International justice, above all, remains justice for criminals from defeated states or those too weak to deny jurisdiction. We will not have international justice in the true meaning of the term until one of the great powers allows one of its citizens to face judgment at The Hague. None of the Security Council members with a veto—the US, Russia, China, France, and Britain—is willing to send one of its nationals to the ICC, should they be accused of crimes against humanity. America would make itself truly exceptional, in the sense of choosing ideals over interests, if it broke with this pattern and staked its faith in international justice by turning over a citizen to the Court, should the occasion arise. But that day, if it ever comes at all, is a long way off.
We’re So Exceptional | Michael Ignatieff