Gaut From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 344 posts, RR: 2 Posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4435 times:
The International Criminal Court (ICC) will be a permanent court for trying individuals accused of committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Following the Rome Statute of the ICC entry into force on 1 July 2002, the Court is expected to be fully functional by mid-2003. This court is a good idea don't you think?
Today, 77 countries have ratified the treaty (Colombia was the 77th!). But USA have not and Bush don't want to sign it in the future.
On 2 August 2002, President George W. Bush signed the supplemental appropriations bill, making the American Servicemembers' Protection Act binding US national law. This act includes a provision that authorizes the use of military force to free any citizen of the US or ally country being held by the Court in The Hague. In addition, the law provides for the withdrawal of U.S. military assistance from countries ratifying the ICC treaty, and restricts U.S. participation in United Nations peacekeeping unless the U.S. obtains immunity from prosecution. There is a clause, however, that allows the President to waive these provisions on basis of "national interest."
Now, the US government is actively seeking bilateral agreements with as many countries as possible, in order to exempt US officials from prosecution by the ICC. To date, two countries (Romania and Israel) have signed such agreements, but several governments, including Bosnia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Yugoslavia and the United Kingdom have reportedly been approached by the US government.
I can't understand why USA are opposed to such a court????
I don't start this topic to bash USA (I don't have all the points of view) but to UNDERSTAND. Could you help me?
David B. From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3148 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4341 times:
I agree it was a bad decision. The court is a good thing and I he should have approved of it. Whatg harm can it do. Whay does he want immunity for US and allied peacekeepers? Is he protecting other countries?
SAS23 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4326 times:
Don't forget that this court is simply a 'court of last resort' and only comes into effect in the event that people who have been indicted cannot be tried in any other jursidiction. Therefore, the only cases that would affect the US is where the US has demonstrably tried to cover something up and has refused to indict people for political reasons. Mai Lai wouldn't come under the jurisdiction of the ICC, for example, as the commander was Court Martialled for the affair; but Kissinger and the people behind the invasion of Grenada and the assassination of Allende, for example, would well be liable to make starring appearances.
Global accountability is a good thing - and that's why most of the world's democracies have signed up for the ICC. That the US has not is a serious indictment of the contempt they hold the rest of the world in; and their isolationist policies whilst at the same time believing they can attack any nation they wish to without legitimate cause.
Only those nations that have something to fear from justice and accountability need fear the ICC.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7887 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4332 times:
What harm can it do.
Sentencing US troops to long imprisonment and the administration obviously does not wish to pass jurisdiction to an international court. The Administration argued that US troops are uniquely called on for peacekeeping and ought not to be at risk of prosecution abroad.
A bad decision IMO as this is going to weaken the international community's efforts to bring terrorists and dictators to justice. An international court that exempted U.S. citizens would not sit well with other nations.
However, I wasn't surprised much: As everyone knows the US and the UN form an uncomfortable marriage. Foreign policy of the US tend to base more on unilateralism rather than on multilateral cooperation. As long as Europe struggles or seems to struggle this will continue, I think.
What really surprised me (to say the least) was the line that authorizes the president to use all necessary and appropriate means to free Americans detained by the International Court. "All necessary and appropriate means" - transferred into non-diplomatic English is: "We may even use weapons." Although it is more than unlikely that US troops will occupy The Hague, this line did not face a warm welcome outside the US. A running gag in The Hague goes like this: "Good thing we didn't destroy all those German shelters left from WWII."
Cfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4313 times:
Speaking as a 3rd party (Swiss), I can understand the U.S. reluctance to legitimizing the court. I'm not sure I agree with it, but I understand it.
The U.S. is the most powerful country in the world, which almost by definition means it is the most resented, or even hated country. The two go hand in hand, unfortunately. The "have-nots" want what the "haves" have, and if they can't manage to take it, they will at least try to annoy the haves as much as possible.
The UN is not immune to such games. Remember last year when the U.N. decided to "teach the Americans a lesson", by kicking them off of the human rights board? They replaced the U.S. with countries like Sudan and Libya! This was so absurd that it was not even funny.
So it is a PROVEN FACT that international bodies like the U.N. will stoop to such tactics, abandoning their most basic principles (such as human rights should be watched over by people who care about human rights) in order to pressure the U.S..
Given that solid track record, If I were an American soldier overseas, I would be worried about accusations coming out of nowhere.
