Spain and the New World Order

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European courts have increasingly shown no respect for sovereignty …

nor have they shown the great tolerance that should be shown for choices by foreign leaders in their official capacity and during wartime. Starting with Pinochet, Sharon, Miolosovic, and now the indictment of a group of US soldiers for alleged war crimes in Iraq, the acts of everyone, everywhere are on the table. In earlier times, this would not have happened. International laws were largely reciprocal in nature, and offenses against officials--whether Presidents, Kings or Ambassadors--could have easily resulted in military retaliation. The notion of sovereign immunity grew up so that sovereign leaders could travel freely in peacetime without having to answer to another country's idiosyncratic notions of justice and injustice. Europeans know that they can pick at America and its soldiers with near impunity.

The problem with the growing realm of "customary public international law" is that its chief advocates are effectively unburdened by its impact, acting more like NGOs than nation-states. European countries increasingly outsource military matters to the United States or outsource them to coalitions with the UN imprimatur. So when they increase burdens on fighting forces and presume to question other nations' internal security tactics, there is no countervailing burden on Spain and its forces. For the last 30 years, after the last of the wars of national liberation reached a conclusion, most European nations have hardly done anything to offend anyone, because they have retreated from the realm of international security.

Laws of war and international law rules are designed to channel the evils of war and prevent harm to civilians. They were never meant to be suicide pacts or mere aspirational commitments; they were self-enforced contracts that entailed swift and harsh penalties to those that would try to gain an unfair advantage over another belligerent, such as in the summary executions of Operation Grief commandos in the Ardennes during WWII for their unlawful tactic of wearing American uniforms. In other words, in matters of national security, no nation was expected to tie its hands behind its back. If both sides reciprocally observed basic requirements--such as wearing uniforms and marking hospitals and ambulances among others--then both sides benefit. But all participants were entitled to punish harshly those that would engage in "perfidious" acts. European regimes increasingly want to impose higher burdens on the US without a countervailing benefit, such as the absurd demand that unlawful Al Qaeda combatants be given full POW protections. No regime fully participating in the rough and tumble world of the international order would have dreamed of making such a demand in the past, not least because it did not want to face the difficulties such a system would create for its own forces. Now, however, European regimes feel increasingly free to impose demands and sanctions on the conduct of the real actors on the world stage, not least because no Spanish soldier will be in a position to violate international law. Europe gets to induldge in pacifist fantasies largely because it exists under the American security umbrella. Yet it now wants to bite the hand that feeds it because it has grown incresaingly divorced from the sensible balance of traditional international and law of war rules.

The false dilemma of these caes is what to do about a Milosovic or Hitler or Hussein. The answer is simple; the people of a reconstituted Serbia, Germany, or Iraq should try these men for their crimes against their own people. In addition, their victims from other nations, victorious in war, are allowed to try them for war crimes against other belligerents and have always been allowed to do so under the law of war. The recent arrival is the notion that belligerents can try leaders for internal actions (either after victory or an armistice) and the related notion that any nation anywhere can try a foreign leader or a foreign soldier for acts in a conflict in which it was not involved. Because war is a messy affair with decisions made under a great deal of uncertainty, it's important that cobeligerents make these decisions. Such co-belligerents know more than others that it could easily be them in the dock. For trials during active hostilities, often such accountability is mutual and therefore conducted with a sense of exacting fairness, lest one's own POWs be subjected to similar ill treatment and humiliations. Undoubtedly, some injustices will escape punishment under the classic international law view, especially for internal actions during peacetime. But the alternative will destabilize the international system and lead to the retreat from international law by those most involved in interantional affairs. It would simply be too risky to have one foot in and one foot out of this arbitrary system. Notice the selectivity of punishment. It is the Pinochets and Sharons and Americans that get the brunt of harassment; ex-communists from China and Russia, as well as numerous third world leaders, escape all punishment and concern. Pas d'ennemi à gauche ! This likelihood of selectivity and politicization of any law of war decision when one lacks a direct involvement is the strongest reason for limiting the reach of disinterested courts looking for dragons to slay and axes to grind.

