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International Criminal Court (ICC) - Another Biden Foreign Policy Blunder

International Criminal Court (ICC) – Another Biden Foreign Policy Blunder

The ICC (International Criminal Court) has been a controversial institution in the United States since its inception. Democrats have supported it, while Republicans have opposed it.

This partisan back-and-forth has been ongoing since the 1990s, and it is becoming embarrassing for the Democrats. The indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the latest example of this—and also an example of a Donald Trump policy that Joe Biden reversed, only to look foolish.

Here are the facts:

  • Originally proposed to prosecute international drug cartels, it ended up being a dystopian world court, as Republicans warned. 

  • Bill Clinton signed the agreement to join, but the Senate never ratified it. 

  • In 2002, George W. Bush rescinded the signature. 

  • Barack Obama became more cooperative with the ICC without rejoining.

  • Trump went the other way and eventually imposed sanctions on several ICC judges and staff, as well as restricted grants of U.S. visas to ICC members. And here’s where the fun begins.

Biden promised to undo everything Trump had done. With one exception, he followed through. (That exception is the Afghanistan War, where he blamed Trump for his own incompetence and argued that he couldn’t reverse Trump’s policy.) One of these reversals was regarding the ICC.

Only ten weeks into the new administration, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced, “Today, President Biden revoked Executive Order 13928 on ‘Blocking Property of Certain Persons Associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC),’ ending the threat and imposition of economic sanctions and visa restrictions in connection with the Court.” He continued:

“We maintain our longstanding objection to the Court’s efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel. We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions.”

If we take Blinken at his word, the ICC should have become less biased toward Israel with the new policy.

In May, the ICC indicted an Israeli head of government for the first time ever, alongside head of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar, treating them as if they were moral equivalents. As is often the case, appeasement led to boorishness. Just as decades of cooperation and engagement with China only enriched and strengthened its military capabilities aimed at us, cooperation and engagement with the ICC has also resulted in an ICC even more comfortable with undermining U.S. policy.

Following the ICC’s decision, Biden made a statement:

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence—none—between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

What President Biden failed to say was what measures he was going to take to get the ICC to drop the case and reform itself.

Members of Congress had an idea. Earlier this month, all Republicans except for two, including Thomas Massie who has a history of anti-Jewish remarks, voted for it. They were joined by 42 Democrats, making it an unusually bipartisan bill.

A day before the vote, Biden released another statement saying that he “strongly opposes” the bill. Behind the scenes, the administration has been lobbying Democrats to vote against it. Now that it has passed the House, the ball is in the Senate’s court, but it is very unlikely that it will get anywhere. Even though there might be a filibuster-proof majority for the bill, all it takes for it to be blocked is the objection of one single Senator: Chuck Schumer, who is in the pocket of Biden.

Trump had the right policy, and Biden, as usual, was reactionary and too high on his victory to see that not every single Trump idea is bad. (For one, Trump also believes that oxygen is good, which should be a fairly uncontroversial thought!) It is obvious that Trump was right on the ICC, but President Biden is too much of a coward to admit it.

And I don’t mean that he’s too much of a coward to admit it publicly, but to himself. The fact that the administration is lobbying against it behind the scenes proves that they still believe that Trump was wrong, contrary to all the evidence. Biden is an old, stubborn narcissist with an inferiority complex. He knows many voters think he is a dolt, and he is desperate to prove them wrong. Like everyone else with these issues, he prefers to double down on being wrong and destroy everyone and everything around him.

Biden is often compared with Jimmy Carter. But after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, Carter humbly admitted that he was wrong about the Soviets. This will never happen with Biden. Arguments and evidence won’t persuade him to change his policies. Only changing the president will bring us better policies.

And the same goes for the Senate. If the ICC sanctions pass the Senate to become the law, a future Democratic administration won’t be able to reverse them. But that requires Chuck Schumer to lose his job as the Senate majority leader.

Another reason why your vote matters in November.

Note: the opinions expressed herein are those of Chuck Warren only and not his co-host Sam Stone or Breaking Battlegrounds’ staff.

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