Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good or Bad?

From Human Rights Watch:

The most brutal U.S.-backed dictator you’ve never heard of -- Hissène Habré of Chad -- has just been indicted in Belgium on charges of mass murder and torture. His indictment was a decisive breakthrough in a judicial chess game pitting the former central African dictator against a Chadian torture victim who did not give up and a New York “dictator hunter" at Human Rights Watch. ...

Then, after former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London, Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch took an interest in the Habré case. Brody, whose legal brief helped persuade the House of Lords to strip Pinochet of his immunity, was looking to extend the "Pinochet precedent" to other abusive tyrants. ... Back in 1981, Ronald Reagan saw Habré, then a local warlord, as a man who could be used to help contain the ambitions of Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, Chad’s expansionist northern neighbor. 

When the ambitious Belgian law crumbled under a U.S. attack in response to charges brought against senior U.S. officials, Guengueng and Brody dashed to Brussels. In meetings with cabinet ministers and legislative leaders, they won a grandfather clause for the Habré prosecution, convincing the authorities that Belgium could not abandon the Chadian victims to whom it had given hope.

Now, nearly fifteen years after Habré was deposed and five years after he was first arrested in Senegal, a Belgian judge has indicted Habré and is seeking his extradition from Senegal, whose president has said that he has no objections to handing him over to Belgium. Habré’s extradition would be a wake-up call to dictators in Africa and elsewhere, warning them that if they commit similar atrocities, they could also be brought to justice one day. As well as serving as another feather in Brody’s dictator-hunting cap ... 

From ABC News:

BRUSSELS, Belgium Sep 29, 2005 — Belgium has issued an international arrest warrant for Chad's former leader Hissene Habre, charging him with atrocities during his 1982-90 rule, lawyers said Thursday.

Habre, who lives in exile in Senegal, is being pursued under Belgium's "universal jurisdiction" laws, which allow for prosecutions for crimes against humanity wherever they were committed.  ... Belgium watered down its universal jurisdiction laws in 2003 under pressure from the United States after individuals brought complaints against President Bush and other senior officials.


Blogger Byron said...

Easiest question of the day. It's bad, bad, bad.

9/29/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Senegal arrests Hissène Habré and deports him to Belgium.
We have arrested folk in transit to Canada and deported them by rendition to their "Home" counties.
We have siezed "Criminal Terrorist" suspects in Italy and delivered them to Eygpt, if my memory serves.
International Law requires the Force of Arms to enforce it. Who the Police are, of course, makes all the difference.

9/29/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

First of all, I'd like to observe there is nothing in principle which prevents any other country from claiming the same Universal Jurisdiction as Belgium. It follows that those countries can also issue warrants of arrest for people according to their lights, including members of Human Rights Watch and members of the Belgian judiciary. I'm not saying that such warrants are in the slightest justified, but I cannot see the objection in principle.

Desert Rat makes the very valid point that to a certain extent, nations do this already via treaty. Yet Human Rights Watch seems to regard this as unprecedented. One could say, OK: Belgium doesn't have the power to enforce their orders, so why worry? But is their right to issue the arrest order conceded?

9/29/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mohammadan "Judges" issue Death Warrants, with bounties. The Iranian Death Warrant is still outstanding for Salman Rushdie, I think.

Iran never requested his extradition, the Brits won't deport accused criminals in Capitial Punishment cases.

9/29/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Dumb, actually. While this most recent indictment is aimed at a truly despicable character, in reality it is nothing more than a chum line for the anti-American laywer-sharks, who will eventually follow it to its inevitable conclusion. Lawyers who prosecute Crimes Against Humanity are paid out of the coffers of NGO's, who in turn receive their money predominantly from Leftist activists. Since these activists want nothing more than to see America embarrassed and her officials incarcerated, NGO's will market their legal product towards activist propensities by paying teams of lawyers to do just that.

Which will, much like the brew-ha-ha over Rumsfeld, alienate the good graces of America and American diplomacy, which for a has-been power like Belgium is just plain dumb. If it weren't so potentially disrupting, it would be laughable.

9/29/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

The Belgian law is absurd. Fundamental justice requires that people "choose," at least in a theoretical sense, the laws under which they will be subject. Personal jurisdiction over a prospective defendant, therefore, is dependant upon "contacts" with the jurisdiction seeking to enforce its laws. If Habre has committed crimes against Belgium or Belgians, then he may be subject to its jurisdiction. Otherwise, he should not be.

The United States has not helped itself in this regard, by the way. It has long tried to extend its laws and its personal jurisdiction against businesses and individuals with scant contacts. But American inconsistency in this matter does not make the Belgian law any less unjust.

9/29/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Yes, any country can claim universal jurisdiction, but in the past crimes that merited such jurisdiction, piracy for instance, were well-defined and the norms well-established by consensus, or at least by great powers.

Unilaterally declaring universal jurisdiction has happened, but only by global powers like Britain in the 19th Century. Belgium doing it for an ill-defined "crimes against humanity" is, since it is a third rate power, quite unprecedented.

9/29/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


You are right in every practical sense. But in terms of perception, the Left has framed the debate yet again.

Personally I think we should arrest and prosecute all scumbag dictators and issue a warrant of arrest for Fidel Castro as well. Now that the Cold War is over, why not go after these guys? But we won't. The issue will be politicized and the "bad" dictators (i.e. the ones who knew Ronald Reagan) will have warrants outstanding and the "good" ones will get admiring visits from world statesmen.

9/29/2005 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

In theory, I don't have a problem with this. The guy clearly deserves to be prosecuted. And Belgium does have somewhat of a special interest in this, seeing as Chad was part of the Belgian Congo. Just like I wouldn't have a problem if we decided to militarily take out some other dictator/group of people for human rights violations.

