U.S. Policy Is To Oppose the ICC Crime of Aggression Amendment

U.S. Policy on the ICC Crime of Aggression Announced

just security

“Activation of the Court’s aggression jurisdiction [would have]…lasting negative effects.”–Sarah Sewell, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights

The “negative effects” would be–

the creation of international legal authority to intervene in US military aggression, even in “states parties that do not ratify the amendments.”  

“could chill the willingness of states to cooperate in certain military action where the legal basis for that action might be contested.”

Ms. Sowell welcomed “the decision to defer until 2017,” meaning that it would not effect Obama’s planned aggression.

[The following is the debated Amendment to the Rome Statute of the ICC.]

“Act of aggression” [Amendments   to   the Rome   Statute   of   the   International Criminal Court on the
crime of aggression]
means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:

(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of
another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;
(b)  Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State;
(c)  The blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by the armed forces of another State;
(d)  An attack by the armed forces of a State on the land, sea or air forces, or
marine and air fleets of another State;
(e) The use of armed forces of one State which are within the territory of another State with the agreement of the receiving State, in contravention of the conditions provided for in the agreement or any extension of their presence in such territory beyond the termination of the agreement;
(f)  The action of a State in allowing its territory, which it has placed
at the disposal of another State, to be used by that other State for perpetrating an act of aggression against a third State;
(g)  The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein.

 10 .b Amendments on the crime of aggression to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Kampala, 11 June 2010


Ratified by 23 Nations:

Participant Acceptance(A), Ratification
Andorra 26 Sep 2013 A
Austria 17 Jul 2014
Belgium 26 Nov 2013
Botswana  4 Jun 2013
Costa Rica  5 Feb 2015
Croatia 20 Dec 2013
Cyprus 25 Sep 2013
Czech Republic 12 Mar 2015 A
Estonia 27 Mar 2013
Georgia  5 Dec 2014
Germany  3 Jun 2013 A
Latvia 25 Sep 2014
Liechtenstein  8 May 2012
Luxembourg 15 Jan 2013
Malta 30 Jan 2015
Poland 25 Sep 2014
Samoa 25 Sep 2012
San Marino 14 Nov 2014
Slovakia 28 Apr 2014 A
Slovenia 25 Sep 2013
Spain 25 Sep 2014
Trinidad and Tobago 13 Nov 2012
Uruguay 26 Sep 2013

Payback time for Pakistan as Saudi bills come due

[As a member of the exclusive club of nations with no visible means to support itself, other than the drawing power of its begging diplomats, Pakistan has been living on borrowed time since its inception.  By going to the Saudi monarchs time after time, with beggar’s bowl in hand, Pakistani’s Establishment leadership has sold-out the Pakistani people in exchange for personal enrichment.  By doing so, Pakistan has seemingly cut-off its right to complain, or to criticize demands made upon it by its Wahhabi overlords, even though it would be the Pakistani Shias and other minorities who would always pay the ultimate price for this fealty to radical Sunni Islamists. 

Accepting “gratuities” from the royals, intended to pay the price for arming the Pak Army with nuclear missiles was a bad mistake.  This recent, first-ever denial of royal requests to send Pakistanis to Yemen will surely be followed by another Pakistani denial to exchange nuclear bomb-making material or expertise to the radical kingdom and the new jingoist king. 

Pakistan could survive without Saudi Arabia, but not without having to enact some very unpleasant major national changes, but it could not survive a state of war with Iran.  The bloodbath that would flow from a sectarian war within Pakistan would make the Syrian war look like a picnic. 

Sometimes the piper must be paid.]

Payback time for Pakistan as Saudi bills come due

the straits times

Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia are hidden, but will one day be as potent and strategically significant as its alliance with China.


WAS it a yes, a no or a “perhaps later”? For the past two weeks, Pakistan was locked in an anguished debate over how to respond to an appeal from Saudi Arabia for troops to fight in the war now raging in Yemen.