Let's say someone makes up a story that a U.S. soldier raped and murdered young girl in Afghanistan, and they have a name. The Americans look in their records and see that the accused soldier wasn't even in the area, and say there is no case. Countries like Syria, Libya, and other countries push for the court to intervene, because "the US has demonstrably tried to cover something up and has refused to indict people for political reasons", as SAS put it. That's a very easy accusation to make.
Perhaps there is a way to negotiate a balanced structure, but at the moment, I find the U.S. stand perfectly defendable.
M.Seles_Fan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4298 times:
I haven't really followed this story much, but I thought I remember hearing one reason the US rejects this court is because the outcome of a trial isn't decided by a jury (pears) but Judges. According to US law, I believe, a US citizen's fate is decided by its pears and not Judges.
I'm fuzzy on this topic but I think it went something like this.
SAS23 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4282 times:
CFalk, the reason the UN kicked the US off a committee was because it owes nearly half a billion dollars in outstanding dues ... most for several years. They were warned what would happen if they didn't pay ... and they disregarded it.
In your scenario, as long as the US is able to show that they are not perpetrating a cover-up, then there would be no problem. Sure, some countries might try to cause trouble ... but as the judiciary in the ICC are both highly capable and impartial, I do not believe that there would be much risk of any such cases even getting to trial.
NoUFO, plenty of other countries provide personnel for peacekeeping purposes. Any action against them would first be liable to be undertaken in the US, under US law. unless there's a cover-up by the US government, there's no reason for the ICC to be involved.
As you say though, very aggressive language from the Americans ... basically sticking two fingers up at the rest of the world!
Cfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4287 times:
...the reason the UN kicked the US off a committee was because it owes nearly half a billion dollars in outstanding dues ... most for several years. They were warned what would happen if they didn't pay ... and they disregarded it.
SAS, are you justifying their actions? I hope not. It would be, as you said, simply a consequence of non-payment if the U.S. lost its place in favor of some decent countries. Most countries in the world are pretty decent.
But they intentionally made a joke out of their own institution by giving seats on the Human Rights Committee to governments who intentionally starve, disenfranchise, torture and murder their own citizens. They really went to the bottom of the pile. This is beyond punishment, this is pure spite, and I cannot trust any body that would do such things.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7887 posts, RR: 13 Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4269 times:
SAS23: NoUFO, plenty of other countries provide personnel for peacekeeping purposes.
True, Germany is second with some 9000 soldiers, followed by France and GB. I cited a reason issued by the Pentagon which doen not mean I'd agree with them - not counting that the US really plays a major role in peacekeeping missions.
Go Canada!: the un is one giant cockup, full of self important states and diplomats and never gets anything done.
Hmm ... isn't this as the same as some dictators think of the UN? And can you think of an alternative to the UN? The USA perhaps? Does not get anything done? That's history.
Heavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4256 times:
Global accountability is a good thing - and that's why most of the world's democracies have signed up for the ICC. That the US has not is a serious indictment of the contempt they hold the rest of the world in
No , just your part of it, Ace. People like you are the reason I'm behind the President's decision.
A 'democracy' doesn't guarantee the presence of justice, as I'm sure you're aware since your favorite hobby here is pushing Israel into the sea. Every two bit Third World tyrant or nihilistic egomaniac from Brussels to Borneo would use this Court for political purposes in their politicalgrudges against the United States, thus gutting true justice. How do I know? Because they've made the UN nothing more than a idealogical gangbang of the 'evil Americans'....and eventhat was when we had a progressive Democrat as President. So where is the real contempt? People like you show it to America everyday. I have no problem refusing to endorse yet another forum for their ungrateful rants, and still less of an urge to give those rants teeth beyond the yipping snipes that they are.
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4263 times:
I will attempt to answer your question, obviously from my point of view.
The United States, like all countries, acts only in its own self interest. Even in cases where Americans have assisted or fought and died for its allies, it is still American interests that come first.
Almost all countries of the world are small, economically weak, and militarily insignificant. The ICC is a way to check the more powerful nations - so obviously its going to be very popular among most nations.
