No to War

The world’s first conference dedicated to shutting down US and NATO military bases around the globe was held at Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland over the weekend of November 16-18. Academics and activists from 30 nations addressed about 200 participants on the scourges of American and European empire. Topics ranged from human rights abuses to global environmental degradation to exorbitant corporate profit-making to the unprecedented militarization of the world.

The press communiqué on this conference identifies the nearly one thousand US/NATO military installations around the world as “the main threat to peace and humanity” and demands that they be closed.

Many of the participants will converge on Washington DC and NATO capital cities while the military alliance celebrates its 70th anniversary on Thursday April 4, 2019. Organizers with the International Network No to War, No to NATO, and a coalition of American groups, including World Beyond War, Popular Resistance, Code Pink, Peace Action, and the American Friends Service Committee are working on coordinating actions on April 4. This is also the anniversary of the 1968 murder of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. King’s 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” Speech, where he described the United States as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Anyone planning to attend should book lodging soon. These events coincide with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which draws 1.5 million to the heart of Washington and modest rooms cost $200.

Source: Pat Elder, International Network No to War-No to NATO.

John Bolton and the International Criminal Court

On September 10th, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton gave a speech to the Federalist Society in which he spoke, at length and with numerous inaccuracies, about the International Criminal Court.

Bolton began his speech talking about the establishment of the International Criminal Court being the result of “years of effort by self-styled ‘global governance’ advocates” and that “the largely unspoken, but always central, aim of its most vigorous supporters was to constrain the United States” and that “the ICC was created as a free-wheeling global organization claiming jurisdiction over individuals without their consent.” Of course, these statements are incorrect.

His misleading and often false statements continued, including characterizing the preliminary investigation into the situation in Afghanistan as being targeted at US service members and intelligence professionals. ICC investigations consider the entire situation in a geographic area and all the actors involved. In the case of Afghanistan, the Taliban is a large part of the situation being investigated.

Bolton cited five principal concerns about the Court, including that it threatens US sovereignty and is contrary to the fundamental American principle of the separation of powers; that the crimes the Court has jurisdiction over have ambiguous definitions; that it has not sufficiently deterred and punished crimes; that is is superfluous because the US judicial system holds American citizens to the “highest legal and ethical standards”; and lastly, that others have criticized or rejected the ICC’s authority.

Clearly, there are a lot of red flags in Bolton’s comments. He has been severely critical of the Court in the past, when he was the US Ambassador to the United Nations during the presidency of George W Bush, but this attack on the Court is more menacing and, as National Security Advisor he has more political authority now (and fewer in positions of authority who might restrain him) than was the case in the early 2000s when he was UN Ambassador.

He says that he believes “that perpetrators should face legitimate, effective, and accountable prosecution for their crimes, by sovereign national governments” which, of course, often does not happen and is a central reason for the Court’s existence.

Bolton concluded by threatening to sanction ICC funds, ban the ICC’s judges and prosecutors from entering the US, and prosecute them in the US criminal system. The same would hold for “any corporation or state” that assists an ICC investigation involving US citizens…The response to Bolton has been swift and broad, although Canada has yet to release a statement supporting the ICC. Citizens may urge Minister Freeland to do so.

Source: World Federalist Movement Canada

Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2019

Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2019, page 2. Some rights reserved.

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