One of President Clinton's last official acts was his New Year's Eve signing of the International Criminal Court Treaty, but the U.S. Senate never ratified it. Current President Bush courageously stood up for U.S. sovereignty when he took the unprecedented step of "unsigning" the treaty.
Last year, the United Nations Security Council reluctantly granted the United States a one-year grace period from the risk of having U.S. soldiers on overseas peacekeeping missions arrested for prosecution by the ICC. Our so-called allies were worried that they would have to take over the costs of peacekeeping in Bosnia if U.S. troops pulled out.
The Bush administration has been trying to cajole separate nations into signing promises that they won't arrest U.S. service personnel stationed on their territory. So far, 38 such agreements have been signed, yet most major governments have declined to enter into such agreements with the United States.
The one-year exemption granted by the United Nations last year just expired, and the U.N. Security Council reluctantly approved a one-year extension.
France, Germany and Syria abstained, 17 countries spoke out against the United States, and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan undiplomatically sneered at the U.S. exemption.
Our so-called European allies, whom American blood and treasure have again and again protected against military aggression and economic ruin, deserve a prize for impertinence. We should nip in the bud the heady hopes of the pompous bureaucrats in The Hague and Brussels, who were not elected, yet dream that they can exercise global judicial power.
U.S. officials don't need to pussyfoot around with diplomatic language. They should say, "Bug off. America already enjoys the rule of law that best protects human rights; our Bill of Rights is not up for negotiation with foreigners; and we will not subject our citizens to rules or judges in foreign countries."
Fortunately, we have moved on from the era of President Clinton, who told the United Nations in 1997 that he wanted to put the United States into a "web of institutions" to set "the international ground rules for the 21st century." We now have a president who will stand up for U.S. sovereignty.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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