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The United States and the International Criminal Court

In response to the posting on Senator Helms' scornful rejection of the creation of an international criminal court, Siegfried Ramler has sent me an excellent op-piece he wrote for the Honolulu Advertiser defending the court.. He ends his careful analysis of the role of the proposed court with these words: "Our most important challenge, on behalf of our children and future generations, is to end the cycle of crimes against humanity and aggressive wars. A rule of law on a global scale, however difficult it may be to achieve, should be the aim for humanity."

Despite its terrible crime statistics, the US constantly claims to be governed under the rule of law, as though other countries are not. The general impression around the world is that the attitude of Jesse Helms suggests that the US thinks it is above the rule of law. My own feeling is that it reflects the belief that the US can really go it alone confidently. As mentioned earlier, the History Channel deals mostly with US force prevailing in wars which ended in victory. Such overconfidence led earlier governments such as those of Napoleon, imperial Germany and Hitler to take on wars which ended in abject defeat.

What mentality is being developed in our young generation? The cult of violence on TV has been the subject of many complaints. I do not play computer games, but an article in the Economist (1/6/01) calls attention to the popularity among young people of these games, which deal mostly with sophisticated warfare. A report just released at Stanford says that cutting the amount of time young people spend playing these games will reduce their aggressiveness. My great concern is that a US in which the Helms doctrine prevails could blunder into a war whose implications seem beyond the comprehension of Senator Helms.

Ronald Hilton - 1/15/01