War Crimes Trials Require a Far-Too-Supreme Court

By Francis, Samuel | Insight on the News, January 18, 1993 | Go to article overview

War Crimes Trials Require a Far-Too-Supreme Court


Francis, Samuel, Insight on the News


With the invasion of Somalia, we've seen the new world order's army creep close to reality. Now, with departing Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger's call for "war crimes" trials for Serbian and Croatian leaders, we're about to witness the birth of new world order justice.

Until the U.N. Security Council resolution "ordering" U.S. troops into Somalia, the new world army was merely a jiggle in the nerve cells of UN. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. When President Bush complied with the phony U.N. order, the army turned out to be our own. Since Bush and his cronies have been peddling the notion of traipsing about the globe to fight other people's wars for the past few years, that outcome is not too surprising.

Nor should it be surprising that the supranational state being created also will engage in two of the fundamental functions of government besides war-making, namely law enforcement and the administration of justice. That is precisely what Eagleburger's plans for war crimes trials will set a precedent for.

War crimes trials, of course, are not new. We had a taste of them after World War II, when both German and Japanese leaders were hauled into jury-rigged "courtrooms," "tried," "convicted" and then punished. Given the atrocities many of these leaders had authorized or executed, there wasn't too much complaint at the time. Only a few mossbacks who cared about constitutionalism, like Ohio's Sen. Robert A. Taft, raised much fuss about the proceedings.

But the Nuremberg trials were also an act of political expediency. The victorious Allies of World War II had to do something with the Nazi and Japanese leaders, and they couldn't very well hang them or shoot them on the spot without pitching to the winds the whole moral rationale for the war in the first place. Using a thin cover of legality, the Allies convened the courts and got on with the hanging.

In the Balkans, the situation is entirely different. There has been no war by outside forces, and there are no victors to administer Nuremberg justice. Any trials that are authorized or convened will have to come from some power other than the kind of alliance of sovereign states that occupied Germany and Japan.

That's where the new world order comes in. Eagleburger has been vague about who will set up the courtrooms in which Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and others would be prosecuted, but presumably the "war crimes tribunal" the secretary is muttering about would be an agency of the same United Nations that is now on the eve of gaining the military force to make its decisions stick. …

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