Agreeing to the ICC provides no benefit whatsoever to America. Rather, it creates risks and potential costs. Submitting to the ICC would be to give up the rights of its own citizens - namely the rights of Americans everywhere to have the protection of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights found therein. It is in fact against the law for the American government to give up the Constitutional protections afforded to every citizen without the consent of that citizen. This is the analytical, theoretical reason why the US declines to join. The practical reason is of course that this is in big part another attempt by everyone else in the world to have some input or influence on US policy.
Cfalk is right - and even if he is not right, the perception among Americans is that he is right. Right about showing how the rest of the world and specifically international bodies like the ICC will stop at nothing and sell short their own basic principles in order to gain some influence over US policy.
One thing you have to understand is that because of America's unique position it at times must take unique positions with which everyone else in the world disagrees. What is right for the entire rest of the world may not always be right for America, and vice-versa. The United States also makes mistakes as often as anyone else and American mistakes are, due to its size, gigantic in effect compared to the mistakes other countries make. So, what Americans consider a mistake the rest of the world may view as criminal. SAS23's example that the actions of a US Secretary of State or perhaps even a President could be subject to judicial review by some trivial group of jurists in The Hague is outlandish - why would the US ever agree to this?
So, in short, the US will not ratify the ICC because it provides no benefits to America and yet has many potential costs.
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4235 times:
Just to amplify the point that Cfalk brought up and to further explain why the US will not join the ICC - namley because it would no doubt be used as a political weapon to influence US polcies.
...The past week's votes that kicked the United States off two United Nations panels in which it had played crucial roles set off shock waves...[US Administration officials suggest that the reason] the United States lost its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission [is explained by] anonymous quotes from European diplomats that it was payback for Bush's unilateral renunciation of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and for his insistence that the decades-old framework of arms control be swept aside for his planned missile defence shield....
---Deutsche Presse-Agentur, May 8, 2001
In other words, European diplomats admitted, alebeit anonymously, that they were manipulating an international body in an attempt to 'punish' the United States for an issue unrelated to the mission of that tribunal. The same thing could and likely would happen with the ICC. Again, whether or not this is ever to be proven true or not, the perception is strong that other nations of the world attempt to usurp the government of the US through international bodies.
B757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 24 Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4243 times:
Sorry guys, the United States finally has a President who is not going to allow U.S. soldiers and citizens to be hauled before a politically motivated kangaroo court. Funny thing is you all blame Bush because he withdrew from the treaty and yet it would never have passed the United States Senate. I don’t know of a single member who would have voted for it let alone the needed 2/3's majority.
Also, did you know that in a recent defense bill, Congress authorized the President to use any means (including using parts of the military such as Delta Force) to rescue any American hauled before the joke known as the ICC.
STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16553 posts, RR: 52 Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4228 times:
There is no way politics would not enter the court , eventually it would come down to politics.
Who's to say what is an honest mistake and what is deliberate crime in war such as what happened in Afghanistan, it's subjective. Belgium courts and the media were ready to go after Israel for the "Ramallah massacre",when in fact even the Palestians who lived through it later admitted there was no massacre just intense combat.
Yes sometimes troops do commit crimes, or make really stupid decisions.
Case in point the friendly fire incident where two US F-16 pilots mistakingly killed 3 Canadian troops in Afghanistan, they disobeyed orders not to attack and did so anyway. They are being courtmarshalled for disobying orders and killing 3 coalition members through their actions.
The incident happened when the two F-16 pilots on patrol stumbled across what they thought to be Al Qaeda troops firing on them, they radioed for permission from command to attack the targets but were denied (twice). They believed they were in danger and proceede to attack against orders, it turned out that they were flying over Canadian troops involved in live fire excersises.
That was a reckless incident that killed three allies, the incident is being reviewed by both US and Canadian Officers. And the two pilots will be courtmarshalled under jont jurisdiction.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4192 times:
Cfalk, as usual, you say things-whether I agree with you or not-and I do agree on this point-with an eloquence that I can never achieve, try as I might sometimes. Well said.
And RogueTrader, despite our past tiffs, that was a very eloquent piece on your part as well. Very well done.
I do think it goes back to the fact that the U.S. government-AND it's citizens are very, very, VERY reluctant to even give the appearance of giving up some of it's autonomy and independence. We like to solve our problems ourselves. That is why the U.S. turned down Kyoto; that's why the U.S. has turned down being part of the ICC. We believe, and I think quite correctly, that our Constition and our Bill of Rights serve us better than some judge in another country would in deciding the fate of an American.
