The new humanitarian order
The conflict in Darfur began as a civil war in 1987-89, before Bashir and his group came to power. It was marked by indiscriminate killing and mass slaughter on both sides. The language of genocide was first employed in that conflict. The Fur representative at the May 1989 reconciliation conference in El Fasher pointed to their adversaries and claimed that "the aim is a total holocaust and no less than the complete annihilation of the Fur people and all things Fur." In response the Arab representative traced the origin of the conflict to "the end of the '70s when...the Arabs were depicted as foreigners who should be evicted from this area of Dar Fur."
The ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has uncritically taken on the point of view of one side in this conflict, a side that was speaking of a "holocaust" before Bashir came to power, and he attributes far too much responsibility for the killing to Bashir alone. He goes on to speak of "new settlers" in today's Darfur, suggesting that he has internalized this partisan perspective.
|The prosecution of Bashir comes across as politicized justice. As such, it will undermine the legitimacy of the ICC and almost certainly will not help solve the crisis in Darfur.|
|As the Bush Administration made patently clear at the time of the invasion of Iraq, humanitarian intervention does not need to abide by the law. Indeed, its defining characteristic is that it is beyond the law.|