Skip to content or view screen version


Sanford Russell | 13.06.2003 15:48

Appeal to the International Crimal Court to investigate, indict and prosecute for international crimes that may have been committed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.


Please cut-and-paste and then e-mail this letter (with your name and location substituted for mine) as it is or altered in any way you see fit, or simply endorsed with your note of support, to the International Criminal Court, You might also consider forwarding it to your friends asking them to do the same.

This is a sad day. The UN Security Council, in craven, servile obeisance to the USA’s unjust demands, yesterday approved a year’s extension of the USA’s immunity from prosecution by the ICC. This effectively emasculates the court, and may well be its death knell.



Hon. Philippe Kirsch, President
International Criminal Court

13 June 2003

Dear President Kirsch:

The gates crack. Great splits admit awful, terrifying shrieks and afford horrific visions of a bloodied barbarian horde, pressing, pressing. Civility – civilization – shudders behind its frail and elegant walls at the brute onslaught. One of the great rifts runs through Israel, another sunders a bleeding, prostrate Iraq. What morbid irony – one shelters the Holy Land, the other the cradle of civilization.

Governments fail us, institutions falter, stumbling in base retreat. The world’s people, with ample reason, withhold their trust. The news is in. The United States of America, through its lackeys, has just now granted itself yet another year’s immunity. You and I, we all, in our tiny sub, beneath the sea, listen tensely to the sonar’s rhythmic ping, to the methodical, ever closer blasts of the US dreadnaught’s well directed charges. But England and Australia remain within the Court’s reach. A gallant death with honor, a job well done (perhaps) before the crushing rush delivers all to sage Oparin’s fabled soup.

I appeal to you, Mr. Kirsch, to your prosecutor, Sr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, and to your court, to undertake, as a matter of the most extreme urgency, the investigation, indictment and prosecution of the leaders, both civil and military, of the two countries signatory to the Statute of Rome - the United Kingdom and Australia - who are, I believe, responsible, as members of the “Coalition” headed by the United States of America, for violations of international rights in the invasion and occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq.

You are wise, honorable people of conscience – elect, privileged. If you were not, you would not be occupying your august posts. But these are hollow virtues unless coupled to courage and strength, and in that regard you have yet to be tested. That test is imminent.

I will not presume to present legal citations to you who study and make international law. You know intimately the arguments, the cases, the many precedents that establish State’s interest in international rights, that deny immunity from State officials who violate those fundamental rights, and that grant jurisdiction and authority to individual States and to international bodies. Your charter, I believe, grants you both jurisdiction and independent authority to act whenever and wherever violations of these international rights occur.

Violations of these international rights that appear to have been committed by the United States of America, by the United Kingdom and by Australia, through their State officials, may include, but may not be limited to, the following:

· Aggression
· War Crimes
· Use of prohibited arms
· Intervention of mercenaries
· Sequestration or taking of hostages
· Pillage
· Crimes against humanity
· Illegal detention or imprisonment
· Torture
· Force or violence against persons internationally protected
· Ecological crimes

A strange letter, perhaps, to be directed to legal minds accustomed to clinical recitation of facts and statements of law. But peoples are forever subject to domination by the strong passions of exceptional individuals. To this dark threat people of honor oppose reason, tempered by prudence, justice and compassion, in an eternal, perhaps unequal, struggle in defense of a civilized community. I have no doubt that you, and the members of your court, have committed yourselves to this noble undertaking.

May Aeschylus’s good Athena bless and guide you in your endeavors.

In closing, I offer a quote:

Therefore for each and all the city's breast
Is heavy with a wrath supprest,
As deeply and deadly as a curse more loud
Flung by the common crowd:
And, brooding deeply, doth my soul await
Tidings of coming fate,
Buried as yet in darkness' womb,
For not forgetful is the high gods' doom
Against the sons of carnage: all too long
Seems the unjust to prosper and be strong,
Till the dark Furies come,
And smite with stern reversal all his home,
Down into dim obstruction-he is gone,
And help and hope, among the lost, is none!

O'er him who vaunteth an exceeding fame,
Impends a woe condign;
The vengeful bolt upon his eyes doth flame,
Sped from the hand divine.
This bliss be mine, ungrudged of God, to feel-
To tread no city to the dust,
Nor see my own life thrust
Down to a slave's estate beneath another's heel!

From “The Agamemnon” by Aeschylus


Sanford Russell
Native of the United States of America
Resident of the United States of Mexico

Cc: Sr. Luis Moreno Ocampo
Prosecutor, The International Criminal Court

Sanford Russell
- e-mail: