U.S. confrontation with the U.N.
By Henry Lamb
web posted April 15, 2002
It will happen. It is inevitable. The (http:
Criminal Court will seize an American somewhere on this
planet, and the United States will be forced to choose whether it
will uphold the U.S. Constitution or surrender its national
sovereignty to global governance.
The global court, adopted at a Rome conference in 1998,
entered into force April 11, when the last of the required 60
nations delivered instruments of ratification.
The United States was one of only seven nations to vote against
the court in Rome, but in the final hours of eligibility, Bill Clinton
signed the Statute committing the United States to support the
court until the U.S. Senate eventually ratifies it.
The court's jurisdiction is limited to "the crime of genocide;
crimes against humanity; war crimes; and the crime of
aggression," which may be prosecuted in the territory of any
"State Party, and by special agreement, the territory of any other
The ICC is different from the International Court of Justice,
which is nothing more than a referee between disputing nations,
and whose decisions are non-binding. The ICC prosecutes
individuals, including soldiers, diplomats, and even heads of
state, with the power to confiscate property and impose jail
sentences upon conviction.
Who defines the crime of aggression, and crimes against
humanity? Delegates from states who have
ratified the Statute, of course.
And what, exactly, is the crime of aggression, or a crime against
humanity - in the view of the makers of the ICC? The official
newspaper at the 1998 conference, Terra Viva, claimed
that the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 1991 was an act of aggression,
and that with a little luck, the ICC would "...herald the start of a
court for Bush." (Daily reports
from the conference).
Delegates to the U.N. Climate Change conference in Buenos
Aires accused the United States of "crimes against humanity" for
allowing SUVs to pollute the atmosphere, causing global
warming. Buenos Aires reeked with diesel fumes throughout the
There is no doubt that the U.S. action in Afghanistan, and in
other nations in the war against terrorism, would be seen as
aggression by the ICC. The U.N. Commission on Human Rights
has already said U.S. detention of combatants in Cuba violate
Can the U.S. ignore the ICC? Not likely. Nations that ratify the
Statute are bound to "cooperate" with the ICC prosecutor.
England, Canada, France, Germany, and many other allies have
ratified the Court, and must comply with the court's decisions.
When, not if, but when, CIA or FBI agents, or U.S. soldiers are
captured while trying to rid the world of terrorists, they will be
subject to the ICC. Much of the world eagerly awaits the
opportunity to exercise collective international power over the
United States. It's only a matter of time before the U.S. will be
forced to confront the U.N.
It's too late to stop the ICC. The Clinton administration led in the
court's creation, expecting the U.N. Security Council (where the
U.S. has veto power) to have the final say in any prosecution.
The delegates to the Rome conference rejected this provision,
forcing the U.S. to oppose the court it had worked so hard to
"Since early 1995, we have spared no effort to draft and
negotiate a statute for a permanent international criminal court
that would serve the interests of international justice...," says
David J. Scheffer, at the 1998 meeting in Rome. Scheffer was
Clinton's chief negotiator in Rome, and now, in a
New York Times article, is urging President Bush not
to "unsign" the document. Instead, he says we should "secure
agreements that prevent the surrender of Americans to the
court, while still supporting the treaty's basic purpose."
What kind of ridiculous reasoning is this? He says we should
remain a signatory but seek agreements that exempt Americans.
Bush has inquired of the U.N., and found that the U.S. signature
can legally be withdrawn.
We should withdraw the U.S. signature, and exempt all
Americans by universal declaration. We should withhold financial
support and military defense from any nation that supports the
court. Moreover, the U.S. should recognize the ICC to be one
of the last mechanisms necessary for the implementation of world
government by the U.N., and immediately suspend all payments
to the U.N., and its various organizations.
Confrontation with the U.N. is inevitable; the longer we wait, the
more difficult it will be.
Henry Lamb is the
executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation
Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International .
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