Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Revolting Against the Article 98 ICC Agreements

I'm also back after another short hiatus. I will post at greater length later this week, but for now I just wanted to note some recent pushback on those controversial Article 98 Agreements between the U.S. with a number of its allies preventing U.S. soldiers from being extradited to the International Criminal Court. Nigeria's Senate recently passed a resolution declaring Nigeria's Article 98 Agreement with the U.S. void because it violates Nigeria's constitutional processes. Meanwhile, Jordan's parliament will be convening special sessions to consider a similar agreement.

Whatever the legality of these agreements under international law, they appear to place the U.S. in a tricky policy position, especially in Africa. While the U.S. is trying to get Sudan to cooperate with the ICC, it is at the same time aggressively seeking exemptions for its soldiers. No doubt there is a fine legal point here: the U.S. supports ICC prosecutions that are controlled by the Security Council but not otherwise. This fine point, however, is probably a hard sell these days with the legislators of its partners and allies.

28 Comments:

Blogger D'Amato said...

Good for Nigeria! Come on, Jordan! Under the Tinoco Arbitration that I mentioned a couple of blogs back, the US is charged with knowledge of Nigeria's internal constitutional processes. Moreover, back in the SEATO and CENTO days, we inserted a subject-to-our-Constitution in mutual defense treaties (and why that didn't contradict the purpose of the treaty we'll never know, because if the US decided it did not want to go to the defense of its treaty partner, the US would get away with noncompliance either by virtue of the subject-to-the-Constitution clause or by virtue of the nullification of the treaty itself!

8/18/2005 12:42 AM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Hi all! Great blog by the way! I have just written an undergrad paper on the validity of Art 98s at international law. I focused mainly on (1) defeating the object and purpose, which becomes less relevant as more States ratify, (2) whether these types of agreements were considered by the Art itself (this goes fairly deeply into treaty interpretation, Vienna Convention, Ian Sinclair etc, and (3) whether the agreements could be invalidated on the basis of jus cogens. Basically I used a lot of Geoffrey Robertson and the 'what is the point in having international criminal mechanisms which do not actually provide a proper deterrent' kind of argument. I came to the conclusion that the agreements themselves were not invalid on a jus cogens basis, but that when they were applied, they might violate jus cogens. I don't know, if anybody is interested in reading it, they can email me at winerack@pobox.com, I would be happy to email it. This is an incredibly interesting area of international law, yes?!

8/18/2005 6:40 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[Basically I used a lot of Geoffrey Robertson and the 'what is the point in having international criminal mechanisms which do not actually provide a proper deterrent' kind of argument.]

Excellent. Your mentors have taught you well. What university do you attend?

The value of treaty law may not need the application of force, however. For example, if you were to draw up a treaty with my nation-state and in bargaining I knew that you could never enforce it, walking away from the treaty without the application of force used against me by you would humiliate my country in the international community. It would mean that my country is less civil and I would lose national prestige.

Men like me hope that folks like you that are going to be dealing with the world's problems in the future as leaders recognize these points. Only the nation-state that loses its humanity will walk away from treaties that seek to enforce humanity.

ICC law is dangerous for the United States insofar as our enemies want to accomplish two very specific things:

1) Prevent the application of force by the United States in the international community regardless of justness or reason. That means that no matter what security condition arises, US military power is not to be used to confront it. The United States finds that position to be unpalatable.

2) Use ICC structures as the vehicle to bring US military personnel before the Hague, thus seizing a certain level of sovereignty from the United States as a nation and using the international bully pulpit to demonize our troops.

Regardless of nation-state of origin, military forces make mistakes. There are accidental killings of civilians, the destruction of buildings, farmland and institutions of the state. Clever bureaucrats could criminalize such behavior using the ICC.

Is the world ready for the ICC? I don't think so. Not yet. We are close, but haven't quite achieved the level of sophistication in international law yet. The United Nations last month failed to collectively come to an agreement on a basic definition of terrorism. If the international community can't define terrorism, I find it difficult to believe at this point in history that the international community will justly apply ICC law.

Obtestor

8/18/2005 9:39 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

One other comment on this excellent subject. The United States is one of only a handful of countries that have created a form of ICC desired control over its military forces since Vietnam.

The United States learned in Vietnam that imprecise munitions and imprecise application of military power empowered communist PSYOPS to propagate against our country.

Thus the United States developed weapons such as laser-guided bombs to strike military targets with much greater precision and to prevent the unwarranted accidental killing of non-combatants.

No other country has invested so much time and national treasure to do that. Most other countries still use imprecise munitions and conventional weapons that kill indiscrimately.

Combined with precision weapons development, US military forces are also trained to a much higher standard in the recognition of human rights and international law. So to me, the US military is the epitome of what can be done both in fighting wars and preventing the wanton slaughter of innocents.

Now, ICC law will go after the United States. How can that be if we have the higheest standard in warfighting and preventing civilian casualties? If the bar of ICC law reaches into the levels of professionalism of the US military because its standards are so high, that means that ICC law will reach into any nation-state on earth that fights a war.

Do you see it?

No other country has a military force as professional as the United States, both in terms of personnel and weapons. That means any military force originating from any country other than the United States would immediately become candidates for ICC prosecution when the first shot is fired in aggression. Who would enforce that? Europe with its socialist economies that strangle military expenditures? No.

The United States would be forced to. Then ICC law would go after us.

ICC law then is suspect in the realm of international conflict.

Some super-charged graduate student should write a thesis about this matter because it would get published.

Obtestor

8/18/2005 10:03 AM  
Anonymous George Morris said...

Obtestor said "Thus the United States developed weapons such as laser-guided bombs to strike military targets with much greater precision and to prevent the unwarranted accidental killing of non-combatants."

Well, I suppose while this is arguably one substantial collateral benefit from precision munitions, we most certainty did not develop precision-guided munitions to prevent accidental non-combatants deaths. Nice thought, though.

Rather, dumb bombs are paradoxically extremely expensive in terms of the number of sorties required to destroy targets, and added sorties -- in this day and age of guided AA missiles versus WWII era flack -- increases our own KIA rate sharply. There's a famous story from Vietnam of a bridge that survived 20 or so bombing runs with dumb bombs before finally being fully taken out by one crude laser-guided bomb, which were just then coming on the scene.

As for the ICC, though I view it more properly described as a hybrid political/judical organ than a pure justice body (witness the early attempts before Belgium narrowed its own jurisdiction of groups trying to indict Rumsfeld, et. al; or the apparently epic never-ending Milosovic trial), there is value in certain narrow areas.

Will the U.S. ever submit fully to an ICC-like body?
I certainly hope not, and believe opposition to such a proposal would be extremely fierce in Congress.

