John Bolton Plays Tough Guy

It has been truly said of John Bolton that somewhere there’s a cave full of bats wondering where their shit went. Ed Kilgore writes,

The U.S. has had an up-and-down relationship with the I.C.C. — founded to provide sanctions against individuals committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide — since it was founded by the Rome Statute in 1998. Bill Clinton signed the statute in 2000 but did not submit it to the Senate for ratification, saying he wanted to observe the I.C.C.’s record first. George W. Bush formally renounced any U.S. obligations to the court when it began operating in 2002. Barack Obama announced a policy of cooperation with the I.C.C. as an observer nation.

Now the pendulum is swinging back with a vengeance, as Bolton labeled the court “illegitimate” and “dead to us.”

“Dead to us”? The Guardian reported,

Bolton vowed that the United States would retaliate by banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the US, imposing sanctions on any funds they had in the States and prosecuting them in the American court system.

“If the court comes after us, Israel, or other US allies we will not sit quietly,” he said, also threatening to impose the same sanctions on any country that aided the investigation.

He condemned the inquiry into war crimes in Afghanistan as an “utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation” and the court as illegitimate.

“We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead,” Bolton said.

He said the US would negotiate more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit countries from surrendering Americans to the court in The Hague.

So Bolton is like …

And then, showing appreciation of the subtle finesse required to settle delicate international disagreements, the Trump Administration closed the PLO office in Washington, apparently to bully the PLO into caving to Israel. Yeah, sure, that’ll work.