Jewish World Review July 12, 2002 / 3 Menachem-Av, 5762

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A tragedy in Afghanistan illustrates why President Bush is taking a hard line against the International Criminal Court (ICC). Forty eight Afghans, most of them members of a wedding party, were killed July 1 when U.S. aircraft opened fire on suspected terrorists.

The innocents were killed either as a result of an errant bomb, or as "collateral damage" from AC-130 gunfire on antiaircraft guns that had been set up in their midst. The facts are in dispute.

One thing this wasn't was a "war crime." But it could be alleged to be one under the vague guidelines the ICC has adopted.

The United States does not recognize the ICC. President Bush has said American troops will no longer participate in UN peacekeeping missions unless they are granted an exemption from its provisions. Europeans describe this as "arrogant." But the arrogance is theirs.

The ICC claims jurisdiction over citizens of countries which did not sign the treaty, for acts committed in nations which also are not signatories. This is as if a U.S. court asserted jurisdiction over Canadian pickpockets or Danish burglars. It's hard to be more arrogant than that.

The arrogance is magnified by the small proportion of the world's nations and people who support the ICC. The ICC formally came into being in April when the 60th nation ratified the 1998 Treaty of Rome, and opened for business at the Hague in the Netherlands July 1. But there are 191 nations in the world, and most of the big ones have joined the United States on the sidelines. China and India, the world's most populous nations, haven't signed. Russia has, but is backing away from it now. In all, two-thirds of the world's nations, representing more than 80 percent of the world's people, have not given their consent.

The United States opposes the ICC because it will not surrender a vital element of national sovereignty to an international body; because the ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted; and because we fear the ICC will become a propaganda tool of our enemies.

The ICC resembles the courts of the Star Chamber in one of the darker periods of English history. ICC judges act as both prosecutors and jurors. Defendants would not have a right to face their accusers, a right to a public trial, or to a trial by a jury of their peers. Conviction is by majority vote of the judges sitting on a tribunal. There is no right of appeal.

The ICC is likely to be highly selective in who it prosecutes for "war crimes." When the 60th nation ratified the treaty, President Emile Lahoud of that bastion of human rights, Lebanon, called for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to be dragged before it. There is a mountain of evidence that Yassir Arafat has ordered suicide attacks on Israeli women and children. But no muckety mucks are suggesting that he be put in the ICC's dock.

Other enthusiastic backers of the ICC have called for prosecution of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. There are no demands for prosecution of Fidel Castro, of Idi Amin, or of Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean dictator who has permitted millions of his people to starve to death.

The United States is criticized by ICC backers for interfering too much in the internal affairs of other nations....and for not interfering enough. President Bush's insistence that Palestinians forswear terror and embrace democracy is called an unconscionable intrusion. But Bush also is lambasted for not ordering Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders.

The Lilliputians want to bind Gulliver to their hypocritical will. But they still want Gulliver to do the heavy lifting. The one thing successful peacekeeping missions (except for East Timor) have in common is participation by the United States. The UN did nothing to prevent genocide in Bosnia or Kosovo. The killing stopped only when the G.I.s came in. President Bush has made it clear the United States will no longer do the heavy lifting unless the rights of Americans are respected. We aren't telling them what to do. We're telling them the conditions under which we'll play. This isn't arrogance.

Arrogance is the preserve of the carpers on the sidelines who want to second-guess us for doing what they would not or could not do.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.




Comment on JWR contributor Jack Kelly's column by clicking here.

07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred"
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections

© 2002, Jack Kelly