News Release

Putin and ICC “Rank Hypocrisy” 20 Years After Iraq Invasion


Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. His most recent book is World Politics, Human Rights and International Law.

He said today: “The ICC is itself guilty of rank hypocrisy. … Putin is the first white leader that the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for.”

Boyle noted that exactly 20 years ago, the U.S. started its “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign, which initiated the full-blown invasion of Iraq. It began with the demand that Saddam Hussein leave Iraq following a long-planned scheme which included illegally spying on members of the Security Council to coerce their backing, which failed. The invasion was backed by Biden and others currently in power.

[There will be an online screening of “War Made Easy” tonight about how the public is manipulated into war. It will be followed by a panel with IPA Executive Director Norman Solomon (whose book the film is based on), Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Marcy Winograd, India Walton, Kathy Kelly, and David Swanson.]

Boyle added: “I asked [the ICC] for arrest warrants against Bush et al. for their policy and practice of extraordinary rendition but did not get them.” Boyle was a prosecutor for an international tribunal organized in Malaysia which found George W. Bush and Tony Blair guilty of crimes against humanity in 2011. See reports in Al-Jazeera and Reuters.

“The ICC has not indicted even one American, even one Brit, even one Canadian, even one Australian, even one NATO leader, even one Israeli. This despite all the death and destruction that they have inflicted upon humanity all over the world for the past two decades.”

Boyle argued that the U.S. invasion of Iraq alone was far worse than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but he critiqued a whole series of actions by the U.S. and its NATO and non-NATO allies.

Boyle’s recently-released book has a chapter titled “ICC: The White Man’s Court.” He said today: “Besides Putin, all the rest targeted by the ICC were Black Tinpot Dictators. So the Africans call the ICC ‘The White Man’s Court.’ The ICC has not lifted one finger to help the Palestinians, the Afghans, the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Syrians, the Somalis, etc.

“Just as Biden and Antony Blinken have refused to have good faith negotiations with Russia regarding Ukraine, so too did the U.S. government refuse to negotiate with Iraq and other countries it attacked.” Blinken has explicitly called on the ICC to not scrutinize Israel. Blinken is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday.

Boyle also noted that a genuinely independent court would be examining the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline, reportedly done by the U.S. government but which the State Department denies.