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The US and International Law

Whereas most of the world accepts the ideas of international law. there is strong opposition in the US. John Wonder says: "The U.S. is not above the "law". What is this law, anyway? I know about State and Federal law; but can some institution impose some other standards? I would vehemently deny any validity to these pretensions on the part of some supranational organization I have no sympathy for and which has not been authorized for anything. We would have to change the Constitution, and not just kind of "slip it in" a la Clinton". Cameron Sawyer, a Southerner, agrees. This issue, like race, is deeply imbedded in the American psyche and is a heritage of constitution and the Civil War.

Certainly, problems should be solved at the lowest possible level, but two recent events in Congress shows that it is a complex issue. Part of the verbal legacy of American history is the expression "the free and sovereign state of...", which survives in the US and Mexico. Alaskans want badly to develop their oil resources, but the Democratic Party in Washington has prevented them from doing so purely for political reasons., All the talk about "the pristine forest" and "save the moose" if just a verbal smoke screen. Alaskans have every reason to be angry.

This week in the House there was the most passionate argument I have heard in a long time, about the plan to make Yucca Flats in Nevada a nuclear waste depository. Nevada Representatives from both parties strongly oppose the plan, as do the people of Nevada, but the House approved it, on the recommendation of the committee chairman, who is from Louisiana.. Now it will go to the Senate, where it will be another political football. If John and Cameron were Representatives from Nevada, I wonder how they would vote? The question is rhetorical, and I do not want an answer. I simply ask that they think this through.

Ronald Hilton - 5/9/02