«More recently, it was the turn of the Bush administration's "moderate", the secretary of state, Colin Powell. He wrote to the incoming government [of East Timor] a month ago, warning them to give a written promise not to prosecute any US citizens for crimes against humanity under the procedures of the newly established international criminal court. Otherwise the US Congress would find it difficult to go on giving aid, he advised them.
There are no US troops in the UN peacekeeping force in East Timor, making the US demand almost entirely theoretical. The urgency of the pledge being demanded from East Timor was hard to see, let alone the propriety of forcing a country to make exceptions to one of the first international treaties it intends to sign, but on this occasion the Timorese gave in. The principle is the thing: even embryonic states have to make a declaration of dependence to the world's only remaining empire before they assume their notional "independence". »