Courting Global Tyranny by William F. Jasper

New American Magazine
Monday, 31 August 1998 16:36

Courting Global Tyranny

Written by  William F. Jasper

ICCEverywhere throughout Rome these days the signs of construction and restoration are unmistakable: ancient monuments, temples, churches, and basilicas are shrouded in scaffolding and streets are blocked off to traffic as workmen paint, chip, clean, and pave. The furious renovation campaign is in preparation for the new millennium, which has been designated Europa 2000 by the European Union and the Year of Jubilee by Pope John Paul II.

But the most significant construction in the Eternal City this summer did not involve bricks and mortar, and was largely invisible to the millions of tourists who came to bask in the Mediterranean sun and the grandeur that is Rome. For five weeks during June and July, hundreds of delegates from 160 nations met at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) complex to construct what advocates called “the last global institution to be created in this century”: the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Contrived Consensus
Late on July 17th, the last day of the conference, following grueling hours of high-pressure arm twisting, a global “consensus” was declared by the ICC Plenary Session, and the announcement was made that 120 nations had voted in favor of approving the new “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” Only the United States and six other nations — Israel, China, Libya, Qatar, Iraq, and Yemen — voted against the statute. Twenty-one nations abstained.

The new International Criminal Court will come into existence in The Hague once 60 countries have ratified the treaty. This is profoundly significant to all peoples who dwell on this planet, and especially to Americans, since the ICC claims universal jurisdiction to try individuals charged with genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression, anywhere on earth — even if the supposed defendants are citizens of a nation that has refused to ratify the treaty and the alleged crime has taken place inside the boundaries of that nation. This unprecedented claim of authority and the extension of treaty obligation to nonparty states is a truly audacious usurpation — even for the United Nations, which has grown increasingly brazen with each succeeding global summit. If allowed to stand — and to thrive and grow, as its champions intend — this Court will sound the death knell for national sovereignty, and for the freedoms associated with limited, constitutional government.

Of course, the issue of the Court’s credibility absent U.S. participation, and the practical matter of enforcing ICC judgments against an unwilling U.S. (or against just about anyone else, for that matter, without U.S. support), has not been lost on all. “You cannot have a court of universal jurisdiction without the world’s major military power on board,” Netherlands delegate Gam Strijards was quoted as saying by the New York Times. “I won’t say we gave birth to a monster, but the baby has some defects.” The myopic Dutchman may see a defective baby, but any sober, rational evaluation of the ICC will confirm that the creature born in Rome is indeed a monster. Which is hardly surprising, inasmuch as it would be illogical to expect anything but a monstrous product to be produced by the monstrous process that was the Rome ICC conference.

Carefully Managed Forum
There is an old adage that those with weak stomachs should not watch sausage or legislation being made. That advice was especially true for the global confabulation which produced the ICC Statute. The Rome gathering was the culmination of a multi-year program of PrepComs (Preparatory Committee meetings) that had been carefully orchestrated to arrive at the contrived global “consensus” that is now being celebrated by the devotees of “world order.” Far from the careful, deliberative process concerning narrow, tightly defined issues that typify most treaty negotiations between nations, the ICC summit was an exercise in managed chaos aimed at establishing an international criminal code that will be binding upon the entire planet. Yet all the redundant, pious platitudes about reverence for “the rule of law” could not hide the fact that this was truly a lawless conference in pursuit of lawless objectives.

Terra Viva, the official NGO (non-governmental organization) newspaper, noted in its first issue for the conference that “with more than 1,700 passages of the draft statute in brackets — indicating disagreement among governments over wording — almost every issue central to the ICC’s existence is still open for discussion.”

“Even by past standards of international treaties,” the radical journal commented, “the draft statute … is vague and runs to a hefty 166 pages in English.” What this meant for conference delegates was an impossible task of trying to keep up with a dizzying deluge of endless text revisions, high-powered lobbying by NGO militants, and devious schedule manipulation by Conference Chairman Philippe Kirsch.

The conference organizers were taking no chances and had so blatantly stacked the deck in favor of the ICC that its creation was never seriously in doubt, despite the furious diplomatic theatrics and the frequent handwringing over a multitude of obstacles that supposedly threatened to scuttle the statute. To begin with, by holding the conference in Rome, the ICC advocates were guaranteed not only the advantage of all the assistance which the left-wing Italian government would give, but the aid as well of a huge cadre of Italian professors and activists who have been among the most fervent apostles for establishing a global judiciary. Holding the conference at the FAO further guaranteed that the huge UN bureaucracy would be strategically positioned to assist in all phases of the event — far more than if the summit had been held at a neutral venue.

To tilt the process even further, the conference was loaded up with delegates from UN agencies such as the International Law Commission, UNESCO, UNICEF, the UN Commission for Human Rights, the UN Commission on Crime, the UN Office for Drug Control, and intergovernmental organizations like the Council of Europe, the European Community, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Interpol, the Organization of African Unity, and the Organization of American States.

But by far the most dramatic development in Rome was the emergence of the NGOs as rent-a-mob power brokers in the increasingly sordid business reverently referred to at these gatherings as “evolving norms of international law.” Paul Taylor, diplomatic editor for Reuters, sinned by understatement when he reported that “the enormous influence of NGOs inside the conference was one of the key features of the five-week Rome meeting.” The incestuous relationship between the UN/ICC officials and the NGO radicals — and the flagrant connivance by the two forces to push the entire conference proceedings ever leftward — made a complete mockery of their sanctimonious paeans to justice, fairness, transparency, and the “rule of law.”

