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liberty and justice for all
but only on our terms
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
8.23.02
news


America has an image problem.

This shouldn't be news to anyone. We've all seen the news footage of Palestinians chanting anti-USA slogans. We all know that our belligerent attitude towards Iraq is raising eyebrows around Europe and Asia. We all know that McDonalds is known worldwide as an evil empire, guilty of assaults on innocent grease-loving citizens everywhere.

America isn't doing much to mend the problem. In fact, we seem to be doing everything we can to alienate any and all of our allies and to solidify our reputation as one of the most overbearing and selfish nations in the world. One of the best current examples of this is our attitude towards the International Criminal Court.

The International Criminal Court is an international judicial body designed to investigate and persecute serious crimes against humanity, such as genocide, rape, sexual slavery, enforced disappearances, and apartheid. Unlike its predecessors, the Nuremberg trials and the ad-hoc tribunals currently investigating war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the ICC is a permanent institution. The hope is that its presence will act as a deterrent to future tyrants and will allow for swifter, more streamlined justice should one arise.

You would think that America, the country that lends its support to the current war tribunals as well as peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world, would be in favor of an institution whose goal is to promote peace and justice on an international scale.

We aren't. On the contrary, the American government is opposed - vehemently opposed - to the ICC.

According to presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer: "The president thinks that the ICC is fundamentally flawed because it puts American servicemen and women at fundamental risk of being tried by an entity that is beyond America's reach, beyond America's laws and can subject American civilian and military to arbitrary standards of justice."

Bush himself puts it more succinctly. "As the United States works to bring peace around the world, our diplomats and our soldiers could be drug into this court, and that's very troubling - very troubling to me."

Both of these statements, as blood stirring as they are, have little basis in fact. According to the president, American citizens and soldiers could be "drug" ("dragged" for those of us who speak English) into court at the whim of any foreign power. In actuality, the individual has to be accused of a serious crime against humanity and even then, the ICC has the power to prosecute only if the individual's country is unwilling or unable to do so. In our country, which, according to Colin Powell, has "the highest standards of accountability of any nation on the face of the earth" is such a situation likely to occur?

The other argument was that the court could subject Americans to "arbitrary standards of justice." I would hardly say that laws decided upon by international consensus and directly influenced by our allies and shaped by America's own proclamations at Nuremberg and elsewhere are arbitrary. The crimes as defined by the court are all recognized as crimes under our laws. As for the punishments, they are, in fact, more humane. The court has the power to order imprisonment for up to 30 years or life, but it cannot impose the death penalty. In submitting to the court, Americans are only giving up their right to be executed - a right that I think that even the most red-blooded American would willingly forgo.

The complaint that the ICC could subject Americans to standards of justice not their own is especially shallow considering our treatment of other country's citizens. On August 14th Texas executed Javier Suarez, a Mexican citizen, for killing a police officer, despite the fact that Mexico does not believe in the death penalty. If Texas can punish a Mexican citizen in a way that violates his country's constitution, how can our government argue that we shouldn't subject our citizens to a foreign jurisdiction, especially one that is more forgiving than our own? The double standard is clear.

When read carefully, both of the government's statements are laced with paranoia, and that paranoia is rooted in this key statement: the court is "out of America's reach." As members of the court, America would have an equal influence with the rest of the members, an equal chance of sitting on juries or judging, an equal chance to make the laws. To be honest, even more than equal, given our tendency to influence the nations around us. Yet, somehow, this isn't enough.

Instead of participating in the International Court and strengthening our bonds with the international community, America is climbing higher on its high horse. First, the government threatened to pull all U.S. peacekeepers out of countries that belonged to the Court. The UN, willing to compromise, offered American peacekeepers a year's grace before being officially handed over to the court, in which time America could investigate the accusation and prevent the peacekeeper being sent to the court at all. But this was not good enough for Bush. Instead, America is demanding that each individual country belonging to the ICC (with the exception of NATO members) sign an agreement granting the US full immunity from prosecution.

This immunity agreement is the most recent step in America's quest to dig its own grave. The European Union and most of the members of the ICC disapprove of the agreement. The countries that have already signed it, like Romania, are tempted by US offers of trading concessions and other favors not because they feel that it is in the best interest of international justice. As Vojislav Kostunica, the Yugoslav president, said, "Those who would enjoy immunity from prosecution would not only sleep soundly, but would also be encouraged to keep committing crimes." This sounds like the sort of logic that the American government uses when it argues for extradition rights and for harsher punishments in our prison systems. Yet, when these arguments are applied to us, we call them trivial or persecuting. No wonder the countries of the world are increasingly coming to believe that America believes it is above the law.

