International Criminal Court or International Mischief?

July 10, 2003

By Tom DeWeese

The international community cried crocodile tears when the United States withdrew its support of the UN’s International Criminal Court (ICC). Supporters of the court laughed when the US expressed concern that our soldiers could be prosecuted for war crimes. Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, lobbied President Bush to reconsider US withdrawal.

The US, however, at President Bush’s direction, withdrew from the 1998 Rome Statute that established the Court. The action was necessary because, as one of his last acts of office, former President Clinton had committed the US to the ICC, yet another totally unaccountable UN bureaucracy guaranteed to work against our interests.

The Court came into being on April 11, 2002. Now the court is beginning its first session and guess who is the first to come under investigation for possible war crimes charges? Saddam Hussein? Osama Bin Ladin? The murderous Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, who is starving his own people and stealing any land owned by a white farmer?

The answer: Tony Blair! The British Prime Minister now finds himself among one of the first world leaders to be reviewed by the incoming prosecutor of the ICC for his participation in the Iraq war. The Greek Bar Association has announced that it will file a complaint with the ICC against Blair.

Could Blair be convicted? Would he be unable to travel to other countries for fear of being arrested by ICC cops? Would an indictment end his political career? Would a conviction mean the establishment of a new order of power in the world? All of these things are true.

Americans must understand that the UN’s International Criminal Court is not a tool to fight terrorists or murderous dictators. Rather it is a sledgehammer in the hands of the very people the rest of the world thinks are “the bad guys.” This gang of brutes, in the guise of international diplomats, fully intends to use the ICC as an equalizer to bring down the moral, productive nations they jealously covet and despise.

The Rome Statute that created the ICC was implemented to prosecute “gross human rights abuses.” In an odd pairing of mutual interests, the US, China, Iraq, and Israel voted against the Statute. The view of the US was that any such court would supercede the Constitution and directly challenge our nation’s sovereignty. This is the single, most important reason for opposing the ICC. The next reason is that, like everything else associated with the UN, the Court will prove to be an utterly corrupt instrument of politicized coercion.

To back up its opposition, the US has enlisted the cooperation of other nations, securing guarantees from more than twenty that US armed forces personnel would not be subject to ICC prosecution. President Bush recently revoked military aid to thirty-five nations that would not guarantee US immunity from the Court.

At a time when the US is being called upon to expand its peacekeeping activities, the last thing it needs is a UN International Criminal Court ready to pounce on any excuse to restrict its operations. The United States maintains military personnel in 146 nations around the world and in all the oceans and seas. The ICC opens the door to the worst kind of mischief.

There is, of course, an even greater irony. The United States underwrites nearly one quarter of the operational funding of the United Nations. It has allocated more than $726 million to UN peacekeeping activities and $820 million for general migration and refugee assistance. So, while the US picks up the tab, the UN’s ICC is poised to bite the hand that feeds it.

The powers of the United States are based on the consent of the governed. At the United Nations, “laws” are instituted by unknown, faceless bureaucrats and adopted by the consensus of appointed delegates, only one of whom is accountable to our citizens. Any number of current UN treaties, conventions, and protocols claim to exercise control over the United States. They are called “international obligations”, but under the Constitution, they are totally invalid unless approved by the US Senate.

The time has long since passed when the United States should withdraw its support from the United Nations, in whole and in part. The UN has proven itself not merely irrelevant, but a growing threat to the international interests of the United States in a world of rogue nation-states and shadowy international movements whose purpose is to destroy this nation.

The existence of the International Criminal Court is not some noble effort to bring the real despots and dictators to justice; it is itself an instrument of further injustice as the US puts its citizen-soldiers in harm’s way to rid the world of its worst, most evil elements.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.