8/18/2005 6:01 PM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - I'm at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. I'm at work so don't have time for a detailed response, but just to get a bit of debate and thinking started, I really wanted to ask whether people thought the ICC would 'go after' the US? I think the US is powerful enough to prevent these prosecutions anyway. In any event, if the US won't submit to the jurisdiction because it fears being prosecuted, why should anybody else? This is an area in which the US should be using its global leadership for an end which is basically in its own interests. The existence of an ICC surely assists prosecution of international crime in a way national courts cannot. Why should Bosnians, Rwandans, Congolese etc etc etc submit to the authority of an ICC if the US will not? Further, why should the US not submit to the jurisdiction of an ICC unless it has some potential defedants to protect? I mean, if the US is NOT committing war crimes, which I won't go into, why should the US fear prosecution for such war crimes? If we are going to prosecute SOME international criminals, why should we not prosecute all? I mean, the US was quite happy and incredibly enthusiastic in prosecuting at Nuremberg. The US was instrumental in establishing the ICTY. Why, if the US is so keen to prosecute everybody else's war criminals, should it not be willing for others to prosecute its own?

8/18/2005 9:04 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[In any event, if the US won't submit to the jurisdiction because it fears being prosecuted, why should anybody else?]

The United States is the only country capable of seeking enforcement of war crimes prosecutions globally. The United States is the only country that has the political will to use military force and to gather coalitions together against aggressor nation-states.

The only reason why Bosnian Serbs are at the Hague right now is because the United States dropped munitions on Yugoslavia to end the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Hague has a list of war criminals that they want from Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia. Croatia is being penalized right now by being denied access into the EU because they refuse to give up their "Heroj". There is also a belief that Serbia is seeking Croatian lands taken by Croatia during Operation Storm, a military operation overwatched by US special operations personnel that drove Serbians out of Croatia and secured Bosnian battle positions.

The genocide in Rwanda was caused by the application of US military power in Somalia. When I was in Somalia, I predicted that if there was a rapid US withdrawal that some other country in the region would take advanatage of that and conduct genocide operations against undesireable domestic populations. The Rwandan Hutu's knew that no one in the international community was going to come to the rescue of the Tutsis when the killing started. When US civilians saw American soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, for the Rwandan government, it was a license to kill with impunity. Canadian peacekeeping forces that cried for help received no response from the UN.

It takes great moral courage to stand up to evil.

The United States was giddy, as you describe it, at Nuremburg because we dismantled a fascist regime that for the first time in the history of warfare was using institutions of the state to conduct genocide. The Nazis were given trials and then taken out back behind the barn to have two put in their heads because what they did was so outrageous that the evil had to be publicly addressed and confronted.

So my argument is this. Given the levels of antisemitism that remain in the UN against The State of Israel and just the sheer envy and hatred of the United States simply for who and what we are as a free nation that has not only a modern civilization but great wealth, it is clear that the international community cannot be trusted to use ICC law without bias.

The instant ICC law goes into effect if the US became a signatory to it, demands to bring Jews to the Hague would flare immediately followed by personnel from the United States.

Since the United States would be the only country enforcing such activities, the US should get an exemption from the ICC. There is no precedent from which to draw ICC intervention against US personnel. We have never been a party to genocide and war crimes must meet a very specific threshhold, ie..Treblinka, for example.

So why should the United States open itself up to such vindictive law when we are the only country sending our troops to die to defend the international community? That would be the first question.

Also, if you read the posts before this where I described military operability standards, no other country trains its personnel in disciplinary activities as much as the United States does. No other country watches over its own military discipline as much as the USA. So why would we allow the ICC to monitor US activity? It really makes no sense, when hostile states would flood the ICC bureaucracy with anti-US and anti-Israeli complaints.

Also, I repeat again, how can the UN appropriately apply ICC law when it can't even agree to a basic definition of terrorism? If I worked at the UN on behalf of the United States, I would restructure the entire organization.

Obtestor

P.S. I am not Jewish, but I readily admit as a scholar that the killing of a single Jew should be a war crime. If Jews were American Eagles, they would be protected as an endangered species since there are only 15,000,000 Jews left on the planet. In a world where demographics plays such an important part in political correctness affecting domestic and foreign policy, the creation of an ICC would bring shame to the human race as attacks upon Jews would reach epic levels that seek their final extermination.

We simply cannot allow that to happen if we are to keep our humanity intact.

8/18/2005 9:40 PM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - I agree with some of your points, but not all.

["The United States is the only country capable of seeking enforcement of war crimes prosecutions globally. "]

This idea, which runs through your post, is, I think, unjustifiable. I think there is a huge international movement towards the prosecution of international crime by international organs, even without the recent assistance of the US. Even when the US pulled out of the ICC, progress was stalled but not stopped. I think it is a bit unsustainable to argue that the US is the only country willing to enforce war crime prosecution. Some would argue the US is in fact one of the few countries not willing to enforce war crime prosecution ANY MORE, rather than in the recent past. There would be an argument that this unwillingness correlates with the growing accusations against US personnel.

["The Rwandan Hutu's knew that no one in the international community was going to come to the rescue of the Tutsis when the killing started."]

The above is exactly why we need an international criminal court. I agree, nobody was going to come. Nobody went at the beginning of the Bosnian crisis either, before it became a full blown disaster. I am not suggesting the US was not eventually both wonderful and instrumental in the ending of the Bosnian war. However, with a strong international criminal system, it is possible, and only possible I agree, that commission of such crime might not take place at all. Robertson argues that only when potential offenders feel that someday 'nemesis' will overtake them will they hesitate to commit such crimes. It is when there is no strong international justice system, coupled with a reluctance to engage militarily, that commission of these crimes will take place not only with impunity but with regularity also.

'The US was giddy...'

Yes, the crimes committed by the Nazis were awful. I don't necessarily think the best example was raised by engaging in summary execution, however the severity of their crime is relevant to the current discussion. My question is: aren't all war crimes (yes, a high threshold of definition) sufficiently serious that we should ALL be enthusiastically prosecuting? I just think that there is a certain threshold above which you simply can't distinguish the severity of a crime. What is 8000 killed in Srebencia versus 10000000 killed somewhere else, or even 1000 killed somewhere else. War crimes are war crimes and my honest belief is that when there is a strong deterrent available, provided by US prosecution and willingness to be accountable also, the occurrence of war crime commission will drop. This, in the end, can only be good for the US. If nothing else, you won't need to intervene in so many situations, which is arguably the reason for the ardent 'hatred', as you call it, of the US overseas.

