- Mar 6, 2019
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Biden calls Putin a ‘war criminal’ (WaPo)
President Biden explicitly called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” Wednesday, after weeks of avoiding the term and at a time when his administration is still determining whether that label officially applies."
"Biden watched Zelensky’s 9 a.m. address from the private library of his White House residence, absorbing an emotional plea that invoked both Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11 — two deadly attacks on the United States that came from the sky — and beseeched the president to close the skies above Ukraine.
“Our country experienced the same every day, right now, at this moment, every night for three weeks now,” Zelensky said, speaking to lawmakers via video with the help of an interpreter.
World Court orders Russia to halt military operations in Ukraine (Reuters)
The United Nations' top court for disputes between states ordered Russia on Wednesday to immediately halt its military operations in Ukraine, saying it was "profoundly concerned" by Moscow's use of force.
Although the rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are binding, it has no direct means of enforcing them, and in rare cases in the past countries have ignored them.
"The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on Feb 24, 2022 on the territory of Ukraine," the ICJ judges said in a 13-2 decision.
So, now the question becomes, "What do we do about that"?
In my opinion, there is no question that Russia's attack on Ukraine was not only unprovoked, but is part of a pattern of aggressive military action in violation of international law. Moreover, there is little question that tactically the Russian forces are, apparently at the direction of Putin himself, committing "grave breaches" of International Humanitarian Law - war crimes - of the most serious nature. Indeed, it appears the aim is now genocidal, which is unfathomable given the ethnic makeup of Ukraine and its cultural history with Russia.
But, the question remains, "What do we do about that"? Once upon a time, the United States considered itself the "shining city on a hill" and the guardian of democracy the world over. That's the moral stance that it has taken for decades. Notwithstanding the blip that was the Trump administration (that's leaving a stain), it has been the official foreign policy position of the United States since at least the Second World War. Charles Blow of The New York Times asks in his latest column, What Is Our Moral Obligation in Ukraine? Do we, as we did in Rwanda, let it happen and treat the wounds afterward? Or do we do as we did in Kosovo and intervene to end the suffering?
As Blow asks, "When does America have a moral obligation to intervene — particularly for humanitarian reasons — in conflict? And which factors contribute to the choices we make?"