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Bush cuts aid over wartime court

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#1 Ogami

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 10:41 PM

U.S. cuts aid over war crime court
From Elise Labott
Monday, June 30, 2003 Posted: 10:09 PM EDT (0209 GMT)
The U.S. fears its soldiers will be the target of politically motivated prosecutions in the court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States could begin cutting military aid to countries that fail to sign an agreement exempting American military and other personnel from prosecution in the International Criminal Court.

Those countries who recognize the ICC without signing an "Article 98 agreement" by July 1 risk being cut off from military training funds and U.S. help with arms purchases.

The potential cut in funding to countries falls under the 2002 American Service Members Protection Act, passed to reflect U.S. opposition to the war crimes court amid fears of potentially politically motivated prosecution of U.S. personnel.

But U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday that the deadline will have little immediate impact.

Several countries, including all NATO allies, are exempt from the U.S. threat, as are what the U.S. considers "major non-NATO allies": Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand and South Korea.

U.S. President George W. Bush is expected to issue national security waivers for many others, which a senior State Department official said could come as early as Tuesday.

Boucher said, "While the immediate practical effect of the July 1 suspension of assistance on current programs will be minimal, there should be no misunderstanding that the protection of U.S. citizens from potential prosecution by the International Criminal Court will be a significant and pressing matter in our relations with every state."

Since the treaty setting up the court was passed last year, 44 countries have signed public Article 98 agreements with the Bush administration protecting U.S. personnel from the court.

Incentives
Those countries are Albania, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, the Dominican Republic, East Timor, El Salvador, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Israel, Macedonia, Madagascar, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, the Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

At least seven other governments have signed agreements, but have asked not to have them publicized. Several other countries have not signed agreements, but have verbally agreed not to hand over U.S. personnel to the court for prosecution.

The July 1 deadline has prompted a number of the agreements. About 25 countries have signed in the past four months, and about half of those have been signed in the past few weeks.

Boucher said the United States is still encouraging other countries to sign agreements.

Despite the threat of losing military aid, the senior State Department official said the United States is weighing "how to keep the proper incentives there for countries to sign and for countries that have signed to ratify."

2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

#2 Godeskian

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 02:03 AM

As a matter of practicality i suppose i can't blame them. There is plenty of political desire to cut america down a peg and bringing up their senior military commanders (or even the president as commander in chief) to trial would be a possibile abuse.

That having been said, when a US serviceman, regardless of rank, does something that deserves for him to be brought up on charges, i do have a problem witht he US goverment saying 'not going to happen, no how, no way under NO conditions'

that doesn't foster the belief that the US troops will ever be held accountable, should they commit any acts worthy of such a trial.

#3 G1223

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 02:42 AM

Unlike a number of countries we have a very even handed JAG office. We don't have soldiers running around raping and killing without consiquence.

The raping of the girl in Okinawa a couple of years ago got the offender a LONG stay at the Kansas Resort also know as Levenworth. were for 20 yrs the man will sit in a cell and then taken out into the yard for his exercise and then back to his cell. HE has little to look forward to.

ICC is a offending to any and all service men and women,and would I suspect be less than honest about dealing with "lesser nations"  such as the Congo gurillias who tortured those peacekeepers a few weeks ago.

Edited by G1223, 02 July 2003 - 02:55 PM.

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#4 Rov Judicata

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 03:00 AM

This administraction seems to be doing everything they can to bury the ICC before it gets started.

I heartily approve.

And note: Before somebody comes in here complaining about how America is bossing everybody around, let me ask you this: Is the US under an *obligation* to provide military aid to all these countries? Or is it just something we can do if it's beneficial?
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#5 Ogami

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 03:08 AM

Well said, G1223.

#6 Rhea

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 04:54 AM

Godeskian, on Jul 1 2003, 08:04 AM, said:

As a matter of practicality i suppose i can't blame them. There is plenty of political desire to cut america down a peg and bringing up their senior military commanders (or even the president as commander in chief) to trial would be a possibile abuse.

That having been said, when a US serviceman, regardless of rank, does something that deserves for him to be brought up on charges, i do have a problem witht he US goverment saying 'not going to happen, no how, no way under NO conditions'

that doesn't foster the belief that the US troops will ever be held accountable, should they commit any acts worthy of such a trial.
I agree with Godeskian. We spend all our time telling other countries what they should do and how they should do it.

I believe in the ICC, and think it's important that the US participate. This "we want everyone else to be held accountable while we flip you the bird" attitude is infuriating.
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#7 Rov Judicata

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 05:13 AM

Here's my proposal: If the ICC can bring a horrible dictator to justice , then they gain credibility and the US should sign. They can start on a small, poor nation. How about Castro? Try him, convict him, and put him behind bars. Then, personally, I would support the ICC. I'm not holding my breath, however.

