Thursday, December 4, 2008

International Criminal Court

The real benefit to signing this could be the eventual TV deals daytime networks could conjure up. In any case, Roger Cohen writes
I can think of no better place for President-elect Barack Obama to start in signaling a changed American approach to the world, and particularly its European allies, than the International Criminal Court. Even short of American membership, which would involve a tough battle in Congress, there is much he can do. But “re-signing” followed by ratification should be Obama’s aim.
I'm not really a fan of international institutions. The UN is ineffectual at best--counter-productive at worst. It is a fine place to discuss, to conduct diplomatic initiatives, but it is really not the place to mete out judgment or strategy. Similarly, an international court of law would trump our own laws, override our own Constitution, and put our sovereignty at risk. I think a better alternative would be to allow for more transparency, more civilian oversight, of internal military affairs. Thus, if a marine were to be accused of some heinous crime in Iraq, rather than the entire matter being solved from within the military, it would be addressed in a special civilian/military court in the United States.

Nor do I believe our leaders should be tried by an international court--at least not until they've been tried here. International courts, I fear, would be too influenced by global opinion, and would turn into more of a popularity contest (or, rather, unpopularity contest) or a witch hunt.