But from a practical aspect, this will likely be used as a precedent for warrants on U.S. politicians/military figures, simply because they are American.

9/29/2005 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

That is a very interesting thought, Wretchard, about arresting all dictators. Upon reading it, it struck me that a plausible end-state of Bush's goal--ending tyranny in our world--could be a push by America to label tyranny a crime against humanity and thereby enforcing this law via universal jurisdiction. Dictatorship as piracy, but of nations, not ships, and once again the English-speakers step to the plate.

It is not yet time, but if China's dictatorship should fall and democracy rise in its place...

Just a thought.

9/29/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

It is a sly move creating a precedent based on a case that all the civilized world can agree to. But once universal jurisdiction is legitimized, and the Belgium Court's (or any other such institution's) bona fides are established, who can predict where things will end? Well, I for one. It's no accident that President Bush and Rumsfeld were high on the list initially. I'll wager if this concept goes forward it won't be long before another sitting or former President or other US official will make the list again.

But if the UN or an International Court wants to criminalize dictatorships and press for prosecutions, then, well, I could go for that.

9/29/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Now, dictators will hang on for dear life, instead of, on occasion, being convinced to "retire" to other countries with their ill-gotten gains. Which is more moral- holding tyrants accountable for their butchery and thievery, or stopping it, short of war? Difficult to know, maybe all depends on the actors and interests involved, though, certainly, war to unseat dictators may be made more necessary on account of the Belgian Court.

Perhaps the Belgians are overcompensating for their famous waffling.

9/29/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

With each evolution of the state there is a coincident change in the requirements for legitimacy. The Kingly state for instance was based on the King’s divine right to rule which superceded the Church’s divine right to interfere. The rise of the nation-state overthrew the monarchs in favor of territorial rule and by the people. The 20th century was fought between parliamentarianism, fascism, and communism which had different legitimacies; rule of law, rule of the Volk, and rule of the Party, in oversimplification.

Now the current international system consists of states that possess in part the inviolability of the sovereign that dates to the Treaty of Westphalia. So the question seems to be, what is the legitimacy of the current state? Is it human rights or force of arms or both and something more?

Two quick points; it would be HI-larious to view the Left, ahem, the international community, as the new overweening Catholic church, but I think it would be accurate in generality. And Chad wasn’t instrumental in blockading Libya or countering Libyan propaganda or their law enforcement efforts on our behalf. Libya invaded Chad and it is hardly against our credit to roll back Qadafi, whether or not we kept the Hissène Habré in place.

9/29/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The issue will be politicized and the "bad" dictators (i.e. the ones who knew Ronald Reagan) will have warrants outstanding and the "good" ones will get admiring visits from world statesmen. That is the irony I refer to in my last comment on the previous blog.

For glaring example, Saddam Hussein. Now the US brought him down the left led by the likes of Ramsey Clark defend him. They say you supported him at one time, as if every former friend must always be a friend.

9/29/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Exactly right, dictators knowing they will be arrested sooner or later in their exiles will start choosing to stay and fight instead of exile.

9/29/2005 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...


The Belgian courts should start off with their own country's conduct in the Congo.

Casting the first stone and all...

9/29/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Ha! The greatest case of double-speak/double-think ever in the recorded history of man!

"Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed."

That's telling them, judge! Oh wait, Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos. Damned foolish.

9/29/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Hmm,.. So exactly how many UN resolutions did they pass against this evil dude?

9/29/2005 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

war to unseat dictators

Now there's an idea.

9/29/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I believe it was in the summer of 2001 that a Washington, D.C law firm brought suit against the U.S. for NOT bombing the rail lines leading to the Auschwitz concentration camp in WWII and thereby preventing the Jews killed there from ever arriving.
That lawsuit could be defeated fairly easily by simply proving (as I have) that bombing the rail lines was a physical impossibility for the U.S. - at least, if you discount the possbility of suicide missions by the USAAF.
But if you can be sued for what you DID NOT DO in war - and obviously, you can be sued for what you ACTUALLY DID - where does that leave us?
Strategy and tactics determined by some hypothetical future set of lawyers and judges?

9/29/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Couldn't agree more, Ed.

Posted on last thread, but relevant:

No other European Colonial power, with the exception of Spain, perhaps, has left more chaos and destruction post-empire than Belgium has. Having Belgium proclaiming universal jurisdiction over human rights is like having Germany admonishing the US about our detention facilities.

9/29/2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Another "good or bad?" question:

A judge ordered the public release of the Abu Ghraib photos today, saying, "Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed." (Via LGF)

My first reaction to this was disappointment, but now I'm not so sure. If we make the argument that the terrorists attack us for our way of life, and specifically that 7/7 would have happened regardless of the war in Iraq--as Tony Blair, Bush, and others have repeatedly done (myself included)--I don't see how you can then say we should keep these pictures secret because it will incite violence against us.

They already want to kill us. The less secrecy, the better.

9/29/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Anyone else see Peggy Noonan's column about governments taking authority but not responsibility? Case in point. Going after deposed (or retired) dictators is kind of like shooting the man-eating tiger after it has grown old and toothless. Of course, you can have it stuffed, and it isn't quite a lie to claim that you shot a man-eater, but it isn't quite the truth. The responsible government would hunt the tiger while he's actually eating people. For those interested in authority, it only matters that you claim to have destroyed a man-eater. Wake me up when the Belgians have the guts to go after one of the current crop of vile and murderous African dictators.

9/29/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Don't mean to break in here but has anyone else heard the ominous news that the number of Iraqi battalions capable of independent action has fallen from 3 to 1?

