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The Republicans’ foolish war on the ICC Young citizens are losing faith in their national story

Mimesis breaking down at the University of Michigan's Spring Commencement ceremony (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Mimesis breaking down at the University of Michigan's Spring Commencement ceremony (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)


May 27, 2024   5 mins

It’s not hard to understand why the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, took the unprecedented decision to seek an indictment of Israel’s prime minister and defence minister. To borrow from Bob Dylan, the times have changed, and sometimes you don’t need to be a weatherman to see just which way the wind is blowing.

The year is 2024, not 1994: if the ICC simply sticks to going after Africans on behalf of the West while Gaza is being flattened, most or all countries in Africa will simply pull out. The West, after all, is no longer the only game in town when it comes to international institutions, and the Brics organisation has gone from a mere acronym to a project dozens of countries are clamouring to join. Moral considerations on the parts of Karim Khan or others at the ICC are likely a factor as well, but the main dynamic is structural: if it continues to sit on its hands, the ICC as a bureaucracy will simply cease to exist.

The American political system has responded to this act of defiance with a collective howl of rage. Several senior members of Congress had already issued a letter, threatening all members of the ICC with severe sanctions. And afterwards they doubled down: family members of judges and workers became fair game, as senators proposed they be banned from the US.

There is, to put it bluntly, something truly suicidal in the American political class choosing this particular moment — the very worst imaginable — to try to prosecute a war against the ICC and international law in general. Its ammo stocks are almost depleted, it is facing a truly terrifying shortage of sailors, soldiers and marines, and it has a rickety, insufficient industrial base to keep even a 300-ship navy going. If the Americans once spoke softly and carried a big stick, today it’s more accurate to say they are yelling loudly while waving a twig around.

In and of themselves, these ICC prosecutions aren’t a particularly big danger to Israel, and certainly not to America. While many European nations would probably arrest Israeli officials with ICC warrants — Norway has already said it would — indictments against Americans are not forthcoming anytime soon, and arresting senior American figures would definitely be a step too far for a country like Norway or Belgium. But this ICC debacle is almost certain to inflame a much deeper, more intractable problem hidden inside the American body politic, one of which US politicians seem serenely unaware. Swiftly followed by riots, civil strife and even revolution, it is one of the most dangerous problems a society can have. Its name is the failure of mimesis.

Human cultures — like human languages — propagate between generations through a process of imitation. The Greek word “mimesis” means precisely that — imitation — though it should be understood more like “re-representation”, rather than mere copying. A person who studies classical music under the great masters and then composes his own magnum opus is not copying a sheet of music; he has absorbed the craft and the essence of the art form, and that allows him to compose something new. A child who learns to speak English from his parents will not speak exactly the same as they did — language shifts even within the span of a human lifetime — but through the act of mimesis, he is still the carrier of a living language.

None of the above is hard to understand, but the kicker here is that what goes for language or classical music also goes for societal and political norms. For a society to actually maintain basic function over time, the younger generations have to be brought into its values and mores, internalising them and making them their own. In normal times, this happens more or less automatically; a medieval peasant generally doesn’t have to spare a lot of thought to the question of whether his children will inherit proper peasant values or not.

“For a society to actually maintain basic function over time, the younger generations have to be brought into its values .”

In certain cases, however, mimesis breaks down completely. To take one example, peasant cultural mores that had been stable in Russia for hundreds of years started to rapidly break down towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The reasons were fairly straightforward: if you are no longer a peasant, but an industrial worker crammed into crummy tenement room with 12 other people, working in a dirty, dangerous factory for 14 hours a day, what use are those peasant values and mores? At that point, the moral and cultural universe inhabited by peasants in the countryside is neither something you’re in a position to successfully imitate, nor would it even do you any good if you did.

In America today, mimesis is rapidly breaking down for reasons that are fairly similar. The US gerontocracy came of age at a time when the US was by far the most dominant military force in the world, and tiny countries like Yemen couldn’t possibly hope to go up against the US Navy. This was an era when a rising tide lifted all boats, when the US was a haven of free-market economics, where there were jobs and opportunities to be had around every corner, and when most of the world genuinely looked up to America as a shining city on the hill. Housing was affordable, jobs were good and plentiful, and college didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

This world is simply nothing like the one faced by someone in their early-20s today. The US economy is now sluggish and stagnant. The military is undermanned, under-equipped and demoralised. Housing is horrifyingly expensive, mortgages are all but unaffordable to the average member of Gen Z, and steadily growing homeless camps are a feature of most large American cities.

What this all adds up to is a situation very similar to the one facing the Russian migrants forced into the cities at the turn of the century. Back then, there was no longer enough land to be a peasant farmer, and the new world of smokestacks and overcrowded tenement buildings was one that their parents and grandparents could offer approximately zero meaningful guidance for. The old culture broke apart, and what replaced it, initially at least, was… nothing. When mimesis fails, when cultural transmission from one generation to the next breaks apart due to neglect or environmental strain, it deteriorates into a vacuum. And that vacuum often ends up being filled with very strange and violent things.

Which brings us back to the ICC, and the true danger of America’s response to Khan’s behaviour. Without even knowing what they’re doing, US political elites seem intent on forcing the total, catastrophic failure of mimesis within American society. They’ve hollowed out their own economy and exported most of their industries to China. They’ve presided over an economic transition that makes things such as “family values” a joke: what use are those when you can’t even afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment? Finally, they are now smashing up the political underpinnings that their own society rests on: if you teach all these kids that we in the West may have our faults, but we are on the side of human rights, it’s a very bad idea to declare war on the system of international law.

The issue here isn’t hypocrisy, it is the creation of a vacuum: kids who have been trying to imitate a culture supposedly based on respect for human rights and international law are simply going to stop bothering to do so if it becomes too obvious they’re being played for suckers. In area after area, politicians in the West are tearing up the floorboards inside the very building they live in and shoving it all into the fireplace, replacing those old norms and values with absolutely nothing.

Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, and the other senators now baying for blood in the hunt on the ICC aren’t actually going to bother coming up with a new story, a new set of norms or values for younger Americans to try to imitate. They simply intend to smash the old, replace it with nothing, and then marvel as this produces what it has always produced: discord, violence and, ultimately, political rebellion.


Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden

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Ian_S
Ian_S
22 days ago

Malcom simply assumes that the ICC is unquestionably a neutral institution, rather than an institution now captured by progressivist elites. The Vanuatu sea level rise ruling in 2019 was an earlier sign of ICC ideological capture. All the ICC needs to do now is issue an international arrest warrant (i.e. fatwah) on J. K. Rowling for not sullenly agreeing that “trans women *are* women!”, and its discreditation will be complete. I’m skeptical about Malcom’s “mimetic failure” theory that total societal collapse will occur as a result of challenging the legitimacy of the ICC.

Jonathan Lim
Jonathan Lim
22 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

The ICC (this article) is not the International Court of Justice (Vanuatu). And the ICJ has not ruled on Vanuatu.

