The United States and the World - The ICC Question

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lord Bane, Jul 14, 2002.

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  1. Master Ood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 1998
    star 4
    quote:
    i agree but as the ICC stands right now it is too easy for "judges" who have grudges against other countries to act on them. let me use an example not concerning the U.S.

    (i hate what if's but here is yet another one) what if an Israeli leader is subject to trial under the ICC and the presiding judge is Palestinian. need i go on?

    quote:

    yes it is wrong and i i think that the U.S. is a world leader and needs to take the lead in dealing w/ these dictators.

    now i do NOT wish to have some elitist american label given to me because even though i am U.S. military personnel, you have no idea how much i would Love world peace. if i thought the ICC could acheive this in it's current state i would be in total support of the U.S joining it. but it is too flawed the way it is now.

    yes the ICC was meant to "defend the innocent from monstrous atrocities" but i feel as it stands right now it is just welcoming unjust actions due to prejudices in the name of justice.

    Edit: i am off to bed, i'll be back tomorrow to comment on your rebuttle. :)/>/>/>/>
  2. topgoalscorer_no11 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2001
    star 3
    'i feel as it stands right now it is just welcoming unjust actions due to prejudices in the name of justice.'

    Mr 44, Master Ood. This is the flaw in my argument. I don't really know enough about the ICC to dispute this. Maybe tommorow I'll read up on it and get back to you. You could well be absolutely right. I think the only real difference we have is that I am arguing for a change to the existing organisation, whereas you believe it already to be too far gone to be redeemable.

    As the topic for debate is 'should the US join the ICC' and not 'should it join the vague idea I have for what the ICC should be in my head', I think for the moment I have to concede to your greater knowledge.

    'now i do NOT wish to have some elitist american label given to me because even though i am U.S. military personnel, you have no idea how much i would Love world peace'

    I'm sure you do, I'm sorry if you got any other impression. My own brother's a member of Her Majesty's Royal Navy, and anything anyone with a connection to the military can bring to the table is very much appreciated.

    The area I was debating was really the principle rather than the facts. Thanks for enlightening me- I don't think we really disagree that much. Which is a slight shame in a way as I'd love to carry on. If I can come up with a reason why I think the US should join 'as is', I'll be sure to post it here.

    So no rebuttal. At least not yet. Time for bed.

    Thanks.
  3. xian-me Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Some countries will sign with the ICC in hopes that it will solve all their problems, no matter what the cost to their citizens personal rights.

    Others won't sign unless the ICC agrees to certain provisions because of the cost that would fall upon their citizens.

    Who's right and who's wrong? None of us can say. Most countries think that they work just fine on their own, and therefore are either going to view the ICC as a formality or an irratation. America, for better or worse, does not want to outright subject its citizens to that. Anti-americanism isn ot just name-calling; sometimes it's tear/mustard gas, riots, police, and other types of violence.

    America IS a unique country. The principals that it was founded on were radical for its time [freedom of religion, speech, although it's not quite kept up that way, imho.]

    Let's put in an odd perspective - you are the father of a family of a few kids [4 or 5.] You discipline them on your terms. Now, the city council wants to step into and say that they have the right to disicpline your children in the same way that you can. Would you allow them to?

    This post is not pro- or anti- american. Just a thought.
  4. Darth_Omega Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    What is "smart" in your opinion?

    If a person knows stuff that's important for his job.

    Before the elections most people here thought and agreed that Bush wasn't really smart. And especially he didn't know much about stuff like foreign politics.
    Like who's president of ..... most of the time he did not know.

    He should know that stuff because he's competing to be president...

