The president’s failure to realize the implications of an international legislative body legitimized by the support of the world’s sole superpower is disastrous for the promotion of human rights. Many war criminals brazenly carry out atrocities under the assumption that there will be no consequences. Should the U.S. lend its full support to the organization, would-be war criminals would be less inclined to commit such crimes. U.S. participation would act as a deterrent to human rights violations.
Unfortunately the prospects of U.S. participation are bleak. The president can’t ignore the conservative political reaction to joining the court. With the election a few days away, it’s understandable that the president is avoiding high political issues like the plague. That, coupled with the fact that a two thirds vote is required for the ratification of the Rome Statute and the Republicans are poised for major victories in both houses, means it will be quite some time before the idea of the U.S. becoming a member nation can even be legitimately entertained.
Whoever is president when this happens, they shouldn’t repeat the mistake our current president made by allowing bombastic political rhetoric to derail American foreign policy. If the United States truly prides itself on its commitment to human rights, it should step out of the dark ages and join the International Criminal Court.