Sharon Sloan
Sharon Sloan
22 days ago

Some institutions are simply illegitimate, and the ICC is one of them. Equating Israel’s legal conduct of a war it didn’t start, with treatment of civilians exceeding the requirements of the international laws of armed conflict, with the blatant war crimes committed by Hamas on Israelis as well as their own civilian population, is merely the latest manifestation of their ideological capture and subsequent illegitimacy. If young people can’t understand the difference, then frankly they don’t deserve a functioning society.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

We could argue when and how the war in Gaza started until the cows come home (I’ve listened to hours-long podcasts that go through the history in painful detail), but that would be missing the point.
The point the author is making is that the young people no longer believe the story you are selling. They don’t believe Israel is the good guy. They don’t believe the US is a guardian of some benevolent international order.
So when silver-haired curmudgeons on UnHerd’s comment section talk about what the next generation ‘frankly doesn’t deserve’, it is only reinforcing the author’s point about this cultural disconnect (not to mention the stench of self-satisfied boomers who don’t seem to give a f%$k anymore).
And in the vacuum this creates, which beliefs will take the place of the ones we have failed to transmit?

Paul T
Paul T
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

The photo above this article should give you an idea of the amount of “support” this nonsense has from young people. There are a tiny handful of narcissists parading the flag stolen by a terrorist state, for likes. The rest are sat, silently waiting for the irritating bunch of “pick-me’s” to shut up so they can get on with better things and the beliefs they were always going to follow because they are sensible and based on reality and, instead of a few social-suicide-media like-clicking fools, will prevail.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I don’t think that’s correct, Paul. I think there is a wide – really wide – support base for Palestine among the under 30s. My daughter, who is 23, tells me stories about how pervasive this support seems to be.
It’s just like the author says – if the American Empire were sill delivering on its core promise of opportunity and prosperity, most would turn back to the accepted narrative. But there’s just not enough American Dream for them to bite into these days.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

“Your daughter’s friends opinion” is indeed the level of the writing of this article – anecdotal, at best. Facts on the other hand show a massive undercurrent resurgence in right wing nationalism globally, as is evidenced by Trump, Meloni, Wilders, Le Pen and just wait until the next EU elections….the UN is finished, the ICC is finished, and America would be best to stop the $18.5B in yearly funding it is sending to organisations dedicating to undermine Western values.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
22 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Is that what ‘facts’ show, UnHerd Reader? How ‘factual’ are these ‘facts’ really? At least with anecdotes, you know you’re dealing with first-hand information. After all, all first-person observation is anecdotal, and a collection of anecdotes becomes a data set.
The ICC might well be finished, but all that really means is that the Western system of global order – the much-vaunted ‘International Community’ – has failed. This erases one of the foundational myths of the American Empire.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

How ‘factual’ are these ‘facts’ you ask? Sir you do not understand how facts work: a fact either “is”, or “is not”: my claims are either true, or they are not. Your daughter’s account is indeed ‘real’, in the sense that undoubtedly ‘it happened’ yet that does not make the content of her account real. Yet massive *factual* voting patterns across the Western world show that the majority of voters, contrary to your assessment, do in fact believe that Western values and way of life are superior to Muslim Sharia Law and Jihadi nihilism. These are facts. Now maybe they’re all “silver-haired curmudgeons “, but maybe, just maybe, you sir are living in a bubble that is about to burst…

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
22 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Sir, you do not understand how Bayesian probabilities work.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

That may be. I also don’t understand String Theory very well, but I understand it enough to know that just like Bayesian probabilities, it’s totally irrelevant to this conversation or your argument.

Guido Paoluzi Cusani
Guido Paoluzi Cusani
21 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

deleted

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Americans have a unique talent for convincing themselves that their motives are altruistic when they’re anything but. That, more than anything else, is the source of most of the world’s current problems. Your daughter’s friends will probably wind up making an even bigger mess of things than their parents and grandparents. They should focus on the terrifying widening of the class divide in their own society first.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Meanwhile you’re trying to fill your moral vacuum with oversized blame for your former colony.
“That, more than anything else, is the source of most of the world’s current problems”
More than Islamism, greed, misunderstanding, or rage?
You sound more and more like a fool whose sponsoring blindness is hatred for America. You don’t seem to be for anything, and your only discernible passion is anti-Americanism.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
22 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

your only discernible passion is anti-Americanism.
On the contrary. I love America and Americans and have probably seen more of it than you. But you need to stop kidding yourselves that a) you live in a democracy (you don’t, it’s a plutocracy – and that needs to change) and b) that you have some kind of moral high ground.
btw: that Islamism is so prominent an issue in the world is more than anything a consequence of US policy in the middle east, the crowning stupidity of which was Ms Clinton’s utterly pointless destruction of civil society in Libya.

El Uro
El Uro
21 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m sorry, but you suffer from common disease “all the bad in the world is due to America mistakes”. It sounds stupid, excuse me.
Islamic extremism, Russian aggression against Ukraine have their own reasons.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
21 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

While I regret that I used insulting language, your reply in no way contradicts my accusation. I remembered from your previous stabs at America as a nation that you profess great fondness for most of the individual people that make up this country.
Yet you are, in effect, allied with the most extreme anti-Israel university protesters, who chant “Death to America” with no believable idea of how a better global actor would arise in the wake of its demise. What realistic world power would you like to see in big bad Uncle Sam’s place: China, Russia, an Islamo-theocratic Bloc? Sino-Russo-India?
Like the British Empire before it, America is far from blameless or unselfish. Like its predecessor, it is the best available option. I do, however, understand much of the rage against our bloated level of global influence, interference, and control.

O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

My daughter, who is 24, tells me how TikTok is full of support for Palestine. And how confused she is about how the #metoo Gen Z generation have glossed over the rape, genital mutilation, murder, and kidnapping of Gen Z women at a music festival of the kind that she herself would have attended. She thinks that you cannot support the Palestinians without talking about their actions on 7/10.
She also tells me that it is simply not something that most of her friends – all University educated – are talking about. I drove through Hackney recently and noted the presence of a tiny Pro-Palestinian camp outside the Hackney Empire. I saw one or two flags in windows. On the other hand I saw thousands of young people happily drinking in and outside pubs and bars, and I’d wager none of them were talking about Gaza or the Nova festival atrocity.

Paul T
Paul T
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

My daughter, who is 15, tells me that your daughter’s age-group are the pick-me, tiresome, attention-seeking losers that think the world owes them everything for nothing. What does this silly oneupmanship mean to this discussion?

El Uro
El Uro
21 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

The young woman’s face in the lower right corner says everything she thinks about them 🙂

David Barnett
David Barnett
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

The problem is that our young people are subjected to relentless propaganda from the age of 5. It is the same problem and worse amongst the Palestinian Arabs. Truth doesn’t matter, only the story. That is why the Israel / Arab-Palestinian problem is intractable. And Western “intellectuals” and governments have blood on their hands for encouraging the false narrative over the years.

How many people know that Moslem supremacist lies (a favourite is Jews threatening Al Aqsa) have been used to stoke murderous violence against Jews since at least 1920 (look it up).

Arab elites, using Islamic Supremacism, started the violence decades before there was a state of Israel. Ordinary Arabs and Jews suffer the consequences. Arabs elites lie, Jews and Arabs die.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Utterly laughable. This “court” has absolutely no legitimacy. And the kids on campus yelling slogans and chanting have never heard of the ICC, let alone know that Hamas is a terrorist organization. They were cosplaying the de rigueur “revolution”, and now they’re at their parents’ beach houses, not giving Gaza a thought.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
22 days ago

Again you’re missing the point. The ones who are at their parents’ beach houses are not whom we’re talking about. It’s the ones who will never, ever get a shot at a beach house, and know it. They’re the ones we’re talking about here.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

The ones who will “never ever get a shot at a beach house” are in all likelihood the ones that care *the least* about the UN, the ICC or Palestine and would benefit most from the American money that is stupidly funding these institutions.