Maybe such a court is OK for Europe, now that it seems to be on the slow path of unification of some sort or another; but we don't think that way over here in The Colonies. We're fiercely independent, and it just doesn't suit us. You can bash us from here to eternity, but it will have the effect of an ice cube on a hot stove.
Delta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 7 Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4196 times:
Having joined this thread late, Cfalk, Heavymetal, Rogue and others have said pretty much what I think. I just have a couple of additions ---
The ICC in its present form has no accountability. Can you imagine a US Supreme Court acting totally independently, with no other branches of government? No checks and balances, just nine judges to decide everything. No legislature, no executive.
If Americans are guaranteed a robust constitutional protection at home, why should we have to settle for less when we stick our necks out to help other countries? That's why the US objects.
If you are interested in this topic, you've got to read Headwind by John Nance. It's just a novel, but it shows exactly how the ICC would behave.
Clipperhawaii From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2033 posts, RR: 12 Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4180 times:
It is a great decision for we Americans that we should NEVER repeat NEVER join the ICC! We have this document called the Constitution and we have laws both civil and military that can handle any eventuality. The U.S. dips it's flag for no one!
So NO to Kyoto too! Another flawed document that the U.S. should never agree to.
With a great deal of freedom comes a little arrogance. I like that, and so do the citizens of these United States. If foreign citizens and their governments can not deal with that, well too bad. Write your government officials and complain.
Clipperhawaii From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2033 posts, RR: 12 Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4186 times:
And this is the best part....
On 2 August 2002, President George W. Bush signed the supplemental appropriations bill, making the American Servicemembers Protection Act binding US national law. This act includes a provision that authorizes the use of military force to free any citizen of the U.S. or ally country being held by the Court in The Hague. In addition, the law provides for the withdrawal of U.S. military assistance from countries ratifying the ICC treaty, and restricts U.S. participation in United Nations peacekeeping unless the U.S. obtains immunity from prosecution. There is a clause, however, that allows the President to waive these provisions on basis of "national interest."
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4136 times:
I think it was an appropriate action-and before anyone in Europe or elsewhere starts throwing brickbats at President Bush, it should be noted that President Clinton also opposed American's enlistment in this court, so believe me, except among the most ultra-left in this country, who represent a tiny fraction of the populace, this court will never stand a chance of ever being accepted in the United States.
Of course, there is absolutely NO political motive, is there, around the world, for wanting the U.S. in the ICC? (dripping with sarcasm). If all of you critics of the U.S. don't believe that the #1 reason why most of the world wants the U.S. in there is that so trumped-up charges against U.S. citizens and soldiers can be brought in an attempt to embarrass the U.S., then you've lost a grip on reality. There are countless people and governments around the world who would love to have at the U.S. that way-including some in Europe.
The U.S. will not get involved in this court-ever. Any president who tried to get the U.S. into it would find himself with a huge problem with the American people and the Congress. And, in the end, the only opinion that counts on this matter doesn't reside in Europe, Asia or anywhere else-but it's how it Plays in Peoria.
Gaut From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 344 posts, RR: 2 Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4123 times:
Ok guys tkx for your replies. I have your point of view now, I understand but I don't agree with your arguments.
This court judge only genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity!! It will not judge all crimes and I think it's a good thing that an international court judge such crimes and not the country of the criminals. It's why German war criminals were not judged by a German court. And it's why Milosevic is judged by the ICC. Note that Bush and Milosevic use the same arguments regarding the competence of the international court.
I understand that USA want to keep it's independence but it's the country in the world that interfere the most in the politic of the other countries and they don't want to be part of a independent and international court ! I am fed up with this "do what I say not what I do" attitude. They impose free market but subside heavily the US steel industry ... All those things with the Kyoto treaty will not ease the relations between US and EU and good relations are good for both sides. US have to learn to make concessions and not only impose their views or they will be more and more isolated.
It's my opinion
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4126 times:
This court judge only genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity!!
And you don't believe that you can fit just about anything under those headings?
It's why German war criminals were not judged by a German court.
Yes, an international tribunal was convened. I don't see the need for a PERMANENT court for things like this. It will lead to abuse of the system, such as it is.
I understand that USA want to keep it's independence but it's the country in the world that interfere the most in the politic of the other countries and they don't want to be part of a independent and international court !
