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Cole writes: "National Security Adviser John Bolton appears to be spiraling down into the same miasma of madness that possesses other members of the Trump administration - perhaps caused by a microbe carried in Trump's sniffle."

John Bolton. (photo: Jose Luis Magana/AP)
John Bolton. (photo: Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Top 3 Charges on Which John Bolton Should Be Tried at International Criminal Court

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

12 September 18


ational Security Adviser John Bolton appears to be spiraling down into the same miasma of madness that possesses other members of the Trump administration– perhaps caused by a microbe carried in Trump’s sniffle. This week he threatened justices of the International Criminal Court in the Hague with physical abduction were they to dare indict an American for war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

The International Criminal Court was established by the Rome Statute, which went into effect in 2002 has been ratified by 123 nations of the world. Most of Europe and all of Latin America and half of African states have signed. Virtually the only deadbeats are countries whose officials are afraid of being indicted by the court for serious human rights crimes, such as Syria, China, India, Sudan, Israel, Russia and . . . the United States of America (actually the latter four signed but they pulled out when they realized that they had exposed their state officials to prosecution, what with the war crimes they are constantly committing).

The ICC undertook to try dictator Moammar Gaddafi, but he was killed before he could be brought before it; it still has an outstanding case against the dictator’s son Seif. For Bolton to menace it in this way makes clear that he is in the Gaddafi category, which is why he fears the institution.

Bolton has no particular expertise in anything at all, he is just an angry shyster lawyer picked up by the more insane elements of the Republican Party as their pit bull. He once denied that the United Nations exists, then tried to make him US ambassador to the United Nations (he wasn’t confirmed, but served briefly on a sneaky Bush recess appointment).

So here are five crimes that I allege Bolton has committed, for which he by all rights should face justice at the Hague, at the hands of the same ICC judges that he just brutishly threatened:

1. Bolton played a key role in hoodwinking the American public into the 2003 US war of aggression on Iraq, for which there was no legitimate casus belli or legal basis for war. The UN Charter forbids the initiation of a war except where a country is attacked and responds in self-defense or where the UN Security Council designates a government as a threat to world order (as it did Gaddafi’s Libya). These attempts to outlaw wars of aggression were a reaction against the Nazi invasion of Poland, etc. People like Bolton, who don’t want any constraints on his power from the international rule of law, are just trying out for the role of people like Nazi generals Günther von Kluge and Gerd von Rundstedt, who led the assault on Poland. (Like Bolton in regard to Iraq, they maintained that they were only defending themselves from a menacing Poland, but nobody believed this lie).

Bolton is manifestly guilty of the crime of aggression under the Rome Statute and its 2010 enabling statutes adopted at Kampala: Article 8 bis, para 1, says: For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

As Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security under Bush, Bolton was clearly a high executive officer of a government guilty of the crime of aggression.

2. As National Security Adviser, Bolton has supported the Apartheid policies of the far-right extremist government of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu toward the Occupied Palestinians.

Apartheid is a crime under the Rome Statute:

‘The crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts . . . committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

He also supports the transfer of Israeli citizens into the Occupied West Bank as squatters on Palestinian land.
8.2.b.viii stipulates as a war crime

“The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory.”

Bolton strongly supports and enables a whole range of war crimes of the Likud regime in Tel Aviv against the Palestinian people, above all keeping them in a condition of abject statelessness and continually stealing their property.

Under war crimes comes “Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

It could be argued that Israel could not engage in these illegal violations of Palestinian rights save for the American veto, so that high US officials who conspire to enable crimes like Apartheid and usurpation of Occupied Territories are even more guilty than Israeli officials.

3. Bolton is in the back pocket of, has spoken for, and may have received significant monies from the People’s Jihadis (Mojahedin-e Khalq), a group that has been on the US State Department terrorist watch list and which has killed civilians with bombings and attacks in Iran. They even had a base given them for these purposes by Saddam Hussein, in whose company Bolton has fallen, given their alliance with this same Iranian cult.

The MEK is guilty of “a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack,” and under this heading, of murder. In fact, it has killed Americans. Bolton gets red in the face about threats to the US except that he pals around with people who have the blood of Americans on their hands.

How delightful it would be to see Bolton at the Hague, before the very judges he threatened to kidnap.

Bonus video:

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+29 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-12 13:16
I definitely agree that Bolton is evil. He needs to go. Hopefully he is now pissing off Trump enough so that Trump will fire him. He's always been rogue.