General Store
General Store
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

It’s a stupid point not backed up with any data. The reason kids are not volunteering is as likely due to the diversity of America and loss of social cohesion; Democrat’s war on any kind of civic nationalism; the fact that teachers routinely fly PRIDE flags and make war on the American flag; chemical /biological pollution that is dropping testosterone in boys… And the solution is not to woke-ify at the global level…..You think membership of the ICC is going to make them join up? Bullsh*t What will change is Gen becoming more conservative, conservatives/christians having more children; woke families sterilizing their children and producing no kids at all…and war!

Danny D
Danny D
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

It’s like the European Court of Human Rights. They’re not a court of justice, they’re a power hungry leftist globalists with an agenda.

Also, the author’s comparison of Russian industrialisation and its effects on society with current day America are more than ridiculous. Everyday Americans don’t give a damn about international “human rights.” Even if you have Neo-Marxists trying to destroy everything about it, American culture is much more than what the academic class believe.

Pat Thynne
Pat Thynne
22 days ago
Reply to  Danny D

oh goody – Reds under the beds again! If only! At least communists have a moral basis for their beliefs as opposed to ME & MONEY which appears to be the moral basis of the west. There are a lot of very angry, very disengaged young people out there, in the US and the rest of the west. If you do not listen to them then you will pay the consequences. And the basis of both the UN and the ICC are about the rule of law and justice. Their actions may be flawed but again, at least they have principles. The US can no longer lecture the world, real or otherwise, as you have long lost any moral authority. Do something about that or sink into insignificance and let China, Russia and India take over.

General Store
General Store
22 days ago
Reply to  Pat Thynne

‘And the basis of both the UN and the ICC are about the rule of law and justice’ – which is why they are going after Israel for defending itself and showing more restraint than any power in history conducting urban warfare; but saying nothing about China, Saudi Arabia or dozens of other countries in Africa and Asia doing actual genocide.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
22 days ago
Reply to  Pat Thynne

You seem to equate having principals with decency and morals with righteousness. Having those things isn’t important it is what those principals are and what the morals represent that matters.

edmond van ammers
edmond van ammers
22 days ago
Reply to  Danny D

The article gives clear reason why the West hasn’t the money to pay for the ICC. Pull the funding and the BRICS won’t be covering the shortfall.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
22 days ago

Excellent points. Let BRICS and China pay for the ICC. Time to give Western funding a break.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
22 days ago

I do wonder with many western governments taking a hard turn to the populist right whether many of these organizations do have funding pulled.

Steve White
Steve White
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

Narrative control is no longer working. The world has been red-pilled, and every day the blue-pills are losing effectiveness.

marianna chambless
marianna chambless
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

I beg to differ. (1)The ICC didn’t EQUATE the crimes of Netanyahu and Gallant with those of the 3 Hamas leaders, it simply charged them all with war crimes. The claim of “equivalence” was promoted by the U.S, and Israel in an attempt to rally the masses to their cause of discrediting the ICC. For a majority of Americans, it’s not working. We are not as stupid as many think, and we have an excellent sense of fair play. While realizing that Israel, like any country, has a right to defend itself against aggression, we also realize that 60 yrs of suppression of the Palestinian population has been a terrible sentence for them. (2) The entire world sees the hypocrisy of the U.S. and Israel – it was summed up in the words of a senior official who counseled Khan against bringing the indictments, saying that it was only done with Africa and Putin, not Israel, and certainly not the U.S. And the U.S. congressmen who are baying about this are among the most reprehensible we have. I don’t know why you think the ICC is illegitimate other than that it has ruled in a way with which you disagree. I think the world needs an international court of justice, with intelligent, unbiased judges, where every nation is treated in the same way.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
21 days ago

How do you actually have the gull to claim the ICC is unbiased? Do you know how to use Google? Honestly you say you’re not that stupid, but truly you must be.

Arthur King
Arthur King
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

There is a new functioning story which undergirds Make America Great Again. It is a recurrent neo-Western Right. This will not go away with Trump losing or upon completion of his four year term. The Right in the West has not asserted itself militantly yet. That dam will break in the coming decade.

Jim M
Jim M
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

They really deserve the economy they are going to get. Many young people are not even assimilated, even though they grew up here.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

I’m sorry, but the war started in the 1920’s, when immigrant Zionists came to take away the Palestinians’ country. This is a re-enactment of the military atrocities in Numbers 31 and various chapters in the Book of Joshua, plus indirectly carrying out the threat at the end of Psalm 137. Those atrocities are considered holy duty, not immoral behavior, by the true believers, who believe that all of the Old Testament is the sacred Word of God and not to be questioned.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
21 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

There was never a nation called ‘palestine’ nor are these modern days Arabs descended from the ancient Philistines, you historical Philistine.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I’d recommend, ‘The War of Return’ by Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf for a more accurate view.
Do you consider the boundaries of Numbers 34 valid today?

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
21 days ago
Reply to  Sharon Sloan

Wow 40,000 dead Palestinians means nothing to you? Genocide means nothing to you? Bet you like your red neck upticks though? What a nasty lot humans can be, I am embarrassed for you.

Martin M
Martin M
22 days ago

Some good points. The US would be far wiser to simply ignore what the ICC, rather than giving it oxygen with all these attacks.

Paul
Paul
22 days ago

I’m impressed by what seems to be the writer’s unabashed cynicism. He basically argues that while the ICC naturally wouldn’t arrest senior U.S. officials—the U.S. being so powerful—the Court hasn’t (and apparently shouldn’t have) any such scruples against thrashing little Israel in order to keep African nations believing in the Court bureaucracy. Machiavelli would be impressed, but it’s hard to see what any of that has to do with a “rules-based international order”, “a government of laws, not of men” and so forth.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Exactly. Israel should indicted irrespective of the merits of the case! That would keep the African nations happy and this is what really matters. What a cynical argument!

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul

By the way, was Bashir Assad of Syria ever charged by the ICC?

martin ordody
martin ordody
22 days ago

Or the US for Iraq?

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Agreed.
And Prosecutor Khan has only announced his intention to “seek” an indictment; and done so publicly, which is not the usual thing. The indictment needs to be judicially approved before it’s worth the paper it’s printed on. His actions are nothing but a PR stunt.
There’s a delusion among the pro-Hamas crowd that Israel might actually be forced to lose their war because of negative public opinion. It’s a deeply childish thought. A complete misreading of human behavior and human history.
Anyone who actually cared about the Palestinians would be doing whatever they could to help the IDF drag every Hamas operative out of their holes and into a pair of hand-cuffs.

David Butler
David Butler
22 days ago

What an incredibly fatuous article.

There is something faintly ridiculous about the many international institutions that owe their existence to American funding, cocking a snook at their benefactor. Like spoiled children living in their parent’s basement and lecturing them on their morals.

These institutions are populated by failed politicians and self-serving bureaucrats, many from failed or failing states, whose hypocrisy is galling.

It’s time for the West, and the USA in particular, to withdraw their financial support and let these charlatans fend for themselves.

joe hardy
joe hardy
22 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

Well said, David. There’s still a ton of opportunities for the younger generation.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

Well said.

steffanie brown
steffanie brown
22 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

Here here!