For a long time we have been "the world's policeman" and interfered in international events to promote peace and justice in the world and to spread our beliefs in democracy and human rights. We have succeeded, and the International Criminal Court is the fruit of that success. We have been willing to sacrifice time, money, and men and women in the interests of international justice. But now the time has come to sacrifice a bit of our conceit and our pride; to bite the bullet and put ourselves on even ground with the rest of our allies.

This is our chance to fix our image problem and to prove that we are really interested in promoting the world's best interests and not solely our own. This is our chance, and we are watching it pass by.



ABOUT SARAH FICKE

Sarah Ficke will make sport for you, and laugh at you in her turn. She has channeled her obsession for books into a career as an English professor.

more about sarah ficke

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COMMENTS

jael mchenry
8.23.02 @ 2:40p

I think you're absolutely right, and was thinking of writing a column on the topic -- but now I can say things in the discussion instead.

It's like we know exactly how to make the rest of the world hate us and we're methodically mounting a campaign. Threatening to attack a country (Iraq) that poses no immediate threat to us or anyone else? Trying a non-citizen (Moussaoui) in our courts, going for the death penalty? Even if these things weren't bad ideas in the first place, the way they make us look on the international stage should be reason enough for pause.

tracey kelley
8.23.02 @ 3:19p

I'm not familiar with the executed Mexican citizen. Was the police officer he murdered Amercian? Was the Mexican citizen here illegally? What were the grounds for the murder that resulted in arrest, then execution?

russ carr
8.23.02 @ 3:40p

Tracey -- Here's the story to bring you up to speed.

While I'm generally against "world government" types of organizations by nature, I fully agree that in instances which go against basic ethical standards, America must face a jury of its peers just as certainly as we would attempt to hold other nations -- China comes to mind -- to those same standards.

In the case of Javier Suarez, I think the State of Texas was justified in trying him according to the laws of the state. Murder is not something that's acceptable in Mexico any more than it's acceptable in Texas. Did Juarez receive all considerations allowed him? No. That's where Texas blew it.

I'd like to think that the average American has a thorough enough concept of justice to understand that we should be as accountable as any other nation for crimes against humanity. But just like the courts are out of America's reach, so it seems the American government is out of reach of the American people. And as long as there is a "ruling class" in this country, that's unlikely to change.

trey askew
8.23.02 @ 4:13p

The US is kinda like the kid you only hang out with because he has all the shiny new toys. All fun and games until he gets upset and takes the toys home.

sarah ficke
8.26.02 @ 10:13a

First, thanks to the people who have critiqued me.

Jael: I'll let you write the column when we actually go to war with Iraq, ok? Although it sounds like Bush is beginning to realize that pissing off all of our allies may not be the smartest thing to do. I'm not so sure about his advisors, though.

Russ: Thanks for clarifying the point I was trying to make. I agree that Texas was justified in trying him according to the laws of the state, just as some Americans have been tried by the laws of other countries, but they should have been more careful in prosecuting a Mexican citizen. If any other country did that to an American, there would be a huge stink about it.

And I think that the average American isn't against our country being held accountable. It is just that the government is afraid that
A) false accusations will be made against us.

or B)some of our actions won't stand up to impartial scrutiny.

adam kraemer
8.26.02 @ 11:30a

You really think that when it comes to US actions, the rest of the world is "impartial"? We'd get our asses handed to us.

The problem I see with the ICC is that it doesn't take a concensus to "indict" a country or its leaders - any one country can do it. And you really don't think that it wouldn't eventually deevolute into a series of pissing matches?

And, for that matter, what happens if the accused never shows up for trial - Belgium, is currently finding that a difficult point in attempting to try, say, Ariel Sharon. Does the ICC invade the accused's country and do a Bin Laden-like search?

[edited]

sarah ficke
8.26.02 @ 12:23p

You really think that when it comes to US actions, the rest of the world is "impartial"? We'd get our asses handed to us.

The designers of the court took that into account. That is why they can't try anyone if their own country is already taking care of it. As long as we are careful and look into things, there won't be much of a problem. I think it is a risk we should be willing to run because by putting ourselves on the line with everyone else, we show that we are willing to cooperate with other countries and give ourselves some international checks and balances.

