On Charles Taylor’s 50-Year Sentence And Its Context

Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, convicted on charges of aiding war crimes by the dubious International Criminal Court has been sentenced to 50 years in jail.

The prosecution for the Special Court for Sierra Leone had asked for a sentence of no less than 50 years. His defence has called the sentence disproportionate and excessive.

The UK (not surprisingly) is keen to house him for his sentence but his defence contends that he would be culturally isolated – whatever that means.

While we do not think that Charles Taylor is an angel, if he is to be given 50 years for ‘aiding war crimes’ what do you give to those who engage in war crimes? It may sound like rhetoric but right now the United States is engaged in indiscriminate drone attacks in Yemen where people are being killed with reckless abandon.

We can’t call the case with Taylor justice if it only applies to poor third world countries. Until the law catches up with the west too, ‘international law’ is something that is used by the powerful to keep the weak in check.

This is just pissing in the wind, by the way.