Jonathan Lim
Jonathan Lim
22 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

I fail to understand how such a factually bankrupt statement garnered that many likes. The United States is not a state party to the Rome Statue (of the ICC) and therefore does not fund it. The factual premise of the statement is wrong; it is, at best, an irrelevant rant about something other than the ICC.

Simon S
Simon S
22 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Lim

We mustn’t allow facts to get in the way of prejudice!

Liam F
Liam F
22 days ago
Reply to  Simon S

I like it! True, the U.S.A neither funds nor indeed recognises the ICC. never has. That said , I agree with the thrust of some of the comments : there are too many supra-national Western institutions which undermine those of the individual nation states that created them. (Eg EU, ECHR, WHO, ECJ). We’ve allowed them to get too big , which has had the perverse effect of making our national polictics and instructions weaker.

Arthur King
Arthur King
22 days ago
Reply to  David Butler

Some Canadian Conservives want us to pull out of the UN. We need to stop feeding the Beast through UN funding.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
21 days ago
Reply to  Arthur King

Amen to that, brother.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
22 days ago

What a shockingly naive start to the week. The most depressing feature of the Progressive Era (1990s to present) has been the corruption and death of respect for so called ‘international law’. The UN should be disbanded/defunded following its collaboration and partnership with Hamas Terror in Gaza and catastrophic mishandling of covid alone. Russia still sits on its Security Council. Its outdated laws on asylum and refugeess pose a threat to social order, yet progressives cling to this stinking corpse to pursue their vindictive identitarianism. These weasly trumped up cowards in the ICC have been exposed as ideological extremists in their obsessive pursuit of Israel. The ICC is an illegitimate debased organisation which does incalcuble harm to our belief in multilateralism and true justice.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
22 days ago

“If the Americans once spoke softly and carried a big stick, today it’s more accurate to say they are yelling loudly while waving a twig around.”

Pardon me, but since when did Americans speak softly, either literally or metaphorically?

Matt B
Matt B
22 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

During the civil war, when internal affairs took over.

alan bennett
alan bennett
22 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Just before the 2 world wars, they were reluctent to do the right thing in both.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
22 days ago
Reply to  alan bennett

Americans initially saw both wars as primarily European affairs, the last gasps of monarchism in the Old World, with the added horrors of major technological advances in weaponry.
We eventually rallied to the cause of our Mother Country. But we are separated from Europe and the UK, as we are from Asia, by enormous oceans, and are protected by that vast separation as well.
It’s difficult for any society to quickly respond to military or political conflicts that don’t directly threaten that society, and indeed it required an attack on Hawaii for us to enter WWII.
But we did eventually send not just billions in supplies and military aid to two wars that were never fought on our soil, but also hundreds of thousands of our own citizens to their deaths. Both wars were, to many of us in America, mass slaughter in faraway lands, in which we were not at all eager to be involved.
In entering the World Wars, we of course helped save much of humanity from a horrible fate. But those weren’t, really, wars that we started, nor were they, at least initially, conflicts that directly threatened our nation.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
22 days ago

Vietnam??

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
22 days ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

A former colony of France, riven by a civil war. It was also fought in a far different era than either World War.
Vietnam could’ve been peacefully divided like Korea, with a communist north and a democratic, capitalist south, but American Democrats instead decided to hand the entire country over to communists.
We were drawn into Vietnam slowly at first, and then all at once, but we rarely pushed an all out offensive against the North Vietnamese.
In the end, the country was surrendered, much as Afghanistan was 50 years later.

alan bennett
alan bennett
21 days ago

I quite agree with your rely, of course the Irish had s big say in the reluctance of the US to commit to war and even supplying weapons.
Thankfully for the world the likes of Joseph Kennedy, were somewhat despised by Wasps.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago

America is still and by far the strongest nation on earth – militarily, economically and scientifically, but Obama-era liberalism has pushed it to lose its grip on international institutions of which it is, paradoxically, by far the main sponsor: the UN, the WHO and the ICC – all work for China now. The US is not being suicidal, on the contrary, it’s finally reasserting itself and its values (Western values) on institutions who have lost their way so much that they are equating barbaric Hamas death cult leaders to Israeli politicians.

alan bennett
alan bennett
22 days ago

It was the Democrats that destroyed the cultural underpinnings of the US.
Rioters and murderers unpunished and lauded is but one of their tools for destroying western culture, but the most incidious is the likes of the writer of this article, with his total inversion of truth.
The progressive regressives blame other people for their destructive acts, they corrupted the international bodies, it was they that brought China into fold, it is they that are flooding the West with the worst elements of Islam.
It is so-called progressives that are destroying Western educational institutions and values, no ifs, no bùts.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
22 days ago
Reply to  alan bennett

Look, the writer has a correct observation that youth values have become unmoored from their parents’ but then departs on a wild fancy that this is somehow connected to older Americans rejection of International Law?
No. It’s much simpler. At the turn of 2000, the world at large had just survived the most violent, transforming century in history. There were massive shocks to the former patriarchal national order, far more serious in world politics than just the industrial revolution. Since 1990, out of the carnage of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the fall of the USSR, a stable economic regime undergirded by ‘Pax Americana’ emerged that provided unheard of wealth and opportunity for anyone born in the Anglosphere and Europe, with increasing opportunities for all.
All young people needed to do to prosper was to finish school, go to college or learn a trade, save, get married, buy a house and have children, in that order. But no. Ginned on by the Left, young people refused to learn what a hundred years of history had just painfully taught, and they decided to welcome Marxist professors instead, who told them that the good guys were actually Mao and Stalin, and that 20th Century Americans were white supremacists.
That’s why they became unmoored from their parents. The children bought a lie, and instead of fighting back, their parents accepted “white guilt’ as a real thing. Now the parents have no credibility, and young people are suicidal. It’s time for parents to get their mojo back. We are not old. We remember the last century. We are experienced.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

You made an excellent diagnosis of cancel culture. You are clearly a very perceptive and articulate individual. However, I would change that to make more explicit that it’s the college-indoctrinated who’ve become unmoored, not all young people. anyway, please continue.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
21 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

Well said, sir.

alan bennett
alan bennett
21 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

Quite, good analysis.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago

So the core of the author’s two main arguments for why America shouldn’t go against the ICC is that it would upset African countries and some American GenZ. Facts on the other hand suggest that only a tiny minority of American college students actually care about this conflict, and African nations still need America and the international institutions that America sponsors about 1000x more than America needs them. This article is mediocre, especially by Unherd’s standards.

Peter B
Peter B
22 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It’s not mediocre. It’s puerile.

Matt B
Matt B
22 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

US influence in Africa has fallen through the floor. Have you not noticed China’s inroads, or Russia’s back to the future? Should we all be called Unherd Reader?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago
Reply to  Matt B

Agreed – today the US pays all the bills but has a tiny fraction of the influence it once had. It is time for it to stop footing the bill.

Peter B
Peter B
22 days ago

Complete garbage.
The author seems unaware of the longstanding American antipathy to international institutions. Which they often regard as corrupt and a waste of money (both of which are sometimes true – the overall cost/benefits of some of them are certainly open to question). This is nothing new.

Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
22 days ago

There is so much wrong with this article. Just look at the premise in the second paragraph: “if the ICC simply sticks to going after Africans on behalf of the West …”
-as if going after African mass murderers who mass murdered other Africans is done “on behalf of the West”; – as if the ICC’s direct predecessor, the ICTY, didn’t prosecute some very European leaders of the former Yugoslavia;- as if the hypocrisy that the author accuses the US politicians of is not found in its most concentrated form in South Africa accusing Israel of genocide while having protected Sudan’s Omar al Bashir from pursuit by the ICC for genocide.
I could go on. The bottom line is this: the biggest hypocrisy is not that of Republican lawmakers, but that of the ICC’s prosecutor trying to equate Israel with Hamas. This is not the way to promote “respect for human rights and international law”. The biggest problem with this hypocrisy is that, rather than allowing the use of the ICC as it was designed, as an instrument to maintain a modicum of Western-inspired human rights in a terribly violent world, it turns it into an instrument for failed states to howl their rage against the relatively more successful Western democracies, rather than trying to emulate them.

Danny D
Danny D
22 days ago
Reply to  Danny Kaye

> as if going after African mass murderers who mass murdered other Africans is done “on behalf of the West”

This is one of the dumbest points and one most revealing of the author’s victim-oppressor delusion. Most cases in Africa – and many Western military interventions – are called for by the African Union / OAU themselves, but the author presents it as if this is the West picking on poor Africa. This narrative alone would be enough to discredit the author, if he didn’t double and triple down with so many other ridiculous ideas.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
22 days ago

The writer is seriously deluded. Only half-witted luvvies ever believed in ‘Human Rights’ and ‘International Law’. What Americans respect is power and if American youth no longer respects American institutions it is because America is no longer able or willing to exercise that power.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
22 days ago

All the UN institutions are deeply suspicious and mostly taken over by bureaucrats from beacons of exemplary countries with great human rights records like Iran (chairmanship of Human Right’s Council in 2023).
WHO’s Director General, Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian with a very suspicious background, was/is the overlord over this corrupt Organisation, influenced by powerful NGOs and put into the chairmanship by China.
Also the UN General Secretary, Gutierrez, is an intellectual giant, a former failed leader of the Socialist Party of Portugal, who was coming out with the great scientific insight last year, that the world is entering an “era of Global Boiling”.
I don’t even want to start talking about so-called scientific models of the IPCC, which is full of activists with an agenda, who want the World go back to the Stone Ages by following Net Zero policies.
Considering the output of the above International Global Institutions, I am pretty cynical of the recent judgement by the UN Human Rights Court.
I think the author of the above article is pretty naive in thinking, that we should take anything from the UN seriously.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
22 days ago

There is an important point missing here. Young people grow up.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
22 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

That doesn’t mean they’ll adopt the same opinions as the generations that preceded them when they do

Danny D
Danny D
22 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Normally when they start paying taxes and realize leftist politics are a scam. But at the latest it’s when they realize the vapidity of what they’ve been fighting for, and that the lives they’ve built or rather haven’t built for themselves have no meaning.

Phil Day
Phil Day
22 days ago

When the ICC ( and other international organisations) are captured by hostile actors the appropriate response is what? Roll over and let them tickle your belly?

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
22 days ago

Tipping points happen when people least expect it and they are not obvious in advance. People massively overestimate how fragile even superpowers can become once they have hollowed out certain aspects of their society. The Berlin Wall was not crumbling and the watchtowers poorly manned when it finally came down. It came down without warning, as the fully armed and staffed guards looked on. History shows this time and time again. Great military powers end first slowly and then all at once. So to say- ‘America is still the world’s most powerful force..’ as some defence against the argument of collapse, is meaningless. There are always societal cuckoos in the coalmine, and what this author is doing is insightfully pointing them out.
I fear though, it is all a bit subtle for Unherds core readership, who seem to wish the world resembled some provincial boarding school as they sit Gollum-like on their full-to-bursting tuck boxes, eyeing suspiciously the influx of multicultural youngsters.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
22 days ago

Young people are very angry about their declining, if not stalled, prospects. The advice just given to a young relative in our family was to go to Dubai and live tax free for 5 years to earn the deposit for their first home. This counsel clearly goes beyond rejecting your national story to departing your nation since she cannot afford you lower rungs on the ladder. Now we can argue whether home ownership is a lower rung or a luxury, but recent history shows this was affordable to many. It is also a gateway to other life options that can build narratives. There is truth in what the writer says, even if his evidence (ICC) is flawed.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
22 days ago

Tipping points happen when people least expect it and they are not obvious in advance. People massively underestimate how fragile even superpowers can become once they have hollowed out certain aspects of their society. The Berlin Wall was not crumbling and the watchtowers poorly manned when it finally came down. It came down without warning, as the fully armed and staffed guards looked on. History shows this time and time again. Great military powers end first slowly and then all at once. So to say- ‘America is still the world’s most powerful force..’ as some defence against the argument of collapse, is meaningless. There are always societal cuckoos in the coalmine, and what this author is doing is insightfully pointing them out.
I fear though, it is all a bit subtle for Unherds core readership, who seem to wish the world resembled some provincial boarding school as they sit Gollum-like on their bursting tuck boxes, eyeing suspiciously the influx of multicultural youngsters.

David Ackland
David Ackland
22 days ago

It is because the West is so polite in its reaction to children’s need to be ‘seen’ that , like in the above picture, they are allowed to disrupt the adults. But if they go too far……

D. Gooch
D. Gooch
22 days ago

Ok, so let me get this straight. Things have gotten more expensive and entitled 20 somethings in the U.S. are worried they may no longer be able to buy a massive four bedroom house in the suburbs. And apparently “What this all adds up to is a situation very similar to the one facing the Russian migrants forced into the cities at the turn of the century?”

And because of that, Republicans shouldn’t go after the ICC when its official, who can’t even bring himself to recognize that Israel is a state (he called it the “territory of Israel” while referring to Palestine as a state), goes after a democratically elected leader defending his country after a terrorist attack proportionally worse than 9/11 and continuous rocket fire for eight months?

That’s your rationale?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
22 days ago
Reply to  D. Gooch

Typical response from the mollycoddled older generation who bought their first home for a song.
Why shouldn’t the young be angry at the hand they’ve been dealt? You’ve left them with a pension timebomb (that you knew was coming but did nothing to prepare for), left them with a housing crisis so that many young families now can’t afford a basic home despite both parents working. On the job training has all but disappeared, they have to pay for their own further education simply to gain a foothold, wages are stagnant and employment insecure. I’m surprised they’re not burning the place down to be honest

Ian_S
Ian_S
22 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Heavy on stereotypes with a dash of conspiracy theory.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
22 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What does this have to do with support for corrupt institutions like the ICC and the UN?

Terry M
Terry M
22 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You’ve left them with a pension timebomb (that you knew was coming but did nothing to prepare for),
Check the votes on the numerous increases in the budget and you will find (D) after a huge majority of the names. I will accept no blame for wasteful spending by a Democratically controlled Congress and Admin (both Obama and Biden, Trump’s only slightly better). As long as they can buy votes with public money (school loan ‘forgiveness’) we are f’d.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
22 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When I bought my 1st house in the mid-1980’s I paid 10.5% interest on my mortgage, and that was about as low as you could get back then. Interest rates are lower than that today, so what’s the problem? The decades of ultra-low interest rates were an historic anomaly and likely will never return. Suck it up and get used to it. Further, there is a major demand for and shortage of candidates for good paying blue collar technical positions. Perhaps the whiners with “studies degrees” working at Starbucks should go to a tech school and learn a real skill like plumber, electrician, carpentry or welder.