The practical impact of the Spanish Court's decision is that these American soldiers will likely be unable to travel internationally, because they will soon face an international arrest warrant. In the future, whole units could be indicted as "criminal organizations," in the manner of the criminal indictment at Nuremberg of the SS. Soon, the US will at one and the same time be expected to preserve international peace and conduct operations that serve its own interests, but only in a way that meets with the approval of uninvolved nations on the sidelines. It truly would be a matter of the Liliputians tying down Gulliver. The time for a serious cease and desist demand from Spain is now. If Spain has the poor sense to arrest these individuals, then they should be freed by military intervention if necessary. It's a principle very much worth fighting for. It's the chief principle upon which our country was founded: the right to secure an independent existence through self-government free from the burdens, demands, and conflicting interests of foreign regimes.

Posted by at October 21, 2005 3:13 PM
Comments
Comment #87050

I’m having a tough time following the logic in this one, but one thought comes to mind: doesn’t this by extension argue that the Allies had no right to prosecute the Nazi leadership for the acts they committed, inside Germany and elsewhere?

Posted by: bobo at October 21, 2005 3:48 PM
Comment #87057

Yes elsewhere, no in Germany. Since those acts violated German law, they should have and could have been prosecuted by a reconstituted German regime. Under traditional international law, a foreign country can’t prosecute another for internal acts, even during war time. Germans were not in fact generally prosecuted for such acts at Nuremberg, instead being held responsible for “aggressive war” and crimes against humanity in occupied territories, which have always been against the law of war, i.e., molesting noncombatants.

I pretty clearly make this distinction in the piece.

Posted by: Roach at October 21, 2005 4:02 PM
Comment #87059
Germans were not in fact generally prosecuted for such acts at Nuremberg

I’m still confused …

So you’re saying that, those Germans who were prosecuted by the Allies at Nuremburg, for crimes they committed in Germany should not have been so prosecuted? (That is, prosecuted by the Allies instead of German courts.)

Posted by: bobo at October 21, 2005 4:07 PM
Comment #87061

Judges can do a lot of stupid things and they can do them for political reasons. That is one reason why the U.S. is wisely leery of the ICC.

Let’s not blame all Spaniards. We have our share of weirdoes who would applaud the judge. The more intelligent ">http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Oct/20-448501.html”> Spanish authorities at the prosecutor’s office at Spain’s National Court filed an appeal October 20, saying, “Spain lacks jurisdiction to investigate causes of death in a military conflict death of a Spanish citizen resulting from U.S. military gunfire.”

This extraterritorial exercise will cause personal hardship for the soldiers involved and ultimately embarrassment for Spain. But it is just another silly indictment by a silly judge.

Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition. Don’t compare this guy to the judgement at Nuremberg. He doesn’t deserve it.

Posted by: Jack at October 21, 2005 4:12 PM
Comment #87064

I did the Link">http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Oct/20-448501.html”>Link wrong. This typing always gets me down.

Posted by: Jack at October 21, 2005 4:14 PM
Comment #87065

third try

Posted by: Jack at October 21, 2005 4:17 PM
Comment #87067

Nuremberg was something of a transition case. It included some au courant crimes like the conspiracy claims against the Krupps and what-not, as well as a number of prosecutions that arguably constituted ex post facto law. But I don’t believe it went after Germans for internal acts that did not affect foreigners, including the mass murder of German Jews. I believe such acts were crimes under German law and should have been prosecuted as such by a reconstituted Germany for a number of reasons, including the fact that it would permit a new Germany to confront its past. (There were a lot of these trials in the 1960s, incidentally). Such a system would have preserved the symmetry of the international law system and avoided the kind of nonsese we’re seeing from Spain. Only in the Hague stuff involving Bosnia, the proposed ICC, and the Rwanda tribundals did prosecutions for purely internal acts begin to take place. Not only are these trials often farcical, partisan, unfair, and ineffective at affecting the opinion of the affected regime, but these trials could easily be abused in a way that undermines the entire international law system because those who are making the rules and those who are affected by them are now increasingly divergent.

Posted by: Roach at October 21, 2005 4:20 PM
Comment #87069
But I don’t believe [The Nuremburg Trials] went after Germans for internal acts that did not affect foreigners

That’s not how the movie Judgement a Nurmeburg portrayed them.