Conference officials attempted to establish a moral imperative at the outset which posited that the ICC was essential not only to end the gravest of crimes but to restore the credibility of the UN and global institutions. “If we succeed,” World Federalist William R. Pace told the ICC conference “it means the establishment of a court which will prevent the slaughter, rape, and murder of millions of people during the next century.”

By keeping the conference rolling at a relentless pace and swarming the conferees with non-stop lobbying by militant NGO delegates, the organizers achieved a pressure cooker effect which wore down any resistance to the pre-ordained outcome. The Rome process provides an alarming look into the dreadful prospect of “the rule of law” under an unrestrained UN regime.

Vague and Dangerous
John R. Bolton, senior vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, in his July 23, 1998 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that even for genocide, the oldest among the crimes specified in the Statute of Rome, “there is hardly complete clarity in what it means.” The ICC Statute contains the same definitions for genocide that are found in the Genocide Convention. Mr. Bolton observed: “When the Senate approved the Genocide Convention on February 19, 1986, it attached two reservations, five understandings, and one declaration. One reservation, for example, requires the specific consent of the United States before any dispute involving the U.S. can be submitted to the International Court of Justice. One of the understandings limits the definition of ‘mental harm’ in the Convention to ‘permanent impairment of the mental faculties through drugs, torture, or similar techniques.’ Another understanding provides that the Convention should not be understood to function automatically as an extradition treaty.”

Even these legal protections are of dubious value in an organization replete with thugs, tyrants, kleptocrats, and mass murderers. In fact, by giving a sense of false security they served to dignify and make palatable a toxic substance which would otherwise have been rejected for the dangerous sham that it is. However, under the ICC regime even these dubious protections are not available. Article 120 of the treaty states emphatically, “No reservations may be made to this Statute.” In order to ratify the Statute, the Senate would have to repudiate the positions it laboriously worked out to cover the obvious defects in the Genocide Convention — and then trust that parties who mean us harm will not make use of their ample opportunities to charge American citizens with “genocide.”

“War crimes” and “crimes against humanity” are even more vaguely defined, and thus, fraught with even more danger. Under crimes against humanity, for instance, we have the crime of “persecution,” which is defined as “the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity.” Would an activist ICC judge have difficulty discovering in that definition the authority to strike down any laws — or even the policies of private religious bodies for that matter — that “deprive” homosexuals of their “fundamental rights”? Not likely. How about “other inhumane acts,” such as “causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health”?

Similarly, under “war crimes,” there are definitions sufficiently broad to drive a UN Panzer division through. Consider the hooks that could be devised with these crimes:

• “Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health.”

• “Killing or wounding treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army.”

• “Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”

• “Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such an attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment….”

Can we really consider allowing a panel of UN judges to decide whether a U.S. military bombardment or other operation constitutes a crime of causing “great suffering” or “serious injury to health”? Can we truly contemplate allowing ICC “jurists” to determine if a Marine sniper or an Army patrol carrying out an ambush of an enemy force is guilty of “killing treacherously”? Is there a possibility that “outrages upon personal dignity” could be interpreted by an anti-American judiciary to our detriment? What shall constitute “knowledge” that an attack will cause “incidental loss of life or injury”? And what does “civilian objects” mean? If your mortar round overshoots and blows up a farmer’s haystack are you guilty of a war crime? Probably so, if you’re an American.

Still more disturbing is the ICC’s claim to have jurisdiction over “internal conflicts” under the “war crimes” rubric concerning “armed conflicts that take place in the territory of a State when there is protracted armed conflict between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups.” Imagine how that might be applied to the ongoing gang warfare in many of our cities, or a siege of rioting such as we experienced in Los Angeles and other cities a few short years ago.

Are these paranoid and frivolous objections, as the ICC’s fervent backers claim? How can anyone think so? We have numerous decisions by our own activist federal judges, who claim to find a “constitutional” right to abortion, for example, lurking in the “penumbras formed by emanations from the Bill of Rights.” Can anyone familiar with the record of the UN think that judges from Russia, China, Cuba, Iran — or even some of our supposed “allies” for that matter — would feel any more constrained against playing God than our own robed subversives?

Hotbed of Hatred
As one who was in Rome “at the creation,” this reporter can attest firsthand to the fact that the longstanding hatred toward the United States by the vast majority of the pathetic regimes that comprise the UN menagerie is still alive and well. Day after day during the ICC conference the U.S. was subjected to tirades and condemnations — by official delegates as well as by NGOs — for past and present sins. In fact, from the non-stop anti-U.S. invective one might imagine that America is the principal, if not the sole, source of evil in the world. The billions of dollars that we have ladled out over the past half century to these countries and the UN itself have purchased us not an iota of good will.

There were calls for prosecuting Presidents Bush and Clinton for war crimes. The NGO “Society for Threatened Peoples” charged the U.S. with these past “war crimes”: “Dropped 15 million tonnes of bombs in the Vietnam War, conducted air raids on Cambodia, supported Indonesia’s annexation of East Timor, backed right-wing death squads in Guatemala in the early eighties.”