That sounds bad indeed. Just heard a promo on NPR.

9/29/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...


Sounds like they got downgraded due to inadequate performance in the field, but my sources are Reuters and AP. Apparently this was from testimony on Capitol Hill by Gen. Casey. For all the info given, the battalion motor pool may have dropped below the Pentagon's minimum standard, or the standard may have been raised due to field experience. They just don't say. My honest money is on the first option as the Iraqi NCO/junior officer pool's lack of experience has been a known issue, and the US has had recent opportunity to view Iraqi units in action.

9/29/2005 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...


Yes, General Casey confirmed that number today in the briefing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, in response to Sen. McCain's question.

Casey's explanation: focus has shifted away from complete independence to "leading", which is a lesser creature. Because the US is trying to sail between the Scylla of ineffectiveness and the Charybdis of dependency, they have decided to put the Iraqi's out front as soon as possible but to keep the support structure of the US behind them, to watch, teach, and insure. Putting them into the fire teaches them self reliance, but US leadership is afraid to let the Iraqis loose without American presence in the background, so we get leading instead of independence.

That was Casey's explanation, and Abizaid seconded. The entire interview of Rumsfeld, Meyers, Abizaid, and Casey is well worth watching, and should be available either on the Pentagon Channel or soon on C-Span, where I watched it earlier today.

9/29/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

It seems most believe that taking out brutal dictators is a good thing. One nation extending its laws beyond its borders 'universally' is a bad thing, yet 'passing judgement' and acting on that is (if it is a really truly bad person) a good thing. Incidently the Helms-Burton act is another example of the US projecting its laws beyond its borders.

It also seems to me most here think a rule of law for 'the world' would be a good thing, if it is not subverted by political intrigues. The ICC was designed with all of this in mind, and it seems to be a worthy approach.

9/29/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/29/2005 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

Wretchard - i agree with (what i perceive to be) your principle concern, that we are at risk of allowing the Left to frame another important debate.
Among those i know who were opposed to the campaign in Iraq, those i most respect opposed it because they were worried about the long-term impact on comity and respect for sovereignty. simply put, they could not see how we would be able to object to other powerful nations doing regime change of their own.
it seemed to me at the time - and seems to me now - that there is no easy answer to this unless you are willing to embrace the idea of american exceptionalism and the truly radical idea that NO non-democratically elected government is legitimate. period. personally, that is what i believe, but i also hope that wiser people than me (including most of those on this blog) have thought through the implications of that.
As for framing the debate, we must not lightly oppose an effort to punish cruel dictators for their sins: at the very least, we should be very clear about the greater sins we feel it would cause to embrace the concept. One of those may not be fear that such a process would be used by the radicals to attack our own citizens: i would propose, for example, an active campaign to negotiate a treaty with all decent governments aimed at protecting our people from arrest, prosecution and extradition. we carry the big stick. we are using that stick - fop good - in the middle-east and elsewhere; let's also use it to keep our people safe from this threat.

9/29/2005 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

There was also some question of infrastructure to support independency, and some uncertainty as to the competence of the Ministry of Defence, but I did not get the impression that the Generals were as concerned about the retrogression as McCain was.

Of course, McCain is grandstanding and positioning for the Presidency. I think the simple truth is that we don't know for certain why those particular battalions were scaled back from complete independence, but the overall strategy seems to be working.

9/29/2005 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

The big problem I see is that harassing former dictators has the opposite impact of that desired. The behavior of dictators is 100% dedicated to keeping themselves in power and protected. If they know they can safely leave, they just might do so when the pressure is on, perhaps thinking that they can come back later. Guys like Idi Amin might fight a little harder to stay in power if they expect a harsh future. Instead, international effort should be focused toward dictators still in power, still oppressing people and causing suffering. We need to squeeze these people out and undermine their access to power. I don't care if they go to Tahiti and live a life of luxury on ill-gotten gains as long as they're out.

9/29/2005 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


I am not sure that I am wiser than you (although I never was a democrat!) but my opinion is that Saddam never had a legit moral claim to sovereignty. He rose to power via the barrel of a gun and sustained it by methods much worse.

Ironically, while I can think of many good conservative reasons for maintaining a wicked status quo of Saddam Hussein, I can think of no liberal progressive ones. And while it may be politically expedient at times to contain a tyrant rather than remove him, this would at best be an act of realpolitick... and never one of morality.

9/29/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger chuck said...

Chad was a *French* colony. And I believe France was the country that had troops there and supported Habre, among others. Let's see: link, scroll down to history.

Never believe the left, they are invariably full of sh*t.

9/29/2005 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


As we discussed previously, the US will never surrender it's Soverign authority to an Intenational Court. We will not/cannot detain and deport citizens without an internal Judicial Review, which is prohibited by the ICC Treaty.

The idea here, amongst the posters, is that the idea of International Law is okay, if the US can enforce and judge it. That Belgium is over stepping it's percieved position in the World.
But the idea that there can be Law without Police has never succeeded before, doubt it will in Sudan, either. We will see if Sudan turns over the Suspects when and if the ICC unseals the indictments arising from the Darfur situation.
If they do, it will be shocking.

9/29/2005 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger nccardfan said...

Without a death penalty in Europe, what on earth is really the point of bringing a retired genocidaire to Brussels?

That's pretty expensive moral preening.

9/29/2005 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

You're right about Chad. I was thinking of Zaire. My bad!

9/29/2005 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

"The idea here, amongst the posters, is that the idea of International Law is okay, if the US can enforce and judge it."

This is American Exceptionalism at its finest. Why should the US be above the Law? Why should only the US have soveriegn rights?