['demands to bring Jews to the Hague would flare immediately followed by personnel from the United States']

I'm not going into the Jewish question and I think you go a bit overboard on its importance, however my question would be: do you think people want to bring US personnel to the ICC because they are actually suspects? I know you say the US has not been involved in the commission of war crimes, but I don't think you or anyone can say that without certainty. The area is so grey that one must wonder whether US personnel HAVE been involved in war crimes. If they haven't, they won't be found guilty, given the high threshold provided for prosecutors to jump over.

My next point relates to your assertion that the 'international community cannot be trusted to use ICC law without bias'. Who actually manipulates the levers of power in the ICC? (1) The Security Council, who can refer defendants. The US cannot argue it would have any difficulty from that quarter. (2) the Prosecutor and their office. Realistically, who do you think is going to be installed there? I can't see it being anyone other than a distinguished European at this point. Do you REALLY think that a European Head Prosecutor is going to chase after US military personnel for purely political reasons?? I highly doubt it.

With respect to military discipline, I find your argument difficult to justify. If the personnel of the US is so disciplined and so in line, why won't Donald Rumsfeld release the next round of Abu Gharib photos? He says they are too senstive. The rumor (which is of course unsubstantiated) is that they contain, amongst other things, depictions of soldiers raping small children. If that were true, I would heartily support the prosecution of US personnel at an ICC, and I would hope so would you. If that, along with the many other accounts of torture doing the rounds are, in fact, high level policy, then the high level policy makers themselves should be prosecuted. We can't have these double standards which say 'our tortures are immune, yours are not'.

In relation to the UN, I heartily agree. It has become a fairly dysfunctional organisation. I think that is just as much a matter of structure as anything else, though. However, the ICC in theory should be run without all that much input from the UN. That, of course, is to be seen.

I stand by all my previous comments too!! It is good to have some discussion about this very interesting topic!!

8/18/2005 11:31 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[We can't have these double standards which say 'our tortures are immune, yours are not'.]

The point that you are missing that I was hinting to is that the United States prosecutes all bad behavior in the US military. The folks at Abu Gharab were prosecuted, including the commanding officer. Insofar as photos go of soldiers raping children, we would need to see the evidence to support the accusation. I am not saying such evidence doesn't exist, it is just that the leftist media has the tendency to demonize US troops to attack the Republican administration.

There were only 14 war crimes prosecuted during the Vietnam War by the United States with its forces. That is a remarkable statistic and reinforces what I keep saying about military discipline. It is a fact our troops our disciplined better than any other military force in the entire world. The facts speak for themselves.

Abu Gharab and incidents like them were isolated to individual units and those do occur and I already admitted that. If the United States were incapable of prosecuting such incidents, then I would support an ICC function. Since the United States does clearly prosecute all such cases, no claim by the ICC is needed. Not only does the United States prosecute such cases, it publicizes them in the international media. No other country does that.

Lastly, if the ICC did go after western militaries, those armies would not find many recruits to join them. You didn't want to delve into the Israeli question as it applied to the ICC and I understand why, and it is because you know as well as anyone else that Israel would be targeted by ICC actions the instant that the court was formed. I already mentioned to you the longstanding antisemitism that still exists in Europe. The Palestinian conflict would be the vehicle for the ICC to marginalize Israel in the international community; a weapon.

No military recruitable US male would serve in the US military if they believed that some international bureaucrat had the potential to summon them to some foreign country to face some foreign judge for some war crime claim. Think about it. We set the moral standard in this world and we set the military standard. The ICC will be operating on a much lower standard so the US should be exempt.

It is moral relativist thinking to claim that since the United States would not seek to participate in the ICC because the US is overly qualified in the handling of its international security situations that other countries conducting genocide against their people like North Korea and Sudan would also get a free pass. You speak as if the international community has some utopian viewpoint on the ICC, that they will gather and sing songs and the world will be a better place.

Let me tell you about the real world, my friend. The real world is dark and dangerous. Liberals believe that love is enough. Love is never enough. If love were enough, there would be no war. Since there is war, love is obviously never enough.

That is why sovereign states at times have to use force in the international community. Unfortunately for us, the United States is the only country that is willing to step up to the plate to confront most evil in this world. An ICC can't be trusted unless the US runs it.

Where was your ICC when the UN was looting $1 billion per month from starving Iraqis through the Oil for Food Program? Where was your ICC when the UN was taking bribe money from the Iraqi Satrap Baathist regime to keep Saddamn in power?

You also didn't address any of my points on the failure of the UN to define terrorism when they had the chance to years after 9/11 and the many other al Qai'da operations. How can the UN be trusted in this important period of history?

Obtestor

8/19/2005 1:53 AM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - valid comments on a number of points. I'm about to leave work so I won't be able to reply in depth, but I would like to tomorrow. On a minor point, I agree that the UN can't agree on anything, the whole structure of the system creates stagnation. However, I think the UN and its dysfunctionality is separable from the ICC. I don't think the ICC is relevant to Oil-for-Food or taking bribe money. My point has always been that a strong criminal justice system, possibly even divorced from the UN but based on broad consent and procedural transparency, would make potential offenders, whatever their nationality, hesistate before commission of an international crime.

Thanks for your other comments and I will reply in depth when I get a chance!! Cheers

8/19/2005 2:51 AM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - sorry, while I am away, could you please explain in more depth your paragraph beginning 'it is moral relativist thinking etc.'? I am not sure I understand the concept behind that paragraph or what it is saying. Some further explanation would be appreciated!! Thanks heaps and look forward to responding.

8/19/2005 2:53 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Moral relativist thinking is a logic fallacy. It is flawed thinking insofar as any moral outcome, goodness or evil, must be approached collectively with the same level of force or reward. Some examples of moral relativist logic fallacy thinking are:

1) North Korea is a terrifying communist police state that shouldn't be held accountable for its daily war crimes and crimes against humanity in an ICC capacity because the United States, a free country that doesn't commit war crimes and guarantees its citizens inaliable rights under God won't join the ICC either.

Moral relativist logic fallacy.

2) A convicted murderer is released on parole and moves into a neighborhood. When the parole officer keeps tight control over the parolee, the parolee goes to the media and complains: "My constitutional rights are being violated. None of you are held to the same standard of parole that I am. If you are going to make me go see a parole officer, everyone in my neighborhood should as well."

Moral relativist logic fallacy.

3) A group of Nazi Landesgrupen are captured executing 1,000 Jewish prisoners. The Nazis are taken to the Hague for prosecution. Their defense? We are human beings and all human beings act just like we do.

At the same time, the captured Nazis charge US military forces with crimes with the ICC because US forces supposedly "mistreat' them upon capture, but it is clear that no bodily harm was ever done to the Nazis. The ICC however beased upon its moral relativist charter charges the US troops with war crimes until the bureaucracyy can get things "sorted out".

Moral relativist logic fallacy.