    That's off topic. :p

    except for the WWII thing,
    The United States was not part of the blame game

    SidiousDragon has explained everything I'll post it again :p

    Versailles Teaty (Ridiculous sanctions against Germany) + failure of Leaugue of Nations because of its lack of Executive power (Abyssinia, Manchuria) due to the refusal of the USA to join (much to Wilson's sadness) + Non intervention of Britain and France to counter rise of Fascism (Spain) + impossible viscious circle of debts (Germany can't pay reparation to UK and France, thus France and UK can't pay debts to USA; USA, after 1929, unable to offer financial support; France invades Ruhr region of Germany to compensate), worsened by 1929 economic crisis = War.

    Where are you getting your history from?

    My history books, they are always in a neutral aspect. Without siding one country.
    That's the best way to learn history :p

    As for the US starting WWIII, please explain how we could start such a war. Take me through each step... we're new at this. We've never started one before so perhaps you could share

    True the step by step will be revealed in time ;) (I do know some scenarios that can cause WWIII )

    well, I am satisfied. We seem to have found some common ground.

    Agreed :D

    I for one did not like Clinton, but he did know how to woo the people

    I also noticed that Americans and the rest of world think completly different.

    we like Clinton, you hate him
    we hate Bush, you like him [face_plain]

    How can we ever come to an agreement [face_plain]

    After all the troubles are ended there are going to be problems between Europe and US.

    But I think the EU is flawed, and the single currency.

    True, but atleast with EU and the single currency the chance that there is going to be a war between Germany and France is almost null.

    YEP you are absolutly right. judges in American courts have been corrupted in the past.

    they have?

    oh :p

    give me proof it WON'T be corrupt.

    Sorry to say but there is no proof. It can be corrupted like everything else...

    the ICC is for those countries who are in such disarray that the ICC would be the only law it

    This has been said before US should join it to actually force it in other countries.

    what if an Israeli leader is subject to trial under the ICC and the presiding judge is Palestinian.

    Nice point I think the ICC should prevent this from happening. It is possible to do that.

    America IS a unique country.

    ARGH don't start with that! I hate it when people do that. They always so arrogant.

    Of course USA is an unique country but so is every other country in the world.

    you are the father of a family of a few kids [4 or 5.] You discipline them on your terms. Now, the city council wants to step into and say that they have the right to disicpline your children in the same way that you can. Would you allow them to?


    Nice point, it is difficult to say I dunno what I should say. I shall think about it :)
  5. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    And we were doing so well, with complete sentences and on-topic discussion. <sigh>
  6. Darth_Omega Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    with complete sentences

    hey I'm dyslected, I tend to forget words [face_plain]
  7. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    What we're running up against here is extremely deep philosophical differences about government itself. The entire American system is based on the assumption that governments can't be trusted, and that unchecked power will eventually be abused. Our entire system is based on the principle of having checks in place to prevent that from happening. Everything in our government is accountable to the people, either directly or indirectly. And no single power in the government is ever unchecked; everything has limits. - Steven Den Beste

    Now I'd like to borrow an excerpt that Red-Seven posted:

    "...The only legitimate laws and judicial systems are those rooted in and held accountable by national constitutions and parliaments.
    Transnational structures, such as the international criminal court, have judges chosen by political horse-trading, so that their judgments are likely to be politically distorted...law can never be wholly apolitical, so to be considered legitimate it must be rooted in a democratic system that citizens also consider legitimate." - The Economist


    The entire philosophy of American government is that the citizens are the government, control the government, create the government.
    In sharp contrast to that entire philosophy, the ICC. In exchange for one puny vote, we submit members of our populace to the mercy of a world not noted for its love of the United States. If we, as citizens, find that our troops are being persecuted unjustly we have no recourse but to sit by and watch. We can't change the court, or fix it.

    Our refusal to compromise our principles pertaining to the government's direct relationship to the people doesn't endear us to the rest of the world. We're seen as stubborn, stuck-up jackasses because of it.

    But frankly, what else can we do?
  8. SidiousDragon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 4
    hey, I'm back again, not saying anything on the topic anymore, but I'd just like to congratulate Starfire for his fine arguments, although I still totally disagree with him.

