a justice seeking approach to peace is not practical. Jesus Christ came to bring a “new way”. To achieve peace, his message was one of tolerance and forgiveness.

    “Peace” through “justice” is a shallow and insecure peace. A disruption in justice at the smallest family level can have a butterfly effect that will disrupt the peace of the entire community or even the world.

  50. 50 Lamii Kpargoi
    July 14, 2008 at 18:18

    The issues raised for today’s discussion are really interesting, especially to me. I’m currently concluding my second international law course at the University of Liberia’s Law School.

    I think justice should continue to have it’s proverbial long reach, and that no one regardless of whether they are a sitting president should be let off the hook for crimes that they either commit or condone while in office. By doing this the civilized international community would ensure that people don’t just wreak havoc on innocent people and go free. It would mean that the culture of impunity that pervades the world, most especially African country’s, would be ended.

    I took issues with my constitutional law professor last semester for backing a Liberian Constitutional provision that appears to give Liberian presidents immunity from prosecution for all crimes committed as long as they are not impeached from office by the country’s legislature. My point was and is that in a situation of a tyranny/dictatorship laws don’t function properly, so presidents who perpetrate mayhem would do so with impunity.

    I have not read the prosecutor’s reasons for seeking President Bashir’s indictment so I don’t want to comment on his specific issue. But over all I think it is the best course to follow regardless of any peace processes.

    Lamii Kpargoi

  51. 51 Virginia Davis
    July 14, 2008 at 18:19

    @Shaun of Halifax

    Virginia again. I couldn’t agree more with you about establishing a UN military force and have had those thoughts for a long time. But that force also be able to respond to natural disasters.

    Re your challenge: you are probably right about the effective removal by the UN of a bad head of state. That was not my point. My point was that this is a first step in a “process” made up of lots of steps.

    And to come at my bumper sticker quote: it is a good cause and effect statement and one couched to encourage people to work for social justice. Will Rhodes makes another good comment about the relationship between peace and justice as concepts. Both!

    And then we can fault the BBC for stating either/or.

    Oh, yes. Regarding Michelle Obama. Check out the “satire” of the magazine
    The New Yorker. Incredible to me!


  52. 52 Katharina in Ghent
    July 14, 2008 at 18:22

    It has been the right step for two reasons: 1) now he can’t travel freely because he has to worry that he will get caught one he leaves the country; 2) so that all these horrible leaders learn that their crimes will catch up with them one day or another.

  53. 53 AJay
    July 14, 2008 at 18:24

    Isn’t it a sad situation when justice and peace end up becoming mutually exclusive?

    To keep from spilling more blood, the indictment should be held until there is a civil “regime change,” after which the allegations of war crimes can be prosecuted.

    This, by the way, is what I hope will happen to the principals of the Bush administration here in the USA.

  54. 54 steve
    July 14, 2008 at 18:26

    Your guest said that only whites commit genocide, and I have to challenge that. Millions of Chinese died from Mao. Ever heard of the Khmer Rouge? Pol Pot killed millions of Cambodians. Only Whites commit genocide? What kind of racist statement was that and why didn’t anyone challenge it on the air?

  55. 55 Ansu Tangar
    July 14, 2008 at 18:28

    I first of all want to know where the so-called prosecutor from the ICC manufactured such a pre-matured decision by issuing indictment to an incumbent Government especially in a country where there is still an on going fighting?

  56. 56 Shaun from Halifax
    July 14, 2008 at 18:33

    @ Virginia

    Good points all around.

    I’ve noticed your criticism of the BBC and actually feel it extends beyond our good British friends. It seems to me as of late that just about every media source is able to turn any issue, no matter how nuanced, into a he-said/she-said statement with clearly dilineated Black and White, Good and Bad, Right and Wrong answers.

    I, for one, feel that doing this is irresponsible at best. A media company doing this has not discharged its two most crucial responsibilities and obligations: to report the News in a manner that is 1) responsible and 2) impartial.

    I’m a moderately intelligent individual. You give me the facts, and I’ll make up my own mind.

