Sunday, March 12, 2006
Bush League Diplomatic Efforts Fail Again
The Republican "make special rules for US or we won't give you any money" school of diplomacy doesn't work well in a time when the US teeters on the edge of fiscal ruin.|
U.S. Rethinks Its Cutoff of Military Aid to Latin American NationsWhat the New York Times fails to mention is that the law forbidding military aid to countries failing to enact special rights for US citizens accused of things like human rights abuses was passed by Tom DeLay and Jesse Helms:
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
SANTIAGO, Chile, March 11 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice indicated Saturday that the United States would look for ways to resume military assistance to Latin American nations cut off from aid programs because of their refusal to shield Americans from the International Criminal Court.
Eliminating or reducing military assistance to countries like Chile and Bolivia that are seeking to combat terrorism or drug trafficking is "sort of the same as shooting ourselves in the foot," Ms. Rice told reporters on Friday as she traveled here for the inauguration of Michelle Bachelet as the new president of Chile.
Ms. Rice said, however, that the Bush administration had limited flexibility in restoring aid because a law enacted by Congress required the cutoff of military aid to countries that did not exempt American citizens from being brought before the court.
At least 30 countries have declined to enact an exemption, including 12 in Latin America and the Caribbean.
At the time the law was adopted, the Defense Department supported it on grounds that American military officials based overseas might be brought before the court. More recently, administration officials said Defense Department officials had become concerned about the loss of military cooperation with key allies.
(Source: New York Times [emphasis added.])
Congress and the Saddam Hussein Protection Act
by Douglass Cassel
The same day the House of Representatives recently voted not to pay an installment of our UN dues -- despite our legal obligation and prior commitment to pay -- it also passed a bill which attempts to achieve by legislation what the US could not achieve by negotiation, namely to strong arm our allies into exempting Americans from the International Criminal Court for genocide, serious war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Despite its politically irresistible title, the "American Service Members' Protection Act" does nothing real to protect our troops. As the American Bar Association pointed out to Congress, keeping GI's out of the International Criminal Court will merely relegate them to the less tender mercies of the courts of foreign potentates.
The ruse of protecting GI's is, for some, a cover for other agendas. For chief House and Senate sponsors Tom DeLay and Jesse Helms, the bill is a vehicle to pursue their broader ideological objective: a foreign policy based on unilateralism rather than on cooperation with other nations. If the bill seems calculated to offend other nations and to thwart our participation in UN peacekeeping, so much the better.
(Source: Commentaries, Northwestern University School of Law, Center for International Human Rights