What's more, this is the most peaceful form of coercion there is: Your free lunch is at risk. Decide if the ICC is REALLY that important to you. If it is, then feel free to pay for your own defense.
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#8 Ogami

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 05:21 AM

President Bush is suspicious, and rightfully so, that the ICC would be used as a kangaroo court for various European powers to express their displeasure with the United States, at the expense of our soldiers. They did it with the Kyoto Accords, they do it at the UN, and they have not given us any confidence that the ICC would not be handled as a farce.

Here's a good preview of what the ICC would be like, the Belgiums want to try General Tommy Franks as a war criminal:

America threatens to move Nato after Franks is charged
http://www.telegraph...18/ixworld.html

There is no way we should turn over the disposition of our troops to these asses.

-Ogami

Edited by Ogami, 02 July 2003 - 05:32 AM.


#9 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 09:46 AM

Quote

Godeskian: That having been said, when a US serviceman, regardless of rank, does something that deserves for him to be brought up on charges, i do have a problem witht he US goverment saying 'not going to happen, no how, no way under NO conditions'

As noted by G this is why we have the JAG office.


Quote

Godeskian: ICC is a offending to any and all service men and women,and would I suspect be less than honest about dealing with "lesser nations" such as the Congo gurillias who tortured those peacekeepers a few weeks ago.

How about Belgium and the ICC actually hunting down some of the people who committed atrocities in the Congo and other parts of Africa that led to the current situation.  Im sure the ones who are still alive should be easy to find since they are already living in Belgium.
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#10 Ogami

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 12:27 PM

Aha, we've got our first adventure novel based around the ultimate super-villain, the International Criminal Court...

http://search.barnes...1-2003 21:22:24

#11 bandit

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 01:14 PM

this is stupid.
move NATO HQ, cut funding, do whatever.

#12 Laoise

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 02:53 PM

G1223, on Jul 1 2003, 09:43 AM, said:

we do have soldiers running around raping and killing without consiquence.
:eek2:
Please tell me that's a typo...! *blink*

That sentence almost gave me a heart attack when I first read it.  Kinda jumped out at me :)
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#13 G1223

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 02:56 PM

Glad I could get attention but I really need to work on my spelling. Thanks for the catch.
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#14 Ilphi

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 07:10 PM

NATO Countries and full allies are except, I can't not approve of this move to help the soldier. It would suck if some poor guy was jailed just because he was American.
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#15 Godeskian

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 10:40 PM

I agree, if he is to be jailed it's because he committed a crime

the problem that many people i've talked to in Holland and England have, is that the Judge Advocate General is still an American institution, and (probably)guilty consciousnesses assume that they will treat other americans lightly, because they are

this is somethign i first heard after two US pilots were released without punishment after they crashed their plane through a ski lift a few years back.

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#16 Ogami

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 11:38 PM

Change that first article from "could begin cutting" to "Bush has cut". Excellent!
_________________________

U.S. halts military aid to 35 countries
By Nicholas Kralev
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

    The United States yesterday suspended more than $47 million in military aid to 35 countries for refusing to protect Americans on their territory from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

    The penalized nations include six new U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe that are expected to join NATO next year, as well as Colombia, whose government is fighting a war against drugs and leftist guerrillas.

    "This is a reflection of the United States' priorities to protect the men and women in our military," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters.

    "If delivering aid to those states endangers America's servicemen and servicewomen, the president's first priority is with the servicemen and servicewomen," he said.

    Under a 2002 law known as the American Servicemembers' Protection Act, all 90 countries that have ratified the ICC Rome treaty are subject to suspension of U.S. military aid.

    America's 18 fellow NATO members, Taiwan, and nine nations that Washington calls "major non-NATO allies" Israel, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Jordan, Argentina and Bahrain are exempted by the law.

    The law also gives the president the authority to grant waivers to countries that have signed bilateral agreements with the United States.

    Article 98 of the treaty establishing the ICC allows member states to enter into such accords with other nations to protect their citizens from the tribunal's jurisdiction.

    Citing that provision, as well as discretionary power to waive the suspension for nations he deems crucial to U.S. interests, President Bush issued exemptions for 22 countries.

    They include Afghanistan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Honduras, Macedonia, Nigeria, Panama, Romania and Sierra Leone.

    Of the 35 states blocked from receiving U.S. military aid, six are NATO invitees Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia that have chosen to adopt the pro-ICC position of the European Union, another organization they are in line to join.

    That penalized group also includes Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Serbia and Montenegro, South Africa, Tanzania, Uruguay and Venezuela.

    Those nations had not signed Article 98 agreements with the United States by the deadline yesterday, set by the law, but the Bush administration expressed confidence that many of them will do so by Oct. 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

    The aid suspension affects $47 million in U.S. foreign military financing and $613,000 in international military and educational training this year, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.