  57. 57 Brian M
    July 14, 2008 at 18:34

    Would the ICC ever dare indite Vladamir Putin or Hu Jintao for the atrocities they’ve committed in their respective countries. The indictment of Omar Al-Bashir is just another example of imperial European double standards.

  58. 58 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 14, 2008 at 18:43

    Why dont we prosecute Isriel, India & USA, all these three have never ending listing of crime’s against humanity in Phalistine, Kashmir & Iraq, as Sudan is too young in this business.

  59. 59 Shaun from Halifax
    July 14, 2008 at 18:45

    @ Syed Hasan Turab

    Two words, my friend:

    Nuclear Weapons

  60. 60 Guy
    July 14, 2008 at 18:48

    It is making sick to listen to your guests arguing about “who started it” and talking politics when there is so much suffering and despair.
    Very sad indeed.

  61. July 14, 2008 at 18:49

    Omar El Bashir, runs the country through a military Junta. NO one else has any other power but him. HE is responsible for all major decisions, specially ones that concern military strategy. He is the leader. My only problem is that the ICC has removed it’s teeth by not prosecuting Robert Mugabe, so why sould he comply? Justice has already lost again!!!

    Mohamed USA

  62. 62 Mohamed Hassan
    July 14, 2008 at 18:49

    As a sudanese I know that war crimes have been committed by Omar El Beshir and I hope the inditement will not only take place but that it has some teeth to it. The ICC has unfortunately removed all it’s teeth itself, by not prosecuting Robert Mugabe

  63. 63 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 18:50

    Syed Hasan Turab,

    why not prosecute every country. at one point every country has done something wrong. why not prosecute your home country? i am sure it is not all roses there.

    your statement smacks of anti-west bias….

  64. 64 W N
    July 14, 2008 at 18:51

    Hello WHYS:

    I cannot believe the most-recent actions of the ICC. Let me state that I am no apologist for the regime in Khartoum.

    However, the ICC has chosen to immerse itself into the Darfur campaign, which is an internal matter. Yes, it is lamentable that the people of Darfur have suffered but it is NOT a genocide when the best estimates are 200,000 dead Darfurians and about a million more displaced from their homes. Even the African Union has never characterized it as a genocide.

    In case the BBC is ignorant of goings-on in the world, the problem in Eastern Congo (of the DRC) is longer lasting and greater, by orders of magnitude, with over five million killed. Where are the ICC, UN Security Council, EU, AU, etc. in the tragedy of our time?

    Concerning war criminals, why are the leaders of countries who have perpetrated the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia not on trial? Please don’t tell me that the US-UK are not members of the ICC. In Iraq, within a shorter period of time, more people (in excess of a million) have died and been displaced (five million). Where is the justice?

    The ICC with this completely-biased ruling has lost any semblances of impartiality and respectability that it may have previously had. The tangible effect of this ruling means that any western NGOs, who having been helping the Darfurians, will have to leave the region. Next, Sudan will remove the the peace-keeping troops. Who suffers from all of this? The people of Darfur!

    This is a classic example of selective justice applied with the aim of political ‘regime change’ for purposes of an oil grab.

    Have a good day.

  65. 65 Latifa
    July 14, 2008 at 18:51

    It is an indictment of humanity that we have descended to the point of arguing about a no-brainer – justice and peace are not mutually exclusive. Both are equally important, as the grim faces of dying folks in Darfur will sharply remind you.

  66. 66 Brandon Rericha
    July 14, 2008 at 18:52

    You cannot justify human rights violations, regardless of what other people have done. In all cases, theresult is the same. Masses of people end up dead. Human rights violators need to be held accountable, all of them, on all sides of a conflict. There is no excuse for killing innocents.

  67. 67 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 18:53

    Shaun from Halifax

    then you should add all former russian terrtories, france, north korea, pakistan etc.

    that is a bit of a stupid comment. do you seriously think that either of these countries would nuke holland?????

  68. July 14, 2008 at 18:54

    One sentence form Gdynia, Poland.

