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A Prelude to War

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Just about the time that one begins to think that George W Idiot can’t possibly renounce another world agreement or offend another country, we find his congressional henchmen are ready to declare war on another peaceful country or at the very least invade it. No it isn’t Cuba, North Korea or any of those third world banana republics in South America or even Iraq. In fact this rogue nation is well down the list as far as world hellholes goes. The answer is the stoic Dutch.

Now mind you, the Netherlands are a member of NATO and have been an ally of the US for sometime. But nether the less the bill introduced in the House by Tom Delay on May 8 and in the Senate by Jesse Helms the following days contains a clause authorizing an invasion of the idyllic land of windmills and tulips.

As preposterous as it sounds the Republican leadership limited the opposition to this bill to just thirty hours of debate and on May 10 the bill was passed by the house on a vote of 282-137. If the full Senate doesn’t pass the bill then it will have to be actively removed by the conference committee of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act.

Now just what the hell have the Dutch done to raise the ire of the warmongers in congress? The answer is the Hague, the home of the World Court. The expected establishment of an International Criminal Court by the end of 2002 once sixty nations ratify the international treaty has the Republicans shivering in their boots like a Chihuahua trying to shit a bowling ball. Currently, 139 countries have signed the treaty and 30 countries have already ratified it.

Our allies strongly support the International Criminal Court. Putsch has already strained our relationships with our allies to a breaking point with the rejection of the Kyoto Treaty and has put a distinct chill on our relationship with Russia in announcing he intends to renounce the ABM Treaty. Rejecting the establishment of the International Criminal Court will only further isolate the United States as a rogue nation in the eyes of the world.

At one time the United States could claim title to the moral leader of the world. But it has been over fifty years since Roosevelt called for a world court to bring Nazi war criminals to justice at Nuremberg. Sadly ever since Tricky Dick occupied the Oval Office we have had no claim to moral leadership. It was the Reagan administration that was found guilty by the World Court of war mongering for mining the harbors of Nicaragua. It was that conviction that has Putsch and his gang of cutthroats are in an uproar over the possibility of a United States serviceman facing war crimes charges in front of an international court.

The Delay-Helms Servicemen Protection Act is unnecessary, as there are already strong protections for our servicemen. If an U.S. service member committed a war crime, our military justice system would step in, and the ICC would not have jurisdiction. The system has worked, Lt. Calley was brought before a military court tried and found guilty for war crimes. The system worked until Reagan pardoned him. Further it was Putsch’s Secretary of State, Collin Powell who initially covered up the Mai Lai incident.

It hasn’t been more than six months since the same Republican backers of this bill were calling for an investigation of Bob Kerry’s actions in Vietnam. Further the International Criminal Court would only apply to the most heinous crimes, and only when the crimes are widespread or committed as part of a plan or policy.

Additionally the Servicemen Protection Act would hamstring future US policy. It prohibits military assistance for those nations that ratify the Court's Rome Statute, with the exception of NATO member countries and other major allies. The bill also restricts U.S. participation in any peacekeeping mission and allows for an invasion of the Hague by the armed forces of the United States to release any American or American ally being held by the ICC.

If passed the Servicemen Protection Act was passed it would prevent the United States from assisting in any actions of the International Criminal Court. Thus if the President of Sudan were to find himself before the ICC for the crimes of slavery and the genocide of Christians, or Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity for his actions against the Kurds, the U.S. would be prohibited from assisting in any way in either prosecution.

In short the Servicemen Protection Act has nothing to do with protecting US servicemen. Rather it’s a bill to exempt the United States from normal diplomatic relationships. It was Bush the pappy that invaded and kidnapped Noregia. It has been US policy to overthrow reform minded and left leaning governments and replace them with fascist dictators like Pinochett. Calling an election free like the Reagan administration did in Nicaragua after all the opposition has been murdered or intimidated into servitude doesn’t validate the election as anything more than a sham.

No the Servicemen Protection Act is nothing more than a prelude to war. Putsch has lamented twice that he would have an easier time if he were a dictator. No other world leader has rejected and renounced so many world agreements since Hitler than Putsch. Don’t give him the chance to become another Hitler, urge your Senators to vote against this travesty to justice.