Months before the Rome summit had even begun, the UN Commission on Human Rights had targeted the U.S. with a purely political attack alleging that this country unfairly applies the death penalty. The Commission report charged that the U.S. was in violation of the 1966 UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and called on the U.S. to suspend all further executions until U.S. state and federal laws were brought into compliance with “international standards and law.”

Of course, we don’t mean to imply that all of the U.S. bashing was emanating from Third World countries, communist satrapies, or UN agencies. Canada, Norway, Britain, Germany, Italy, and other European “allies” vied for top anti-U.S. honors, too. On the final day of the conference, when the very minimal objections of the U.S. to the ICC were soundly defeated, the assembled delegations erupted in a tumultuous and defiant display of anti-American jubilation — which was joined by much of the press corps — including “American” reporters.

Naturally, the U.S. NGOs topped all others in attacking their homeland. As Reuters reported, “the American NGOs were the scourge of the United States” at the conference. On July 8th, a Terra Viva headline, “Police Brutality Deeply Rooted in U.S.,” announced the release of a Human Rights Watch report charging a national “epidemic” of police brutality. The 440-page report, entitled Shielded From Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States, was time-released for maximum effect on the conference. Human Rights Watch spokesman Richard Dicker seemed never to be satisfied if not hurling vitriol at the U.S. But that has not hindered him or his group from receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year from the Ford Foundation.

Open-Ended Aggression
It would be utterly foolish to imagine that this army of international rabble rousers masquerading as “human rights” champions will not seek to use the new ICC Statute principally as a weapon against America. But if the three “core crimes” offer opportunities for mischief because of fuzzy definition, what about the crime of “aggression”? The ICC Statute doesn’t even offer a definition of this nebulous crime, but simply says that the world should blindly approve the Statute and trust in the benignant global servants to come up with a universally acceptable definition. Here, exactly, is what the treaty says, in Article 5, Section 2: “The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime.” Is that audacious enough for you?

It was audacious enough to surprise even many of the most rabid ICC advocates who, as a tactical maneuver, had written off the inclusion of aggression among the core crimes as simply unrealistic. Like many others, Hans Corell, UN Undersecretary-General for Legal Affairs, had argued that attempting to include aggression might jeopardize the whole package because the “crime of aggression is considerably more complex, since it is difficult to have a clear definition of what aggression is.”

When Professor Benjamin Ferencz insisted that “aggression is a supreme international crime” and “supreme crime needs a Supreme Court,” even Terra Viva argued that perhaps now was not the time to pursue that agenda. Noted the NGO journal: “Many feel that aggression is a nebulous legal concept. For example, some point out that the International Law Commission spent twenty years unsuccessfully trying to define it. In addition, they say, aggression is performed by governments, not individuals.” Nevertheless, it is now part of the Statute. Obviously, the forces of Dr. Ferencz and Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini (another radical advocate of including aggression) prevailed.

But to pile audacity on top of audacity and usurpation on top of usurpation, perhaps the crowning offense of the Rome summiteers is the insistence by its authors that once the magical number of 60 ratifying countries is achieved, the ICC becomes universally binding on the entire rest of the world. It is an astounding and unprecedented arrogation of power. Never before has the claim been made that states which are not party to a treaty are nonetheless bound by the same instrument. It is a violation of the most fundamental principle of treaty law. As the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states, “A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent.”

Complementary Courts
This, naturally, did not matter a fig to the vainglorious globocrats on the Tiber as they set about crafting their own concept of “world law.” Besides, they warbled, concerns of a runaway court are wildly chimerical. The principle of “complementarity” would protect against any such tendencies, they claimed.

That was the tune sung by European Commissioner Emma Bonino when she came to Washington in May to inoculate the Senate against fears of a usurpatious ICC. The Court “will not … undermine national sovereignty,” she pledged, and “is not designed to replace national courts but to complement them.” Why, we have her word for it.

Likewise, World Federalist Association president John Anderson assured that there is nothing to worry about. “The principle of complementarity underlying the treaty assures that the court will hear a case only when no national court is available or willing to hear it,” he insisted. “This policy would limit prosecutions to suspects whose national legal systems have broken down or are manifestly unjust.” Canadian Justice Louise Arbour, who serves as the chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav Tribunal, is yet another distinguished “expert” who offered assurances and admonished the wary that “an institution should not be constructed on the assumption that it will be run by incompetent people, acting in bad faith from improper purposes.” The message from all the votaries of global justice was the same: trust us and our so-called “principle of complementarity.”

However, James Madison’s principle of “prudent jealousy” seems to be more apropos here. “The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents,” Madison observed. “They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.” Thomas Jefferson provided an important corollary in the form of this dictum: “In questions of power let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.”

A search of the ICC Statute yields no valid reason to prefer the advice of Bonino, Anderson, and Arbour over that of Madison and Jefferson. Indeed, Article 17 of the treaty asserts that a state is considered to have primary jurisdiction over a crime “unless the state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution.” And who will determine, under an ICC regime, when and whether a state is “unwilling” or “unable” and just how “genuine” its investigative or prosecutorial efforts are? The ICC judges, naturally.

The Court also claims (in Article 70) jurisdiction over “offences against its administration of justice,” such as: “giving false testimony” or “impeding” or “intimidating” an official of the Court. Again, the ICC itself will determine what constitutes “impeding” or “intimidating.” In the event of conviction for these administrative crimes “the Court may impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or a fine in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, or both.”