And, for that matter, what happens if the accused never shows up for trial - Belgium, is currently finding that a difficult point in attempting to try, say, Ariel Sharon. Does the ICC invade the accused's country and do a Bin Laden-like search?

I'm not sure what they do if the accused doesn't show up for trial. I don't think they would conduct a manhunt like America is doing now. I think that America is really the only country arrogant and powerful enough to do something like that.

I'm not trying to say that the ICC is perfect. It's not, but it's also still in the formation stages and like anything, it will take some experimentation to work the bugs out. I think that if America was involved and active in the process, we would be happier with the court and it would also have a greater chance of developing into an effe

adam kraemer
8.26.02 @ 12:41p

I'm not saying it isn't a good idea. I'm just afraid it would be used as just another bargaining chip in international politics.

sarah ficke
8.27.02 @ 10:19a

Of course it would be, but so is the UN to some extent, and it still does more good than harm.

I wish Sigbjorn was around to give us his perspective on this.

[edited]

jeffrey walker
9.1.02 @ 4:59p

I beg to differ on McDonald's being evil. Actually, they are one of the foremost industry leaders in the reformation of how slaughterhouses treat beef cows. They no longer purchase beef from institutions not meeting certain criteria. As they are the largest purchaser of beef in the nation, their support in this cause has help make sweeping changes. If a group their size hadn't signed on, the regulations would simply be words on paper, with no weight. I know a lot of liberal, grass-eating pansies will say, "they shouldn't be killing cows at all," but (1), shut up pansy, and (2), some reform is better than none.
2nd, the US shouldn't subscribe to the ICC. Unfortunately, we're the only real world power left. So, when asshole world leaders show up, we're always going to be the one asked to lend a hand in removing / controlling them. (I will not comment on when / why / how the U.S. decides when and where to lend a hand). But with this responsibility comes a degree of leeway. Ergo, we can't be hauled into court if a missile goes a bit off course during a good mission. So what if America has an alleged "image problem"; when we're the only country who can get the job done. Screw what everyone else thinks.


[edited]

erik myers
9.4.02 @ 4:27p

Okay, but the fact is, the US should not be the world's policeman. Everybody hates the cops, except the cops.

If we go throwing our weight and weapons around everytime somebody pops up that we don't like, we're being just as tyrannical as any of the people we're tyring to depose, only we try to put up a pretense and they don't.

By not subscribing to the ICC, the US is not fostering a good global community, it's trying to run it. And if we do that we're just putting ourselves in place to be overtaken by the "little" people.

I don't wanna fuck with anybody who has a weapon that can wipe out an entire city in one shot, plain and simple... and let's face it, that's 75% of the world's countries.

jeffrey walker
9.4.02 @ 8:42p

75%? What 75%? And the little people will never "gang up." We have too many allies. Plus, "little" countries will need a much better reason to gang up than will every exist than, "get America." When we die, where will they buy all their stuff? There is no motivating factor enough to get a bunch of countries together like that.

By not subscribing, we're being honest. Let suppose we did subscribe, and then the inevitable happens: we're somewhere, and our soldiers kill some civilians. (Note to Erik: We'll never NOT be the world cops - it's much too late, so it's stupid to even suggest that we shouldn't be the "world's policeman" - plus, hate cops all you want; I'd like to see how long you'd last in a neighborhood not served by the police) Do you think that the U.S. will let its soldiers get convicted?



[edited]

jeffrey walker
9.4.02 @ 8:46p

Answer: no. How nice is your image of America how? Looks hypocritical, doesn't it? Isn't it much easier when we just don't submit to the jurisdiction of a "world court" - a world whose political motivations and geographical boundaries change like the wind? Do you recall that within the last Century, we've had world leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Bin Laden, and Bill Clinton? Yeah ! Let's agree to the jurisdiction of a court run by "the world." It's such a friendly and good idea. It's TOTALLY gonna solve our image issues! (dummies)

[edited]

erik myers
9.5.02 @ 10:42a

First: I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a "world's policeman." What I am saying is that it shouldn't be the US. Let's take it down to a domestic level... for us to appoint ourselves the world's policemen is like having the state of Texas saying, "From now one, we're going to be the police for the rest of the country, and screw you if you don't want it that way."

