June 15th, 2016
The Netherlands is also the hinterland for international justice. An international appeal is now warranted to that August body for help with an international crisis.
We are faced with a quandary in the form of ISIS that you may not understand first hand from your living room sofa. I divide my time between America, where I experienced chemical terrorism, and Israel, where we prepare daily for all types of terrorism. The news from Syria is ‘next door’ to my Jerusalem sub-lets.
When an apartment of mine in New York was poisoned, it was comparable to a bombed-out structure in Syria. The building ‘fell upon my head’, in a manner of speaking. In Syria you can see the rubble. In a poisoned Western home, only the sick resident sees the dust of the ruined dwelling.
The nature of the Syrian insurgency was so severe that the nation permitted those homes to fall, survivors casting themselves upon the kindness of strangers both far and near. However, the insurgents were unable to stop themselves even in flight. Be it the purchase of chlorine bleach in a market to manufacture gas, (after chemical weapons were removed from Syria), or the violence of migrants among the refugees leading to the burning of tent cities in Sweden, these androids of warfare have no place to go. As with ISIS, their countries of origin are varied and don’t want their return. That leaves only a promise of interminable warfare, declared or otherwise.
The Hague was designed for this kind of problem. United Nations peace-keeping troops are feared as much as they used to be desired, often an excuse to post Chinese troops on foreign soil. Given international approval, The Hague would offer true justice with approved judges and international prison facilities. At present, militant ISIS either tortures its prisoners or is tortured in the prisons where they are held. Surrender is not an option and therefore members escalate in ferocity to reduce the frequency of confrontations. With a reasonable expectation of justice, most might consider taking their leave of savagery.
Newer members might be freed quickly, before committing atrocities. Older members could be evaluated through a variety of parameters that includes a frank analysis of that brand of warfare. Victims, partially or fully censored in their own countries of refuge, would have an opportunity to have their stories told and their cases prosecuted. Costs would be amortized across countries.
The Hague may be the only remaining forum in our international ‘night’ to provide a glimmer of what Francis Scott Key would term, ‘the dawn’s early light’. Raise your voices and pens to demand forward movement in our backward march through the Middle Ages. We have ample daily evidence that barbarity doesn’t require modern weaponry so options must be created to lure what’s left of humanity back towards civilization.