But Bolton is no Qaddafi, who was actually one of the great post-colonial leaders of the 20th century. He was a great African leader and loved by most people in Africa. That's why people in the US like Cole hate him so much. They don't tolerate African nationalism.
+1 # Lgfoot 2018-09-13 10:56
Great tyrant and murderer?
+27 # Mainiac 2018-09-12 17:53
I agree with R.R. about Gaddafi. This is an example of the US misusing the ICC to prosecute heads of State that the US dislikes for a variety of reasons.

I would imagine that Russia saw the possibility of this happening to one of their leaders given the hostility of the West. I ask Cole to enumerate the “war crimes” that he says Russia is constantly committing.
+7 # economagic 2018-09-12 20:35
Surely you are not suggesting that Russia and its leaders since the 1990s have not committed numerous war crimes small and large? There are no angels in this choir.
+3 # Lgfoot 2018-09-13 11:01
No doubt the crimes were committed, from the murder of Chechens, Georgians, Ukrainians, the passengers of a Dutch airliner, journalists, political opponents. The only question is the proof. They are good at cover-ups and obstructing investigations.
-1 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-09-15 15:33
Oish! You, Lgfoot, have been hooked-line & sinker. There is some truth in what you imagine, but too much falsehood.

#1: To the shame of the nation that I most love, my own country is far and away the largest mass murderer on planet Earth since the Korean War. I love the US too much to lie for her or be blind about her.

The US is responsible for 7+ million civilian deaths since the Korean War. Our military has been used to disrupt popular governments in Iran, Vietnam, nearly all of Latin America, Iraq, and Libya...not to say that everyone in those countries was happy with their y more than we are all happy with our government.

#2: Due to financial pressures, the USSR was terminated. Russia did not use its superior force to keep the Republics in place and began its migration toward crony capitalism, as practiced in the US. Ukraine held a plebiscite and voted to be independent...a nd they are. In Crimea, the people voted to stay with Russia, so they are. Ukrainians allied with Nazi Germany in WWII, so there is bitterness: Ukrainians vs Russian & Tatar & Jewish ethnics. Ukraine initiated pogrom on these groups. Russia did/does provide support to the minorities in some cases.

#3: It is far more likely that untrained Ukrainian forces erroneously shot down the Dutch airliner than that better-trained Russian troops did. Dutch airliners are still flying into Russian daily. There is zero evidence the Russians had any part in that.
+28 # HenryS1 2018-09-12 19:26
RR has a valid point re: Qaddafi and Bolton being quite different animals. Qaddafi was more sane in his public pronouncements, accomplished more, and seemed guided by at least some higher ideals and goals. He wanted Africa to be independent and not controlled by colonial or post-colonial forces.

But Qaddafi certainly can be criticized for lots of brutal actions, not that I could imagine seeing those situations that led to his actions through his eyes and life experiences.

Bolton, well, I can't really summon anything positive to say about him. He is the quintessential face of a unique modern kind of ugly American. I think he would have loved being a colonial dictator responsible for lots of executions of the people he had power over.

But, I'm not sure what would be one the top ten list of things Bolton has done anything to antagonize Trump. Trump may very well be quite happy with him. I don't know.
+4 # lfeuille 2018-09-12 23:58
Trump appointed him. He was not required to, so there must be something about Bolton that he likes.
-5 # HarryP 2018-09-12 19:47
RR: This is awful. It’s one thing to describe Bolton as “evil,” but it’s another to wish that Trump (whose legitimacy you’ve defended ad nauseum) will fire Bolton. Bolton has never been “rogue.” He has faithfully served both Dubya and Trump. Bolton’s viciousness dovetails with Trump’s psuchopathic tendencies. The two complement each other. You can’t defend Trump’s NO COLLUSION! regime and then deplore Bolton.
The comes Act II, when your argument completely falls of the rails. You’re literally guishing over Qaddafi, a miltrary dictator responsible for the Lockable murders. “Great African leader” much beloved by “most people in Africa?” If Qaddafi resembles any one of the “great post-colonial leaders” of Africa it is Mugabe who utterly ruined Zimbabwe, or Mobutu in Zaire.
Nothing like a self-described progressive slobbering over dictators.
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-13 18:50
HP -- maybe you are right. Maybe Bolton is a perfect fit with Trump. I really don't know. But in the campaign he strongly criticized Bolton and the Bush neo-cons who created such a terrible foreign policy. I don't know where Trump is on this now. I don't understand how anyone could stand having Bolton around even for one minute.

I don't defend Trump. I only insist on rational discussion and evidence. So far there is no evidence that Trump is a Putin asset and that Putin rigged the 2016 election. That's just media propaganda.

Mobutu was installed by a CIA coup, following the CIA murder of Lumumba (note -- my uncle was CIA and participated in this). Mobutu was CIA for his whole life. He allowed US corporations to loot Zaire, as they still do today but from the vantage point of Rwanda -- another CIA covert operation.