And where, pray tell, will the victims of ICC “justice” serve their sentences? Let’s consult the Statute. Article 103 provides: “A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a state designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons.” A comforting thought, no? Even more solace might be drawn from Article 104, which states: “The Court may, at any time, decide to transfer a sentenced person to a prison of another state.” In speaking of “states,” the Statute is referring not to states of the U.S., of course, but to nations. Which means that one might be sentenced to prison in Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Rwanda, etc., or even several of the above, in musical chair succession, so that your family, friends, and legal counsel might have not even the slightest idea of your location.

What’s more, the Court has been given its own prosecutor with virtually unlimited proprio motu powers to investigate criminal cases on his own initiation, or to undertake cases that have been referred to his office by state parties, the Security Council, or NGOs. These assertions of authority and jurisdiction by the ICC are obviously in fundamental opposition to American law. Under our Constitution, only the states and federal government have the authority to prosecute and try individuals for crimes committed in the United States. Article III, Section 1 provides that the judicial power of the U.S. “shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish.” No judicial body or tribunal not established under the authority of the Constitution may exercise jurisdiction over citizens of the United States for real or pretended crimes committed in the United States. Nor may U.S. officials turn over U.S. citizens to a foreign government to be tried for alleged crimes in that country without a valid extradition treaty with that country.

Right to Jury Trial
The ICC Statute is not an extradition treaty and is so fundamentally irreconcilable to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that American participation in this misbegotten institution is legally and morally impossible. One of the most cherished rights of Americans that is threatened by the ICC is the right to a jury trial by one’s peers. In the list of grievances brought against King George by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence we find:

• Combining with others to “subject us to Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.”

• “[D]epriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.”

• “[T]ransporting us beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offenses.”

It seems we have come full circle and must fight that battle again. Our Constitution (Article III, Section 2) provides that the “trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed….” This right was deemed so important that it was repeated again in the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Justice Joseph Story, in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), observed: “The object of this clause is to secure the party accused from being dragged to a trial in some distant state, away from his friends, and witnesses, and neighborhood; and thus subjected to the verdict of mere strangers, who may feel no common sympathy, or who may even cherish animosities, or prejudices against him.” Are we in less need of such protections today, especially considering the claims of the ICC and its adherents?

The Sixth Amendment also guarantees “a speedy and public trial.” Under federal law, a speedy trial has been defined to mean that a defendant has the right to be brought to trial within 70 days. There is no such guarantee under the ICC statute. If we look to the Yugoslav Tribunal as a model — as the ICC proponents so frequently advise — we see the Tribunal Prosecutor arguing that five years is a reasonable time for a defendant to wait in prison for a trial. Other ICC advocates cite the European Court of Human Rights as a model for the ICC. This international judicial body has ruled in various cases that pretrial detention of three, four, or even seven years, is acceptable.

Judicial Tyranny
All this dashes to pieces deceitful claims like John Anderson’s statement in his letter in USA Today on July 20th averring that the “World Federalist Association supports a strong international court because we want to see the world as a whole approach the high standards of justice that operate in the United States.” Quite clearly the ICC Statute represents not an embrace by “the world as a whole” of our “high standards of justice,” but an attempt to impose on the world— and the U.S. — a global mechanism for judicial tyranny. And the ICC architects have made it abundantly clear that they have just begun. To the already conveniently elastic “core crimes” they have already proposed adding drug trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, environmental and economic crimes, crimes against labor unions, embargoes, child pornography, and a host of other offenses.

Dr. Charles Rice, professor of law at Notre Dame University, has termed the ICC “a monster,” both in concept and reality, noting that it effectively “repudiates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and cancels the 4th of July.” “In our system,” Professor Rice explains, “law is supposed to be a rule of reason which, in a sense, controls the state and compels the state to operate under the law.” But the superjurisdictional ICC, he points out, has no legitimate basis for its claimed authority, no protections against abuses, no accountability, and virtually no limits to its jurisdiction. “What are the limits on the ICC?” he asks, and then answers, “There are none. It’s insane!”

Insane, yes. And if the ICC architects have their way, the entire planet will soon become a global insane asylum — with the inmates in charge.

As Terra Viva plainly stated, “The issue now at stake is global governance.” Precisely. “Global governance” is a hallowed term which poured forth in superabundance in the speeches, conversations and scribblings of the Rome conferees. Like “the rule of law,” it is globospeak code for “world government,” a term that the one-world cognoscenti have learned to avoid “because it frightens people.” We have this directly on the authority of former Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA), a former national president of the United World Federalists and a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC). As a state legislator back in 1949, Cranston authored a resolution memorializing Congress to call a national convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to “expedite and insure the participation of the United States in a world federal government.” But in a 1976 interview with the Institute for World Order, Cranston advised his one-world brethren to adopt semantic camouflage, since “the more talk about world government, the less chance of achieving it, because it frightens people who would accept the concept of world law.”

And world law under a world government is exactly what Benjamin Ferencz, the eminence grise of the ICC conference, had in mind when he told conferees that “outmoded traditions of State sovereignty must not derail the forward movement,” and “antiquated notions of absolute sovereignty are absolutely obsolete in the interconnected and interdependent global world of the 21st century.”

