[I send along the following (below my comments) from Hank Roth which is unfortunately all too true. The early resistance in 2002 of the Bush administration to supporting, let alone joining with the ICC International Criminal Court), has to make one wonder whether the many abuses of human rights and fundamental U.S. Constitutional protections weren't pre-planned by the neocons running Bush (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, et al). The U.S. behind the scenes has been brutal in destroying governments, plotting assassinations, launching military invasions of client states that are trying to wrest themselves free of our corporate domination. The whole Iran business began back when our CIA and the Brits removed democratically elected Mossadeq from Iran in 1953-4 and put in place the Shah with his brutal secret police to protect our oil interests there:
I cringe each time I hear our media report that our troubles with Iran ONLY began in 1979. Yes, a good friend working with our embassy,
Barry Rosen, was held hostage there then for nearly a year. No, neither he nor any others of our staff were injured prior to their release, apparently with the secret deal with Reagan that got him elected and Carter replaced as the president who could not rescue our hostage Americans.
The International Criminal Court:
is precisely the sort of institution that we should be supporting -- if we really cared about democracy and justice and routing out authoritarian brutality around the world. The court only goes into action when a nation fails to rectify its own abuses, as Hank Roth's piece below points out. IMHO the Bush administration war crimes merit impeachment. We don't need the ICC to point out the obvious!
And are they plotting the nuke them next?
Why does the US adamantly refuse to participate in the ICC and thus be unaccountable for violations of international law? The administration claims it does this to protect its servicemen and women from arbitrary prosecution. In reality, the ICC is a court of last resort and only gets involved if the national justice system is unable or unwilling to prosecute, i.e., the suspect is being “shielded from criminal responsibility.” According to Dennis Kucinich, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus: “It is more likely that those whose protection the administrators seek wear not the uniform of our nation, but the business suits of top civilian government officials who wrap themselves in the flag and hide behind the troops while insisting upon impunity for the deadly consequences of their own political decisions.”
Heads of State Are Accountable
The ICC provisions apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity; “official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility.” Also, “A military commander, shall be criminally responsible for crimes, committed by forces under his or her effective command and control.”
A goal of the ICC is to deter future war crimes. In the words of Kofi Annan: “Individual responsibility is important for two reasons: First, persons who are tempted or pressured to commit unspeakable crimes must be deterred by the knowledge that one day they will be individually called to account. And second, only by clearly identifying the individuals responsible for these crimes can we save whole communities from being held collectively guilty. It is the notion of collective guilt which is the true enemy of peace, since it encourages communities to nurture hatred against each other from one generation to the next.”
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]