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United States Resists International Criminal Court
By Carl Nyberg
In July 1998, in Rome, the nations of the world negotiated a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The treaty was approved by a vote of 120-7.
The United States, as represented by the Clinton/Gore administration, voted against the treaty. The United States would not support the treaty without the United States having the power to block prosecution of any case.
Past courts have been created for specific situations, like the Nuremberg tribunal, and the tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. These tribunals only had jurisdiction over specific times and regions. But many of humanity's most notorious criminals have avoided prosecution.
The ICC assumes jurisdiction when local authorities are unable or unwilling to prosecute cases.
The ICC requires 60 countries to ratify the treaty before it enters into the force of law. Advocates of the International Criminal Court are concerned that the U.S. will use its considerable influence to block ratification and prevent the treaty from entering into force of law.
So when someone asks you how you would respond to terrorism if you're not for bombing African pharmaceutical plants, tell 'em, "I'd prosecute the terrorists in the International Criminal Court, except that the United States refuses to sign the treaty!"
Contact Carl Nyberg for more information at:
P.O. Box 3996
Oak Park, IL 60303
Carl Nyberg is a member of the Chicago VVAW Chapter.