In which case, if the movie is correct in portraying that the Allies prosecuted Germans for acts inside Germany, I’m curious if you believe that was the correct thing to do. If you do, I’m really curious where you draw the line between actions like the Nuremeburg trials (i.e., it’s proper for foreign governments to prosecute) and what you describe above.

Posted by: bobo at October 21, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #87075

Foreign countries are always doing crazy things. Why are we getting bent out of shape? Unless they have some legitimate authority under international law, we can just choose not to extradite them.

The thing about an international court, though, is that we might be able to find some way to ensure that the court:

a) operates under common, agreed-upon standards of international law (no wacko local crap without good cause);

and b) the level to which the crimes it prosecutes rises to a certain level that makes the involvement of the court necessary.

There needs to be respect for national sovereignty built into the system, justifying it’s breach under only the agreed upon circumstances.

It would be better to calmly say that this case has no standing, rather than launch into histrionics about such an politicized effort. Let us be the reasonable party, and our rivals be the ones who are getting out of hand.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 21, 2005 4:39 PM
Comment #87078

Stephen, if you’re saying we should first work things out diplomatically, I agree. And it seems some parties in Spain are already doing that. But, recall, they arrested and detained Pinochet, letting both parties save face by claiming illness.

The damage is done; these soldiers’ rights and those of any in the future are indicted simply by the fact of the indictment; it interferes with their right to travel internationally and the fear of such harassment could interfere with day to day duties of soldiers and other American officials.

The problem with your proposal is that it misses the boat. Courts once did operate under such standards, which counseled nonintervention in these cases. Now, at lightening speed, courts are asserting jurisdiction over cases like this where they would have formerly abstained.

Posted by: Roach at October 21, 2005 4:46 PM
Comment #87092

As long as we are doing pictures, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Posted by: Jack at October 21, 2005 5:44 PM
Comment #87100

So it’s not okay to try them, but invading and knocking them out of office…

Posted by: Mental Wimp at October 21, 2005 6:17 PM
Comment #87144

Starting with Pinochet, Sharon, Miolosovic, and now the indictment of a group of US soldiers for alleged war crimes in Iraq,

JUST WHO IN THE HELL DO THESE @$#%^!&*%$*!!! FOOLS THINK THEY ARE?
These idiots have ABSOLUTLY NO jursdiction over our military. It’s beginning to look like we should’ve invaded Europe insted of Iraq.
If we let them get by with this BS then next thing they will try ALL of us just because we’re Americans. Maybe we should bring indictments against them for being stupid.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 21, 2005 6:48 PM
Comment #87172

Mental Wimp, there is a difference between war time and peace time relations between nations. I don’t want ot get into a lengthy discussion of the merits and demerits of the Iraq war, but the issue is seperate from what Spain can do to us for our conduct in it.

Posted by: Roach at October 21, 2005 7:25 PM
Comment #87183

After reading the story, my heart bleeds for those
men who were doing their job. That person from
Spain should have not been there in the first place!
Spain is a sick country in the first place, and
the World order is a joke in its self. And knowing
are bleeading heart Liberal Like John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, The would stupid enough to turn them over
as would any other DEMOCRATE. It is time to tell
the LIBERALS TO STAY OUT OF MAN WORK, AND GO BACK TO THERE LITTLE SAND AND PLAY!

Posted by: Robert at October 21, 2005 8:32 PM
Comment #87189

For the sake of clarification, I’m not anti-Spain, nor am I trying to suggest some equal offense in the likely accidental killing of the Spanish journalist at the Palestine hotel and the more deliberate and unsavory actions of Pinochet and Milosovic or anyone else. I’m making a principled argument about a disturbing trend in international law that will likely destabilize the international system, leading, perhaps, to a complete breakdown of the previously developed reciprical standards and a variety of lawless trends among nations ostensibly at peace, such as arrests of ambassadors, soldiers, and leaders on trumped up “war crimes” and other international criminal charges. Far from tying the world together, these trends will create friction and reduce the possibility of international travel and discourse by government officials from all nations.

Posted by: Roach at October 21, 2005 8:55 PM
Comment #87192

The Nuremberg trials are not a precedent that anybody should want to use. At the time, the Nuremberg trials were actually pretty controversial even among those who thought the defendents were awful and completely deserving of punishment. The results weren’t that controversial because these were truly bad people, but there’s no escaping that they were basically political show trials.