As far as the US's involvement with the ICC... By your example: We're somewhere and our soliders kill some civilians. If the US investigates the matter and reports what it finds to the ICC then they are exempt from ICC proceedings anyway. It's not like we look into it and decide what to do and the ICC comes along and says, "Well, no. We're convicting them, instead."

By not subscribing to the ICC the US just looks like it's a big bunch of bullies -- which, yes, is what we are, but it doesn't mean that we should be.

[edited]

jeffrey walker
9.5.02 @ 3:48p

Erik - The ICC is a COURT. That mean they have the authority to hold a trial and convict - a report by the U.S. to them is as useful as a defendant's attorney saying, "he didn't mean to do it, honest!"

RIGHT IN THIS STORY IT SAYS that the ICC is "designed to investigate and persecute" (which, by the way, should be prosecute - persecute would only be to harass, which a court does not do). That means, if the ICC wants to file charges, they can and will. What court does not have that power?? Why do you think leaders of countries, many of whom their own citizens didn't want prosecuted, ended up being hauled before the ICC? BECAUSE THE ICC IS OF INTERNATIONAL JURISDICTION AND THEY CAN DRAG CITIZENS OF SUBSCRIBING NATIONS INTO ITS COURTS AS THEY FEEL APPROPRIATE! They don't need any more authority, and it won't matter what the country of which the prosecuted party has citizenship says about the matter because subscribing to the ICC = granting jurisdiction to prosecute your citizens. I don't know why you don't understand this. Maybe you should ask a lawyer about jurisdiction. (Oh - I am one!)

And not saying that there should be world's police, but just not the U.S. is like saying, "there should be an end to world hunger, but we shouldn't have to feed other nations." Just whom do you think should be doing it?

[edited]

jael mchenry
9.5.02 @ 4:15p

Well, it would be fabulous if the U.N.'s peacekeepers could perform that role, which I suspect is exactly why that force was developed. To keep the peace in hot spots without unilateral, self-interested forces from a certain country making choices about where to interfere and where not to based on, say, where oil comes from.

I also suspect that the US could accomplish its end and still agree to the ICC by exploting the loophole that says "the ICC has the power to prosecute only if the individual's country is unwilling or unable to do so." Soldiers who kill civilians can easily be drug/dragged into a court martial, found innocent, and there you go. I don't think the carte blanche that you're reading into it is there, Jeff.

mike julianelle
9.5.02 @ 4:21p

Jeff, you may be a lawyer, but you're no diplomat. Ease up.

jeffrey walker
9.5.02 @ 4:56p

No Mike, I'm not a diplomat. But I do hold the well-being of my country's service-people over the jurisdiction of some "world-court." And they are better off without it.

Luckily, the U.S. government won't be agreeing to the ICC soon, no matter what you bleeding hearts would like.

jael mchenry
9.5.02 @ 5:01p

Actually, our country's servicepeople are worse off the more we alienate ourselves from every other country out there by refusing to participate in any multinational organization or insitution we can't control. Makes us more likely to take unilateral military action, which inconveniences our servicepeople more than peace would.

jeffrey walker
9.5.02 @ 5:14p

Ok - pick an arguement. Jael says, use the loophole and get our soldiers off. but how will this exploitation help America's alleged "image problem" when such American proceedings will just be seen as a "kangaroo court" by other nations?

Also, how does any of this make America more like-able by countries who don't like us now?

IT WON'T! It's agreeing to regulation that won't help us, won't help our soldiers, and won't make us any less likely to be involved in a military activity. All it will do is create an extra liability when we engage in a military action. Extra liability with NO PAYOFF!!

Those of you like Jael essentially saying that by not participating it puts us in more danger are using doom-and-gloom arguements. This will not help America. Joining the ICC will not suddenly make us liked, and to suggest so is just plain ignorant.

sarah ficke
9.5.02 @ 6:16p

Joining the ICC may not suddenly make us liked. I never suggested that it would be an immediate solution to our problems or to anyone's problems. What joining would do is show that we are willing to consider ourselves as accountable as any other country when it comes to war crimes and crimes against humanity. We are already accused of disregarding initiatives put forth by multinational organizations when it comes to the environment and fair trade, do we really want to appear to disregard crime as well?

jeffrey walker
9.5.02 @ 8:53p

Assuming that WE could back out of the deal if we got in trouble. Why would any OTHER country not be able to do the same?