D. Gooch
D. Gooch
21 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You’re making some pretty big assumptions about how old I am — which is a pretty pathetic way to respond to an argument.I distinctly remember buying my first home and also being bitter about “the mollycoddled older generation who bought their first home for a song.”
You know what happened then? I got a job, and took responsibility for my own life. I certainly didn’t blame other races and ages for my problem or use my youthful poorness as an excuse to tear down a country on the other side of the world I knew nothing about.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
22 days ago
Reply to  D. Gooch

Bravo! Well said!

Andy Redman
Andy Redman
22 days ago

The financialisation of all aspects of life (housing in particular) has transferred future productivity to the previous generation through unproductive debt.

Does anyone really want to argue that point? It’s a matter of mathematical fact. Their future has been stolen by greed of the boomers and their corruption of the institutions, particularly banking

Neil Wareham
Neil Wareham
21 days ago
Reply to  Andy Redman

I live in the same area I have lived in for the last 50 years in a smallish 70s house. That was paid off years ago despite, at one time, 18% interest rates and before we could think about overseas travel that young people want as a matter of course. We have deprived no-one of anything . I paid my kids government imposed university fees out of my salary and as a boomer I had to win a scholarship to avoid fees myself. So, you can take your wondrous economic truths and put them where the sun doesn’t shine.

Geoffrey Kolbe
Geoffrey Kolbe
22 days ago

“The year is 2024, not 1994: if the ICC simply sticks to going after Africans on behalf of the West while Gaza is being flattened, most or all countries in Africa will simply pull out…. but the main dynamic is structural: if it continues to sit on its hands, the ICC as a bureaucracy will simply cease to exist.”
So, it was a political decision, not one based on the legal facts. Go on Malcom Kyeyune, admit it.

General Store
General Store
22 days ago

Oh my gosh. Are you kidding? Apart from the fatuous moralism, there are so many logical jumps it’s difficult to read for sense. Not only the ICC but the UN have become completely illegitimate. They simply express the prejudice and animus of their most tyrannical and barbarous members, and the real politic of the great powers. Unherd…just so you know, this kind of opinion piece just pisses me off

Ian_S
Ian_S
22 days ago
Reply to  General Store

I think Malcom Kyeyune’s utility bill must have been due, so he dashed off this kind of embarrassing thought fart.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
22 days ago
Reply to  General Store

One can only hope Kyeyune reads the comments and takes them to heart. And maybe he will do some homework after the fact. Israel gave the world a morality and values system that seeded peace and progress for millenia. It was Hitler who complained that Jews gave the world a conscience. And this little punk wants to tell Israel about a moral compass ? Geezzz !

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
22 days ago

“Young citizens are losing faith in their national story”That’s because the education establishment has worked hard to ensure they never hear it, or hear only a wildly fictionalized and evil version of it.

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
22 days ago

Judging by the mimetic anger here on display, seems anyone daring an ‘Unherd’ post must first get past the tricoteuses.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
21 days ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

I just learned a new word. Now to find out what it means.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
22 days ago

This article and author are united in their mis-understanding of all that occurs in the world.

G M
G M
22 days ago

The ICC is obviously political and not impartial.

People should follow the law and courts but ony if they are fair and not biased.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago

“… but the main dynamic is structural: if it continues to sit on its hands, the ICC as a bureaucracy will simply cease to exist.” Let’s hope this is what happens, sooner rather than later, together with all the other self-serving bureaucracies at the UN, WHO and EU.
David Eades

Y Chromosome
Y Chromosome
22 days ago

Wandering prose, unfortunate sentence structure, and fuzzy reasoning.

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
22 days ago

Huh? It is the so called progressives that are smashing the old and replacing it with dreams, ie., nothing, and chaos ensues. Europe has not, and never, will understand America, and it is perhaps true that America as it was no longer exists, but “international” anything has never been our guide or goal.

America began and continues on the premise of being different, independent, experimental, in self governance, not group think or compliance. Geographically and historically, Europe is part of a group and the EU finally established it. The US is not a groupie. So, it refuses to be governed by an outside group. For now.

It is precisely this, that is causing so much angst in western quarters. Compliance, obedience or submission to a non elected, self appointed body with interests that do not include America’s, let alone center on them, is for traditional western individuals, anathema and inconceivable. This current, modern demand for acquiescence to “international” rules goes against everything that has produced innovation, creativity, human advancement and an exciting future. The ICC, like so many other self important organizations, has no place in the real, not theoretical, world.

Americans live in the real world and continue to insist on that right. Sadly, more and more ordinary people are feeling compelled to join the elite who believe in their right to rule, and the right to compel. This will not end well.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
22 days ago

In his Diplomacy Henry Kissinger notes that at the end of WWI foreign policy divided between the Bismarckian Realpolitik and human-rights-based foreign policy with League of Nations etc.
He implies, but does not actually say, that everything comes down to Realpolitik. I wonder why?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
22 days ago

Give me a break. We have affluent kids marching on numerous campuses about a river and a sea who cannot name either body of water, let alone understand the genocidal message behind the chant. And please don’t act like this is a current-day circumstance.
The US education system has spent the better part of two generations teaching its young to hate the country, its traditions, its stated ideals, and pretty much everything about it. What other nation does that? The ICC, like numerous other global bodies, is largely irrelevant.
It says nothing when Muslims kill other Muslims by the hundreds, it says nothing when religious minorities from China to Africa and elsewhere are persecuted, and it has sent dumb and blind during decades of terrorism being sponsored across the West. Claiming religion now because Tom Cotton and a few Repubs side with Israel over the Hamas death cult is weak sauce.

B. Timothy S.
B. Timothy S.
22 days ago

What would be truly suicidal wouldn’t be fighting the ICC, it would be listening to it.

Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson
22 days ago

What remains of “Republicanism” in America? The ICC has its own “twigs” named “warrants” in the same vein as you say of America’s shrivelled carrot/stick. Just look at the TWO warrants sitting ensconced in Moscow while SA plays cynically in the ICJ sandbox while Ramaphosa attempts to geographically organize the next BRICS conference so one of its leaders can at least attend more than virtually. Meanwhile will the OIC membership finally decide on which sort of new International Criminal Court Order it will approve to be built and which s are used. For certain it won’t include the West’s “Lady” Justice with “Her” scales?

Howard Clegg
Howard Clegg
22 days ago

I am genuinely mystified as to why the US establishment is doubling down on Israel. The US has no compelling geo-strategic interest in the region. In fact they’ve been trying to get out for decades, but keep getting dragged back in. It’s this apparent flip-flopping that’s part of the problem. And why should the US have to be the security guarantor for a whole geographical region? It’s ridiculous. These morons have been running there own show for long enough now surely?

Okay oil. But for who? Not the US, so why care?

And nukes,.Iran has been “2 years away from a nuclear weapon” for most of my adult life. And, what exactly? The Iranians are shit at doing stuff and can only hurt the US because the US keeps leaving it’s assets where can be damaged.