    Salih Mahmoud Osman, winner of the 2007 Sakharov Prize said:

    “There is no Peace without justice. ”


  69. 69 Shaun from Halifax
    July 14, 2008 at 18:55

    We’re all forgetting the golden rule of geopolitics and realpolitik:

    “Whomever has the gold, makes the rules.”

  70. 70 Latifa
    July 14, 2008 at 18:56

    Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Darfur need justice now. There can be no excuse for delaying justice.

  71. 71 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 18:57

    @ WN

    “Yes, it is lamentable that the people of Darfur have suffered but it is NOT a genocide when the best estimates are 200,000 dead Darfurians”


    when does genocide become genocide, 500’000 or 1 million or maybe only after 6 million? let it be heared how much sufferening murder, rape (including child rape) is acceptable for you before it is genocide? i seriously hope you think twice before you answer.

  72. 72 Deo Byaruhanga
    July 14, 2008 at 19:52

    If we were to go by records then George Bush Senior and junior woul have been indicted long ago. Talk about the Gulf war, the war in Kosovo, war in Afhghanistan, the overthrow and execution of sadam husein, how do these compare with the situation in Darfur ? here were individuals who defied United Nations resolutions and concocted evidence to justify their causes and they are running free to date and blinding the world that the Darfur situation is the worst on earth. Vist iraq, Afghanistan , Kosovo and Serbia today and ask the people their who has brought all the suffering to the.!!

  73. 73 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 20:39


    the war in afghanistan is fully justified. they attacked america first. kosovo was under clinton, so get your facts right and america intervened there thanks to the incompetence of europe being able to sort-out its problems. plus who commited attrocites there, certainly not america. america intervened and the war was over……the ironie is that the usa intervened to protect the muslim people.

    the first gulf war was instigated by mr sadam himself and the only pity is that we did not finish it properly.

    the usa did not defy the un resolutions. it is interesting how individuals like you are trying to re-write history so that it fits with you world. repeating the same lie over and over again might reiforec your believe but it is still a lie.

  74. 74 Samuel Asamoah-Larbi
    July 14, 2008 at 21:29

    I reckon we could do with an African version of these so – called International Courts of Justices. I wonder why I haven’t heard of the constitution of the ICC or ICJ comprising an African Judge. What the western world is doing is getting out of bounds and must be checked. Indeed there is no equality but EQUITY must prevail.

  75. 75 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 14, 2008 at 21:56

    Unfortunately my home country is USA, as far as western sincearity with humanity is concern it stink in a real bias & double standard of justice total hipocracy at the name of Democracy.
    Be honest & impartial, please come out from typical westrn supermacy capsul, we usually face these kind of mentalities commonly in USA too as they refuge from European poverty time & now pretended dictator of unlawfull justice with more right to live in USA & rest of the world. Infact people of your kind forget starving time & Ship journey to USA, after having couple of meals at NY harber you completely forget injustice forced you to migrate from poor Europen society.
    Please clear your self due to Western hipocracy one time friend & allie turn against you as the justice been ignored in regard to core political issues.

  76. 76 Shakhoor Rehman
    July 14, 2008 at 23:07

    Looks to me like another diversion by the UN to cover up the fact that they are not carrying out their responsibilities to the international community by providing adequate blue helmets on the ground to defend those under attack from the Sudanese regime. It’s not surprising really since the Burmese regime was treated with kid gloves also, as was the Serbian regime’s vicious intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina for some years.

  77. 77 Jens
    July 14, 2008 at 23:27

    Syed Hasan Turab

    “Unfortunately my home country is USA”. if it is that unfortunate then leave for crying out loud. if you do not like the western world go and find a place that is more suited to your ideals. nobody but absolutly nobody keeps you here. there are enough planes and ships that leave for different shores.

    i left my home country out of free will and not poverty or injustice or any other reason. i have setteled in the USA out of free will and I am proud to part of this nation. hipocracy my friend is moving here for whatever reason and then critize your land of stay the way you do. if you do not like it leave for a land where the humanities are better, democracy is free of double standarts and justice is deliver perfectly. you will see that you will run out of options rather quickly….