You had a court making up its own rules as it went along and defendents who were given only what rights that could be agreed upon by the conquering military powers. People were convicted and punished for doing exactly the same things that the Allied generals and soldiers had done. We didn’t have trials about Allied targeting of civilians, firebombings, forced labor of civilians, etc. The Russians, in particular, were far less interested in the process than the outcome, and during sentencing all kinds of horse-trading and political pressures were brought to bear, leading some to be punished against the wishes of the other Allied judges.

What the Spanish are doing is something different, however. They’re issuing symbolic rulings to appease their population that they would never have the guts to actually act on. If the US behaved like the Spanish, we could arrest half of the UN for involvement with Oil-for-food, regimes that abuse human rights, etc.

Posted by: sanger at October 21, 2005 9:02 PM
Comment #87205

Ah yes… As opposed to the American solution of bombing and invading.

Posted by: Aldous at October 21, 2005 11:05 PM
Comment #87298

I don’t know where to start. Europeans have no respect for sovereignty? Increasingly no respect for sovereignty? As opposed to the glory days of respect for sovereignty that were the first and second world wars, and the continual wars of the 19th century?

Nice way you conflate all European and international (or possibly I should say non-American) courts into one. Because the Spanish (Pinochet and US troops), Belgian (Sharon) and ICC (Milosevic) laws are all exactly the same (or should I say they’re not American).

To talk about the legal system and incident which you’re actually talking about, what Pinochet and the US troops have been indicted for in Spain is crimes against Spanish people. That’s the way their law works - mess with their people and they can convict you if you go to their country. I suppose they could go back to the glory days of respect for sovereignty and steam a warship over to shell Washington.

Perhaps America should welcome this court case. Lots of people in the rest of the world think that the US deliberately killed journalists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia. Maybe this will help to sort that opinion out.

Posted by: Paul at October 22, 2005 11:48 AM
Comment #87303

Paul I’m familair with the different courts involved and believe they represent a European trend.

As for Spain’s notion of universal sovereignty over wrongs done to its citizens, that is not a universal view. Nations have to protect everyone within their borders, including guests. But most nations respect other nations’ rights to set the rules with respect to foreigners in their land, thus, they can try you in their courts and keep you in their jails. A warzone is slightly different. No one is effectively in charge, so the cobelligerents have to police each other by trying each other’s soldiers for war crimes if there is evidence of the same. But no nation other that Spain has promoted the novel idea that it can prosecute soldiers for killing an individual that was on the battlefield accidentally.

As for the glory days you scoff at, the international system set up by Metternich and the other European powers kept order, stability, and a great period of wealth expansion from 1815-1914. It was the high water mark of European civilization in many ways. It broke down as you say in the two world wars, but even then nations were not harassed for their intenrnal policies the way they are now by meddlesome European courts. It’s obvious all of these prosecutions are driven by resentment that there is no other way that weak European nations can hold back America’s military might. And if Spain wants to lob a few shells over DC, let’s just say I dare them to.

Posted by: Roach at October 22, 2005 12:15 PM
Comment #87313

I find it interesting that we (American law enforcement), can go into a soverign country and arrest AND kidnap someone (Noriega comes to mind), with impunity, but let another country hand down an indictement against an American and all hell breaks loose.

What the hell were they thinking!

Posted by: Rocky at October 22, 2005 3:02 PM
Comment #87335

Rocky,

“What the hell were they thinking!”

Perhaps they were thinking that we’re too bogged down right now to go kick their butts, so they now have the opportunity to play the international bully. Oh, what a world!

Posted by: Stephanie at October 22, 2005 9:36 PM
Comment #87458

Stephanie,

Sorry, I forgot to turn on the sarcasm switch.

We in America belive that we play by a different set of rules than the rest of the world.
We do what we want, and when some other country tries to turn our own tactics on us we scream foul.

If you are looking for bullies, look no further than within this countries borders.

Posted by: Rocky at October 23, 2005 11:41 AM
Comment #87473

Rocky,

I got your sarcasm loud and clear. Obviously mine wasn’t strong enough. That they are trying to take their turn as international bully isn’t any more right than us doing it. In some sense, we do have a “right” to scream foul, because the whole bloody mess, including our history in it, is certainly foul.