When the Saudi appeal first came, it seemed that the dispatch of Pakistani soldiers to the Gulf was imminent: “Any threat to the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will be met with a firm response,” read a communique from Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But soon thereafter, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a denial that any of the country’s military was engaged in Yemen, although the Pakistani flag continued to fly alongside that of Arab nations at the Saudi-based headquarters of Yemen operations.

This “now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t” game ended only when Pakistan’s Parliament voted against the dispatch of troops. Still, the episode shed light on the murky world of Pakistani-Saudi relations, a link which looks destined to shape the security map of the Middle East for years to come.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/eye-the-world/story/payback-time-pakistan-saudi-bills-come-due-20150422#sthash.OE2D3nDd.dpuf

Bereft of friends and under a constant fear of being dwarfed by India, Pakistani politicians have a tendency to over-hype every alliance their country forges. “Higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey” was how one senior Pakistani diplomat described relations with China, struggling to pile in as many euphemisms as he could think of.

“Unique, unparalleled in the history of sovereign nations” is how Pakistani politicians routinely refer to their links with Saudi Arabia.

However, while the Sino-Pakistani link remains overt and powerful as today’s arrival of President Xi Jinping in Islamabad indicates, the ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are still well-hidden from publicity, although they will one day be just as potent and as strategically significant as the Pakistan-China alliance.

Saudi-Pakistani relations took off during the 1970s due to a variety of reasons which include the natural affinity between big Islamic states, Pakistan’s ability to export labourers to the Gulf and the US-led response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which transformed both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan into the Cold War’s front-line states.

From the start of this relationship, two things were clear: That Saudi Arabia viewed Pakistan as a unique military partner able to plug the desert kingdom’s inherent security vulnerabilities and, second, that the Saudis were determined to cement this alliance through the funding of a vast network of personal, commercial and business partnerships which ultimately drew in most of Pakistan’s ruling elite.

Saudi Arabia bankrolled large chunks of Pakistan’s nuclear programme precisely because the Saudis saw it as their own route to eventual nuclear power status, should Iran acquire such a capability. It was a secret Saudi guarantee to provide 50,000 barrels of free oil per day which reassured Pakistan that it could undertake its first nuclear test in 1998. Saudi credits also allowed Pakistan to withstand the economic sanctions which followed. The man who was central to Pakistan’s nuclear decision-making at the time is the same Mr Nawaz Sharif who rules the country’s destiny today.

But Saudi Arabia’s support for Mr Sharif is also of a more personal nature. During his decade-long political exile, it was the desert kingdom which provided him with home and the necessary financial resources to continue his activities. To this day, Mr Sharif’s son remains in Saudi Arabia, where he is prominent in local business.

The Saudi largesse goes much further: At key points during the military rule of General Pervez Musharraf, all of Pakistan’s exiled politicians were hosted by the Saudis, or offered indirect financial support. The Saudis understood that an alliance with Pakistan works best when that country’s national interests coincide with the private interests of its politicians.

But, while until fairly recently the Saudis were content not to ask for much in return, now they are beginning to demand their payback. In 2011, when Bahrain’s royal family was critically endangered by local Shi’ite protesters who had Iran’s encouragement, it was Saudi Arabia which put pressure on Pakistan to send thousands of Pakistani ex-policemen and soldiers to Bahrain to quell the revolt. During the years which followed, Pakistan was also asked to provide training and equipment for a variety of Saudi-financed fighters in Syria and Iraq.

But it was the recent demand to supply Pakistani troops for the war in Yemen which plunged Pakistan into its biggest dilemma. It is easy to see why the Saudis turned to Pakistan for help. Saudi Arabia wants to portray the fight against the Shi’ite rebels in Yemen as a confrontation between the whole of the Muslim world and Iran, which supports the rebellion in that country, and the inclusion of Pakistan into such a coalition helps.

The Saudis may also need Pakistan’s troops, should they opt for a land invasion of Yemen. But from the Saudi perspective, the most important advantage of Pakistan’s engagement in the Yemen conflict is strategic: It will act as a reminder that, while Iran attempts to corner Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia can also corner Iran from the east, with the help of Pakistan, which shares a 900km border with the Iranians.

