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Fwd: NYTimes.com Article: Europeans to Exempt U.S. From War Court
by John Leonard
02 October 2002 00:14 UTC
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Steve, it is very worrying. The parallels to Quisling and Hitler give me 

>Reply-To: swsystem@aol.com
>From: swsystem@aol.com
>To: wsn@csf.colorado.edu
>Subject: NYTimes.com Article: Europeans to Exempt U.S. From War Court
>Date: Tue,  1 Oct 2002 09:14:35 -0400 (EDT)
>Sender: wsn-owner@csf.colorado.edu
>This article from NYTimes.com
>has been sent to you by swsystem@aol.com.
>Although I basically agree with John Leonard's comments a couple of days 
>ago about a divergence between a relatively progressive EU and a 
>reactionary US, this news makes me worry.  Are the Europeans going to be 
>equally spineless about letting the US have its way with Iraq?
>Steven Sherman
>Europeans to Exempt U.S. From War Court
>October 1, 2002
>BRUSSELS, Sept 30 - The 15 nations of the European Union
>agreed today to exempt American soldiers and government
>officials from prosecution for war crimes at the
>International Criminal Court, an issue that had troubled
>trans-Atlantic relations for several months.
>The compromise, reached at a meeting of European Union
>foreign ministers, came close to the blanket immunity for
>American government employees sought by the Bush
>administration, although European officials emphasized that
>in their view it did not undermine the court, which the
>administration has opposed.
>"There is no concession," said Per Stig Moller, foreign
>minister of Denmark, which currently holds the presidency
>of the European Union. "There is no undermining of the
>International Criminal Court."
>At a briefing in Washington, the State Department
>spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, said: "We'll study the
>details of the European Union's decision very closely, and
>we'll look forward to discussing it in more detail with
>member states."
>Diplomats said today's deal had been pushed hardest by
>Britain and by Italy and Spain, whose conservative
>governments are ideologically closer to the Bush
>administration than, say, the German government.
>France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden offered the stiffest
>resistance to any form of exemption for American citizens,
>diplomats said.
>The deal that the 15 governments agreed to prevents them
>from extraditing American government employees accused of
>war crimes to the court, on the condition that the United
>States government guarantee that such a suspect would be
>tried in an American court.
>The Bush administration has been pressing governments
>around the world to sign bilateral agreements not to send
>American citizens to the International Criminal Court,
>which is an outgrowth of the ad hoc tribunals set up by the
>United Nations, with American support, to try war crimes
>committed in the Balkans and in Rwanda in the 1990's.
>The administration fears that with the creation of a
>permanent court to try alleged war crimes committed
>anywhere in the world, Americans in peacekeeping or
>overseas military operations could become targets of
>politically motivated trials.
>Several American nongovernmental organizations have banded
>together to support formation of the new international
>court, and their representatives said they were
>disappointed by today's agreement.
>"We are disappointed the E.U. did not take a stronger
>position amid pressure from the United States, but we agree
>the I.C.C. has not been de-legitimised by this agreement,"
>said Heather Hamilton, spokeswoman for the World Federalist
>Association, one of the groups.
>Today's agreement allows any European Union nation to sign
>a separate bilateral agreement with the United States over
>the court. Germany has been a staunch opponent of this, but
>Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer noted that today's accord
>"is very important because the Milosevics and Pinochets of
>tomorrow will be brought to justice," referring to the
>former authoritarian leaders of Yugoslavia and Chile.
>Britain and Italy are believed to be considering signing
>bilateral agreements with the United Sates, but diplomats
>said today's agreement makes such a move less likely. "The
>E.U. does now appear united on this question," said one
>diplomat, although differences remain beneath the surface
>of the compromise.
>"This unity could turn out to be no more than skin deep if
>individual E.U. members go ahead and sign agreements with
>the United States," the diplomat said.
>So far, 12 countries outside the European Union have
>promised not to extradite American citizens to the court.
>The European Union is among those who pushed hardest for an
>international court, under the auspices of the United
>Nations, to deal with cases involving genocide, atrocities,
>war crimes and systematic human rights abuses. More than 80
>countries have ratified the court's founding treaty.
>Notable exceptions include the United States, Israel and
>most Arab countries.
>The court will be based in The Hague, where Slobodan
>Milosevic, the former president of Yugoslavia, is on trial
>on charges that he committed war crimes during the Balkan
>wars of the 1990's.
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>Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company

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