So all the ICC is for the United States is an unnatural international police state control to be used against a free country, when the ICC is specifically designed to confront governments of evil that commit real war crimes.

Why is the outcry for US participation in the ICC so strong if it were not simply to prosecute the US using ICC law?

Case closed.

Obtestor

8/19/2005 10:26 AM  
Blogger D'Amato said...

Obtestor says: "There were only 14 war crimes prosecuted during the Vietnam War by the United States with its forces. That is a remarkable statistic and reinforces what I keep saying about military discipline. It is a fact our troops our disciplined better than any other military force in the entire world. The facts speak for themselves."

When you talk about people being blind to facts staring them in the face, you ought to stop for a moment and reread what you have said. The fact that only 14 war crimes were prosecuted hardly means that only 14 war crimes were committed. There were, in fact, thousands of war crimes committed in Vietnam. I pointed out many of these in an article published in 1969, at the height of the war. Although my evidence for this article was second-hand, none of it has subsequently been challenged.

YOu can access the article at
http://anthonydamato.law.northwestern.edu/Adobefiles/A69d-nurembergdef.pdf

8/19/2005 1:37 PM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - please don't flatter the US so much. The reason people want an ICC is to prevent the commission of war crimes/crimes against humanity etc. The thinking behind the ICC is much broader than 'let's get the US'. As an Australian (and yes, we are in Iraq too) what I want from an ICC is the prosecution of people like Pinochet, Pol Pot, the leaders of Darfur and it goes on. Yes, if the US soldiers behave in the same way, which even I am prepared to admit they really don't, they should be prosecuted as well. Why can't we start with the big stuff, so that the ICC proves its legitimacy and transparency? Go after the Pinochets of the world first, because it is only when we do that others will think twice about committing exactly the same crimes. The mistake Americans seem to make is thinking that we all care so much about 'getting back at the US'. Frankly, I disagree with the direction of your current administration. However, I couldn't care less about them, really. Someone like George Bush will be gone and forgotten half an hour after he leaves office. What I am interested in is ensuring the security of EVERYONE, not just the US. The US has at times in the past been willing to assist in ensuring this universal security, don't get me wrong. But you're not interested anymore. The arguments of the US are entirely selfish and in the end will only lead to LESS security, not more.

We have gone off topic a little bit, but in your previous post you argue that the US should not have to join the ICC because it prosecutes all war crimes. Firstly, I would debate the accuracy of that claim, but I have no proof to back it up so I won't. However, my main point is that the ICC CANNOT prosecute a US soldier if the US has already or is in the process of prosecuting. So what is the problem? If the US prosecutes all war crimes, then surely it has nothing to fear from joining the ICC? If it does not, then yes, US personnel are liable to be called up to the ICC. Why is that a problem? In terms of publicising prosecutions, I am not sure that is to display the virtue of the US armed forces. I would be inclined to think it is to protect personnel further up the chain.

Now that you have goaded me, I will say that if Israelis HAVE committed the same kind of crimes, then they should be prosecuted too. So should the Palestinians on the other side. ONLY when blowing the crap out of each other is certified as unacceptable behaviour will it stop. Nobody, Jewish, Palestinan, European, American, or ANYONE should be immune from the jurisdiction of the ICC.

In terms of military recruitment, you have a point. However, surely it is up to the commanders of the armed forces to ensure the training of soldiers is adequate and that it is made clear to them the standards that are accepted on the international stage of national armed forces. There is such a tiny possibility of them being politically prosecuted that I really don't think it matters.

I also don't think the ICC would necessarily be operating at a lower standard than American military prosecution. I would like to see some evidence of your claim that the US sets the 'moral standard'. I believe, frankly, that it does not. However, we could argue back and forth on that point forever, could we not?!

8/19/2005 8:19 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

We can't advance this debate any further until you talk about The Oil for Food Program extortionist scandal against the Iraqi people and the United States and the UN failure to define terrorism, one of the most savage war crimes that is easily defineable.

How is it possible that you can support a European-centric ICC when European states in alliance with nation-states hostile to the United States worked through the organization of peace known as the United Nations to prevent the United States from freeing 25 million enslaved Iraqis from one of the most brutal dictators on the planet?

President Bush will not be forgotten the day after the next election. President Bush will be viewed as one of the most important presidents in the history of the United States.

What annoys the utopian crowd, the crowd that just can't shake Marx, is the fact that President Bush had the intestinal fortitude, the pure will to push ahead and face the international evil knowing that what he was doing was for the greater good.

So it is the utopian derailment, the pause in the leftist global collectivist plan, the mistakes by France, Germany, Russia and others while taking protection money from Saddamn that tripped up global socialist conquest and the radical left became so blind with anger over it that they cannot even see the obvious truth.

That truth is that the international community that you seek to protect is too corrupt to run an ICC. If the ICC headquarters nation-states are going to take protection money to keep dangerous dictators in power and continue to fail to define war crimes like terrorism, they are simply unqualified to monitor, judge and bring any so-called lawful decisions against the United States through the imaginary entity known as the ICC.

Obtestor

8/19/2005 10:36 PM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - thanks for your quick response to my last post.

I think the Oil for Food program, whilst obviously exploited and probably stupid in the first place, was not only exploited by Europeans, but Americans as well. I think the whole system was corrupt, not just Europeans involved. I have just read an interesting report in BusinessWeek (July 18th edition) which you should read. It details Marc Rich's exploitaiton of the Oil for Food program and how a corrupt, covert bank of oil traders took huge advantage of that system. I don't really know much about Oil for Food, but my immediate reaction is that everybody involved was making a buck, not just Europeans. Not just governments, but individuals also. US refineries bought oil from traders they knew to be paying bribes for extra allocations to Saddam Hussein. So, whilst I need to better my knowledge of this particular situation, I can't really see how it is relevant to the establishment of an ICC. I think you are pushing a different agenda.

In terms of defining terrorism, yes, the UN has failed. That doesn't mean the ICC should be dumped. Instead, people in the UN should be a bit more willing to compromise. I mean, if we are aiming for a high threshold, surely some form of consensus is not that difficult, unless people don't want consensus. Maybe the ICC should, as an ideological point, be separated from the UN. That, again is probably another argument. I guess I haven't addressed these issues in huge detail because my knowledge is a bit shakier. I apologise.

In terms of Bush and his 'intestinal fortitude', I would really rather you try and flag your assumptions when commenting, rather than simply asserting that the Iraq invasion was 'for the common good'. There are plenty who would argue that the situation in Iraq is a hell of a lot worse than before. I have no position on that matter, although I think Iraq is probably freer, but not necessarily safer. I will be interested to see how the US administration will react if a religious based government is installed in Iraq, as in, for example, Iran.

