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darobin (1316)

darobin
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http://berjon.com/

Journal of darobin (1316)

Friday March 21, 2003
09:57 AM

Universal Competence

[ #11154 ]

When the war started, I expected someone to call on to Belgium's courts' declared universal competence for war crimes, crimes against mankind, etc. and try to sue Bush the way it happened to Sharon and to a variety of people involved in the Rwanda genocide.

I wondered how it was going to happen. Well, instead of waiting for something to go wrong in this war, people quite simply picked stuff from Oil War One, and are consequently sueing Bush Sr., Powell, Cheney, and Schwartzkopf[Le Monde, fr(eedom)] for the bombing of a shelter that killed 403 civilians.

I guess there will be political pressure for it not to be instructed, but I was surprised it happened this quick. Belgium is, after all, where NATO resides :)

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  • How can anyone not see both these new charges and the charges against Sharon as being anything other than political?

    Those in the US that resist signing on to the ICC treaty have been completely vindicated, in my opinion.

    Someone is just now suggesting that Bush Sr., Powell, Schwartzkopf are guilty of war crimes now, after 12 years? How can anyone not see the timing as political?

    Similarly, there is nobody who denies that the Sabra and Shatilla massacres were actually carried out by Lebanese Christian Mili

    • The fact that people will press charges has nothing to do with the court itself. Once charges have been pressed, it is up to the court to see if it will instruct. I hardly find the fact that people will try to use the court for political motives surprising, and fail to see how that affects the ICC. Any court will have people come to it for a variety of reasons, some good some bad. It doesn't impact the fact that a court may or may not be a good idea. It also seems quite logical to me that crimes of very

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • Many people see the Belgium statute a trial run for the ICC. A three judge panel in Belgium certified the charges against Sharon recently, so it's gone beyond the state of just bringing the charges.

        The ICC is, or will be, an unaccountable institution that could be used for political punishment. It's clear that people will try to use it for that, based on the example of Belgium. Courts in the US have various checks on their powers to protect against tyranny.

        I hope the US will continue to insist that Amer

        • The Belgium statute has nothing of a trial run for the ICC. It works according to belgian rules exclusively, which are subject to control from Belgium only. As notes in my previous comment, I am not totally in agreement with their choices, if only because Belgium's legal system has a number of loopholes.

          The fact that the charges against Sharon have been certified means that the judges consider there are reasons to investigate. Sharon remains presumed innocent, and it doesn't make other possible cri

          --

          -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

            • The Belgium statute has nothing of a trial run for the ICC.

            Many people view the Belgium statute as a model for how the ICC would operate.

            • Sharon remains presumed innocent, and it doesn't make other possible criminals involved in the same or similar actions innocent either.

            Somehow, there's no prosecutor who wants to go after the real villains in Sharon's incident. Justice isn't just courts, even handed prosecutors are also required. I suppose I could point out these villains to the Belgium court, bu

            • There are reasons why Kosovo was different, and one of them is that the Clinton administration never said they would take over and administrate the country, and use it for US companies to make money. Giving the opposition 30 million dollars is also a better way to get democracy.

              The Kosovo intervention was very very far from perfect though. You may wish to remember that at one point the Russians openly threatened to attack the Americans, and started moving troops in that direction. That the US bombe

              --

              -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

                • Clinton administration never said they would take over and administrate the country, and use it for US companies to make money.

                The Bush administration said they would take over Iraq and use it for US companies to make money? I don't recall that announcement. Please don't confuse your hysterical rhetoric for facts.

                So, basically, you are saying that UN sanction is only necessary when it's for a good cause? I don't know who would determine whether it is a good cause or not.

                Now, here's a question. Why

                • I would be suspicious of "intelligence reports" that filtrate to the press at the exact right time, but anyway it has been a well known fact for ages that there are very high-profile weapon smugglers smuggling French weapons. They've been at it for years, some are probably French, some probably are not. A few years ago some of their leaders were caught but obviously there is enough money in that business that the network probably survived. As far as I'm aware, similar problems have occured in all major w

                  --

                  -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

                    • I would be suspicious of "intelligence reports" that filtrate to the press at the exact right time, but anyway it has been a well known fact for ages that there are very high-profile weapon smugglers smuggling French weapons. They've been at it for years, some are probably French, some probably are not. A few years ago some of their leaders were caught but obviously there is enough money in that business that the network probably survived. As far as I'm aware, similar problems have occured in all major wea
                • The Bush administration said they would take over Iraq and use it for US companies to make money? I don't recall that announcement.
                  Washington Post reports on March 11th: Companies Selected to Bid on Iraq Reconstruction [washingtonpost.com]

                  Not exactly an official announcement though, if that's what you are looking for.

                  /prakash