The snag for Pakistan is that any overt involvement in Saudi Arabia’s wars will impose a heavy cost. After Iran itself, the largest concentration of Shi’ite Muslims is in Pakistan, where they account for around 26 million out of the country’s 190 million inhabitants. Pakistan is already suffering from unprecedented levels of sectarian violence, and that would clearly intensify if the country’s rulers are seen as engaging directly in the Sunni-Shi’ite war which now tears the Middle East apart.

Iran can also retaliate against Pakistan at little cost to itself, by encouraging mayhem in Afghanistan, and cross-border incursions into Pakistan itself; these are the well-honed techniques by which the Iranians have expanded their influence throughout the Middle East. That will bring closer the nightmare Pakistan’s military planners fear most: Instability on all of the country’s borders at the same time.

Besides, even if Pakistan was prepared to take such risks, its armed forces are overstretched: According to Western intelligence estimates, up to half of Pakistan’s soldiers are currently engaged in active operations against insurgents inside the country, imposing great strain on resources and combat-readiness. For all these reasons, Pakistan had to decline Saudi Arabia’s appeal for help.

The Pakistanis are trying to sweeten the pill of their refusal: Prime Minister Sharif sent his close aide Sartaj Aziz and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab province, to meet Saudi leaders in order to reassure them that, despite the refusal, Pakistan remains Saudi Arabia’s loyal ally.

And, according to Mr Abdul Basit, an associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Pakistan has also offered to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran; the effort could mirror the mediation efforts which Pakistan undertook with great success between the US and China at the height of the Cold War.

But neither the Saudis nor the Iranians are in any mood for negotiations, so mediation offers will get nowhere. Meanwhile, the Pakistanis seem destined to come under heavier pressure from their Arab allies: A minister in the United Arab Emirates has already publicly threatened that Pakistan would “pay a heavy price” for its continued neutrality.

Nor can it be excluded that, sooner rather than later, the Saudis will address to Pakistan the demand Pakistani leaders fear most: A request for the transfer of nuclear weapons know-how.

The Pakistanis have spent decades hoping to have their cake and eat it, assuming that they can get Saudi financial help with no strings attached. They are now discovering that, sadly, bills do have to be paid. And they won’t be allowed to get away with too many additional refusals for paybacks.


– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/eye-the-world/story/payback-time-pakistan-saudi-bills-come-due-20150422#sthash.OE2D3nDd.dpuf

Video of ISIS leader Baghdadi Getting Hit By Shrapnel

[SEE: US: No reason to think ISIS leader wounded  ; ISIS spokesman confirms Baghdadi’s injuries]

Video of ISIS leader Baghdadi injured in Mosul aired by Balad TV

iraqi news

balad-tv-abu-bakr-baghdadi-2014-11-13Screenshot of footage aired by Balad TV supposedly showing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi injured after his convoy was attacked by coalition air strikes.

(IraqiNews.com) The video below, broadcast on Balad TV, claims to show ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his convoy being attacked in an airstrike that led to his injury or death.

The video claims to show al-Baghdadi next to a black SUV car, suffering injuries due to the airstrike.

In the beginning, Baghdadi appears to be lying on the ground, groaning in pain while one of his aides is lying dead beside him. Baghdadi moves slightly before ISIS elements hurry to rescue him.

The injured, who Balad TV claims is al-Baghdadi, is dressed in a military uniform and is said to be wearing a watch on his right hand which appears similar to the one he wore during his sermon at Mosul. IraqiNews.com has not independently verified these claims.

A spokesman for the Central Command of the US Army, Col. Patrick Raider, said two days ago that warplanes of the international coalition targeted ISIS leaders who were meeting near Mosul and that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been among those who were targeted.