However, the question I would ask (without a trace of sarcasm) is do they have a case, or are they just looking to punish America for being involved in a war they don’t agree with? If you ask me, journalists that go into a war zone sniffing out the news should know and understand that they are risking their lives for their stories and that they should have no reasonable expectation of protection via press pass. That these men died is unfortunate, but it doesn’t seem particularly criminal. Now, if the soldiers in question knew the journalists were in there and killed them intentionally, say to prevent them from publishing a story that put the soldiers or the war in a “bad light,” then that’d be different, but that’s not what’s been purposed as far as I’ve heard.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 23, 2005 1:41 PM
Comment #87485

Stephanie,

The first link that Roach provides from Investor.com, whines about how long the trial of Milosovic has taken to point out how it (the article), belives that the ICC is a farce, and oh, BTW, the US doesn’t subscribe to the ICC.

So, by comparison, how long did the Peterson trial last, or OJ’s, or Michael Jackson’s?
These were all high profile cases prosecuted in the US. None of these trials could possibly be as complex as prosecuting a war criminal like Milosovic.
And, BTW, Roach, Milosovic’s crimes were against humanity, which is why he is being prosecuted in the international court.

This is a secondary link that was in the link that Jack provided.

http://usinfo.state.gov/dhr/Archive/2004/Oct/13-40327.html

“Napper said it is a misconception that the United States wants to use these agreements to undermine the ICC. Although the United States is not a party to the ICC because it is concerned that its soldiers and government officials could be subjected to politicized prosecutions, the United States is “determined to be proper” in its relations with the court and is proceeding “in a manner specifically contemplated by the Rome Statute itself,” Napper said.”

Now, I wonder if we will ever know the exact details of the incedent that is cause of this indictment.
My first question would be why we would fire a shell into a hotel?

This is also from the acticle that Roach links;

“When President Bush declined three years ago to sign on to the new International Criminal Court (ICC), he said U.S. diplomats and soldiers could be dragged into “this court, and that’s very troubling.” High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz of Spain is showing just how right the president was.

Pedraz has issued international arrest warrants for three Americans, Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip DeCamp, charging them with murder in the death of a Spanish cameraman, Jose Couso, at Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel on April 8, 2003.

Couso and a Ukrainian cameraman were killed when American troops fired a shell into the hotel, believing that they were firing on enemy troops.

A U.S. investigation cleared the men of any wrongdoing. The worst that can be said of their action is that it was the kind of tragic error that often happens in the heat of battle.

What, then, are the grounds for a charge of murder (with violations of the Geneva Conventions thrown in)? The answer is that there are no grounds, just antipathy toward the U.S. and an increasingly popular legal theory.

Pedraz’s action is based on the idea of “universal justice” or “universal jurisdiction,” which holds that any country can bring charges against anyone, anywhere for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The same theory lies behind the arrest warrants issued by Italian authorities in June for 13 alleged CIA agents accused of abducting a Muslim cleric from Milan and taking him to Egypt.

These cases aren’t being brought under the ICC, but the new court would be the likely venue for similar ones if the U.S. were ever so foolish as to submit to it.

This Euro-justice is not just expansive; it’s also highly selective. It is sensitive to “discovering” faux war crimes committed by the U.S. and remarkably ineffective at dealing with the real thing.”

And you guys think I’m paranoid?

Posted by: Rocky at October 23, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #87553

Rocky,

I don’t think you’re paranoid… I just don’t see that.

However, I’m not sure what you’re saying either. Do you think these guys deserve to be tried as criminals? Do you think the ICC is good or bad or indifferent? Or do you just not like the way Roach is arguing it?

Posted by: Stephanie at October 23, 2005 11:00 PM
Comment #87569

Stephanie,

I am having trouble with my isp. I posted a response a few minutes ago but it hasn’t shown up yet. I will try again later.

Posted by: Rocky at October 23, 2005 11:45 PM
Comment #87577

Rocky,

I’m looking forward to your input. I’d also be truly interested in what you think of VOID.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 24, 2005 12:17 AM
Comment #87611

Stephanie,

My point has nothing to do with the guys charged in Spain, though, I do wonder why a shell would be fired into a hotel occupied by journalists. We’ll probably never know as these guys were cleared by the DOD.