There is no reason. It doesn't matter who signs this thing, because it's a piece of shit. You say it shows "we are willing to consider ourselves accountable", but only in theory. If we can back out, (which I assume everyone can see why and how we could), then it has no real meaning. And if we can back out, anyone else could, too. How does that make this court worth a damn?

AND, it still has no meaning in the countries that don't sign. In WWI, the German Kaiser was supposed to be tried in an "international court" much like the ICC (but not permanent). Luckily, he moved to a country where the treaty hadn't been enacted. Easy! Just commit an atrocity, and move to the country where it doesn't matter! Or better yet, just do it in a country where the ICC never had jurisdiction.

In short, the ICC has no power to do shit. Signing on might make you all feel better and real freethinking and all that bullshit, but when it gets down to the nuts and bolts, it won't do SHIT! The only real justice is to forget justice, and go kick the living shit out of the "bad guys" when it happens. That's what America does, that's what we'll always do. Your ICC is to justice as a nerf-ball is to a brick wall; there's an impact, but it isn't worth paying any attention to.



[edited]

erik myers
9.6.02 @ 10:16a

No, it's not that we can back out if we get into trouble. It's that if we're responsible and check into things if something does happen then the court doesn't act on it. The ICC is being built for cases in which countries are irresponsible about the actions of their citizens and/or military, or for cases like that of Milosovek (or however the hell you spell it).

We just look like a bunch of crybabies in this scenario because we want to be able to persecute other people but not be persecuted, ourselves. If we're responsible and say, "Oh, look. One of our generals has gone and massacred 200,000 civilians, let's find out why and do something about it." then we have nothing to fear. It's if we sit back and say, "Oh well. I guess we'll never know why." that the ICC would do anything, anyway.

The attitude of, "Well, if we don't like it, we'll go in and bomb the shit out of everything." is the exact kind of thing that makes us resented in the world.

Again, let's take it back to a smaller scale. If someone in the Lower East Side decided to just take justice into their own hands they would not be doing the right thing. And the US is not doing the right thing by taking justice in its own hands, either. We're not the moral judges of the rest of the world, we have no right because we're a bunch of immoral bastards, anyway.

adam kraemer
9.6.02 @ 11:14a

Quote: I also suspect that the US could accomplish its end and still agree to the ICC by exploting the loophole that says "the ICC has the power to prosecute only if the individual's country is unwilling or unable to do so." Soldiers who kill civilians can easily be drug/dragged into a court martial, found innocent, and there you go. I don't think the carte blanche that you're reading into it is there, Jeff :: Jael

Actually, it looks to me like that's more of a loophole for the ICC - US soldiers kill civilians, the US investigator declines to prosecute, and the court says, "Well, they're apparently 'unwilling,' guess it's up to us." Do you really think that the ICC would have allowed Germany to determine whether the Nuremburg trials were necessary?

jael mchenry
9.6.02 @ 11:35a

Found innocent. That means prosecuted. That means trial. Of course the ICC would still investigate if we declined, that's part of the set-up. Did Germany decline to prosecute the Nuremburg defendants? Or did they prosecute them, release them, and then see them put on trial by the international court? The two are very different.

jeffrey walker
9.6.02 @ 2:49p

Because a trial can't be set up such that the proceeding's outcome is known before it starts. Jael, your loophole = the ICC has no real power. The loophole = everyone can exploit this institution. It's useless. Why would we want to sign onto something that is completely ineffective? To look like we care? How caring is it to subscribe to useless institutions?

By the way - Nuremburg was created b/c the first try at an international court in the aftermath of WWI (see the Treaty of Versailles) failed b/c the Germans DID prosecute themselves. Of the more than 200 captured "war criminals", 6 were convicted. Is that fair? That's as good of a result as this silly ICC will be able to manage. It's pointless.

[edited]

jeffrey walker
9.6.02 @ 2:49p

And Erik, once again, persecute is the WRONG WORD. It's prosecute. But besides that, we DON'T want to prosecute. The U.S. isn't saying, "we want to be a part of the prosecution, but just not of our own people." We're saying, we want no part of this sham of an institution. We're saying, we'll handle the problem ourselves. The only person sounding like crybabies are you, Jael, and Sarah. Mike, on the other hand, just sounds like an idiot as usual.

jael mchenry
9.6.02 @ 3:11p

I agree with Sarah that while signing onto multinational efforts will not immediately make us liked, it is better than the alternative.

