Friday, December 01, 2006

What “Peacy” Types Hesitate to Think Through

When that lovely world view isn’t being so sensitive to the diversity gods by ignoring soldiers drinking alcohol on deployment in a muslim country, they’re stamping their little feet as though they know better (natürlich!) than the rest of civilization. That transi nonsense’s natural conclusion is the termination of democratic society because there would be no sovereignty in the state where people vote, and no stable society could be defended. John Rosenthal
Last month, a coalition of self-styled human rights groups, including the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, announced that it had filed a war crimes complaint in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld and thirteen other present or former U.S. officials. Other sponsoring plaintiffs include Germany's Union of Republican Lawyers (RAV) and the French-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). (The presence of the FIDH among the plaintiffs is particularly noteworthy, since the FIDH is a regular and substantial recipient of EU financing.) Whereas the announcement will undoubtedly have sent Rumsfeld-haters, Bush-bashers and anti-Iraq War activists the world over into raptures, those taking a more sober view of the matter as a strictly legal development may well have asked themselves "What war crimes did Donald Rumsfeld commit in Germany?"

After all, the principle of state sovereignty -- still at least nominally the cornerstone of the international system as reaffirmed in Article 2.1 of the U.N. Charter -- would appear to exclude any such prosecution of Rumsfeld by Germany if he had not. For one state to claim anything other than territorially based jurisdiction over acts of citizens of another state must, needless to say, be regarded as a hostile measure -- and all the more so if the latter are or were state officials and the acts in question were performed in official capacity. Were the other state to respond in kind -- say, in this instance, by charging German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung for the real or imagined misdeeds of German troops -- its hostile nature would become especially plain and the potential for a perilous escalation, obvious. The raison d'être of the classical protections of sovereignty -- namely, the preservation of international peace -- is thus unmistakable.
It’s the attitude that would see a groundbreaking even in the Near East and reduce it to a pitiable tale of an unplanned pregnancy that a teenage mother should be relieved of. There would be whines about winners and losers, and great crimes that don’t fit the race-hustling class-struggle model go ignored.

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