Mugabe was good but he could not overcome the betrayal by the British. British banks destroyed the economy of Zimbabwe. Read up on the Charter House betrayal. That's what did in Zimbabwe.

Qaddafi was a follower of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Nkrumah was a brilliant man. He tried to get Africans to create an African Economic Union long before Europeans thought of the idea. Qaddafi continued this quest. Nkrumah was also overthrown by a CIA coup.

Euro-American colonialism just never stopped. It fought Qaddafi until it finally killed him.

Libya had nothing to do with Lockerbie. More media lies.
-1 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-09-15 15:43
There was never presented credible evidence that Qaddafi had any hand in or prior knowledge of the Lockerbie bombing. He did acknowledge that Libyans did the bombing, gave them up for trial, and voluntarily paid compensation to the victims' families.

Imagine how much it would cost if the US admitted to all the killings of civilians it has produced and then offered compensation? Let's maintain just a tad of perspective here.

WE are not all good and THEY are not all bad.

Qaddafi WAS popular as a leader in Africa and his final step that is probably what got him killed was to advocate for a TransAfrican "dinar" that all African countries would use and require in payment for oil and precious minerals. You know, much like the US now forces much of the world to use only US dollars to trade in oil.
+3 # dquandle 2018-09-12 21:41
Bolton suffered from this malicious psychopathy long before he came into contact with Trump. He probably infected Trump, most likely through a BSE-like prion that Bolton carries. Bolton is essentially a mad cow, who if left un-dealt-with, will infect the herd. The comparison of Bolton with Gaddafi is absolutely ludicrous.

"Libya under Gaddafi had the highest Human Development Index (HDI) and highest standard of living in all of Africa. The HDI is a number assigned by the UN to every country in the world and it is a measure of literacy, health care, gender equity and standard of living."


He was trying to use the nations oil to actually benefit it's people and he was trying to shepherd Africa out of the economic tentacles of the US/EU. These are the reasons why Hillary/Obama had him murdered.

Johnstone's "Queen of Chaos" has a far deeper analysis of this.

Hillary also hoped to rape the country of its oil, and then give the land to ISIS. She did the latter, and Bolton/Bush/Cli nton/ Obama/Cheney intend on completing the former. Hopefully Trump will tire of Bolton's lip-larva mustache and fire him on account of it. Having been infected by the prion,I can't think of anything else that would impel Trump to get rid of him.
0 # LionMousePudding 2018-09-12 21:42
...My "five points" are numbered 1-3. What am I missing?
+11 # mashiguo 2018-09-12 22:55
Anyone who thinks Bolton is bad needs to get ready for President Nikki Haley.

We ain't seen nothing yet, and the circle jerk of neocons that has surrounded DC will continue unabated and ever more audaciously in their circle until someone takes the power out of their hands.
0 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-09-15 15:46
Good work, dquandle. You have brought some reality and placed it before people to see. Hopefully, some will.
+16 # PABLO DIABLO 2018-09-13 00:41
Give Bolton, Netanyahu, Kissinger, (the list is too long for this post) their day before the International Criminal Court.
+8 # Lgfoot 2018-09-13 11:06
W, Cheney, Rumsfeld,Wolfow itz, Feith, Gonzales.
Has the statute of limitations expired on Oliver North?
+3 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-09-15 15:47
I sincerely don't think Haley is worse than Bolton, but also not better. Demon on the left shoulder. Demon on the right shoulder.

Little difference.

We're still a nation being run by demons.
+5 # David Starr 2018-09-13 08:45
I'd say that it's legitimate to call Bolton a fascist.
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-13 18:19
Yes, I would too since the neo-cons are the real fascists in the world now.
+4 # David Starr 2018-09-14 08:41
And the right-wing in general are the biggest threat in the world today.
-3 # Wilber 2018-09-13 14:03
3. "Bolton ... has spoken for, and may have received significant monies from the People’s Jihadis (Mojahedin-e Khalq)"
This is beyond laughable. I am anxious to see Juan Cole's scary essay warning us that Donald J. Trump MAY BE a space alien and that he is the start of an intergalactic invasion.
Is Cole unaware that the ICC had not determined that America's invasion of Iraq was illegal until 2010? What a jackass!
+3 # elkingo 2018-09-14 01:10
Unbridled Nazi sensibility murderer sadist pigs, with no morality except their own naked unprincipled power to kill and manipulate. Sic semper tyrannis.
+1 # chapdrum 2018-09-14 12:51
Are we missing something? Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. didn't (and won't) get tried. Why would Bolton?
0 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-09-15 15:49
Right On! Pablo Diablo!

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