According to officials from the United States, US air raids managed to destroy a convoy of 10 cars belonging to the organization of the Islamic State; they were traveling in a convoy near the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

Malaysia Govt. Blasts Islamic State’s Fake “Jihad”

IS’ ‘jihad fisabilillah’ is fake – Corps director


A file photo of the IS militants. Many Muslims in this country are lately influenced by the ‘Jihad Fisabilillah’ offered by the IS, with some of them willing to leave their jobs and families solely to join the jihad in Syria.
KUALA LUMPUR: ‘Jihad Fisabilillah’ (Fighting for Allah’s Sake) and ‘Mati Syahid’ (Dying as Martyrs) are propaganda used by militant groups, such as the so-called IS to lure Muslims from all around the world to join them, purportedly to uphold the ‘Islamist State (IS)’.

Many Muslims in this country were lately influenced by the ‘Jihad Fisabilillah’ offered by the IS, with some of them willing to leave their jobs and their families solely to join the jihad in Syria with the hope of becoming martyrs there.

The truth is their tyrannical acts of killing are deviated from the true teachings of Islam, said Armed Forces Religious Corps director, Major General Datuk Kamarudin Mamat.

He said obedience and piety to Allah would not be achieved through hasty action such as by joining fake jihad offered by the IS militant group, as the shortest path to get into heaven.

“Martyrs cannot be achieved by suicide or killing of innocent people and joining the IS struggle that is clearly contrary to the creed and Shari’a of Islam,” he told BERNAMA.

The National Fatwa Council on Monday issued an edict saying that the act of participating, helping or giving aid to the IS militant group was ‘haram’ (forbidden) for Muslims.

Its chairman, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Abd Shukor Husin said participating in the IS group’s fight was far from the actual meaning of jihad from the Islamic perspective, since the reason of the war itself was unclear.

“It is obvious that IS is not right and against Islamic teachings when they claimed that the blood of the people who fight against them are halal (allowed) and thus, can be violently killed, which clearly contravenes the Islamic teachings,” he said.

Commenting on jihad in Islam, Kamarudin explained that the general responsibility of jihad was upon the army which was entrusted with the country’s sovereignty and it became ‘fardhu kifayah’ (social obligations) during peace.

“It is allowed for society to come together during war and it becomes ‘fardhu ain’ (personal obligation) to protect our country, according to each and everyone’s capacity when we are being violated and the situation is no longer under control,” he said.

He said the real intention of jihad must be sincere for the sake of Allah while jihad by IS was more about revenge and did not represent the fight of all Muslims, but only for the benefit of some parties.

Kamarudin said this fake jihad by the IS militant group was made based on the misinterpretation of Al-Quran and Al-Hadith.

He said the lack of understanding on the true meaning of jihad made many to be interested and blindly follow the IS propaganda.

“The goal will not justify the means, the IS’ jihad does not take into account the restrictions outlined by Islam during a war and inhumanely killing civilians, women, children and prisoners of war at will,” he said.

Kamarudin said in Islam, war was the last form of solution when one failed to achieve a peaceful agreement to defend oneself and to open ways of preaching Islam with strong reasons, according to Islamic ruling.

“If we look at the ‘sirah’ of Prophet Muhammad (prophetic biography), he only allowed the Muslims to fight in a war after 15 years of spreadinig his dakwah, even when during those years, a lot of Muslims had been killed and tortured by the enemies of Islam,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Community Crime Care president, Tan Sri Musa Hassan said religious authorities needed to provide explanations, especially to the youngsters on the meaning of real jihad.

“This is important as we need to identify the movement of suspicious religious groups. People can easily be attracted to these groups and will try to involve themselves in jihad outside the country.

“This happened so many times. We also need to monitor the foreigners as we need to know who they are and why they are in our country. If they would like to open a religious school, we need to supervise what is being taught to the public. We have to identify their ideology,” he said.

The former inspector-general of police said the most worrying factor was the involvement of the national security forces personnel like the police and the army in the militant group.

“To me, they are traitors. When I was serving (in the police force), no one was involved in this activity but those who smpathised with the groups were identified early and given rehabilitation,” he added.