Just the Beginning
Many Americans who watched the Rome summit with grave foreboding no doubt heaved an immense sigh of relief on learning of the Clinton Administration’s vote against the ICC Statute and the apparent resolute opposition voiced by Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and others on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Indeed, it was comforting to hear the forceful statements of Senators Rod Grams (R-MN) and John Ashcroft (R-MO) at the July 22nd hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations. Senator Grams, who chaired the hearing, stated: “This Court claims universal jurisdiction; in other words, the right to prosecute United States citizens even though the U.S. is not a party to the treaty. It is important for Congress and the American people to become apprised of the details regarding this court sooner than later. While I am relieved that the Administration voted against the treaty in Rome, I am convinced that is not sufficient to safeguard our nation’s interests. The United States must aggressively oppose this Court each step of the way, because the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court is not just bad, it is dangerous.”

And the danger has just begun. The world government partisans who have brought the ICC this far have invested too much and achieved too much to let up now. They, of course, hope to see the U.S. ratify and become fully entwined in the Court as soon as possible, but they are willing to take many years to achieve that objective, if necessary. However, with the Establishment media cameras dishing up fresh war crimes daily from Kosovo, and more numbing atrocities from Africa, the emotional hard-sell campaign to end “impunity” can be expected to escalate and to create a formidable momentum on very short notice. President Clinton has been an avid proponent of the ICC since his first days in the Oval Office. His objections to the current ICC Statute — if real at all (which is highly doubtful) — do not concern the most fundamental constitutional, legal, and moral issues involved in this serious issue. At best they reflect his most current assessment of political expediencies. And those too can change very quickly.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem we face in this fight is the lack of dependable Republican opposition in the Senate. Even though some senators are expressing their unalterable opposition to the treaty as is, we can be sure from past experience that the gradualist war is already underway to convince them that the ICC is a fact, a fait accompli, one which we will have to recognize sooner or later, and that we might as well try to make the best of it. Our past experience with the Genocide Convention, GATT, NAFTA, WTO, and other internationalist programs indicates it will require a sustained and unyielding effort on the part of every partisan of freedom to keep the ICC monster caged. Ultimately, however, the only lasting solution is to get out of the United Nations completely and get the United Nations out of the United States.

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Among my first acts as President will be to declare an end to all sanctions on the sale or transfer of U.S. food, medicine, or goods essential to a decent life or a civilian economy now in force against Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Sudan, and all the other targeted nations of U.S. sanctions policy.

– Patrick J. Buchanan, December 12, 1999

Also read Patrick J. Buchanan’s book Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War.

World War 2 was an unmitigated disaster for the entire world, and Asia was hit worse than Europe (except for Russia) and continued to be in a state of de facto civil war until the 1970s or 1980s. This includes places such as my occasional home in Singapore.

Among my first …

SOE Cowboy Ning Gaoning Innovates

SOE Cowboy Ning Gaoning Innovates

There were good reasons for the mainland’s development of SOEs, Ning said in an interview on the sidelines of the congress.

A responsible SOE provided jobs and improved people’s living standards by offering products and services of higher quality, he said.

Ning Gaoning doesn’t just talk about improving living standards, however, he has the talents to get it done.

Ning joined China Resources (Holdings), a company that was repositioning itself from being the mainland’s sole agent for import and export firms.

With the opening of the mainland’s foreign trade sector, the time had passed when the company could make easy money just by approving imports and exports.

Ning helped the firm strengthen its foothold in various industries by launching a series of mergers and acquisitions in the mainland’s brewery, textile, property development, chemical and other industries.

He financed the deals with retained earnings of the holding company and funds raised in Hong Kong through stock market listings and bond issues by its units. As an SOE, the company had easier access to its acquisition targets, some of which were owned by local governments.

Modern management expertise and market acumen brought by China Resources benefited the industries, serving well the desire of the central government to consolidate and upgrade obsolete industries in which many firms were burdened with managements who were clueless in the face of market competition.

Ning rose from grass-roots employee to group chairman in 17 years. His international outlook and experience in reorganising companies impressed Beijing. At the end of 2004, he was transferred to Cofco to help with its restructuring.

Ning’s performance at Cofco was nothing short of fantastic:

Ning said: “We are providing foods along a whole chain of supply, which used to be controversial but now has been accepted by people both inside and outside the company. As we can control every link of food production, quality is ensured. Also, efficiency is improved.”

Under his management, the group’s net assets almost quadrupled over the seven years to 2011. Profits exceeded 10 billion yuan (HK$12.43 billion) for the first time last year, compared with 1.58 billion yuan in 2004.

China sets out its future

China sets out its future

The People’s Republic of China continues to develop its social nationalist economic approach following the changeover in party elections.

The policy address stresses “achieving common prosperity” (instead of allowing some people to become rich first) so that “the fruits of development will be shared by the people”. To do this, no effort will be spared to boost people’s incomes by “deepening the [wealth] distribution system.”

It is thus expected that the long awaited reform of the distribution system is to start after the congress. Outlines of the reform were unveiled last month, based on the principles of “increasing the incomes of low-income people, curbing excessively high incomes and to outlaw illegal incomes, so as to expand the middle income population.”

The document sets a goal of building a universal social security network to cover the whole population and improving medical insurance system – another measure in favor of domestic consumption.

An Epistulae to America: Responsible Conservatism or Jacobin Imperialism?

Where in the World Are We Going?