A mistake in the heat of battle? Well…..
Could our “intelligence” really be that bad?

We don’t subscribe to the ICC, and frankly that doesn’t suprise me.

The US seems to think that it can do what it wants, when it wants to, with impunity, and the rest of the world be damned. As a result of this, and the fact that we still employ the death penalty, many, of our (former) allies refuse to extridite criminals we want to prosecute, though it hasn’t stopped us from kidnapping (Noriega, and there was a case in Italy involving the CIA), those criminals we couldn’t get any other way.

We want to have it both ways. We want to be immune from the ICC, but at the same time, we want to be able to prosecute folks that we feel have done us wrong.

In the “Fog of War” Robert McNamara stated that he and LeMay could have been prosecuted as war criminals, because of acts that happened during the VietNam war. Of course the world didn’t have the “balls” to do that in the ‘60’s or ‘70’s.

We want others to be held to a higher standard, but refuse to be held accountable to that same standard.
We also don’t want to be held accountable to a court that we don’t control. For good or bad that includes the ICC.

Posted by: Rocky at October 24, 2005 8:43 AM
Comment #87631

No, we don’t want to be held accountable by a court that is accountable to no one. It’s not like Spain is asking for these folks to be extradited for crimes in Spain or that violate Spanish law. Spain is purporting to prosecute these guys for actions in a war that are governed by the law of war.

The tank in question fired into the Palestine Hotel because it was believed to be housing a group that was using the hotel to fire RPGs at US troops.

Noriega was taken as an EPW lawfully as part of a military intervention to protect US rights under a treaty with Panama. He was tried for an international criminal conspiracy to import drugs into the US in violation of US law.

The ICC is novel and disturbing because it would hold various individuals responsible for international law crimes when those crimes are committed by nonsignatories and when the prosecutors will have no prudential limitations on their exercise of discretion in a manner analogous to the Independent Counsel shennanigans in the US.

Briefly, international law crimes can be prosecuted only by signatories to treaties and only then when a country consents to extradition or when the offenders are captured under the law of war. The ICC is truly unprecedented as is Spain’s view that wrong done to Spaniards in Iraq can be tried in Spain. This is not the way it works. Spaniards in Iraq are subject to Iraqi law or the law of the occupying power. We should show no respect for this farcical exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

We don’t want it both ways. It’s not like we’re asking for arrest warrants for ex-communists to be tried in the US. Even when ex-Nazis are found in the US, they’re sent to the jurisdiction where they offended, including in the 1980s various Warsaw Pact countries. So the only au courant and novel actions here are those of Spain, Belgium and the ICC.

Posted by: Roach at October 24, 2005 11:47 AM
Comment #87704

Chris Roach,

“Abu Omar
The victim was tailed on a street in Milan, immobilized with a chemical spray, kidnapped, sent in secret to the US air base at Aviano, and from there to the fastnesses of the Mubarak regime, with no legal guarantees whatsoever. Now the Abu Omar case threatens to widen the split between the United States and Italy, following the regrettable aftermath of the Sgrena case and the death of Nicola Calipari. Abu Omar’s abduction took place on the territory of a friendly sovereign state, and ally of Washington, which has courageously supported the postwar peace process in Iraq by sending troops to Nassiriya, thus exposing itself to Madrid-style terrorist reprisals.”

Those Spanish bastards don’t respect our sovereignty. Hypocrisy Hypocrisy
I wonder what the Italians think about this?
We shoot one of their’s, they do nothing so we begin to conduct covert missions on their soil.
Maybe the Spanish wanted to avoid kidnappings by our government in Madrid or Barcelona?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 24, 2005 5:11 PM
Comment #87727

Roach,

Noriega was tried on what have been called trumped up charges.
It seems that when he was usefull as a CIA operative our government looked the other way.

The OP that captured him has been called, “Operation Just Because”.

Posted by: Rocky at October 24, 2005 6:17 PM
Comment #87745

Roach,

Looks like we aren’t the only ones that don’t like the service at the Palistine;

“Suicide Bombers Launch Dramatic Attack Against Baghdad Hotel Where Journalists Work; 6 Killed
10/24/05 10:39PM GMT
By MARIAM FAM , Associated Press Writer

Suicide bombers including one in a cement truck packed with explosives launched a dramatic attack Monday against the Palestine Hotel, where many foreign journalists are based, sending up a giant cloud of smoke and debris over central Baghdad. American troops and journalists escaped without serious injury but at least a half-dozen passers-by were killed.