9/29/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The other Countries did not, do not have to surrender the Sovereignty, they chose to on their own. We choose not.
Besides we are the World Police.
Even Kofi wants US back in Haiti.
Who else you gonna call?
The Belgium Army or Ghostbusters?

9/29/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

ash - (1) only democracies should have "sovereignty."

9/29/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

and (2) between democracies, "universal jurisdiction" is simply unnecessary.

9/29/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

ex-dem, these democracies, they are easy to define are they? Iraq, is it a democracy yet? Hey, Iran and Egypt had a vote.

Is there some sort of Litmus test? Does France qualify?

9/29/2005 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Bookworm said...

I don't need to remind anyone that just a little while ago, an Israeli General narrowly escaped arrest in England. Given anti-U.S. animus, it's eventually going to become so that no American citizen can travel abroad without arrest. And if one keeps going down that line, there's no reason for these countries that have arrogated so much power to themselves to show up on our doorsteps. (Yes, I'm being extreme, but all slopes are somewhat slippery.)

9/29/2005 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ash, though I disagree, raises an argument that must be confronted, both here at home and abroad, because it is almost ubiquitous on the Left and in Europe: What gives the US the right to sit in judgment on others? What gives the US the right to deny universal jurisdiction to others while keeping it for ourselves?

A Machiavellian answer would say that power gives us the right, though really you must lose the language of "right" since it is inappropriate in this context. The operative term would instead be "ability" or "wherewithal". We are the Prince, neither completely virtuous nor completely evil, and opportunity is knocking.

It is not so dramatic as it sounds, since we favor even in the US a loose confederation of states instead of an overpowering central authority. American global governance would resemble, but not equal, that arrangement. At most it would consist of enforcing an ethical paradigm that would lead to peace, carefully calibrated to guard against malcontent and rebellion.

In the realm of laws, if we encroach too much on others, if we start passing laws that are exploitational and beyond the pale, like Britain did with the tea-tax, then other countries are perfectly free to go to war to settle the dispute, just like we did in our revolution. This is an unattractive argument morally, but Machiavelli was not interested in morals. He was interested in how men really behave. I am particularly fond of this perspective because I know that Americans do not want slaves and dependents. They just want more Americans. And (this is where exceptionalism comes in), more Americans mean more peace and prosperity.

Perhaps we should start accepting applications for territories, with the understanding that territories are eligible to become states. Who can argue against such self-determination?

Either way, we have already achieved much of this governing construct already, though it is under the radar. But slowly we are solidifying our control--land, air, sea, space, and cyperspace; culturally, economically, militarily--and the world could do much worse than to be under American supervision.

There are many more reasons why America should pacify the world, ranging from capitalist self-interest to Christian charity and mercy, but that's all I've got for now.

9/29/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Aristides, I thank you for grabbing the bull by the horns.

America has not always acted well in the past and there is no guarantee that it will act nicely in the future. What was the name of the fruit company that operated in central america?

If I were a mucky muck in Iran, getting Nukes and soon makes sense.

9/29/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

dead is dead
The Iranian muck would not be saved by having a Nuke.
The reality is that the US has many levers to pull, most not involving US nilitary. For individuals to propell themselves to the forefront of the Target list is an error on their part.

As al fin noted the other day, the challenge in Iran is individual people, not the Country. When blogging Iran is a Nation, when hunting we can target individuals, with our soft power options.
Their Nuclear Program will eventually trigger a reaction.

9/29/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

ash - is it really your position that any approach to world affairs that is not "easy" must be wrong?
please, do not be coy: if your position is that all territories and the regimes that run them must remain presumptively equal, then say so.
And then take responsibility for the genocides in the Sudan, rwanda, cambodia, etc etc, and the human rights abuses in china, iran, saddam's iraq, zimbabwe, etc etc.
But do not for a moment think you can stand above and wash your hands of all that torment and suffering simply by abdicating the exercise of judgment - even if it's not "easy."

9/29/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

ex-dem, I think you have it 180 degrees wrong. The easy way out is to say "We are Sovereign, the rules do not apply to us". It is much harder, and ultimately more beneficial, to craft rules and enforcement which we all need live by. We, in the US, have managed to do it with our relatively loose amalgamation of states, there is no reason why we can't make similar, and more loosely bound, states at the world level. We are talking genocide here.

Currently, it easy for the US to say, "hey, look, genocide in Darfur" and not do anything about it.

9/29/2005 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

ash - frankly, i'm at a loss where to start with that (and anyway i'm at my 3 posts per thread limit). let me just say that your suggestion that the US subordinate its sovereignty to an utterly undemocratic and unaccountable foreign legal regime is a non-starter. (you can read just some of the reasons here:
why you want it to is another matter.

9/29/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger chuck said...

Currently, it easy for the US to say, "hey, look, genocide in Darfur" and not do anything about it.

As opposed to, say, France, Germany, Russia, and China?

And frankly, I don't want any of those countries calling the shots either, including that French spinoff, Bruxelles. I regard them all as regressive to one degree or another. But the immediate cause of grief could be rectified if we let the Flemish speaking areas go to Luxembourg, leave Walloonia to decide between independence and France, and make Bruxelles into a free French speaking city. Folks might then have less reason to distract themselves from the local situation with delusions of relevance and post-colonial moral imperialism.

9/29/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"What gives the US the right to sit in judgment on others? What gives the US the right to deny universal jurisdiction to others while keeping it for ourselves?"

Consent is an important factor. Red River pointed out that sovereign nations often agree to extradition treaties, which is in itself an expression of sovereignty. Where a nation decides to impose its jurisdiction over a non-consenting state the result is commonly called war. War is an exceptional act not to be compared with an order from a Belgian judge.

