By now, most people have probably heard about George Clooney’s arrest on Friday, March 16, outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC. In addition to Clooney, several others were arrested, including his father, several members of Congress (Al Green, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran and John Olver), Martin Luther King III & the president of the NAACP. These men were joined in protest by a reported crowd of roughly 100 people. The Washington Post reports, “[t]he group was protesting the Sudanese hunger crisis, accusing President Omar al-Bashir of blocking food and humanitarian assistance from reaching hundreds of thousands of Sudanese.”
Before being arrested Clooney said humanitarian aid needs to be allowed into Sudan and the government in Khartoum needs to stop randomly killing innocent men, women and children. Clooney even had a comment for the Sudanese President, “stop raping them, and stop starving them. That’s all we ask.”
Earlier in the week Clooney met with President Obama and testified before the US Senate regarding War Crimes committed by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. It is unknown whether Clooney also condemns the possible War Crimes that have been committed by the American military.
As a libertarian, I do not believe it is acceptable for anyone to commit such acts. Sadly, my view is not held by all. Many people sat quietly as George W. Bush used the American military to invade two countries without declarations of war and many more sit quietly as, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama uses the military to carry out unmanned drone attacks on civilians who have been listed for execution without trial. These acts by both Bush & Obama are as much violations of the laws of war as the acts by al-Bashir. Everyone who commits war crimes should be held accountable for their actions, it should not matter if the person committing war crimes is one of “us” or “them.”