Socialist Worker

Liberia’s Taylor found guilty - but what about the West?

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2301

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has been convicted of aiding and abetting war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Taylor was convicted for backing the rebel militia in neighbouring Sierra Leone’s civil war between 1996 and 2002.

He is the first head of state to be found guilty since the ICC was set up in 2002.

Commentators are saying this shows those responsible for crimes against humanity will be caught and punished.

Taylor has yet to be sentenced, but when he is he will be jailed in a British prison.

But why are relatively minor African dictators being tried, while George Bush and Tony Blair are free to give lectures and write their memoirs?

Bush and Blair are certainly responsible for far greater massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan

A clue can be found in the US response to the setting up of the ICC.

It signed the original treaty, but withdrew when it looked as though US “peacekeepers” would not be exempt from prosecution.

Other countries such as Britain remain members—but they are not in danger of ending up before it.

In a world dominated by imperial powers, the ICC will never offer justice for victims of the world’s biggest criminals.


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Article information

International
Tue 1 May 2012, 16:40 BST
Issue No. 2301
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