In the case of Belgium, according to this description of its Universal Jurisdiction, "Universal jurisdiction means that a state can punish 'certain offences recognised by the community of nations as of universal concern' though that state has no links of territory with the offence, or of nationality with the offender or even with the victim.

The basic premise of universal jurisdiction holds that every state has an interest in bringing to justice the perpetrators of particular crimes of international concern."

It's not entirely categorical, but a plain reading suggests that an affected State's consent is not a requirement for Belgian jurisdiction to apply. Therefore Ash's accusation, "we are Sovereign, the rules do not apply to us" properly pertains to Belgium. This to me is what makes Universal Jurisdiction different from established extradition.

There's more on Belgium's Universal Jurisdiction at Amnesty Internation's Website. Arising from an action against Ariel Sharon, Amnesty claimed all countries had:

1. an obligation to search for and bring suspects before their own courts (or to hand them over to another state).

2. permissive universal jurisdiction for states that had made out a prima facie case against a person suspected of a grave breach, without any requirement of a link to the forum state.

3. surrender to an international criminal court

9/29/2005 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


If Belgium's Universal Jurisdiction principle were valid, then the Cuban exiles could go down to a Miami court and get a warrant of arrest for Fidel Castro. What obstacle could exist in principle if a Belgian Court can issue an arrest order for Donald Rumsfeld or Ariel Sharon?

9/29/2005 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"O Ye Peoples of the World!
Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite."

The Glory of God, the Lord of Hosts

9/29/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...


Yes, if universal jurisdiction were valid for anything other than piracy or genocide, Miami Cubans could do just that, which is why the very idea is so untenable unless universal jurisdiction action became a tool of foreign policy, brought by counsel for the Executive Branch. Otherwise, without armed forces to execute the warrant it is an empty threat and a waste of paper.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that, in addition to France, Belgian public officials are immune from prosecution while still in office, which means that the court of the land will not sit in judgment of a sitting official of Belgium, but will sit in judgment of a sitting official of Israel or America.

How crazy is that? I think Israel has a name for that: chutzpah.

9/29/2005 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

re: consent

You are right, of course. Still, consent can be passive and tacit, or active and explicit.

In law, actions can determine consent even if the words were never spoken. Likewise, I think, for geo-political acquiesence.

So the question remains: how far to push our new world order? Until they reach for their guns, says Niccolo.

9/29/2005 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...


1. What happened to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Wasn't this sort of thing supposed to be the purview of *that* court? Since it started trying Milosovic however many years ago, it seems to have just turned belly-up and gone under -- you never hear ANYthing about it any more.

2. I have a problem with someone who wasn't actually harmed charging and trying someone else. If your bull hasn't been gored, then how is it any of your business?

3. Additionally, I have a problem with people who are not elected charging and trying other people. Who *are* these judges, how did they get there, who do they report to, and what code of law are they following? And most importantly, if they screw up, is there a way to get rid of them?

4. I bet sooner or later it'll come out that someone is paying these Belgium judges lots of moola for their cooperation.

9/29/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Chuck wrote:

"Currently, it easy for the US to say, "hey, look, genocide in Darfur" and not do anything about it.

As opposed to, say, France, Germany, Russia, and China?"

Exactly, if there were an international agreement, akin to what extradition treaties, and what is proposed of the ICC, then France, Germany, Russia, China, and the US can not simply look away and attend to other things. It would, and should, be prosecuted.

Ex-dem, what is the problem with the US proclaiming that it will not commit genocide, and if it does, the perpetrators should be held to account?

Nahncee, you asked whatever happened to the ICC, whell, it still exists but the Bush administration has fought against it every step of the way and refused to sign on.

9/29/2005 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And always will
It will never be ratified
The "Crimes" covered by the ICC are not even defined, they are on a "To be Determined" status.

We went through this before.

The US Governmenent would become "illegal" or "illegitimate" if the ICC treaty was ever ratified. It would be, in and of it self, a violation of my and your Constitutional right to trial amd judgement by a jury your peers.

9/29/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

"Ex-dem, what is the problem with the US proclaiming that it will not commit genocide, and if it does, the perpetrators should be held to account?"

Two problems, the most obvious being that the US already has laws against murder and genocide. It has laws that have punished soldiers whose offenses have stopped way short of genocide. But the second problem is more subtle. Since the enforcement mechanism will be one of voluntary compliance it will be biased against the law-abiding. A US undertaking to turn over suspects to the International Criminal Court will be earnest, but a similar undertaking by Kim Jong Il or Fidel Castro, or the government of the day in Liberia will be pro-forma; they are already signatories to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, much good may it do their victims.

I would go so far as to say that any state honest enough to voluntarily turn over a suspect to the ICC would almost, by definition, be honest enough to try the suspect itself. Any nation who could not be counted on to try a genocider could hardly be relied on to comply with an ICC request.

9/29/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Ash, now don't heap all the praise on the Bush administration vis-a-vis the ICC. Bubba did his bit to veto it too, you know.

But why does the U.S. need to sign on for it to actually *do* anything? Is this terminal flopping about in the water the same thing that would happen if the US disengaged from the UN?

9/29/2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I think the question should be whether or not the Belgium courts are seeking to take over the job description of the ICC. And if so, who's funding that take-over attempt?

9/29/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger enuff said...

No doubt the Fwrench will offer him immunity and a wonderful penthouse along the Seine.

Is there a tyrant the Fwrench haven't loved? Read Eric at No Pasaran,

9/30/2005 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

wretchard writes - "any state honest enough to voluntarily turn over a suspect to the ICC would almost, by definition, be honest enough to try the suspect itself. Any nation who could not be counted on to try a genocider could hardly be relied on to comply with an ICC request."
exactly. that is why i wrote that the process is unnecessary between democracies and improper between non-democracies.