    I'd also like to respond to recent accusations of me being anti-American. I just answered this in detail in a recent PM, so I'll just cut it short and say that, I most definitely am not anti-American, but I am totally against th policies of the American government and military. For some reason, some people on this board fail to see the difference, because of strong nationalistic feelings. Nevertheless, as I said in my PM, this isn't a Europe vs America argument. I know many American's who share my views, I work with Americans on a daily basis, I'm on a board dedicated to an American film, and if you read my sig, you'll see that I'm a huge fan of someone I consider to be the greatest director who ever lived: and American called Steven Spielberg.

    I have only one major problem with America: the fact that any criticism of the government is taken as being anti-American, and linked to that, the fact politics are far too right-wing, with virtually no left-wing influence, and only two right-wing parties to chose from.
  9. Olivier Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2

    The entire philosophy of American government is that the citizens are the government, control the government, create the government.
    In sharp contrast to that entire philosophy, the ICC. In exchange for one puny vote, we submit members of our populace to the mercy of a world not noted for its love of the United States. If we, as citizens, find that our troops are being persecuted unjustly we have no recourse but to sit by and watch. We can't change the court, or fix it.


    I fail to see this "sharp contrast in philosophy" here: as a citizen of the US, you submit yourself to the mercy of judges that, although American, may not be noted for their love of your own religion, color, political views, job, etc. And in this case the only recourse you have ultimately is also, "one puny vote". With all those restrictions that have been aluded to earlier in this thread, it can even be argued that you have in fact more recourse in the case of the ICC than you have with an American court.

    The citizens are the (national) government, and the (national) governement are the ICC, create the ICC, and control the ICC. I see no fundamental difference. Just a greater distance from the casual citizen.

    (don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying thet there is no good reason not to join the ICC, but just that I don't see how the idea of an international court whose judges would be "elected" by national governement is that different from the philosophy of citizens electing their own judges in the US)
  10. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    "the fact politics are far too right-wing, with virtually no left-wing influence, and only two right-wing parties to chose from."

    Sounds like sour grapes from the Left. Tough cookies. I rather like not having so many left-wing loons in the Government...though it is at the expense of having more of the Right Wing loons about. But they're more easy to take the piss out of, so it all works in the end.



    As far as O's argument, degree of seperation *is* a key point. That degree of distance reduces the check and balence in the arrangement, and is not attractive. Most would argue that the Judiciary in the United States is overly political already...think of the problems with an even less apolitical judiciary?!
  11. tenorjedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2000
    star 5
    Oliver part of the contrast is that not every nation is a democracy and their leaders not subject to the peoples retrobution. The second is that each country has it's own agendas. There may be an international community, but there is no one international standard and morals that the entire world adhears to. The third the idea of a trial by jury of your peers. Judging an individual person by leaders, diplomats and politicians of other countries falls well out of the definition of the word "peer". The forth is the distance from the individual is far greater, which is a big difference.

    Just some of the major philosophical differences.
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    as a citizen of the US, you submit yourself to the mercy of judges that, although American, may not be noted for their love of your own religion, color, political views, job, etc. And in this case the only recourse you have ultimately is also, "one puny vote". With all those restrictions that have been aluded to earlier in this thread, it can even be argued that you have in fact more recourse in the case of the ICC than you have with an American court.

    That is not the case at all. The US court system has a series of checks and balances to protect individuals from such abuses. Chief among those is a lengthy appeal system, covering at least 3 different levels. If a person is convicted by the ICC, what appeals do they get? Where are the safeguards to protect them?

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. Olivier Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2

    As far as O's argument, degree of seperation *is* a key point.


    I agree: what I meant is that this degree of separation, rather than a fundamental difference in the philosophy of the ICC, is one of the main problems.


    Oliver part of the contrast is that not every nation is a democracy and their leaders not subject to the peoples retrobution. The second is that each country has it's own agendas. There may be an international community, but there is no one international standard and morals that the entire world adhears to.


