Can it be a coincidence that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are in trouble with the law at the same time? There is a warrant out for the Russian vozhd, issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Rumors circulate in various media that the former U.S. president may be indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Makes you think, don’t it?
The ICC is an unelected court that hears war crime cases against specific individuals when their own countries’ courts are unwilling or unable to do so. It was created by a treaty that we, the USA, did not ratify. If the wanted suspect were on our soil, he would not be a fugitive, and the warrant would give no one the authority to apprehend him. That does not prevent someone from making a citizen’s arrest or calling 911.
Putin is a dangerous, armed, cruel threat to peace not only in his own neighborhood but across the world.
There is considerable evidence that terrible crimes are being carried out in Ukraine as a consequence of Putin’s reckless aggression, which began in February of last year. He does not have the appearance of a man worried about warrants (there is also one out for a minister in his government) issued by a court his country does not recognize.
The aggression he launched was unwarranted, and if he thought he had a case — he claimed part of Ukraine was part of Russia — he could have gone to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. This institution is the judicial branch of the international global planetary system; as a branch of the U.N., it is recognized by Russia and by the U.S.
It hears a variety of types of cases involving disputes between nations, typically on commercial issues or maritime rights. Some cases involve conflicts that have reached the shooting stage. For example — and germane to Putin’s problem with Ukraine — the court arbitrated a territorial dispute between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Republic about 50 years ago. Its ruling buttressed the Sahrawis, but enforcement has been delayed by the kingdom. This has left the Sahrawis feeling robbed, and there is something to this inasmuch as the kingdom’s case rests on the brutal adage that possession is nine-tenths of the law. On the plus side, bringing the case to court stopped the bellicose dispositions of both parties, and, rather than resume their war, they are still talking, albeit as to walls.
Which is better than turning Mariupol and Bakhmut into contemporary versions of Guernica.
And in a sense, you have to blame America first, to coin a phrase, for that. But not quite. You can blame a cop for failing to keep the peace, but this is not the same as starting the mayhem. Blaming the cop is the easy way, to paraphrase the man who devised one of the most brilliant foreign policy successes in American history, Richard Nixon.
This occurred when, as president, he put American forces on nuclear-war alert and simultaneously got on the phone to one of Putin’s predecessors, Leonid Brezhnev — who, if the fact interests anyone, happened to be Ukrainian, geography wise.
Nixon: “Good afternoon, Leonid.”
Brezhnev: “Dick! I was just pouring myself a stiff one and thinking about you. How nice of you to call. “
RN: “Always a pleasure, Leo. How’s the missus?”
LB: “Very good! Bolshoi! She loves the fur coat Mrs. Pat sent her — and you know, a Russian lady, she is partial to fur!”
RN: “I’ll make sure to tell Mrs. Nixon, Leo. She wears plain cloth coats herself. But say, Leo, I have some important news I wanted to communicate to you personally. This line’s secure, right?”
LB: “Haha! You think I put bugs in my phones, Dick? We can talk like buddies, you know that!”
RN: “Ah, you bet. Now Leo, you know those damn Jews and Arabs are at it again.”
LB: “Oh, those! Bah, you and me, we should once and for all teach them a lesson. Pogrom is what we need. Khmelnytsky, I say to the Jews, you will see him again! And to the Arabs, it will be the razzia! We send the Cossacks to burn everything, and you will pray for Lawrence to deliver you! Or even Kitchener!”
RN: “I find your insights into history so interesting, Leo! I always tell Henry to spend more time listening to you, he’d learn something — and he’s got a doctorate, you know, a Harvard man.”
LB: “Oh, Dickie, now you are trying to flatter me! How do you say, with the butter?”
RN: “Butter you up. It is an old American expression. But I am doing no such thing. That would be the easy way. Now, Mr. General Secretary, we must consider the situation.”
LB (chuckling): “Yes, sir, Mr. President, and what is the situation?”
RN: “DEFCON 3, pal, and the 6th Fleet is entering the Black Sea even as we speak.”
LB: “You are joking, tovarish, surely.”
RN: “Never been more serious in my life, pal. Gen. Sharon is about to cross the Suez Canal. He means to destroy the Egyptian Third Army and march on Cairo.”
LB: “Mr. President! You cannot permit this!”
RN: “I sure can. It would give me, you know, real satisfaction. Psalm 109. However …”
And the rest is history. Now just imagine if, instead of Joe Biden, it had been Richard Nixon on the hot phone to the Kremlin last year?
But we at The American Spectator are big. We do not cast stones. The Donkey Party put a mentally feeble man in the White House after persecuting to distraction his predecessor for four years instead of minding the nation’s business. America, the world’s only conceivable cop, has a guy at the desk who could not have made it through the Police Academy. Well, democracy does not always work out well, but it is better than all the proposed alternatives.
And you got to face reality. Nixon knew that statesmanship is the quest for peace, with realistic means. The situation on the ground today in the East is that the Russians are led by a man who has been accused of kidnapping children en masse and destroying hospitals and murdering civilians and prisoners — war crimes all. You can scoff at the ICC, as indeed we at The American Spectator have been known to do, but the true fact is that in this case, the charges are credible, at the very least. Putin is a dangerous, armed, cruel threat to peace not only in his own neighborhood but across the world.
To call the invasion and continued aggression of Ukraine by Russia a territorial dispute is a sorry excuse for thin thinking. We cannot shirk our duty to stop a slide toward world war. Putin’s goal is the destruction of Ukraine as a viable independent country. He is capable of hitting us with nuclear-tipped ICBMs. He is sending armed criminals to support African gangsters as they ravage friends of ours in the Sahel, aiming to grab their minerals, including gold and uranium. The uranium he can sell to the mullahcrats to build the Persian bomb.
The Donkey Party has, since Nixon’s time, made a practice of criminalizing politics.
Support by blank checks indicates brain atrophy. Statesmanship means weighing our resources, choosing our battles. It is well to remember that in the moment of extreme danger, Nixon’s order was plain: Send Israel everything they need. In other theaters, other times, no one disputes the value of taking half a loaf and redrawing the defensive perimeter.
Make no mistake: Endless wars are, like blank checks, symptoms of foreign policy failure. But there is indeed an endless war, savagery against civilization, and, as a matter of principle if not always of practice, the response to Putin is the one Richard Nixon would give were he still with us.
The Donkey Party has, since Nixon’s time, made a practice of criminalizing politics, which is to say of usurping the democratically expressed will of the American people. And every time it undermines a duly elected president, some small countries are seized by totalitarian forces, and those people suffer and die — South Vietnam is the classic case, and Afghanistan and Ukraine may establish a bitter record of being the only two to perish on the watch of the same American president.
This is where the full intent of the move on Trump by Bragg is unveiled. The only purpose of criminalizing ordinary misdemeanors that New York prosecutors have examined and dismissed and of engaging in an unseemly invasion of an ex-president’s privacy is to so enrage the most loyal among his supporters as to skewer any serious discussion of the issues — crime waves at home, totalitarian aggression abroad — that matter. At the same time, it distracts from the Donkeys’ failure on all fronts.
If the Pachyderm Party chooses to cop out on its historical resistance to this political malpractice, not only will it repudiate the legacies of Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, not to mention Abraham Lincoln — peace through strength, no tolerance for aggression abroad, support for law and order at home, Liberty and Union — but it will sign its own death warrant. Our country does not need two parties of appeasement and surrender.
There Can Be No Peace With Putin
Here’s What to Tell Those Who Believe Putin’s Schizo-Fascist Regime Is Some Sort of Noble Traditionalist Bulwark
Why a Trump Arrest Imperils the American Idea