9/30/2005 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/30/2005 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard wrote:
"I would go so far as to say that any state honest enough to voluntarily turn over a suspect to the ICC would almost, by definition, be honest enough to try the suspect itself. Any nation who could not be counted on to try a genocider could hardly be relied on to comply with an ICC request."


Will the ICC Undermine Sovereignty of Nations?

"In short, no; the ICC is meant to be used when national systems do not, or are unable to function.

As quoted above by the official ICC site, the “jurisdiction of the ICC will be complementary to national courts, which means that it will only act when countries are unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute."


Since most of us seem to agree that folks like Saddam Hussein should be taken out and that there is a definite problem with a single nation extending its law outside its borders then the logical solution points to a court like the ICC.

The US should engage with the world and shape the ICC to be an effective court capable of addressing the most egregious crimes. Something like taking out Saddam Hussein could be done with international sanciton, dollars, and troops. Petty self-interest could be sidelined when dealing with issues such as genocide.

9/30/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

"Since most of us seem to agree that folks like Saddam Hussein should be taken out and that there is a definite problem with a single nation extending its law outside its borders then the logical solution points to a court like the ICC."

There already was an international institution designed to deal with the problem of genocide and war and leaders like Saddam Hussain. It is called the United Nations Security Council. But it has singularly failed to work. In the hundred or so wars since the UN was founded only two were met by collective action. Korea 1950 and Iraq 1991.

The rationale advanced for the necessity of the ICC is ironically that the UN has not and nor will ever conceivably be of any use in preventing genocide and war. Therefore we need another multilateral institution even weaker than the first, the ICC to do what the stronger could not. And since it entirely logical to repeat the same mistake over again and expect a different result, the US should sign up forthwith.

9/30/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/30/2005 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

The problematic veto does not exist at the ICC

9/30/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

"The problematic veto does not exist at the ICC"

Effective vetos exist at the ICC on several levels. First, ICC judges are nominated by States and elected by the Assembly of States. Second, convictions are possible only if "at least two of the three judges are convinced of the suspect’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt" and no two judges in a case may be of the same nationality. Maybe that's why the ICC, with 18 Judges, a headquarters in the Hague and a budget of $100 million a year is prosecuting two fearsome groups: the Lord's Resistance Army of Uganda and an unnamed militia leader in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Never in the field of human conflict have so many tried to arrest so few.

One of the most ironic objections to the ICC is noted by Wikipedia: "Some have argued that the crimes the ICC has jurisdiction over are recognized under international law as crimes of universal jurisdiction, meaning that any state may try individuals who commit these crimes, even if they are committed by foreign nationals on foreign territory." In other words, those who believe that the Belgian and other courts have "Universal Jurisdiction" argue that the ICC is unnecessary! Which may be why Human Rights Watch filed their suit against Habre in Belgium rather than the ICC.

9/30/2005 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The fundamental problem with "international" criminal courts is that the majority of countries, especially in the Third World, employ corruption and coercion as a standard operating procedure. In consequence, they can hardly be expected to create a body to investigate themselves. Hence, the only targets that even Human Rights Watch can take on, within their preferred system are broken down old men like Pinochet, fallen dictators of small African countries and punk gangs in out of the way places.

The real test of a system that can abort crimes against humanity is whether they can act against a sitting leader like a Hitler,Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic or Hussein.

9/30/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Therefore the US should engage and help develop such a system which could act against a sitting leader rather then oppose and undermine it.

9/30/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

we already have such a system,
it is operating in Iraq.
Democracy is on the March
Electoral Freedom beckons

14 days and a wake up.

9/30/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

One nation with a couple of allies in tow is not even close to such a system. There is such a wealth of conflict of interest that a successful outcome is extremely unlikely.

9/30/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Any who wish to join US on our march to individual freedoms and representitive government are welcome to join US.

Either as individuals, millions flock to US each year, or as Nation State allies, in our endevours to improve the liberties people can enjoy, world wide.

9/30/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger George M Weinert V said...

the Lefties don't care they love dicatators - it's BUSH that is the Nazi - remember?

9/30/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger George M Weinert V said...

the Lefties don't care they love dicatators - it's BUSH that is the Nazi - remember?

9/30/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

The US has also fallen prey to this in the trial lawyers concept of universal lawsuit jurisdiction for the US. That is, parties can sue in US courts for crimes committed outside US jurisdiction and territories.

Some examples: (1)The 150 million dollar lawsuit won for suing Cuba for shooting down "Brothers to the Rescue" who ignored Cuban gov't warnings that they would be shot down if they violated Cuban airspace again after previous incursions. (2)What is known as the Holocaust Industry. Lawsuits in US courts against foreign corporations, countries with assets in the US for any liability the courts can attached to what the corporations or countries did to Jews once the Nazis took over. That also has included several US companies that helped win WWII, but had subsidiaries seized by Nazis even though the subsidiaries were damaged or destroyed in the War - frequently by products of the very companies being sued and by the employees who joined the American military. Well, no matter say the lawyers...IBM Hollerith cards were used by the German Pension system, which then used them to racially track Germans, ergo, IBM has to pay 100 million or so into the trial lawyers fund - even though the IBM plant the Nazis seized was bombed and a total loss.

It's nuts.

As nuts as Belgium's claim to be able to morally judge and ajudicate criminal events happening well outside Belgiums spheres of influence.