The deafening attack triggered confusion and panic throughout the hotel, and sent cars swerving wildly on a roundabout to escape the blasts. Inside the 19-story hotel, the force of the blasts shattered glass, tore pictures off walls and brought down light fixtures and ceilings.

The cement truck was the last of three vehicles trying to break through the wall outside the hotel. The first car drove up to the wall and exploded, blasting out a section of the concrete. According to the U.S. military, the second car was headed for the fresh breach in the wall but exploded near the 14th Ramadan Mosque when it was engaged by civilian security forces.”

Posted by: Rocky at October 24, 2005 7:20 PM
Comment #87780

Rocky,

I guess my questions about the ICC are these: Is it a legitimate court (or did Spain just make it up)? While I readily admit that we have not always acted with prudence and good judgement, we as citizens can actively participate in the electoral process that can change that, if the ICC is corrupt is there any means of redress?

I don’t approve of America’s past actions with regards to breaking (or bending) international law to suit our purposes. But the argument that “you’ve done it, why can’t we?” is juvenile and unconvincing. If that’s the argument the Spaniards are using, then I would say that they should convince our government to stop our illegal or near-illegal actions, not start their own version of the same sort of thing. Courts need legitimacy, otherwise it’s merely a farce and some sort of nationalistic vigilante justice.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 24, 2005 10:10 PM
Comment #87803

Stephanie,

The ICC is legitimate to those countries that subscribe to it. Milosovic is on trial for “crimes against humanity” in Belgium right now.

Just like the UN, the ICC is no more corrupt than the member states that signed on, and like most of what the world as a group has tried to accomplish in the last century (like the UN), it will probably fall on it’s butt due to lack of interest.

The US didn’t sign the agreement, for fear that Americans would be singled out for prosecution.
Appearantly we plan to continue to put our guys in situations that are questionable.

Posted by: Rocky at October 25, 2005 1:04 AM
Comment #87962

Rocky said: “Just like the UN, the ICC is no more corrupt than the member states that signed on…”

That’s not exactly comforting, Rocky. Let me ask a more specific question. What laws are the ICC supposed to follow? Or do they just pick and choose what they’re going to use through the various nations that subscribe to their methods?

“Appearantly we plan to continue to put our guys in situations that are questionable.”

But, of course… After all, change is so very difficult, especially considering all the other corruption our government so readily fosters.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 25, 2005 5:45 PM
Comment #87980

Stephanie,

Here are two links that can explain it better than I can.

http://www.icc-cpi.int/about.html

http://www.iccnow.org/

Posted by: Rocky at October 25, 2005 7:37 PM
Comment #88001

Thanks for the links, Rocky.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 25, 2005 8:56 PM
Comment #88411

Stephanie,

Hopefully the links helped to explain why my opinion is the way it is.

Posted by: Rocky at October 27, 2005 7:41 PM
Comment #89824

Hi All:

“European courts have increasingly shown no respect for sovereignty”…Chris Roach

I found it curious that I’d see this here so I feel compelled to Address this issue.

-IMHO-
It appears that we (the US Gov’t) have no problem violating the sovereignty of other nations when it suits our interests such as these:
1989 invasion of The Sovereign nation of Panama to in Essence Arrest Manuel Noriega for crimes against Americans and install Gov’t friendly to US Interests; Proclaimed that the FBI could bring to Justice any person believed to have committed a Crime against any US Law Enforcement Officer or Agency no matter where in the world said criminals were living/hiding, Sometimes commiting crimes in the process. It is not considered a big deal when we do it, However it BECOMES this big ugly behemoth when other countries try to do it to us. The way I see it is unless we follow the established rules we can not expect other countries to do so in return, otherwise we will only open ourselves up for attack from all sides.

This of course is only one way to look at this issue. I am not so ignorant as to think only my opinion is the correct one, after all I am a Democrat not a Repugnican.

These rants are only my humble opinions, they are not meant to offend or insult anyone. If you have been insulted or offended by my beliefs or opinions, so be it.

As Always,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at November 2, 2005 3:26 PM
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