Friday, August 19, 2005

Some Allies Lose Handouts for Supporting ICC

It seems that some allies are offended by America's efforts to insulate herself from the ICC. What is it that they are upset about? The fact that the United States does not consider the UN to be loftier than its own constitution?...No. That the United States will not support the court?...No. The fact that these countries are losing funds they feel they are entitled to?...You got it!

Bush's Aid Cuts on Court Issue Roil Neighbors (Account Required)

The United States has since cut aid to some two dozen nations that refused to sign immunity agreements that American officials say are intended to protect American soldiers and policy makers from politically motivated prosecutions.

…the cuts are generating strong resentment at what many see as heavy-handed diplomacy, officials and diplomats in seven countries said.

In testimony before Congress in March, Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, the commander of American military forces in Latin America, said the sanctions had excluded Latin American officers from American training programs and could allow China, which has been seeking military ties to Latin America, to fill the void.

Pay up, or we’ll cozy up to the ChiComms! Nice. If that's not extortion, I don't know what is.

Most of the penalties, outlined in a law that went into effect in 2003, have been in the form of cuts in military training and other security aid. But a budget bill passed in December also permits new cuts in social and health-care programs, like AIDS education and peacekeeping, refugee assistance and judicial reforms.

In an outburst, in June, President Alfredo Palacio of Ecuador told a Quito television station that he would not yield to Washington. "Absolutely no one is going to make me cower," he said. "Neither the government, nor Alfredo Palacio nor the Ecuadorean people need to be afraid."

Then you don’t need to be paid either. Quit whining.

Others, like Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch, acknowledge that there are countries that may want to use the court "as a political battering ram."

I only note this because Human Rights Watch seems to be supporting Bush on the issue. Who would have guessed it?

It's a contradictory policy and it's ungrateful," said Luis Hernández, a retired Ecuadorean Army colonel who was educated at the United States Army War College.

Ungrateful for what? Does America owe something to Ecuador? That’s pretty bold from a colonel who received a free education in America.

"We will not change our principles for any amount of money," said Michael I. King, the Barbados ambassador to the Organization of American States.

That works for me. Let’s put that money back into America.

Until the United States amends the Constitution to state that the ICC is the law of the land and may trump American courts, it should be opposed vigorously. It must be opposed vigorously. What is interesting here is the way that some countries see US aid as an entitlement. On the one hand they poke a stick in our eye. On the other, they get offended when their un-earned military training and cash are cut off.

The day that the United States subordinates itself to the corrupt UN is the day that we should just abandon the Constitution altogether. If our ‘allies’ feel a need to subject themselves to a kangaroo court in the Hague, that is their business. Their outrage at the loss of funding shows how they want it both ways. No can do.

The Bush administration should, however, be consistent. Cut them all off, not just the easy ones.