    "There is a four-month waiver for countries who signed [bilateral agreements] before May 1 and haven't yet ratified, a six-month waiver for countries who signed after May 1 and haven't yet ratified," he said. "In many cases, ratification means working things through parliament, which takes some time in some places."

    A total of 44 countries have acknowledged signing Article 98 agreements with Washington, according to a list provided by the State Department.

    More than five others, including Egypt and Mongolia, are believed to have signed such documents but prefer not to make them public.

    Administration officials said the number of countries affected by the penalties would fluctuate because some of those not receiving exemptions at this time may get them later, if they sign bilateral agreements.

    Mr. Boucher acknowledged that the immediate effect of the sanctions will be minimal because most of the money allotted this year has been spent especially in the case of the six future NATO members. They will get automatic exemptions as soon as they join the alliance next year.

    Officials from those nations all in Central and Eastern Europe said yesterday that they were not surprised by the White House decision, although they had been hoping for waivers and a clean slate. Those that expect to become hosts of U.S. military bases in the near future had been particularly hopeful.

    A senior official in one such country, Bulgaria, which stood by the United States in the United Nations' Security Council throughout the Iraq debate, said the U.S. penalties will not affect the government's military budget because it was drawn up not to include Washington's assistance.

    "We don't expect the decision to affect any future consideration of having American military bases in Bulgaria, either," the official said by telephone from Sofia, the capital, noting that the support among the population for hosting such bases has increased since the war in Iraq.

    Some officials in Eastern Europe or "new Europe," as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld calls it voiced frustration that they had been forced to choose between siding either with the United States or the European Union on the ICC.

    The Bush administration opposes the court because of the potential for politically motivated prosecution of Americans.

    Shortly before the treaty entered into force a year ago, the administration withdrew the U.S. signature, which President Clinton had placed just before leaving office.

    Colombia, one of the largest recipients of U.S. military assistance, was supposed to receive $100 million this year, and all but $5 million had been expended, Mr. Boucher said.

    The Latin American nation was to get $600 million from the aid budget for this year, but most of it was part of an antidrug fund that is not considered military aid, even though some of the money goes to the Colombian armed forces.

    If it does not sign an agreement with the United States, Colombia will lose much more next year. Of the $575 million requested by the Bush administration, about $112 million could be jeopardized, according to State Department figures.

    "But our hope is to continue to work with governments to secure and ratify Article 98 agreements that protect American service members from arbitrary or political prosecution by the international court," Mr. Boucher said.

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#17 Shaun

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 01:49 AM

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch wrote this letter to Secretary Powell on Monday:

http://hrw.org/press...sa063003ltr.htm

(It should be noted that a number of the countries who have had their aid terminated supported the US in the war with Iraq.)

The actions of the United States in this affair are without doubt an utter disgrace.  I am absolutely appalled that anyone can support or believe that the US is acting in an appropriate manner over the ICC.

I applaud those countries taking a stand against being blackmailed by an increasingly shrill and bullying United States.

Not done, not done at all.
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#18 Ogami

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:48 AM

Blackmailed? They're free not to sign our exemption, we're free not to give them taxpayer money or sign onto their stupid ICC.

Shaun, has countries of Europe or the Third World given us any reason to trust their rulings and sentences in the International Criminal Court? You know that's not so.

Rather the United States would end up like Israel, which is pilloried yearly by the UN for the crime of not disarming themselves before their peace-loving Arab neighbors. That is precisely what would happen to us in a kangaroo court of those who would harm our soldiers to "send a message" to America.

-Ogami

#19 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:00 AM

Shaun, on Jul 2 2003, 07:50 AM, said:

I applaud those countries taking a stand against being blackmailed by an increasingly shrill and bullying United States.
I'm with Ogami.

Free money isn't an inherent right. We're not taking away something that's theirs; we're keeping something that's ours. They can go get their military aid from Belguim.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#20 Rhea

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:55 AM

Shaun, on Jul 2 2003, 07:50 AM, said:

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch wrote this letter to Secretary Powell on Monday:

http://hrw.org/press...sa063003ltr.htm

(It should be noted that a number of the countries who have had their aid terminated supported the US in the war with Iraq.)

The actions of the United States in this affair are without doubt an utter disgrace.  I am absolutely appalled that anyone can support or believe that the US is acting in an appropriate manner over the ICC.

I applaud those countries taking a stand against being blackmailed by an increasingly shrill and bullying United States.

Not done, not done at all.
I'm with Shaun. First we decide not to participate because we're better than everybody else and then we blackmail countries into going along with our exemption by withholding funds from them?

I don't really recognize my country right this minute and I'm not very proud.  :pout:
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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



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