Madi Kapparov identifies himself as a PhD student at the London Business School. This morning, he translated a chat on video by one of the mercenaries Putin has sent into Ukraine. When you read it, you understand why the Putin wing of the Republican Party has become so powerful inside the GOP. The mercenary explained what the Wagner Group fascists are fighting for: "...[T]his war is not about Ukraine, it is not about natural gas, oil, NATO, or even Crimea or other shit. This war is about the future of the white race, white civilization, the future of white Russia." It may sound to you like he's trying to recruit the far right Americans who attended the CPAC conclave in Budapest this week. He's certainly singing their songs.
If we fuck it up, that'll be all. Our white race will be no more. It'll be the end of the white civilization on the planet as all that's left is here. [unintelligible] What of the countries that we thought that are white? White Europe, white America? What are they now? Slaves.
Niggers, chinks crawling out of all holes. Every single one of them is a fag on top of that. Men in dresses; everyone is sucking dick. So where do you see a white nation there? Where is that pure white blood? There is none, we are all that's left.
That's why the entire world is against us. That's why this is happening. We are the last bastion of the white man. This war is for blood, for genetics. This war is for the existence of our great white nation so that our great white Russia could continue to live.
So that the white man could have a future. That's what we are fighting for. And only so the great white Russian man, a great warrior, can build a great Russian empire and save the white race's future on this planet. That's our purpose. That's why we are here.
[unintelligible] is all bs. Russia is for ethnic Russians, white Russia is for ethnic Russians. [throws a Nazi salute].
So yes there are Nazis in Ukraine. They came from Russia.
That guy sounds like he could win a statewide race in Tennessee, Alabama, Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, either Dakota. He'd have to tone it down a little... the messaging not the message.
Roya Hakakian is a highly respected Jewish Persian-America poet (who studied poetry in Brooklyn under Allen Ginsberg), journalist and award-winning author. Yesterday, The Atlantic published an essay she wrote from Stockholm about accountability for war criminals. "As the Russian army leaves a trail of atrocity in Ukraine," she wrote, "a trial held here this month offers a powerful template for prosecuting war crimes. The Swedish case-- involving a former Iranian official [Hamid Nouri] accused of participation in the mass murder of political prisoners in the late 1980s-- is based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. According to this doctrine, the national courts of any state that has adopted this principle may prosecute someone suspected of grave crimes, no matter where they occurred and irrespective of the nationality of the suspect."
The trial began in august, 2021 and wrapped up early this month. "If convicted of the charges of war crimes and murder, Nouri faces a possible sentence of life in prison. The verdict is expected on July 14," Bastille Day.
Nouri worked high up in the prison system when Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1988 "ordering the mass killing of political prisoners... The prison killings began in July. To carry out the fatwa, the ayatollah appointed an ad hoc board made up of a Sharia judge, an intelligence-ministry official, a prosecutor, and his deputy. That deputy was Ebrahim Raisi; today, he is the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These clerics reviewed each prisoner’s files and decided their fate, usually within minutes." Nouri's job was the bring the prisoners to be seen by the board and then out to be hung. In the first 2 months, around 3,000 political prisoners had been hanged.
Today, human-rights organizations have called for an investigation into President Raisi’s role as the prosecutor in the 1988 prison massacre, but it was Nouri, the functionary, who inadvertently placed himself in legal jeopardy when he traveled to Sweden. For the victims of human-rights violations in Iran, his arrest was the culmination of years of effort and represented the most significant victory they’d ever known.
Several former political prisoners who had for years been writing and recording their recollections of that era were doggedly identifying and pursuing their former torturers. Finally, one ex-prisoner, Iraj Mesdaghi, a naturalized Swedish citizen who has become a leading plaintiff in the case, helped devise a scheme to lure the former jailer to Sweden with the promise of a lavish cruise. When Nouri took the bait, a network of human-rights attorneys and Iranian exiles in the United Kingdom and Sweden went into action to lobby the authorities to issue an arrest warrant.
As soon as Nouri’s plane touched down in Stockholm in November 2019, Swedish police officers detained him. During later testimony, a deflated Nouri said that his “cruise ship turned into a solitary cell.”
...[W]hat matters is the message the court has already sent to war criminals: There is no statute of limitations on the atrocities they’ve committed and no international guarantee of haven. Although the International Criminal Court at The Hague is investigating Russia’s actions in Ukraine, neither of those countries is a party to the ICC. Struggling to establish itself as an effective forum for international justice, the court has won only four convictions in the two decades of its existence.
The proceedings against Nouri under universal jurisdiction offer a way out of the ICC impasse. Sweden’s action demonstrates that a different kind of liberal and humanitarian interventionism is possible, one conducted not by military operations but through the criminal-justice systems of democratic societies. That can be a new source of hope to the victims of cruel autocratic regimes-- if other Western democracies follow Sweden’s lead in refusing to harbor the tormentors and denying them impunity.
Yeah, maybe some low-level hangman like Nouri, but... I noticed that notorious war criminals like Henry Kissinger, George Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney are unmolested. Why? This may help put the non-action in context: During WWII, the British government was already making plans to try the leaders of teh fascist states. "George Orwell, coming across a particular book encouraging that theme, waspishly points out its weaknesses in an October issue of the Tribune. The work in question: the prospect of Benito Mussolini’s trial. Britain’s great sceptic of propaganda is not convinced by the argument, proclaiming 'in power politics there are no crimes, because there are no laws.' Powerfully, he points out the issue that stalks many an argument of placing a leader in the dock for war crimes. For one thing, finding a credible jury would be nigh impossible. This is not to say that Mussolini did not behave brutally. 'The only troublesome question is: How can something that was praiseworthy at the time you did it-- ten years ago, say-- suddenly become reprehensible now?' Orwell cites various individuals who sang the praises of the Italian dictator. In the late 1920s, Lord Rothermere called him 'the antidote to a deadly poison.' Lord Mottistone in 1935 admired and praised the civilisational efforts of Mussolini’s men in gassing the Abyssinians. Two years later, the war crimes trials did come, largely propelled by US jurisprudence and policymakers. At Nuremberg, US Supreme Court justice and prosecuting counsel Robert H. Jackson stated the case for the victorious Allies before the International Military Tribunal. All, including state leaders, would be equal in the dock as personally responsible for war crimes-- 'the principle of personal liability is a necessary as well as logical one if international law is to render real help to the maintenance of peace.'"
As for Putin... "The original suggestion of a tribunal to try leaders for war crimes arose with Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II at the conclusion of the First World War. But the proposition troubled President Woodrow Wilson-- US presidents might find themselves facing a prosecutor’s brief at some point in the future. The motive was selfish but showed acuity that the boomerang might eventually return... Power politics continues to supply room to excuse, or at least shield, what would otherwise be seen as criminal conduct. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is not alone in the view that international tribunals are unaccountable bodies dolling out unjust rulings against rulers pursuing the national interest. This position is not surprising, given accusations that Kissinger’s own conduct of foreign policy, from Latin America to Cambodia, potentially violated international law...Short of a change of heart-- and regime-- in Russia, it is difficult to imagine Putin ever facing a Nuremberg process. Ultimately, the matter may well be left to the Russians and how the Ukraine War is addressed in its history and politics. Ukraine, as is permitted in international law, may wish to exercise its own jurisdiction in making those in the Kremlin account. But the Russian president is unlikely to make that a genuine prospect. For now, at least, it appears Orwell was right-- for Putin there are no crimes, because there are no laws."