    You're right, there are many differences among members of this international community. And it is precisely the reason why international organizations are required if we want to set that standard.

    The aim of the ICC is precisely to have different governments (or nations) agree on a number of standards (in this case what we call the human rights). This is why the ICC is limited to a specific set of war crimes. If everyone already respected those standards, there would be no need for the ICC.

    Do you think that each and every American citizens would respect the same standards or morals if there was no law to define those standards and no court to judge those that don't respect it? Of course not. The aim of the ICC is basically the same as a national judicial system: it sets a law and judges those that don't respect it. And here the law has to be agreed upon by all participants, not just the majority.

    So, I don't think there's a fundamental difference here.

    The third the idea of a trial by jury of your peers. Judging an individual person by leaders, diplomats and politicians of other countries falls well out of the definition of the word "peer".


    I had the idea that the main target of the ICC was war criminals: those people are mainly leaders and poloticians: people who have the power to decide those big scale crimes. So I think it is indeed well within the definition of peers.

    The forth is the distance from the individual is far greater, which is a big difference.


    This is a difference I already noted in my first post. Maybe I wasn't very clear: by a fundamental difference, I meant a difference in the very principal of those court (keep in mind the post I was responding to). A greater distance is I agree a problem, but it does not denote a difference in the principle of those courts.

    That is not the case at all. The US court system has a series of checks and balances to protect individuals from such abuses. Chief among those is a lengthy appeal system, covering at least 3 different levels. If a person is convicted by the ICC, what appeals do they get? Where are the safeguards to protect them?


    I don't know the details of how the ICC works, but aren't there appeal systems? I thought there was some sort of safeguards (like some kind of security counsel). I'll have to look into this. If there aren't any appeal procedures, then I think you have a very good point here.
  14. tenorjedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2000
    star 5
    The ICC could definetly try soldiers and other non politcal figures. Despite that trail by jury requires an unbiased jury, which politcal figures are most definetly not. Unless the defence gets to veto the jurors like in US court rooms that would leave room for abuse. But then again, how many jurors could one veto in an international court?
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I don't know the details of how the ICC works, but aren't there appeal systems? I thought there was some sort of safeguards (like some kind of security counsel). I'll have to look into this. If there aren't any appeal procedures, then I think you have a very good point here.

    At most (I'm also a little fuzzy on this), the ICC offers you one appeal to a political body (not another judge). What I was refering to is the US's multi-tiered judicial appeals system (not counting the possibility of executive pardon). The ICC offers no such system.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Sidious,
    I would like to thank you for answering my PM. It did clear up alot of concerns I had.

    I think however, that there is a difference between raising legitimate concerns about a government or its armed forces and bashing. (although I understand your views now. :)

    For instance, with regards to the ICC, many people have posted that the US is not the only country that did not sign:
    (www.un.org/law/icc) France signed after inserting 6 paragraphs of exemptions, including the right to use first strike nuclear weapons!!

    I have still not seen anyone, including yourself, address this issue or condemn the other non-signing countries. The arguement always goes soemthing like "the US is preventing world peace" or "the US appears to have something to hide."

    If the ICC is such a great deal, why have over 20 OTHER countries, besides the US failed to ratify it? <EDIT: I think that if we answer this question, we will also see why the US SPECIFICALLY has not signed(taking into account the brillant previous posts)>

    I really am interested in how the US is portrayed in other countries. Its a view we aren't really exposed to here, and I think that it will go along way with international relations.

    All I am asking for is specific concerns, rather than a blanket "I don't like the US government" statement.
  17. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    "I really am interested in how the US is portrayed in other countries."

    That's a little off-topic and in-depth for this thread...and unfortuneately you're going to get too much junk from the peanut gallery.

    Look up essays on the web, for a start.
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Ok, lets stick to the ICC.

    I would just like to clarify the edit in my last post.

    What is the common thread that would make the ICC unattractive to so many countries?