We are digressing. Whether the US had broad support for the Iraq invasion (and you are forgetting in your Euro-centric model that plenty of European States supported the invasion) equals a 'hostility to the US' is simply incorrect. Those European states which were hostile to the invasion were generally hostile because, ideologically, they did saw another solution. Whether that solution would have worked I doubt, but that in the end is not the point.

Hostility to the US does not equate with political prosecution at the ICC. I can see your argument, but think the probability of, eg, a European prosecutor chasing US soldiers because of an ideological opposition to the Iraq invasion is overestimated. I am not saying it is impossible. I just think that, for your 'common good', the risk of such prosecution is outweighed by the possibility of the prevention of thousands of deaths due to war crimes.

To bring this entire debate back to the original argument, I think it is the interests of the US to work towards a definition of terrorism WITHIN the system, rather than sniping from without. I think the US is better served by being within the system to prevent that type of corruption. However, given your emphasis on the Oil for Food corruption, that was a UN based initiative. Need I remind you the UN is based in the US. Does that mean that because the UN is headquartered in the US, and because that system was corrupted, that the US is too corrupt to house the UN? Of course not. Let's be realistic, corruption and money making is everywhere, whether that makes a country too corrupt to house an international instuitution is completely irrelevant.

8/19/2005 11:54 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

You missed the point that I was making. The Oil For Food Program was deliberately corrupted by European states to protect Saddamn Hussein, not just to make money. They wanted Saddamn in power so that the State of Israel would be under continuous attack in the region and the United States would find it difficult to impossible to respond to Saddamn. Iraq geographically is the key to Islamic genocide of the Jews. The UN was in essence creating a military alliance with Saddamn against the United States.

So what the Oil for Food Program really was then was vote-buying at the UN Security Council level specifically to protect Saddamn Hussein. That is what was going on. It was racketeering and corrupt influence on organizations.

Under Kofi Annan's watch over $18 billion dollars was stolen from starving Iraqis and given to hostile states instead just to keep Saddamn in power.

Marc Rich was under US indictment at the time that his company was approached by the Oil for Food racketeers. US corporate involvement in the Oil for Food racket was very narrow and the individuals involved are being investigated by the DOJ and the US Congress.

So I think it is time to face the music. The UN is hopelessly corrupt. President Bush had to invade Iraq not just to save the world from a ruthless dictator, but to stop the bleeding of Iraq under Kofi Annan's non-leadership at the UN so that the starving Iraqi people wouldn't have their national wealth stolen from them.

...and you want the same folks in the UN to have control over an ICC?

You are joking, right?

The UN has enough criminal rackets going on right now and allowing them to kick-start another one wouldn't be very productive for global security. The UN can't even define terrorism. How could the ICC prosecute terrorism when it doesn't even know what terrorism is? Potentially it may be as simple as the UN loving terrorism because of the casualties it inflicts upon Jews and Americans.

Obtestor

8/20/2005 11:31 AM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Sorry Obtestor, that started out as a really good discussion, but you have started ranting about UN corruption, which is completely separate to the issue of the ICC.

Frankly, I couldn't give a crap who runs an ICC, as long as there is one. It seems to me that the US uses these kind of arguments to distract people from the real issues, as you seem to do also. The point is, only when we have this institution, or one like it, will war crimes be punishable on all sides. You continue to harp on about Jews when, really, it isn't an issue in question in most ICC discourse. Just because some people on the margins would say 'let's prosecute all those US soldiers and, now I think about it, why don't we nail all those Jews too', doesn't mean that outcome will be realised. Whenever you set up an institution like this, there will be people on the margins bleating about their little cause. That doesn't mean their cause gets pushed in the mainstream, or within the institution itself. It is people like you who use these arguments to prevent the creation of the institution itself.

In terms of terrorism, just because you can't define the exact boundries of a crime doesn't prevent it being a crime. I don't know if you know, but when piracy was outlawed, the precise definition of piracy was not clear. It was simply made a crime at international law, and the precise boundaries of the crime were settled over time and with the benefit of experience and hindsight. Just because we can't agree on the EXACT boundaries of terrorism doesn't mean we can't get there in the end.

I hate when people like you say 'there is no consent, how can we possibly let an institution run without agreeing all the parameters first'. This is the problem, the US is simply not willing to contribute to the creation of these parameters. They are much more keen to say 'there is no consent, we are not interested'.

I think it is sad.

8/20/2005 8:47 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[It is people like you who use these arguments to prevent the creation of the institution itself.]

That is a terribly unfair thing to say. I have seen war crimes take place in Africa personally when I witnessed them being conducted in the nation-state I was in by folks who lived there against their own people. I have been hunted in anger by enemy soldiers on two different continents. I completely understand the need for an ICC and to be frank, I am a major supporter of human rights. I have risked my own life to save thousands of other human beings.

So I completely agree with you insofar as the good intentions that you have is an ideal that I admire.

Beyond that however, you express utopian thinking. You think that the world will just all fall into line if an ICC appears. There are serious questions to consider when creating an international court that has subpoena power over citizens of sovereign states. You describe that as a non-issue, but it goes to the heart of the resistance to the ICC. It can't be ignored.

The most important facet of being a scholar is looking at issues without bias. Sometimes if you are researching something that you find to be very important, the only way to gather information is to present conflicts of values to draw emotion from others so they willingly give you information.

Just saying I am wrong doesn't mean I am wrong, right?

I already explained to you why the ICC will fail. I have nothing to do with it. I don't have the power to decide if there will be an ICC or not. I do however know the temperatures and heartbeats of nation-states in the international community and you should listen to me when I tell you that right now the UN is unqualified to operate an ICC. If an ICC were to be launched today, it would be a partisan weapon used to attack the United States and the State of Israel.

Who would enforce ICC decisions? NATO? European states individually? What country is going to send their young in to die when people like you say that a war crime needs to be addressed in the international community? France? Germany?

I doubt that!

The only country that has the political will and the resources to confront genocide is the United States. However, that political will disappears the instant that we use military force in the world because of the sheer number of apologist leftists in America that believe any use of force by the United States is a war crime no matter what the reason. When 1,000,000 Tutsis were being hacked to pieces with machetes in Rwanda no one in the international community lifted a finger to stop it. No one. Now you say that these same governments deserve ICC power?

So your thinking on the matter is 50 years ahead of its time. That is a compliment. It is unfortunate that humans do not come to agreement with you collectively in the international community.

Remember, when you create an ICC, someone's kids are going to have to go die to support it. The international community isn't lawfully mature enough (they are still infantile) to accept that great responsibility on behalf of their fellow men.

Obtestor

8/20/2005 9:40 PM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - my apologies, I probably overreacted in that last comment. I am sorry you had to go through those kind of experiences, might I ask what you are doing now? What institution do you work for?

