Sovereignty Gains . . . and Losses

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

Sovereignty Gains . . . and Losses


Byline: Thomas P. Kilgannon, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Giving Iraqi citizens authority to determine their own destination is deemed so important that hundreds of American lives have been sacrificed and billions of U.S. tax dollars spent to give Iraq its sovereignty.

But while Americans have been fighting for Iraqi sovereignty, we have allowed the United Nations to strip us of another piece of our own.

At the same time the United States prepared to hand the Iraqis their sovereignty, Kofi Annan and the U.N. Security Council informed the United States that U.S. military personnel serving in U.N. peacekeeping missions will now be subject to indictment and prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) - a clear violation of American sovereignty.

The Bush administration has deep and justified misgivings about the ICC, and in 2002 removed the United States as a signatory to the Rome Statute creating the global court. It was an ignominious insult that Kofi Annan never forgave. The Bush administration has since twice negotiated immunity for U.S. peacekeepers through the Security Council.

But abuses at Abu Ghraib prison gave the secretary-general the opening he needed. It "would be unfortunate for one to press for such an exemption, given the prisoner abuse in Iraq," Kofi said, trying to wrap himself in the human-rights mantle.

But if Mr. Annan really cared about protecting human rights, he would protest the membership of Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cuba, China, Uganda, Saudi Arabia and other human-rights abusers on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. But Kofi is silent when it comes to defending human rights, unless he can take a shot at the United States in the process.

Instead, what Kofi Annan and his allies really want is for the United States to submit to the will of the United Nations and its International Criminal Court. "The world community will not stand for continued efforts to undermine the International Criminal Court," declared Irene Khan of Amnesty International. William Pace of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court saw the U.S. defeat as "a victory for international justice."

To its credit, the Bush administration hasn't conceded yet.

Last week, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita announced a few U. …

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