    I think, that the way it is set up currently, the ICC is just too poltical to do any real good.

    Go to the website and read the rationale behind the ICC, it started with a moral purpose. It is the execution that is flawed, not the ideal.

    Flip the coin over. Suppose a service member from a Islamic nation was being tried in the ICC by American and European judges. His defense could be that he was being a martyr under Islamic law. "Hold, on the judges would say. We don't reconize Islamic law." Is that muslim soldier recieving a fair trial under the laws that HE believes in? Nope.

    It's a simple matter of the world not being ready for a real ICC. The court forces nations to accept differences between them, without really understanding those differences.

    Until there is a single "world" law, with a single standard, the ICC will be filled with exemptions, politics, mistrust, and be rendered ineffective.
  19. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    In case anybody is curious, the US is now threatening to halt aid to any country that does not exempt US soldiers from the ICC.

    Bush is getting out of hand, IMHO.

    Peace,

    V-03
  20. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    We aid them, they can now aid us. Where's the problem?

    It's ridiculous to characterize Article 98 agreements as some sort of attack against the essence of the ICC. Such characterizations of using valid portions of the ICC statutes is merely baseless rhetoric. Article 98:
      Cooperation with respect to waiver of immunity and consent to surrender

      1. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender or assistance which would require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international law with respect to the State or diplomatic immunity of a person or property of a third State, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of that third State for the waiver of the immunity.
      2. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender which would require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international agreements pursuant to which the consent of a sending State is required to surrender a person of that State to the Court, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of the sending State for the giving of consent for the surrender.
    The United Nations put such provisions into the ICC body. Knocking a state for using Article 98 is like attacking the (U.S. Constitution's) 2nd Amendment as being unconstitutional. It's just not a valid argument.

    It's part of it, and therefore a valid part of it to use.
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Wow, this is a blast from the past.

    Vader, what is your source? I would really like you to justify this statement.

    You do realize that since the US did not sign the ICC, that it does not apply to us anyway? No exemptions are needed. The US UCMJ covers the actions of military service members.

    Also, since when is US monetary aid mandatory? WE are giving them money. It's a voluntary gift. The US can determine how much or under what conditions it disperses those funds.

    I don't expect you to give me a birthday present every year. When the present doesn't come, I don't consider you to be "out of control."
  22. Olivier Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2
    I read that too on a local newspaper, Vaderize03.

    So far in this threads, several people have given several reasons why the US could be better off not signing the ICC. I can understand those reasons.

    But this is totally different: why does the US government try to deter other nations from signing this treaty? Are they opposed to the very Idea of an international court?

  23. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Mr44-

    It was on CNN.com a couple of days ago....I think.

    I just wish Bush weren't so damn inflammatory in his some of his statements. There are rules to international diplomacy. One of them is if you disagree with a proposed policy, you start by saying something along the lines of

    'we have reservations at this time'

    You don't scream "We'll cut off your aid if you don't give us special treatment".

    I think there are some legitimate reasons for the US to stay out of the ICC in it's current form given some of the anti-americanism surging through the globe at the moment; however, my thoughts here involve HOW the US government is going about making its feelings known, not what those feelings are about.

    Peace,

    V-03

  24. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    But this is totally different: why does the US government try to deter other nations from signing this treaty? Are they opposed to the very Idea of an international court?

    We are not saying we will cut off aid to countries who sign the treaty, but that we will cut off aid to those who do not agree to exclude our soldiers from prosecution. There is a big difference there.

    Kimball Kinnison
  25. JediSmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    Vaderize03:

    No, this is a valid point. We've been quite generous with the world, and quite frankly, I have a serious problem with continuing our generosity to countries that turn around and bite our hand.

    At the very least, even if we were to sign on with protections, how do we guaruntee that someone who our system acquits of a "war crime" won't be seized and put on trial in what could very likely be a global kangaroo court?
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