By Claes G. Ryn

The legacy of the Cold War and the need to resist communism can only partially explain why so many American so-called conservatives have foreign policy attitudes that are not conservative in any meaningful historical or philosophical sense. They assume that to be conservative is to be always hawkish and prone to intervention. America, many “conservatives” assert, is an “exceptional nation” called to promote “American values” in the world, by military means whenever needed. But such thinking is characteristic not of conservatism but of radical ideological movements for which the French Jacobins are a prototype. According to the militant ideologies, the world should be made to conform to the dictates of Righteous Power. At the 2006 national meeting of the Philadelphia Society, Claes Ryn, a former president of the Society, discussed the anomaly that the term “conservatism” should be attached to a militant ideological spirit or to a primitive nationalistic desire to “kick butt.” Ryn’s 2006 remarks are republished here because they are relevant to sorting out what is what in current public debate and addressing the larger moral and political principles involved. Most generally, the article sketches the contrast between a conservative and an ideological temperament. Recent opinion surveys indicate that a majority of Americans, now including approximately half of Republican voters, are disinclined to foreign policy interventionism.

Within the so-called American conservative movement intellectual and political confusion are today rampant. Hence the following attempt to sort out what is what.

First of all, a conservative is acutely aware of the flawed nature of man. The capacity of human reason is limited. Our existence is ultimately a great mystery. Conservatives recognize that for these reasons we need the best of the human heritage to help guide us.

The Jacobin suffers from no such humility. Who needs history when there are universal principles that are also self-evident? It’s all so clear. Traditions are but historical accidents, props for old elites that should be replaced by the enlightened and virtuous, people like him. Leo Strauss and his disciples have taught us to disdain “the ancestral” and heed only principles of reason.

Conservatives and Jacobins differ profoundly on what ultimately commands our loyalty. Conservatives stand in awe of a higher power. The ancient Greeks spoke of it as the good, the true and the beautiful. Others refer to it as the will of God. This higher reality is, in any case, not some ideological blueprint. To feel obligated to look for and to do the right thing is not the same as to know just what it is in particular circumstances. The complexity and unpredictability of life disincline the conservatives to sweeping, categorical assertions.

The Jacobin is a true believer. He has access to universal principles, you see, and they demand “moral clarity.” You are either for his principles, which makes you virtuous, or you are against them, which makes you evil. It’s all so clear.

To have unquestioning faith in one’s own moral superiority is for Christians the cardinal sin. Only a profoundly conceited person could think that for another to oppose him is by definition morally perverse.

But the Jacobin assumes a right to have his way. Behind his moralism hides a desire to dominate. The hesitation or trepidation that may trouble men of conscience do not deter him. The will to power silences all doubt.

For the conservative, the universal imperative that binds human beings does not announce its purpose in simple, declaratory statements. How, then, does one discern its demands? Sometimes only with difficulty.

Only through effort can the good or true or beautiful be discovered, and they must be realized differently in different historical circumstances. The same universal values have diverse manifestations. Some of the concrete instantiations of universality take us by surprise.

Because there is no simple roadmap to good, human beings need freedom and imagination to find it. Universality has nothing to do with uniformity.

For the Jacobins, ahistorical, ideological precepts define universality, and these demand conformity. Comply with them, or else.

The conservative is attracted to both universality and diversity, because the two do, in a sense, need each other. He does not cherish diversity for its own sake, for much of the diversity in the world offends all higher values, but diversity of another type is how universality comes alive in the infinite variety of individuals and circumstances.

Because universality manifests itself variously, the conservative is no narrow-minded nationalist. He is a cosmopolitan. This does not mean that he is a free floater, at home everywhere and nowhere. That describes the Jacobin ideologue.

The conservative is a patriot, deeply rooted in the best of his own heritage. It is because he is so attached to what is most admirable in his own culture that he can understand and appreciate corresponding achievements in other cultures. He is able to find in different places variations on a common human theme. The culturally distinctive contributions of other peoples deepen and enrich his awareness of goodness, truth and beauty.

The Jacobin is not interested in diversity, only in imposing his blueprint. What history happens to have thrown up is just an obstacle to what ought to be. Only what is “simply right” deserves respect. It’s all so obvious.

Conservatives see in Jacobin principles a hair-raising obliviousness of life’s complexity. To implement such principles may devastate a society. A society may be wholly unsuited or unprepared for changes demanded of it. So what, say America’s neo-Jacobins. We need moral clarity. What was there before does not matter. “Democracy” must take its place. One model fits all. To ensure a democratic world, America must establish armed and uncontested world supremacy.

The will to power is here bursting at the seams. What argument could be better for placing enormous power in the hands of the neo-Jacobins than a grandiose scheme for remaking the world? At lunch yesterday we got to hear [from Max Boot] the pure, undiluted neo-Jacobin message.

All Jacobins warn of the Enemy with a capital “E.” The Enemy is the embodiment of evil, a force with which no compromise is possible. For the American neo-Jacobins the Enemy is Terrorism with a capital “T.” Though the only superpower, America must be in a permanent state of emergency, be armed to the teeth and relentlessly pursue the Enemy.

One current assumption about conservatives is nothing less than weird: that they are hawks, always looking for prey and always bullying. Conservatives are in reality normally doves, looking for ways to settle conflicts peacefully. They view war differently from neo-Jacobin desk-warriors. The suffering and destruction of war are frightful realities involving actual human beings. War is the very last resort.

Conservatives harbor no illusions about the international arena. Bad people behave badly. So conservatives want to be prepared to handle threats to their own society and civilization or to international peace. But their normal way of interacting with other peoples is to try to defuse conflict and to pursue a common human ground. This is the cosmopolitan way.

