There was a time when war crimes could easily be hidden from the public view. That time is gone; long gone. During those long gone days, armies would commit war crimes and gross human rights violations and hide them from the public. Those days are gone; long gone.
During those long gone days, journalists would be embedded with armies and witness killings, massacres of civilians, men, women and children and only report what the armies wanted the public to know. That time is gone; long gone.
Those long gone days were times when the owners of the mass communication media and their mostly corrupt, unethical, and amoral embedded journalists decided what they wanted the public to see and know. Gone are those days.
We are in a season where communication media are in the hands of the people, the people formerly known as the audience, to use Jay Rosen’s terminology. Information delivery, news breaking and journalism-like investigation are no longer the preserve of trained journalists. Anyone in current times can report what one observes.
Drone technology means that pictures can be taken from above the scenes. Transmedia mobile telephones, such as the android, mean pictures can be taken by anyone from anywhere and sent out for public consumption. Oral reports can be composed by anyone and sent out.
When the Russia-Ukraine broke out, the EU banned Russian transnational communication media, especially RT and Sputnik in order to ensure that only the EU and Ukrainian version of the war prevailed in the EU countries and the capitalist world. Russia did the same. It restricted Western media from operating in Russia and from the war front. But social media reported what was taking place anyway unfettered. Satellites took photos of what going in the battlefield.
Lies were exposed. Truths were out. Atrocities were laid bare. The forcible transfer, or deportation of Ukrainian children into Russian territory irked the world and the prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, the Netherlands, were convinced that President Putin, his closest officials, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, and the soldiers had committed potential war crimes. An international warrant of arrest was issued for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova and it is valid until he dies.
Putin is now an indicted war criminal for the forcible deportation of Ukrainian children. Not for killing them. For transferring them away from their homeland.
A few weeks ago, Hamas launched an attack on Israel and killed over 1400 hapless unsuspecting civilians. Some Israel soldiers and civilians were abducted. A few have since been released from Hamas custody.
As expected, Israel responded and unleashed its military might with Big Brother America watching over so that the revenge killing of Paletinians went on without the interference other players. Almost the entire Gaza Strip has since been obliterated, which contradicts Israel’s claims that it knew where Hamas soldiers, liberators, freedom fighters, or terrorists were operating from. Otherwise, it would have focused on the identified targets.
The bombing of civilian homes, hospitals, markets, refugee camps and the forcible moving of people from their homes to places that were later to be bombed smacks of premeditated massacre of civilians to punish them for living in Hamasland.
The questions our leader of delegation has sent us to ask include: When will the so-called ICC at The Hague react and indict Benjamin Netanya, the Israel Prime Minister, for the atrocities being committed by the Israel army in Gaza? When will the so-called ICC at The Hague react and indict Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, for the atrocities committed in Israel?
We are waiting to see Netanyahu and Haniyeh in handcuffs as they meet Putin at the Hague; that is, if the ICC has real non-partisan teeth.