Everyone in the region appears to have finally lost the plot completely. This is an excellent opportunity for the US to escape after so many failed attempts. So why don’t they.? I’ve no idea, other than the fact that US politics is even more dysfunctional than our own.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
22 days ago

The West should collectively pull out of ALL UN organisations plus the ICC. These have all been captured by anti-Western Third World revolutionary revanchists and the only reason our domestic Left-wing support these people is because they also hate the West in a fashionable fit of cultural virtue-signalling and pathological self-abnegation and abasement. The Left and the Third World have been de facto allies for a long time. Let’s take their institutional weapons of mass destruction out of their hands.

martin ferera
martin ferera
22 days ago

why is Unherd publishing stupid opinion pieces like this? Do I need to read rubbish like this to understand how people like this are thinking? Hardly – I can simply observe the toxic, stupid and ignorant demonstrators. There are plenty of other platforms for this sort of garbage – I expect Unherd to be a bit more serious.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
22 days ago
Reply to  martin ferera

Thank you.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
22 days ago

Just joined UnHerd. Although a wide range of opinion can liberate us from ideological silos, this piece sets a new low for intellectual and journalistic credibility as many other readers have pointed out in damning detail. Giving Malcolm’s post top billing suggests some modicum of endorsement by UnHerd editors. Please!

Arthur King
Arthur King
22 days ago

Most international organizations are enemies of Western Values.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
22 days ago

My, my, judging from the comments, Mr. Kyeyune has hit a nerve.
I disagree about the diagnosis, though. It seems to me that the younger generation’s moral compass faithfully points to true north, and their values are consistent with those of the generations that carried American democracy before them.
Rather, it is the current crop of politicians who have walked away from those values, and though they still desperately try with all the considerable power at their disposal, their amorality, hypocrisy, venality and cowardliness has become impossible to hide.
In the old GDR, a (forbidden) joke made the rounds – since the people’s views were evidently not to the government’s liking, the government should dissolve the people and elect a new one…
It is too early to tell whether Karim Khan and the ICC have truly experienced a Damascene Conversion and found to the original intent of the ICC, or whether it is a desperate pitch to feign a veneer of impartiality in the face of a pretty dismal record of serving the hegemony’s interests. Time, and future actions, will tell.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
22 days ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Please enlighten us Mr Gassmann. What is the diagnosis and what is the cure ?
The younger generation has no historical basis for much of their wishful thinking, and thus they go on wishfully thinking. Maybe you are part of the younger generation ? Or maybe your moral compass is simply broken.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
21 days ago

I’ve been around for a while…
I see students braving the assaults on them – physical and administrative – to protest against genocide, and they have my respect.
I listen to the radio as listeners call in – in response to a government representative earnestly admonishing us to shower for no more than five minutes or to boil no more water in our kettle than we immediately need, and that will solve climate change. The callers are angry – not only do they know that such stupid admonishments are completely inadequate to solve climate change, they also understand that the government is gaslighting and guilt-tripping them while doing absolutely nothing to confront the powerful.
If I were an apparatchik, I too would be worried, very worried. And the fact that the Empire is striking back in such a violent, over-the-top fashion shows that our leading apparatchiks are both cowardly and quite stupid.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
22 days ago

” we also realize that 60 yrs of suppression of the Palestinian population has been a terrible sentence for them”
The population of Gaza has increased from 80,000 (approx) to 2.1 million with approximately 50%being under 14yrs. This is most unusual in the face of oppression especially when it is due to birthrates and not immigration.

Phil Re
Phil Re
22 days ago

Here is a BASIC FACT that Malcolm Kyeune completely misses (it’s a big one):
The ICC simply does not have the jurisdiction to procedure Israel.
Why does that matter?
It matters because it shows the ICC willingness to set aside its own rules to go after Israel.
Now here’s a BASIC QUESTION Malcom Kyeune fails to ask:
Do the predicates of the arrest warrant against Israel’s leaders have even the remotest semblance of credibility, or are they of a piece with the ICC’s willingness to set aside its own rules to go after Israel?
Why does this matter?
Instead of giving my own answer, I’ll encourage Malcolm Kyeune to put on his thinking cap and see if he can answer it for himself. But I’ll give him a hint. A good answer is likely to include the phrase “international gangster.”

Phil Re
Phil Re
22 days ago
Reply to  Phil Re

…should be “jurisdiction to prosecute Israel.”

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
22 days ago

What a mish-mash of unrelated ideas, if you can even call them “ideas”. How does he open with a legal process, never mention due process, and proceed to a rant about America and something he’s made up called ‘gerontocracy’ ?
This article hasn’t got even a modicum of perspective, much less facts and sound argument. It’s pure would-be propaganda, and yet, it’s not smart enough to even meet that test !

Ruth Ross
Ruth Ross
22 days ago

Rubbish.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
21 days ago
Reply to  Ruth Ross

Agreed! This reads more like a stream of consciousness than a lucid argument.

David Yetter
David Yetter
22 days ago

As to the subtitle. I don’t think that has a whit to do with any American politicians’ stance on the ICC (the authority of which the US has never recognized, regardless of which party is in the White House or controls Congress). To the extent it’s true it’s because higher ed has been captured by the intellectual idiot children of the Frankfurt School, Foucault, Derrida, and a host of anti- and post-colonialist writers, which idiot children we shorthand as “the woke”. And given the frat boys at UNC restoring the American flag that the disaffected woke had replaced with a Palestinian flag and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at student parties at Stanford, I’m not at all sure to what extent it’s true.

Neil Wareham
Neil Wareham
21 days ago

The ICC has overreached itself on this one and it is by no means at the heart of American values. It’s a bit hard to see the antisemitic Hamas supporters of the US colleges changing tack because of what the I C gas done if it gad US support. It’s more likely to give oxygen to their insanely antisemitic belief ststem.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
21 days ago

Where are the “Africans” the ICC is going after? Somehow, this erudite author has missed backing up that basic point. Claims abound, proof is absent or scarce.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
21 days ago

If ICC then why not BRICS. If Brics then why not Icc. It is “Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa” and not “Brazil, russia, india, china, south africa”. Another one like this is the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” which the UK (sorry, Uk) print media now always abbreviates as it it were “North atlantic treaty organization”. Why?? And don’t tell me that b-r-i-c-s can be pronounced like a word but I-C-C and U-K can’t? Really? What about Ick and Uck? I bet you’ve never thought of it! How do you like them apples?

M L Hamilton Anderson
M L Hamilton Anderson
21 days ago

Imported enmities have no part in Western democracies. If you don’t support the country you live in, go and live in the country you support.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
21 days ago

I don’t disagree with much said here but it fails to mention the elephant in the room: the belief that US foreign policy has for decades served Israel’s interests more than those of the US. Back in 1990, the conservative commentator Pat Buchanan described Capitol Hill, the location of the US Congress, as ‘Israeli-occupied territory’. A large proportion of Americans do not believe the official account of 9/11. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was justified by incredible claims of Iraqi involvement in 9/11, when most of the terrorists were according to the official story Saudis. On being elected President, Obama was treated by Netanyahu as a house negro. Who Epstein worked for and what happened to the blackmail material that was removed from his properties has never been explained.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
21 days ago

Liberal democrats should quite rightly oppose an international court become a tool of the BRICS and their authoritarian bloc now in a new Cold War with the West.
If that’s the GOP instead of the de facto Democrats, well that doesn’t suprise me at all – the latter are a set of reckless Maoists pretending they’re not in favour of a modern crypto-Fascist authoritarian state (they clearly are).

T Redd
T Redd
21 days ago

Keep writing from Sweden and know we have the country’s ass covered too. We are America. Israel is at war and until Hamas is wiped out that is their call. The ICC has no control there and are a joke when it comes to reality. I can tell you have never been in a war for your country but sure seems like you are tough. Keep your tough word mindset and when you face the reality of war, then try that kinda writing again. Children like you are why America has become weak, and that will end.

Declan McCrary
Declan McCrary
21 days ago

This article is completely bollocks.

Saul Tobin
Saul Tobin
22 days ago

Amazing how you can write so many words without once addressing the actual issue, which is the complete moral confusion of people around the world who cannot see the difference between genocidal Islamist terrorists and the democracy fighting to defend itself from them. Not for the first time, I am puzzled why UnHerd publishes this type of craven morally-bankrupt pseudo-intellectual garbage.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
22 days ago

The US military, though enervated by decades of neglect under Democrat administrations, is far from a paper tiger, and could still defeat any other nation on the planet. I don’t think there’s any danger of South Africa, which is itself fast becoming a failed state, nor any of the other antisemitic primitives in the UN, successfully challenging either the US or Israel in any theater of war.
Gaza is ruled by psychopathic terrorists who will eventually be defeated in battle, or at worst hunted down by the Mossad, as the Black September terrorists were.
The UN, had they any credibility, would be assisting in bringing these murderers and rapists to justice, rather than trying to protect them.
The UN is also headquartered in NYC. Perhaps they should relocate to Beijing, or to Iran. It appears those sorts of ghastly dystopias would be much more to their liking, and they could preach their fatuous anti western sermons from there to far more receptive audiences.

Matt B
Matt B
22 days ago

The first sentence is not borne out by reality. The old rules of war are gone and there is no bipartisan support for much else – perhaps even (long run) on Ukraine. The US did not ‘win’ convincingly in Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or anywhere else – beyond leaving cbaos. Its ‘allies’ are being hollowed out by toxic US culture wars, near-monopoly tech, finance shocks, protectonism, tax evasion, predatory funds, legal overreach and defence costs needed in part to mop up the global mess created. No wonder its influence is bombing, figuratively and actually, leaving the field open to multiple ghastly states and groups.

Martin M
Martin M
22 days ago

I agree that the US military is still “strong”, but I don’t think it is strong enough. In the lead up to WW1, the policy of the British government was that the Royal Navy would be as large as the next two biggest navies put together, plus an additional percentage. The US should adopt a similar policy with its military now. Their position should be that they will be able to say “So what if we have to fight Russia and China at the same time? We can do that!” That said, it does need to ensure that its allies will help.

Peter B
Peter B
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

I think you’ll find that the US Navy is not only stronger than it’s 2 largest rivals, but far stronger than all the world’s other navies combined.
And show me another country that could have invaded Iraq twice from such a long distance away (let’s leave aside the question of whether Iraq 2 was wise here).

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
22 days ago
Reply to  Peter B

Iraq 2 was arguably unwise, but no one knows what the world would be like today, were the Hussein family left on their throne. Iran would perhaps be less emboldened, but would the world be more stable, or less? Clearly no one can truly say.
It is true our Navy would now struggle to defeat China’s in a conventional war. We’d need support, perhaps from India’s fleet, to fend off a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. But the outcome would be an eventual American victory, if enough fortitude is displayed, and no thinking person would see a Chinese annexation of Taiwan as a positive development, least of all the Taiwanese.
We will also, most likely, have an entirely different presidential administration by next year, with a flawed but far more clear eyed President, or at the very least a far more competent administration. These wars didn’t start under Trump, which is not to say he can easily end them, but the distinct impression that no one’s home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would immediately change.
It is also true that some university students and most hard left activists are now very anti-western, and stridently opposed to free markets, free speech, and liberal democracy itself.
Many young people are not. Many young men are politically very different from their obstreperous and left wing sisters, and see them as resentful, foolish, spoiled, and profoundly ignorant. My son, for example, is considerably more traditional than my daughter, though both are the college bound children of college graduates. In a time of war, God forbid, he’d likely become a very competent Army officer.
Working class Americans are also considerably more conservative than the upper classes. They can’t afford to be otherwise. Their financial position is far more vulnerable to the overall economy, and their sense of right and wrong is not determined by skin color, religion, sexuality, or race.
Most saw the fiery lootings of 2020 as a criminal display that had nothing to do with justice, of any sort, and they view Hamas’ gory, murderous temper tantrum as mass murder, an act of terrorism against innocent people.
It’s the working classes who staff our military ranks, run our factories (we still have tens of thousands of them here in the US), grow our food, and construct our buildings. They are neither irrelevant, nor superfluous.
They also vote, and they won’t vote for electric cars, open borders, socialism, or the abolishing of the police. They certainly won’t endorse Hamas, nor will they endorse the charades of social justice that the UN insists on.

martin ordody
martin ordody
22 days ago

Iraq war 2 was just killing up to 1 Mio civilians, kids as well. And the US did not apologize for the lie to start it, nor payed to rebuild Iraq. And the US Hegemony is not appreciated and accepted by growing amount of nations anymore.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
22 days ago
Reply to  martin ordody

I’m sure they’ll be overjoyed with China as the world hegemon, which will surely happen if the US were to withdraw its world influence and leave a vacuum.

Stephen Kristan
Stephen Kristan
22 days ago

Bravo, Andrew!

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
22 days ago

Hear, Hear!

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
22 days ago

Completely agree. In fact, the anti-Israel college students are not even close to representing the majority on campuses across the country. As usual, the noise-makers are a vocal minority.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
22 days ago

The student protests were Ptomkin Village charades organized by Marxists with a few undercover FBI agents in the mix as usual.

Martin M
Martin M
21 days ago

Iraq 2 should never have been needed, because Saddam Hussein and his cronies should have been killed during Iraq 1.

martin ordody
martin ordody
22 days ago
Reply to  Peter B

Here we are talking tree+ nations with nuclear bombs. The NAVY is irrelevant.

Terry M
Terry M
22 days ago
Reply to  martin ordody

You forget that the USN has numerous nuclear armed subs.

Martin M
Martin M
21 days ago
Reply to  Peter B

If it is that strong, it should be able to deal with the Houthis without breaking a sweat, but it seems to be having trouble. Also, a Navy is of limited use in the Ukraine conflict.

David Yetter
David Yetter
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

The US spends as much on its military as the next nine largest spenders combined (it used to be the next ten until Ukraine was obliged to spend a lot more), and of those next nine, heck of the next sixteen, only number 2, China and number 3, Russia are potential adversaries. The others are all either formal allies, or would be on-side in a war with China.

Martin M
Martin M
21 days ago
Reply to  David Yetter

The effectiveness of a military is not measured in purely monetary terms. I am saying that the US should ensure that its military can defeat both Russia and China at the same time, and spend in the same way as Reagan did when he had the “600 Ship Navy” policy.

Helen E
Helen E
22 days ago

Why on earth would the U.N. prefer to relocate to anywhere in China from NYC and its delectations? Under the status quo, the U.N. as an institution can inveigh against its host country & the rest of the west, while actual U.N. employees, drawn from the elite class of all the world’s nations, may enjoy a free ride, living in a world cultural center, on the U.N.’s dime, supported handsomely by you-know-who.

R.D. ENO
R.D. ENO
22 days ago

Decades of neglect under Democrat [sic] administrations? Over the past 24 years, we have had 12 years of Democratic administrations, 12 of Republican. And did correspondent Vanbarner just refer to Africans as “antisemitic primitives”? Oh, dear!

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
21 days ago
Reply to  R.D. ENO

NYC, not the USA.