9/30/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

we already have had a successful outcome.
Saddam is no longer in power in Iraq. The mass murdering and mass grave filling, is over. The paper shredders are no longer fed humans, feet first, to shred.
All that equals Success, in and of itself.
There was an election, months ago, to establish a Constitutional Legislature. There will be another election, for the Ratification of the successfully written Constitution, in 14 days and a wake up.
A Federal Republic will be established in Iraq, soon. A National Army will be able to defend that Government from the Insurgents, it already has taken OFFENSIVE action in Tal Afar.

What is YOUR matrix of success?

9/30/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

How many others in Iraq, outside the 52 fugitives from the deck of cards most of whom are dead or detained, would you & the ICC have indicted.
The ICC would, by now, have abandoned Iraq, it's Suspects arrested or dead, it's responsibilities over.
If the ICC was going to indict Osama for mass murder and issue "International Warrants" why hasn't it already
Same with Belgium. I guess neither Jurisdiction believes that the US citizens can be victims.

9/30/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Hey, Saddam is gone, so are many of the 52, so everything is fine is it? Why aren't the troops leaving? Why did 100 die in the last two days? ummmm, maybe because things really aren't so peachy keen in Iraq.

9/30/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What would the ICC have done? After they had arrested Saddam?

Who would they have deputized to provide security and run the Country? Other Baathists?
Mr. Allawi or Mr. Chilabi?

What would the ICC "exit plan" have been, after they arrested Saddam's henchmen?

Why have they not served the Indictments in Sudan?
Why do they remain sealed?

Old deposed tyrants from Africa and Milosevic. And he is making the entire system look the fool.

Milosevic's Lawyer is coming to Saddam's defense, claims an over 50% chance of Saddam being President of Iraq, again, within a year. (FOX News) He thinks we will reinstall Saddam, to save decades worth of US Policy dirty laundry from being made public, in Saddam's trial.

We will get to watch Iraqi Justice at work. The Lawyers and Judges, they say it may take a year to complete the Trial.

The 100's die because Criminals are killing them. What should we do, leave the Country of Iraq to the Criminals, to the Justice of the ICC, or Belgium.
How long until they send a Marshal?
Let's watch the ICC serve a Warrant on Mr. Z.
Conspiracy to Commit Mass Murder, should be easy as pie to get that indictment.

9/30/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The US troops are not yet leaving because, in reality, we did not want the ISF ready before the Government was ready to Command it.

To have left Iraq in the hands of a strong military, a year ago, would have left the Iraqi Government in an impotent position, the ISF omnipotent. Not a good scenario, historicly.
While we COULD have accelerated the Military training and buildup, the development of the Political side was a more difficult mission.

9/30/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mediaskeptic said...

It's neither good or bad. It's political theatre, which seems to be the best the Left is capable of.

If Universal jurisdiction laws were anything else, they would be obliged to pursue mass murder in Rwanda, or the necklacing of blacks in South Africa by the ANC, or the murder of Sudanese by the thousands, or the hundreds of thousands of muslims killed by terrorists in Algeria, or millions killed by Pol Pot, or the victims of IRA terrorists, or the victims of Marxist guerillas in Columbia, or the imprisonment of dissidents in Cuba, or the repression of dissidents in China, or the death of tens of millions in the Soviet Union, or any transgressions and murders by Saddam Hussein, or daily terrorist attacks on civilians in Iraq today, or the murder of Jewish civilians, or Iran's sponsorship of international terrorism, or Syria's sponsorship of terrorism at home and abroad, or white farmers beaten to death in Zimbabwe, or Lybia's intelligence agents downing a PanAm plane, or ... you could go on for paragraphs. But, really, what's the point?

By not pursing any of these they have established they have no moral authority. It's just another Leftwing paperdoll outfit they are cloaking themselves in.

9/30/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

The ICC is a brand new institution and the world’s sole superpower is actively trying to thwart it. To then rail on about its’ lack of success is not useful. I agree the ICC could be better, that it should have teeth, power. It is sort of like railing on at the Palestinian Authority for not exerting full control over Gaza after Israel has gutted its power.

We seem to agree that individual nations projecting their laws beyond their borders is a bad thing. Some seem to think that America alone should do this. This is like saying the Americans are a master race. It does not sit well (to put it mildly) in the rest of the world. Are the Belgians a master race and their laws should govern us? I think you get my point.

So, what are the options? Bush, leader of the master race, can issue a decree that Saddam must go (a decision heavily influenced by economic as well as geopolitical considerations) or we can try to set up a system where there is some impartiality, some due process, some rule of law. This is what the ICC could become. To object to the ICC because it has not worked to your ideal level is to admit it should exist only it is not working well enough. The US should exert its considerable influence to make it effective. There should be a world order where genocide is quashed by the community of nations, not by a single nation (as if it wanted to or coul), acting solely in its (necessarily) self interest.

Desert Rat, you mention Mr. Z being brought up on charges for conspiracy for mass murder. Do you really want the bar to be that low at an international court like the ICC? Rumsfeld may very well fear indictment then. If we keep the bar high, like genocide, then Mr Rumsfeld should not worry, particularly with the functionality of the US judicial system.

Desert Rat, your last post regarding the utility of a weak IDF sounds like spin. C’mon, do you really think that we’ve been stalling on getting the IDF up to fighting form because we are worried that they will obey a weak political class?

9/30/2005 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Ash - Wretchard made the point that it is pathetic to try to bind the world to noble laws your idyllic but powerless little country or corner of the world crafted if there is no "law enforcement" but the ability to snag powerless old dictators or designated "perps" that stray too close to a Belgian Gendarme in an airport on the way from one country to somewhere else.

