America’s Astonishing War Crimes Hypocrisy

Of course Russian president Putin is guilty of war crimes in Ukraine. In a war of aggression, every death is a crime emanating from the original, supreme crime of unnecessary war. It is right for the U.S. and others to charge Putin with war crimes.

But while the US may change others with war crimes, it conveniently omits itself from an endless series of its war crimes in the 21st century. Upwards of a million folks are dead in the Middle East and Africa from unnecessary, senseless wars either launched by the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya; or joined into by Uncle Sam, as in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Niger, among others.

It’s fair to add Ukraine to the list of countries on America’s war crimes roster. Eight years ago the US committed an act of war against Ukraine democracy, inspiring and supporting a coup against the democratically elected president, simply to keep Ukraine from partnering economically with Russia.

The new West leaning puppet government was quickly hijacked by ultranationalists who decided to brutalize Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas. This set off a civil war now claiming over 13,000 Ukrainians, mostly the Russian speaking and leaning variety. Their blood is partly on the hands of the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations, who weaponized and trained the ultra-nationalist Ukrainians, and egged on their refusal to make peace with ‘the other’ Ukrainians simply to punish Russia.

What truly astounds about US war crime charges is that when such charges are even hinted at against the US, we sanction the International Criminal Court (ICC), the agency charged with opening such investigations.

Two years ago, in response to a pending investigation of US war crimes in Afghanistan, President Trump issued Executive Order 11. It blocked financial assistance to the ICC and imposed visa restrictions on ICC staff and their families. As former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton explained, “We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.” The investigation went nowhere.

That puts the US in the peculiar position of promoting an investigation into Putin’s war crimes by an agency the US considers illegitimate….when it dares investigate the gold standard of 21st century war crimes.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at

15 thoughts on “America’s Astonishing War Crimes Hypocrisy”

    1. Do they factor in deaths by US sanctions? Or deaths the US has enabled like in Yemen? Just between the Iraq sanctions and the starvation in Yemen, we’re talking 21 million by now. Easy.

    2. The US committed war crimes even before WWI. Many people believe the fallacy that democracies don’t start unprovoked wars and that all authoritarian regimes are threats to peace.
      During the Mexican War, the US was a democracy and Mexico was not. The US declared war on Mexico and took a certain amount of its land because the US Citizens there did not like its laws. The USA was in the wrong and before the war started Mexico allowed the US Citizens to move there which it did not have to. The US should have let Mexico keep its territory and have its citizens living there return to areas that were still part of the US.
      During the Spanish-American War, the US was a democracy and Spain was not and it did nothing to the US. The US declared war on Spain and took its last colonies in the W Hemisphere and Pacific.
      US Democracy did not apply to Non-Whites before the Civil Rights Movement. The US violated treaties it signed with Native Americans and pushed them further west until it occupied all its former lands and let surviving Natives move to reservations. The US annexed Hawaii and imprisoned Queen Liliuokalani and Hawaii did nothing to the US. It gave Hawaii statehood when many of its Natives wanted independence and many of them still do to this day.
      The US provoked Japan into bombing Pearl Harbor because the US declared war on them. It did that because it would rather have Asia colonized by Whites than have Asia colonized by other Asians.
      Blacks were denied equal rights before the Civil Rights movement even after slavery ended and were denied equal rights when some states were Free States and some states were Slave States and Abe Lincoln said saving the Union was more important than ending slavery. I’ve heard of people saying Lincoln had plans to expel Blacks and send them to the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa where they would likely be slaves but not slaves of White Americans. I once read a letter in a paper saying Lincoln had plans to colonize New Guinea and force some American Blacks to live there and if he survived the assassination attempt, history would tell a different story of him.

      1. You have done some reading and research friend. I shock the government indoctrinated with this about Lincoln from a scholar.

        Oct 23, 2014 Thomas DiLorenzo – The Real Abe Lincoln

        From The Tom Woods Show, Professor Thomas DiLorenzo shares the gist of his scholarly works on Abe Lincoln. He demonstrates the reality of Abe is very different from the fairly tale version taught in government schools.

  1. Having the US charge Putin with war crimes is like having Al Capone charge Bugs Moran with racketeering.

  2. funny how the US isn’t holding Zelensky to the same standard as putin, nor will they “US” ever hold themselves to the same standard.. because they’d all hang!

  3. Someone please tell the Bush crime family they’re supposed to kill foreigners, not Americans!

  4. Don’t you know that Americans just LOVE to start and fighting WARS ?
    The more Wars, the happier.
    After all, Wars produce lots of American War HEROES !!

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