Right there, that shows why I absolutely don't want the U.S. in this court. YOu say the U.S. "interfers" the most in the politics of other countries? Give me examples? The U.S. gets involved with other countries mostly through invitation: Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia. The U.S. certainly wasn't like the old Soviet Union who started "wars of liberation" around the world from the 1950's through the 1980's. Again, the U.S. is right to stay away from this court. It violates our belief in our autonomy and in self-determination.
Say what you want, but the U.S. should never join this dubious court.
25 AerLingus: Alpha 1: Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Chile, The Philipinnes (excluding our most recent endeavour). Five examples of United States interference. An
26 Delta-flyer: Read Headwind -- it shows the court in action. Pete
27 Gaut: And you don't believe that you can fit just about anything under those headings? No I'm not, those crimes are serious and you can't put anything about
28 Nik: "It's just a novel, but it shows exactly how the ICC would behave." Of course, it does, Delta_flyer.... Headwind: http://www.johnjnance.com/bookstore/
29 Clipperhawaii: Aer Lingus: A free Europe, a mighty Japan, a non-communist South Korea, billions of dollars in foreign aid, and a now free Afghanistan. Five examples
30 Heavymetal: And that action alone should be enough to guarantee reelection for our prez. Let's not go too far. Though I'm sure the dittoheads here might take issu
31 Alpha 1: I have little doubt a President Gore would have passed on ICC endorsement too. A good guess, since President Clinton refused to take the U.S. into it
32 NoUFO: Again, the U.S. is right to stay away from this court. It violates our belief in our autonomy and in self-determination. Poor you. Don't you think som
33 Delta-flyer: NoUFO -- maybe we've all read Headwind! Hehe! Anyway, the US will pass on this one; start the party without us. Pete
34 Alpha 1: Don't you think some of us from the rest of the world have our beliefs in "autonomy" and "self-determination", too? No, apparently not, or you wouldn
35 RogueTrader: Alpha 1 and others have said that Bill Clinton refused to take the US into the ICC and that likewise Gore would have also refused US entry. My researc
36 LMP737: Gaut: And the countries of the EU don't try and impose their will on others?
37 Klaus: The ICC is a tool to establish the rule of law internationally. The rule of law is the only way to keep despotism at bay. Which makes it especially pe
38 LMP737: Klaus: Flustered? I don't about other Americans on this forum but quite frankly I don't lose sleep over criticism of the US. ".......the perception th
39 Jamesag96: Clinton did sign the treaty, however, it was on his desk until his last day and was never pushed through congress. Not an oversight. J
40 SAS23: For those with a classical education: Qui ipso custodes custodiet? If the US regards itself as the world's policeman, using its military might (includ
41 Jamesag96: WOW. Well put. But when the shit hits the fan, and it will, who will be there to back you up? I am not saying that the US is perfect, and I don't reme
42 Alpha 1: Personally, I think it would be entirely appropriate for sanctions to be imposed against the United States for such action. HAHAHAHAHA. That's a good
43 PH-BFA: I think (as an European) that the USA has the full right to say no to the criminal court. Maybe it is selfish from the USA, but I think everyone(even
44 SAS23: We're not the ones creating an isolationist US, Alpha 1 ... it's the Americans doing it to themselves. You guys need to learn that you're part of a gl
45 Alpha 1: You guys need to learn that you're part of a global community.. Maybe YOU guys need to learn that the U.S. has the perrogative and the right to do wha
46 Cfalk: SAS, You have to look at things a bit more closely than the headlines. The Kyoto accord was meant to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution in general.
47 Go Canada!: hold on a minute people, you cant start saying the USA is part of a global community and shouldnt be isolatist and at the same time attack it for its
48 Gaut: Cfalk The catalytic converter is one think but you forget that in the 90's, lot of UE countries had more than 50% of their electricity produced by nuc
49 NoUFO: But cars in the U.S. (a big polluter) have had catalytic converters since the early 70's, and Europe only started to look at catalytic converters in
50 Cfalk: What a scrap. There is hardly any car without cat around in the EU. Getting rid of the last remaining Trabants from the former GDR will not cause a si
51 Klaus: Just to end this nonsensical diversion from the topic: The catalytic converter argument is completely ludicrous. Catalytic converters have no major im
52 NoUFO: More scrap. The US has always been world's biggest polluter. It has also been the most economically powerful, with among the highest standard of livin