The View From 1776

Can the International Criminal Court Prosecute American Military Personnel for Alleged War Crimes?

Once again the forces of liberal-socialism attempt to highjack our Constitution and our laws.  What’s going on?  Are we obliged to obtain UN Security Council approval for military actions?  Do the UN Human Rights Charter and the articles of the International Criminal Court outrank our own laws?

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A June 18th New York Times article states:

” Secretary General Kofi Annan harshly criticized the United States on Thursday for seeking immunity for its peacekeeping troops from the International Criminal Court.

He said the Security Council should resist the American move, which he said was “of dubious judicial value” and particularly deplorable this year “given the prisoner abuse in Iraq.”

“I think in this circumstance it would be unwise to press for an exemption, and it would be even more unwise on the part of the Security Council to grant it,” Mr. Annan told reporters. “It would discredit the Council and the United Nations that stands for rule of law and the primacy of the rule of law.”

The Secretary General’s statement implies that the United States is bound to submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and that our own laws and the Uniform Code of Military Justice regulating our armed forces are subordinate to this tribunal.  The statement also presumes that U.S. action in the conduct of a war, albeit without UN involvement, is subject to approval by the Security Council.

The analysis by Alfred Thayer Mahan (see “Once More: Why are We in Iraq?”) posted below on June 12th provides a substantive refutation of that argument.

Paradoxically, the idea of international law originated in Christian concepts of morality, but is today employed by the UN and liberal-socialists around the world to espouse amoral, secular socialism.

International law had its origin in a work called “On the Law of War and Peace,” written in 1625 by a Dutch jurist named Hugo Grotius.  At that time, Europe was in the first decade of the Thirty Years’ War, one of the most savagely destructive series of military campaigns the world ever has endured.  Almost every nation in Europe was involved, and most of Continental Europe suffered at one time or another between 1618 and the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 that ended hostilities.  But the bulk of the fighting was in the principalities of the German Confederation.  Germany was devastated to such a degree that, a century later, many towns had still not fully recovered.  The Thirty Years’ War, by the way, is what Voltaire had in mind in his satirical novel, “Candide.”

Horrified by the unprecedented degree of barbarity exhibited everywhere by mercenary armies roaming freely across the countryside, Grotius proposed that nations, as well as individuals, are subject to the moral principles of natural law.  As everyone understood in those days, natural law was God-given and governed everything and every action in the world.  Grotius based his work on the Bible and classical Greek philosophy, just as St. Thomas Aquinas had done in the early 13th century when he incorporated Aristotle’s concepts into Christian doctrine.

While wars are sometimes necessary and justifiable, Grotius wrote, nations must respect the rights of individuals who are non-combatants.  Aristotle had said that natural law made man a political being, that is, that the civilizing forces of organized political life produced the highest attainments of human beings.  But, most importantly, pursuit of personal morality and civic virtue were the highest good of the individual and of the state.

Thus, said Grotius, nations must conform to the same Christian religious dictates in their international relations.

A century later, in the so-called Age of Enlightenment, French philosophers decapitated civilization by dismissing concepts of religious morality.  Individuals’ and nations’ conduct were to be regulated by the social justice precepts produced by the minds of intellectuals.

Thus, today the UN and its liberal-socialist supporters, no longer bound by Grotius’s Christian moral principles, are free to proclaim any course of action that captures their fancy to be “international law.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/21 at 09:45 PM
  1. Continued from previous submittal...)

    * The Bush administration had produced a detailed plan (several hundred pages) for taking over "post-war" Iraq's economy well before any of us even knew that a war was in the works.
    * Among other astounding proclaimations, Brenner and others have laid forth laws that provide 100% foreign ownership of pretty much the entire Iraqi economy - finances, oil, other resources, you name it, and the right to remove 100% of the profits (while also proclaiming that we're fighting this war for the Iraqi people). To my knowledge, no other country allows such foreign ownership and pillaging of itself as a sovereign nation - we certainly don't allow anything like it here.
    * The weapons of mass destruction arguments made before the war were such pathetic lies that I still can't understand why anybody could fall for them - mobile biological labs (filled with incredibly lethal cocktails that could kill the scientists working on them instantly while trigger-happy US and British fighters fly overhead), some Al Qaeda-affiliated group stuck between Kurdish-controlled territory and Iran well out of any possible control by Saddam, tubes and nuclear fuel that had already been discredited by every expert outside of the administration, etc.
    * Rather than being an "imminent threat" (which didn't pass the laugh test), Saddam was a pathetic third-world dictator whose country's institutions, military and people had been devastated by war and sanctions until they needed only a small push to topple.
    * And the supposed attempt to bring "democracy" to Iraq through the killing of tens of thousands of innocent civilians is the biggest crime of this young century.

    Looking at the doings of the great powers through history and the current world situation, it is clear that the Neo-cons in the Bush Administration went to war in order to gain control over the most essential resource on the planet - oil, and to be able to deploy large milatary bases in the Mid-East. This provides them leverage over not only Europe and Japan, but also over China, which threatens to be the next superpower. And, by the way, there is no doubt that the takeover of Iraq was also thought by the Neo-cons to be a great investment boon for American businesses.

    So, instead of spending money on education (I have three school-aged children whose school suffers from lack of funding); health (our nation's health "system" is the laughing stock of the developed world - regardless of how many times the politicians say it is the "envy" of the world. When I mention this "envy" to Western Europeans or Japanese, they are utterly speechless with disbelief that people here fall for such lies. Moreover, our health contraption of a system is poorly configured to simply combat the spread of a virulent disease, much less an actual biological attack); alternate energy, and other needed programs, we are spending what will end up being hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy a country and to place our hard-earned dollars into the coffers of large, already wealthy American corporations and their directors. Remember, our government is supposed to be for the people, not for the corporations and war-mongers.

    It is my understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the writers and most of the readers who visit this site claim to be Christian. I do not make such a claim, but I do know that it is morally wrong and, yes, evil to use ones power to indiscriminately kill innocent men, women, and children as our army is doing in Iraq (min. 100,000 and counting, according to a detailed scholarly study).

    Incredibly, just before Bush declared the onset of hostilities on Iraq, he was captured on video pumping his fist and gleefully saying "feels good" (I know this because I saw it). Regardless of whether or not you feel the war is justified, anybody who could have such a feeling before commencing a series of events that would no doubt lead directly to the killing and destruction of tens of thousands of lives and livelihoods can only be seen as monsterous, in my heart and mind at least.

    Please think seriously about what is going on here and what it would mean if you were on the receiving end in Iraq - your husband or wife killed by foreign forces, your child dying of cancer from depleted uranium. If you think of yourself as Christian - nay, if you think of yourself as human, I implore you and your readers to oppose this war and take away your support for our own "King George" before too many more Iraqi people are killed or left with nothing, and before we lose the very freedoms that our founding fathers fought so hard to secure.
    oh oh
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/31  at  06:07 PM
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