I am trying not to be utopian. I don't think the world will just fall into line. What I am saying, I guess, is that the establishment of the ICC is only the first step in addressing these problems. No, the institution will not be perfect, but surely we can give it a crack and work on it.

I am also trying not to be biased, even though I admit my ideals lead me to advocate a strong international criminal justice system in the best possible form. My view is, at the moment, this is the best way to do it. Of course, I could be wrong, but there you go, my bias is admitted and I try very hard to address opposing views, like yours, without simply asserting my own view.

My interpretation of international law at the moment is the move towards this supra-national power. Phillippe Sands puts it best, I think, when he says Europeans are more used to this supra-national authority and Americans are not. That is fine too, it is probably just the reality of the EU versus the reality of US sovereign power in our world.

However, as a lot of EU countries would tell you, there is benefit available from this common action. Even if everybody is not on the same page, a majority view can generally be reached within that internal debate, which can then be applied to everybody. I think the fundamental issue is an unwillingness on the part of the US to cede ANY sovereignty, rather than corruption or definitions of crimes or whatever. That's just my view.

I am willing to accept I cannot simply assert my own views, then hold them to be authoritative. However, neither can you then!! You can't just say, 'trust me, the ICC will be used to attack Israelis and the US'. I don't believe you! My argument, which I made clear in the last, was that, even if marginals DO rant about this, it is not going to be a real outcome. Just ignore them. I don't think it is a realistic prediction, but neither of us can really justify that point of view, until it happens one way or the other.

The point of enforcement is a difficult one. Don't forget the primary jurisdiction is with States, so the onus is on each State Party to enforce their own criminal jurisdiction. When a case does actually proceed to the ICC, I don't know. Not NATO, not European States, why not the UN? I KNOW - not a perfect solution, but the best one we have so far.

In terms of nations having to send in their citizens to enforce judgments, there is no real difference between that and current peacekeeping missions undertaken by the UN. And let's face it, even national armies like the German or French, which might not be as strong as the American, hardly encounter much death in their own ranks in these situations. Or at least that is what I thought. A rebel army of Congolese, armed with sticks and machetes, hardly give a modern European or American army much hassle.

Further, when the country in question has a reasonably strong standing army, generally I think judgments would only be able to enforced by that army. Yes, that means the country in question would need to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court. I am thinking about, for example, Venezuela. Now, I am not accusing anyone of anything, but imagine Chavez killed a whole lot of citizens in an uprising. No American or European army is going to go in and enforce an ICC judgment against him. I am realist enough to understand that. Again, not perfect, but at the moment, there is not much else we can do. We need to prevent AS MUCH international crime as possible, we are never going to get rid of it ALL. I must say, this is the general approach of most Western domestic criminal law systems anyway.

Your point about Rwanda is interesting. I guess the thing is that, at least if there is some form of punishment potential after the act, there is less chance of that kind of thing happening at all. The US didn't go either, let's not forget. Somebody has to have ICC power, and last I heard there were 130 odd ratifications. That is fairly broad consensus. It is not completely based upon the imposition of ideals of countries which failed to intervene in Rwanda.

I agree with your assertion that the international community is not mature enough. However, maybe this is a good first step. Yes, someone is going to have to enforce international rules, but people have to do that all the time anyway. There are tons of UN peacekeeping missions in the firing line, establishing an ICC is not necessarily going to make that any worse.

Don't forget, as you have witnessed, other peoples' kids die too, when these crimes are committed. The difference is, Western powers have big guns and tend not to die in huge numbers. It is awful, don't get me wrong, but you never hear of 800000 peacekeepers getting killed. The US doesn't mind thousands of its young men and women dying in Iraq, for what I would argue is a much less worthy cause than the prevention of international crime.

In your sitation, do you think that a proper Western army would have prevented their commission? I don't think they would have. Maybe, though, if the ICC was strong and backed by good enforcement ability, people thinking of committing war crimes in places such as you mention might at least THINK that Western army was coming.

In a lot of cases, they won't. I am prepared to admit that. Some people will engage in this behaviour regardless of the presence of an ICC. Surely, though, we should be aiming to (1) minimise the number of these crimes committed and (2) therefore minimise the number of times that Western army is required to intervene in situations like those you mentioned.

8/21/2005 12:21 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[Obtestor - my apologies, I probably overreacted in that last comment. I am sorry you had to go through those kind of experiences, might I ask what you are doing now? What institution do you work for?]

I volunteered to go through all of my experiences so there is no need to apologize. I had a similiar view that you did when I was an undergrad student of bringing folks in line internationally. It is a much more difficult challenge than meets the eye. As for who I work for, I work only for my country, the United States. It is all that matters to me and nothing else.

The ICC wouldn't garner any respect without UN involvement at the diplomatic level. Creating an ICC isn't like starting a small business that fails over time. When dealing internationally with hostile states, you get one crack it. You don't reopen a new ICC with a new business plan when the first ICC fails, at least not without expending 100 years in the process. Foreign states understand the seriousness of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC will not hasten further enlightenment on that issue. That is why when an ICC appears, it must appear at the right moment with a narrowly defined definition of what it is, what its objectives are, who will be supporting it, and who will be paying for it.

Any gaps in the foundations of its creation will cause it to fail.

As with the creation of the United Nations, some country or alliance of countries via ideology will challenge its utility by creating an international incident that goes to the heart of the ICC role. No global institution appears without some form of bloodletting paving the way.

So when the ICC emerges from international law, some population of innocent people somewhere will be used as pawns to discredit it, as the Korean War was planned and triggered by communists to subvert and destroy the United Nations when it first formed.

There is a powerful lesson there. Over 50% of all the humans alive on our planet are still slaves to communist regimes. The very first UN crisis was the Korean conflict. Since that conflict remains unresolved even to this day, I simply use precedent when I say that the global community is not mature enough to take the next step which would be an ICC form of international law.

[I am trying not to be utopian. I don't think the world will just fall into line. What I am saying, I guess, is that the establishment of the ICC is only the first step in addressing these problems. No, the institution will not be perfect, but surely we can give it a crack and work on it.]

An ICC will need teeth. Without teeth, it will be nothing more than an annoyingly loud and tired old toothless junkyard dog.

You know what a scofflaw is, right? A scofflaw is a law that people obey but scoff at. Illegal parking, spitting on sidewalks, littering, swearing at people in public, walking around without shoes on in restaurants; these are all scofflaws that folks break every day and everyone witnesses these broken laws on a daily basis as we move through our lives by the actions of fellow citizens.

Without real teeth, an ICC would be an international scofflaw organization that would not be taken seriously, as Kofi Annan is not taken seriously by hostile states in the UN at this time in history.

