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    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Washington’s Darfur Dilemma

    Yesterday the Wall Street Journal commented on the dilemma now facing the Bush administration: support the UN’s ICC in prosecuting war criminals from Sudan or undermine the “genocide” tag that Sec. of State Colin Powell gave it in September of 2004.

    Instead of highlighting Washington’s dilemma, which the article does a fine job of doing, I want to highlight why it is a dilemma. Washington’s problem—not wanting Americans tried in the ICC because it could open the USA up for political trials—really stems from the impotence of the United Nations to do anything its charter contains.

    The United States gives more troops and money to the UN than any other country, but as long as it refuses political support—like other countries—the UN will have no authority with which to use its might. Right now, it is a forum for leaders of smaller, third-world, and non-democratic countries to put pressure on dominant first world industrial countries. It also allows those first world countries an avenue of checks and balances against competitors and stronger rivals (America being the chief).

    The ICC would be perfectly suited for the Darfur Crisis, if America would give its support to the international court, and thereby give credibility. However, America or any other country giving credibility to the UN would necessitate subjugating national authority under a governmental body made up of other nations, some competitors. Expect the Bush administration to do the convoluted and make up an ad hoc court funded solely by the USA to try any criminals. There will be much political rancor in the international press over the pride of America, but in the end the world will chalk it up to typical American behavior and the Bush administration will have successfully delayed the inevitable one more time.

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