Openly and repeatedly refusing to participate in multinational efforts can only erode our ever-diminishing base of allies, which in turn encourages our enemies. One day there will be no one to back us up. And if we keep acting like we have been, when that day comes, we will probably deserve it.

Quote: "The U.S. isn't saying, we want to be a part of the prosecution, but just not of our own people."

Inaccurate. Read Sarah: "Instead, America is demanding that each individual country belonging to the ICC (with the exception of NATO members) sign an agreement granting the US full immunity from prosecution."

jeffrey walker
9.6.02 @ 3:23p

Right -- this is only b/c liberal bastards are proposing that we do something. Therefore, the partisan way of politics creates a useless midground that does very little. What is REALLY being demanded is either (1) join, or (2) don't. Well the first isn't coming, but liberals want something, but that something will really equal nothing.

And your alternative that we'll loose allies by not signing is asinine. Who would turn on us? And even if they do, why should we care? Will they turn to attacking us b/c we won't join the ICC? Unlikely.

And, as I've said, the US will never join. So I'll leave you babies to your crying. There's no reason for me to try to explain why your point of view doesn't matter anymore.

[edited]

jael mchenry
9.6.02 @ 3:41p

Since Jeff has decided to no longer participate in this discussion, which is fine with me, I just want to add one more post to clarify for other readers that the ICC is not an isolated issue and it's our pattern of disregard for international well-being that scares me. People will make fun of me for saying this, but France? Good ally, and now we're trying one of their citizens for the death penalty. If I were them, I'd be a little less supportive, knowing that.

erik myers
9.6.02 @ 4:25p

And Erik, once again, persecute is the WRONG WORD. It's prosecute.

Actually, I meant persecute, "to cause to suffer because of belief" which is what we, the US, do to others, rather than prosecute, "to bring legal action against for redress or punishment of a crime or violation of law" which is what the ICC does.

But thank you for skewing my wording for your own benefit.

erik myers
9.6.02 @ 4:26p

And Jael --

Yes, that makes me nervous as well. It really comes down to the fact that on our international report card it's going to say something like, "Does not play well with others."

jeffrey walker
9.7.02 @ 12:30p

Sorry, Jael - I said I won't tell you why your opinion about the ICC doesn't matter. I didn't say I would let you get away with dumb statements.

France has not been a good ally for years. They did NOTHING to support the allies in WWII, and basically did nothing to even try to stop Germany from invading their OWN COUNTRY. Also, they refused to let us use their airspace during the gulf war. The only thing France has been good for (in regards to the US) in the last 100 years is exporting wine. They have been of no other benefit.

[edited]

jeffrey walker
9.7.02 @ 12:33p

And Erik, you can try to wiggle around all you want, but the U.S. in its most recent battle freed the Afghani people from an oppressive regime. The only people persecuting their citizens was the tyrannical government. We brought freedom, and education to the females in the country who were subject to only beatings if they showed their faces in public before. But I can't expect someone like you to stop bashing America's good causes with terms like "persecute." You're clearly too caught up in our "image" as Americans. Well, I'm sorry to tell you - what tyrannical governments say on the news is different than what real people think. America is liked, and that's why people from other countries come live here. Do you think we are the most diverse cultures because everyone thinks we are evil and oppressive? No. But keep complaining and saying stupid things like "international report card." I can keep laughing at you then!


[edited]

matt morin
9.7.02 @ 1:30p

Jeff, for a cynic like you, I'm so surprised you buy into the hype. Our war in Afghanistan is no more about freeing the persecuted Afghani people than the Gulf War was about oil.

We didn't give a shit about the Taliban or the people they were oppressing until 9/11.

I think you're the one caught up in America's "image."

jeffrey walker
9.7.02 @ 3:20p

no, matt. I don't give a shit why we were over there, or about America's hype. But in the aftermath, women were freed, weren't they? They go to school now, don't they? Are women not better off? It seems that most places we go end up better off after than they were before (with the exception of Iraq, but we'll finish that job soon enough). Therefore, I can conclude that, despite why we were there, in the end it's better than the alternative.

They're also growing hash again. This angers the Americans, but helps the economy there. So, I am pro the new gardening as well. However, this goes against the Bush "image" (read, "hype") that drug sales aid terrorist b/c the Taliban didn't grow drugs. Drugs help grow small nations. So I say, rather than support a stupid ICC, why not buy drugs instead. It seems all of you worrying idiots could use some.

[edited]



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