  78. 78 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 15, 2008 at 07:21

    We could all have steak and eggs. If we had the steak, and the eggs, but we don’t. That ‘never again’ statement that everybody likes to shout about the Holocaust seems to apply only to Jews.

    There will be no justice in Darfur and the only peace will be the peace of the sun-bleached skull. The ones that have power to change this don’t care and those that care have no power.

    Genocide, as always, is horrible theater with many spectators, no admitted actors and many extras and yet the play is always on tour.

  79. 79 Ogola Benard
    July 15, 2008 at 07:35

    The Darfur crisis is yet another situation to be handled carefully. The Sudan is a Muslim country which has fear of being converted into a christian nation. They themselves say, they want to be like Egypt where everybody does his or her own
    thing in the way he or she may like.” If you are a Muslim, go to the mosque and worship, if you are a christian go to church and the day goes on”!
    However Sudan is dominated with rebel groups who are so aggressive and may target AID works and N Go’s as it has happened before. But if sadam could face trial , then who is Bashir?

  80. July 15, 2008 at 10:15

    @ Jens

    This is an example of “questionable justice”. Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban. They were a group of renegades that the US supported in the war against the Russians in the 80’s. There you have a conflict of interest. All of Afghanistan did not attack the US. An environment that the US created allowed that kind of extremism to flourish in that region. If the Russians had been allowed to take it over, outcomes would have been different.

    Sadam was our boy in the 80’s. He beat back the Iranians and kept the Kurdish rebels at bay away from our oil interests. Then his ambitions got too big. It was through our support that he was able to rise to power and maintain.

    The US political landscape creators seem to suffer from Munchhausen’s syndrome. First people like Rumsfeld prop up these renegade tyrants and create environments that are bad for human rights. They are good for buying oil off of, but bad for human rights. The society becomes sick with atrocities. Then those leaders come charging in like medics to save the day.

    That is not justice and will never lead to peace. There was a time when Americans questioned the motives of its leaders. That part of our identity seems to be fading into a minority mummer.

  81. July 15, 2008 at 15:33

    The age old problem the chicken or the egg. Who do you hold responsible the individual given the order or the individuals following the order? If the one giving the order does not carry out the crime then it is those that do.

    There you have it, the individual committing the crime. It is the individuals that form the army, they are responsible for their own crimes.

    The words produced that state, I was just following orders is not a remark of innocence.

  82. 82 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 15, 2008 at 18:04

    In a diversified Global society justice always plays an important role, a satisfactory justice for all member’s of society is very difficult not impossible by way of variety of debate & motivation.
    Main thing is trust of all parties over Judges, due to scaricity of trust goals of Justice may not be achieved. A theory of might is right may not work in justice, as sentivity of the issue will provide the grounds of Legal & Illegal terrorism as no one is untouchable during this terrorism time.
    This is why justice suppose to start from the justice demander’s first, then may enlighted the world, this action will resolve the issue of trust & impartiality along with satisfaction in our society.
    Otherwise justice may be understand as a tool against any nation, culture, society & civilisation, this is what is happening with pride & we know this is not correct at all.
    We already paid enough price of Hitler’s super power complex & old timer’s unjustified European’s war culture & society. Please serve humanity with dignity , pride & Justice. May God bless USA & allies with an ability to serve humanity in a justified manner.

  83. 83 Jens
    July 15, 2008 at 18:48


    that plenty of things are more rotten in the states than we would like is painfully obviouse. politics has always been a dirty business and there is not difference in world politics. would i like to see it change? absolutly.

  84. 84 Evang. Godwin Isong
    November 12, 2008 at 13:09

    If there be any peace where there is defficiency of Justice, such peace will not last.
    So it is useless to try diolgue for peace or make any peace aggreement if at the same time nothing is being done to ensure Justice.
    Making peace without Justice is likened to trying to renovate a house affected by flood without doing any thing to ensure proper drainage to avoid future reoccurance. ofcourse you know that, thoufght the house may stand for a while, but certainly it shall not last when the wrath of the flood returns.

    So i solicite for no peace without Justice.

    Evang. Godwin Isong, Calabar – Nigeria

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