You cannot create a body of law and not have an enforcement mechanism that uses real applications of force because if you do you are basically letting the international community know that you do not have the political will to enforce products of law generated by the ICC.

It then becomes scofflaw.

[I am also trying not to be biased, even though I admit my ideals lead me to advocate a strong international criminal justice system in the best possible form. My view is, at the moment, this is the best way to do it. Of course, I could be wrong, but there you go, my bias is admitted and I try very hard to address opposing views, like yours, without simply asserting my own view.]

I have made my concerns about the ICC very clear. Before anyone steps into the public square and says; "Here we are!" regarding the creation of an ICC, many important issues need to be clarified. Some of these issues are:

1) Who will pay the financial costs for the program? Since the ICC will instantly become a bureaucracy, (and bureaucracies never go away) who will pay for it?

2) What country or countries will send their young men and women overseas to enforce and die for decisions made by the ICC?

3) What country will house the ICC itself?

4) If the ICC preys upon everyone, how can there be any differentiation at the United Nations level in regards to law? Islam respects only Sharia Law, for example. Wouldn't the ICC then be scoffed at and disrespected if it used western law?

5) Who would define what a war crime is when the UN can't define what terrorism is?

Those are a handful of concerns that I have; some of the more important ones.

[However, as a lot of EU countries would tell you, there is benefit available from this common action. Even if everybody is not on the same page, a majority view can generally be reached within that internal debate, which can then be applied to everybody. I think the fundamental issue is an unwillingness on the part of the US to cede ANY sovereignty, rather than corruption or definitions of crimes or whatever. That's just my view.]

Why should the United States cede any sovereignty beyond what we have already done for the international community? We have already ceded jobs and manufacturing to the international community. What else does the international community want from the United States?

That question then leads into the arena of truth that foreign powers want control over US national security decisions and US application of force in the world. I do not believe that the United States is ready to cede that to any country or collection of countries, if ever, or at least not until the world is a global democracy.

[I am willing to accept I cannot simply assert my own views, then hold them to be authoritative. However, neither can you then!! You can't just say, 'trust me, the ICC will be used to attack Israelis and the US'. I don't believe you! My argument, which I made clear in the last, was that, even if marginals DO rant about this, it is not going to be a real outcome. Just ignore them. I don't think it is a realistic prediction, but neither of us can really justify that point of view, until it happens one way or the other.]

Almost every country hostile to the United States is attacking us over the Iraq war. So why wouldn't those countries use the ICC to attack us as well? They would. So I am using precedent only.

In regards to Israel, the Israeli government just ethnically cleansed their own people from Gaza. If the global community can't protect the smallest human minority on this planet (Jews), how can it possibly protect anyone else?

[In terms of nations having to send in their citizens to enforce judgments, there is no real difference between that and current peacekeeping missions undertaken by the UN.]

Almost every peacekeeping mission created by the UN has failed. The reason they fail is that hostile aggressor states do not end hosility without certain levels of force applied to get them to change.

In scientific game theory, there are only two possible political entities. Those political entities are doves and hawks. Now, when a dove encounters a hawk, the dove may resist for a time but the hawk will always win. The only way then to control the hawk is to gather other hawks and go in there and make the price of being a hawk too costly so that the doves are protected.

[A rebel army of Congolese, armed with sticks and machetes, hardly give a modern European or American army much hassle.]

The Congolese recently shot down UN C-130 supply aircraft with MANPADS. They are hardly just carrying machetes to engage their enemies with. When that C-130 was shot down, Kofi Annan could do nothing but order the removal of yet another failed peacekeeping mission from Africa.

There is never peace without cessation of hostilities.

Africa is one of the most heavily armed continents on the planet. I have walked up to buildings in Africa and have seen land mines and other ordnance stacked to the ceiling and booby-trapped with trip wires. The problem then is not controlling the distribution of machetes, but controlling the distribution of conventional arms. The UN also needs to create programs to pay for the destruction of arms left behind by countries that occupy or go to war in Africa. It is cheaper to leave buildings full of mines and rig them with trip wires as the Russians did, than it is to pack the mines back up into their shipping crates and take them home. There are more weapons than people in Africa.

[Your point about Rwanda is interesting. I guess the thing is that, at least if there is some form of punishment potential after the act, there is less chance of that kind of thing happening at all. The US didn't go either, let's not forget.]

The United States caused the genocide in Rwanda. I stated that clearly. When I said no country in the UN went to Rwanda's aid, I meant no country. That includes the United States.

You have to read between the lines of what I say. I am not going to hand it all over to you. Think critically about these matters.

What happened in Rwanda was this. When pictures of US soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu hit the international media, the Rwandan Hutus went into emergency genocide planning mode. They knew that when the United States fled Somalia because the political will of the American people were browbeat by the leftist American media into fleeing Somalia, that they would have a license to kill the Tutsis with impunity.

As the US was fleeing Somalia after surrendering to leftist propaganda, Rwandan state radio sprang into action, conscripting all able-bodied Hutus to be armed. Then when US forces were on their way back to the United States, the slaughter of Tutsis began and in the end 1,000,000 people were killed in less than one month.

So the lesson is that you do not use military power and leave a region by surrendering to leftist propaganda against military involvement because other countries will take advantage of that flight and slaughter undesireable populations within their own countries as the United States makes its own transition from war to peace.

The only way to enforce ICC law is to have a full-time, dedicated military force of great strength attached directly to it. What parents would send their kids to do that job?

It also means that when the United States prepares to leave Iraq, some country or host of countries will take advantage of that withdrawal and may wipe out internal populations with impunity again. Something to keep a very close eye on.

[It is awful, don't get me wrong, but you never hear of 800000 peacekeepers getting killed.]

We don't need 800,000 killed. One is enough. Have you heard of Cindy Sheehan, the radical leftist that is using the death of her son in Iraq as an organizing center of gravity for a new leftist anti-war movement here in the USA?

Many Americans whose children serve in the US Armed Forces believe that their kids will never go to war, or shouldn't go. There is a new leftist political thought on this matter that capitalism is not worth defending and when American kids serve in the military they are there only for the college money and bragging rights that they 'served'. That is what Cindy Sheehan believed her son would do. She never considered that a war might appear that could get her son killed.

So 800,000 US casualties in a war would be unthinkable, when our country is becoming so defeatist over one soldier that dies in a war and whose mother shames his name by using him to create an anti-war movement.

[In your sitation, do you think that a proper Western army would have prevented their commission?]

Those issues were dealt with immediately upon learning of them by US elite units in the United States Army, to which I was a former member. We didn't need an ICC to confront that evil.

[Surely, though, we should be aiming to (1) minimise the number of these crimes committed and (2) therefore minimise the number of times that Western army is required to intervene in situations like those you mentioned.]