In domestic affairs, American conservatives have always feared unlimited power, partly because of their belief in original sin. Fallen creatures must be restrained by law. Government must be limited and decentralized, hence the separation of powers and federalism.

The sprit of constitutionalism forms the core of the American political tradition. Unchecked power is an invitation to tyranny. The framers even wanted the U.S. Congress, which was to be the preeminent body of the national government, to have divided powers. Needless to say they disdained democracy.

Jacobins see no need for restraints on virtuous power. Today American neo-Jacobins are promoting presidential ascendancy and great leeway for the executive. Old restraints and liberties must yield to the needs of the virtuous national security state.

Neo-Jacobins undermine American constitutionalism by radically redefining its meaning. They have little loyalty towards the culturally distinctive, historically evolved America. This country, neo-Jacobins assert, represents a sharp break with the past. They love to speak of the “Founding,” because that term suggests that America does not have historical origins but emerged afresh from enlightened minds. Harry Jaffa and others insist that to celebrate America is to celebrate radical innovation and revolution.

Conservatives cherish local autonomy and strong communities. As far as possible people should be able to shape their own lives, partly because the good life has to be lived differently in different circumstances. Jacobins resist anything that might interfere with ideological homogeneity. Individual and local autonomy could, they think, so easily get out of hand.

It should be obvious that, due in large part to barely masked neo-Jacobinism, American conservatism has in the last few decades been turned virtually inside out. In 1952 many conservatives regarded Dwight D. Eisenhower as too “liberal” because he was not willing to dismantle the New Deal. He would only prune it. Today, in all but rhetoric, people calling themselves conservatives accept a vastly larger and more intrusive central government. Under the current allegedly conservative president [George W. Bush] alone the federal government has expanded [as of 2006] by 25%. Yet representatives of the so-called conservative movement proceed as if nothing had happened and absurdly celebrate “triumphs of conservatism.”

Only a major intellectual or moral flaw in American conservatism could have made so many susceptible to the neo-Jacobin bug. Many who caught it were myopically preoccupied with practical politics and Republican partisanship. They lacked historical perspective and philosophical discernment. Others dimly recognized what was happening but went along to reap financial rewards and advance careers. They concealed almost from themselves that they had become hired guns advocating the positions expected of them. Both groups made alliances that will prove compromising. Historians will wonder how so many could have been so easily swayed and manipulated.

Today the utopianism, recklessness, cynicism and sheer incompetence of the neo-Jacobins are becoming obvious. Many of their fellow-travelers are trying to save what remains of their reputations by jumping ship. Intellectually challenged supernationalists just raise their voices and call critics unpatriotic. As for the neo-Jacobins themselves, they are blameless. It is those who implemented their policies who should be blamed. They didn’t do it right.

The neo-Jacobin virus should have been flushed out long ago.

Claes G. Ryn is professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, chairman of the National Humanities Institute, editor of Humanitas, and president of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters.

Achievments of the PRC in Tibet

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Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet autonomous region. Contrary to anti-communist propaganda, Tibet was always a part of China. It was autonomous within China, but was always a part of it.

This can be proven by a National Geographic article from 1904. 45 years before the victory of the communist revolution.

For centuries before the revolution the population of Lhasa and Tibet were serfs in a feudal order.

Now many modern factories stand next to the oldest buildings in the city. There was no industry before the revolution. Just 26 years later there were 30 factories.

Carpet weavers who were slaves to the Tibetan holy order were now free and creating carpets for consumer consumption with a free hand using their own designs.

This industrialization made Lhasa almost completely self-sufficient in industrial goods. Before they had to import most things, even nails and matches.

The peasants now own the land they work. Which previously was owned by local officials, the monasteries and the nobles.

The farm land in Lhasa is 3,800 to 4,100 meters above sea level, but winter wheat gives a high yield over wide areas.

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In 1974, Lhasa and Tibet gained self-sufficiency in grain.

To the feudal land owners, herders were treated like animals. After the revolution they democratically operated all the animal herding in the People’s Communes.

Apple orchards became controlled by the former serfs. Apples were no longer a delicacy enjoyed only by the land owners.

Necessity consumer goods sales rose 74% in Lhasa from 1965 to 1974. These department stores now carried all kinds of consumer goods previously unavailable to the masses.

After the revolution the city received asphalt roads.

The Naching power station was built supplying more electricity to the autonomous region. Energy available to Tibet tripled after the revolution.

Before the revolution many roamed the streets begging for a living. There were 7,000 beggars in a city with a population of 30,000. Starving children and dogs scrambled for food left over by the rich.

The people of Lhasa were worked worse than animals for the monasteries and land lords. The Dali Lama was the ruler of all this, and it seemed he didn’t have a problem with slavery.

Where once a boy herded animals for the Buddhist monks, was now literate and a high ranking member of the local party committee.

He helped set up Worker’s Collages in the region. These collages were set up to provide education to those who’ve never even seen a classroom before.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena

Founded by the nephew of Shiv-Sena’s founder, the “Maharashtra New Beginning Army” is a leading force for Social Nationalism in India and the Mumbai region specifically. Though separate from Shiv Sena the two parties often work together in different spheres.