I'd be far more impressed if the Lefty countries pushing such "ICC laws" would take the time to form units that could project the power to enforce such laws to where the trouble is.

Or be committed to being even-handed in their "moral outrage" to the point where they would have tried to balance the Right Wing powerless culprits with commie butchers or - God forbid - even the Muslim butchers of the PLO that pass freely through Europe to collect bags of money without even a thought to issuing a warrant for an Arafat toady-boy.

A year or so back, Belgium was threatening to arrest Rumsfeld for Abu Ghraib "atrocities" if he ever passed through Brussels while the Chocolate Poodles of the French were licking the asses of Iranians at a trade show, inc. some of the more bloody-handed theocrats. Rumsfeld was just the latest one - for two decades, threats are periodically made to arrest Kissinger for Right Wing crimes done in Chile.

Colin Powell threw the semi-Froggies a loop. He said if the Belgians tried it on Rumsfeld on a visit to NATO or a EU meeting, he'd recommend the 101st airborne and a few carrier groups be readied for an operation against Belgiums lawless conduct. And recommend NATO be moved out of Brussels to boot. The Belgians tried the "surely you're nor serious!!!" line on Powell. He replied he was serious.

That fed into the Belgian debate that perhaps universal jurisdiction for Belgium to try all the world's crimes might not be such a great idea after all. Things might get dangerous!!

9/30/2005 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

no ash, they Military will not follow a weak Government. The Strong horse, the military, tends to become the Government, happens all the time. Look at Pakistan for a Nuclear power where that has occurred.

If we had chosen to install a "Strong Man" system in Iraq, I do believe we could/ would have stood the Army up at least a year quicker.

If we had partioned the Country we could have, quite possibly, gotten out quicker.

We are attempting to install the most difficult of governing systems in Iraq. In the long run it should be for the best, in the short term we've done quite well.
Comparisons to any other comparable conflicts make our casulties seem light. The civilian deaths are the responsibility of the Insurgents. Compared to Pol Pot's Cambodia, Mugambe's Zimbamwe, Sudam's Darfur, Milosivic's Serbia, Kim's North Korea or even Saddam's Iraq, we have done quite well for and by the Iraqis.
The best indication of Success, the million cars that have been imported to Iraq, not bad for a "basket case" economy and a population of 25 million folk.

9/30/2005 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Dammit, C4, would you please stop being reasonable and launch into a tirade on Zionist lesbians or something. I agree with entirely too much of what you said, but choose to disagree publicly out of general principle and cyncism.

10/01/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/01/2005 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...


In judging the worth of anything, you judge its effect. Saying America is particular worthy is simply saying American values have the best effect. If the Master Race of Germany had decided that, instead of trying to enslave the world, they would become self-abdicating monks who just wanted to buy the world a coke, the outcome would have been much better for them, and the world, and the term Master Race would not be as derided as it is today.

So you must look at effect, because results are everything. The ICC has no discernable effect on sitting dictators, and no discernably different effect on the law-abiding and decent governments, so it is superfluous and worthless. Superfluous power has the tendency to be abused, so why support it?

America, in her quest to enlighten and empower the poor and oppressed of the world, is not acting superfluously, and is having a very positive effect everywhere we touch. So unless you can find a system or a power that is equal or superior to America, in questions of effect, any argument against American exertion of power is based on biased principles, or unsuppressable sensitivities.

Think about it. Would the world be better if American values of equality before the law, self-government, self-reliance, human rights and independence spread forth to all corners and to all people? The answer is Yes. Would the world be significantly better if the ICC passed meaningless judgments on sitting dictators, and superfluous judgments on law-abiding nations? The answer is No.

Then why argue against the former and for the latter? I'm afraid the reason is that you value your sensibilities more than the well-being of the world's poor and oppressed.

10/01/2005 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/01/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

aristedes - ash does not share your view that "equality before the law" and "human rights" are "American values," nor that "self-government, self-reliance, ...and independence" are worthy aims.
as to the former, perhaps he feels that there are many non-americans that share those values. indeed there are, but there is no nation anywhere that manifests its commitment to them as much. as to the latter, i suspect he believes that these values are anticommunitarian and anti-social. that is simple naievete.

10/01/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Having lost faith in the Israeli justice system, Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories are contemplating seeking redress for their numerous grievances against the State of Israel in international courts, especially in Europe.

Palestinian and foreign human rights activists have long complained that the Israeli justice system doesn't give equal and real justice to non-Jews, particularly if they are Arabs. One Arab Knesset member last week described the Israeli justice system as "designed to be accommodative for Jews and punitive for non-Jews". "The plain truth," said Ahmed Teibi, "is that Palestinians can't find justice in Israel, neither here, nor in the occupied territories." He cited a study by a Haifa University professor, Arieh Ruttner, showing that Israeli courts systematically discriminate against Arabs, whether as defendants or as plaintiffs.

10/02/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Having lost faith in the Arab world's justice system, Jews in the Arab world..

stop there are no jews left in the arab world, all are either dead or driven out....

10/02/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

One Arab Knesset member last week described the Israeli justice system as "designed to be accommodative for Jews and punitive for non-Jews".

One Jewish governmental member of any of the 21 arab nations could not describe anything since there is not one Jewish member of any Arab government in the arab world....

10/02/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

cedarford wrote:
"I'd be far more impressed if the Lefty countries pushing such "ICC laws" would take the time to form units that could project the power to enforce such laws to where the trouble is. "

agreed! They could also, as Desert Rat once suggested, hire retired US forces personnel. Again, if the US got behind such an institution there is much that could be done. It would be very beneficial to the US. As it stands now we are the nation bearing 95% of the burden in Iraq.

10/02/2005 07:40:00 PM  

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