I completely agree, but given the rotten political condition of the United Nations and attempts to hamstring US military operations, it is at this point in history an unlikely adventure.

Obtestor

8/21/2005 11:21 AM  
Anonymous rosswg said...

(It is only the ignorant who limit themselves.) I am unable to further the legal discussion on this matter but on the basis that the very best legal opinion must also be for the good of the participants, I wish to add a comment).
The world certainly gets smaller, and the smaller it gets the more those surrounding us (whoever us (US) maybe), will impose their viewpoint. In that we all live on the same world and we all need to live in peace and harmony with each other tradeoffs have to be developed between neighbouring countries. This I take it is the situation the US finds itself in today, i.e. having a set of laws (Constitution) that has allowed it survive and grow where so many others have fallen and disentegrated; To what extent can or should the US allow other laws and customs alter or amend the legal structure on which this success has been based.
The US also permits and encourages immigration and in consequence local communities of the 'outside' world will establish themselves together with the customs brought over from those worlds, this despite the 'americanisation' of all immigrants.
So lets get to the meat of the argument, does the US move the 'legal' defence of her state to the countries 'attacking' her or does she only keep her defence strictly within her borders.
To me it is clear that the best form of defence is attack, there must however be clear limits to this.
So the way I would read the preceeding discussion is how can America use its Constitution and international law to best defend itself all the while showing itself to act in the interest of the other part(ies) concerned.
To sum it up. America needs to allow international law to infiltrate american law where this is an improvement and must resist it where this is not an improvement.
Legal persons are on the whole highly inventive and provided that their goals are honest they will arrive at the best way to resolve the issue.
Thankyou for your interesting participation.

8/21/2005 1:13 PM  
Blogger D'Amato said...

To Obtestor: You want international law to infiltrate American law when it's an improvement over American law, but not when it's worse than American law. But what if Rule X is incorporated because it's an improvement, yet two years from now our situation changes so that it is no longer in our interest to comply with X? Are you arguing that X should then be banished from American law? Conversely, what if we bar Rule Y from becoming incorporated into American law, and then two years later find that changed circumstances argue in favor of Rule Y? Can we suddenly reverse field and incorporate it?

I ask these questions as a matter of logic; in practice, I don't know what possible mechanism there would be for any country to pick and choose from among the rules of international law those rules that are in its self-interest.

8/22/2005 4:30 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[But what if Rule X is incorporated because it's an improvement, yet two years from now our situation changes so that it is no longer in our interest to comply with X? Are you arguing that X should then be banished from American law?]

Professor D'Amato, that is a great point. I am not saying that we should pick and choose what laws we will obey and what laws we shouldn't. The SCOTUS recently said that US judges should look to international law for enlightenment.

I have a hard time seeing any enlightenment from international law unless you know some international law that you think I would be interested in. Legalizing marijuana, advanced abortion rackets, issues that destabilize countries and the like, to me, isn't legal progress.

I would really enjoy laws on terrorism unified internationally, but there are none. Human rights laws that have teeth are another series of laws that I would really enjoy seeing enacted.

The confiscation of private property so that socialists can rob land owners isn't very productive. Neither is legalising drugs nor expanding the feminist police state mechanism, but those types of laws are what are being sliced out to us from international law.

Take "stem cell" research and so-called "fetal cell research". You know as well as I do that those issues are new and fresh and merely designed to expand protection of abortion, to provide legal layers to protect and insolate the abortion industry. So in that sense, yes, I do reject that form of international law because it is a false-right.

Why are our rights being replaced by false-rights? That is a question that I would like to have an answer for. What is Europe doing in law that is so urgent that we should rush to join them?

Obtestor

8/22/2005 6:56 PM  
Blogger Not my real name said...

Obtestor - maybe the question for Americans is not what is Europe doing that is so good you should join them. Maybe the question is why, when the US is intent on trying to influence international law when it suits, is the US not interested in taking on the whole of the obligations associated. Having the US as a willing part of the international legal system is a good thing for everyone.

You can use your influence to get those human rights with teeth, for example. The trick is, the US doesn't want to have to enforce those rights domestically. The thing is, nobody can escape international law anymore. Surely active US participation and involvement is in your interests. Better to be influencing what one sees as a bad system from within that system than getting angry about how bad the system is from without.

Don't forget, the US can benefit from strong rules of international law, that much is obvious. It is not all about losing your sovereignty.

8/22/2005 9:07 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[Don't forget, the US can benefit from strong rules of international law, that much is obvious. It is not all about losing your sovereignty.]

All that government and law is to humans is the application of force. That is all that it is.

So when you say that America should embrace international law, you are saying that we should embrace the foreign application of force upon American citizens and government and the coercions that will appear shortly thereafter.

We have already had a great taste of European law in our history and we had a revolution over the rejecting of that law. Most nation-states wouldn't dream of giving their citizens the rights that Americans enjoy.

So what human rights issues do you think that Americans suffer from domestically? There aren't any gulags in America like there are right now in Vietnam, China, North Korea, Venezuela and other countries. Funny how those never get discussed (but obvious).

The international community then is concerned about American's rights? Laughable! The international community simply seeks to control US application of power internationally and they are very annoyed that we have the resources and the will to do it.

Europe and other states brought this condition upon themselves. The United States was an isolationist country on December 6th, 1941. One day later the "international community' yanked us out of isolation forever.

So you are using one of the two flawed socialist viewpoints. I explained those in a previous post.

When the United States becomes involved in global affairs, we are 'dangerous imperialists' to internationalists. When the United States seeks seclusion in the world, we are then "selfish isolationists'.

The American people do not trust foreign intentions. There are no countries that equal US advancement in law and governance. I am suspicious of any claim to internationalise influence over the United States, albeit law or any other technique.

When the United Nations resolves the Korean Conflict, defines terrorism and stops trying to genocide the Jews, perhaps then we can start to talk about international law.

Until then, all that will happen is pressure will be put on US domestic populations to laugh politicians out of office (as has been occurring since 2000) that have delusions of global empire.

You see, Americans aren't as naive as folks think they are. We know what is really going on, and we also know that many internationalists believe that the sovereign state is no longer worthy because it is more fun to go global (neo-communism). That will be a very difficult sell, I guarantee you.

Look at the secret and deceptive attempts to eliminate the borders between the United States, Mexico and Canada. All that has done is what I mentioned, applied pressure upon domestic populations to take action. Hence The Minutemen formed. That is just the beginning too. I would be careful on putting any global empire schemes before the American people because they may just dismantle the current judicial environment in this country and replace it with a system that tries to resemble the US Constitution. The American people are already laughing politicians out office. It won't be long before they begin to laugh judges out and implement sweeping tort reform.

Obtestor

8/23/2005 12:19 PM  
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