Mumbai Meri Jaan

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The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (Marathi: महाराष्ट्र नवनिर्माण सेना, English: Maharashtra New Beginning Army) is a regional political party operative in Maharashtra, India. It was founded on the 9th of March 2006 in Mumbai.Founder

The party was founded by Raj Thackeray, nephew of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray. Raj broke away from his uncle’s party in January 2006 and announced his intention to start a new political party. The reason given by him for breaking away from the Shiv Sena was that the latter was “run by petty clerks” because of which it had “fallen from its former glory”.

Foundation Ceremony

Raj paid a visit to the famed Siddhivinayak Temple on the morning of 9th March. That evening he held a meeting at the Y. B Chavan Centre, where he announced the name of his party and unfurled its blue, saffron and green coloured flag. The meeting…

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Shiv-Sena

Shiv Sena (Army of Shiva, i.e. Shivaji the founded of the Marathi monarchy) is a social nationalist party devoted to protecting the rights of locals against foreign economic and religious discrimination.

Mumbai Meri Jaan

Shiv Sena (Devanāgarī: शिव सेना Śīv Senā, meaning Army of Shiva, referring to Shivaji) is a right-wing political party in India founded on June 19, 1966 by Bal Thackeray, who is currently the president of the party. The Sena’s ideology is based on the concepts of ‘Bhumiputra’ (Marathi for “Sons of Soil”) and Hindutva or Hindu nationalism. The ‘Bhumiputra’ ideology refers to the Shiv Sena’s belief that Maharashtrians deserve more rights in Maharashtra than those who are not from Maharashtra.[1] However, in recent times, the Sena has laid more emphasis on Hindutva. In the 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), it had 15 (out of 545) members. During that period, the party was part of the government coalition at the national level. Manohar Joshi, a Shiv Sainik, was the Speaker of Lok Sabha 2002-2004.

Shiv Sena has its employment cell Shiv Udyog Sena. Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (“Indian Worker’s Army”)…

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Bal Thackeray, social nationalist, political leader and political cartoonist dies at 86

Post Bal Thackeray, Sena and son Uddhav on test regarding party’s future

The future of Sena without the larger-than-life presence of Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership qualities and the relations between warring cousins, Raj and Uddhav.

The future of Sena without the larger-than-life presence of Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership qualities and the relations between warring cousins, Raj and Uddhav.

MUMBAI: In 46 years of its existence, the Shiv Sena has been the ruling party once, sat in the opposition many times and continues to hold a vice-like grip on some of Maharashtra’s biggest city corporations. Though it has never enjoyed untrammeled power like the Congress, its status as the state’s principal and largest opposition party has never been questioned. Until now, that is.

Bal Thackeray’s death on Saturday is likely to thrust uncomfortable questions about the future of the party into the limelight. They include the future of the Sena without the larger-than-life presence of Thackeray, heir apparent Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership qualities and the relations between warring cousins, Raj and Uddhav.
In 2005, the sniping between the two went out of control, triggering the first-ever major split in the party, and the formation of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray.

Uddhav’s Challenges

Though Uddhav has been in charge of day-to-day affairs of the party in the past few years, Balasahebhas remained the go-to man for all major party decisions. Despite Uddhav’s second-in-command status, many old Shiv Sainiks preferred Balasaheb for all major decisions.

The challenges facing Uddhav now are many and complex. Balasaheb strongly believed that the Shiv Sena had to be run by him single-handedly, almost like a dictator. He did not allow his trusted old party colleagues to take important decisions.

Almost all political rallies were dominated by him and the audience and the cadre responded only to him. This style of functioning alienated many old-timers but enabled him to impose his will on the party.

Can Uddhav do the same? Considering the difference in personality, stature and temperament, it will be difficult. But political realities will force Uddhav to find a way to hold the party together without his father’s charisma to help him.

The second major challenge relates to the party’s relations with alliance partner BJP. Many leaders of the BJP’s Maharashtra unit have been speaking of forging ties with Raj’s MNS. Raj’s recent visit to Gujarat and the reception he received from Gujarat BJP CM Narendra Modi has made the Sena uncomfortable.

Bal Thackeray’s personal relations with senior BJP leaders like AB Vajpayee and LK Advani had helped hold the alliance together. Uddhav does not enjoy such a rapport but for the sake of the party and its future he will have to build new ties.

If the Sena cadre and lower-level leaders, restive over the party’s opposition status since 1999, sense a weakness in Uddhav, they will defect to Raj or the BJP, damaging the Sena’s long-term prospects forever. Defection to the Congress or the NCP was seen as a taboo by most party cadre, but defection to Raj Thackeray’s MNS is an acceptable option for many.

Battle for Legacy

Many have speculated that Uddhav and Raj may come together after Balasaheb’s death, but insiders say that this seems impossible. Raj, according to people close to the matter, has received a cold reception in Matoshree even when Balasaheb was bedridden. The body language between Uddhav and Raj suggests that the battle to claim Balasaheb’s legacy will only hot up.

The MNS has done well in recent elections to city corporations in the state. Though the Sena retained power in Mumbai, the MNS managed to win a string of wards in the Sena heartland of Dadar, Shivaji Park, dealing a humiliating blow to the party founded in 1966. Another challenge for Uddhav is his health. He has gone through two angioplasties recently.

Without doubt, the pressure to hold the party together and keep Raj and the BJP at bay while expanding the Sena’s position in the state ahead of 2014 elections will be tremendous.

Despite Uddhav’s second-in-command status, many old Shiv Sainiks preferred Balasaheb for all major decisions.