Ron Paul and the International Criminal Court

Two days ago I wrote about the political phenomenon of Ron Paul as it related to black people and a few things that troubled me about his policy positions in his run for President of the United States. The responses were interesting and at times troublesome. But the response for the most part was muddled. The muddled nature was largely my fault for including too many issues in the post and for the way in which I presented them which distracted from the core issues.

One of the issues that I mentioned was the International Criminal Court and Ron Paul’s praise of George W. Bush for rebuking the ICC. The United States not being in the ICC is problematic for me. As a six year veteran of the US military and I am perhaps more than most US citizens, aware of what our military engages in overseas. It acts as the police arm of a US empire that is military, economic and cultural in nature. The ICC is an international body that seeks to hold international criminals accountable.

Rep. Ron Paul has expressed a vision of a world where the ICC wouldn’t apply to the US because we would not engage in international military affairs. While this is admirable this isn’t the current reality. So in fact just the other day, right here in the state of Georgia, a US soldier, accused of international crimes but sheltered by the US govt from international accountability for those crimes, was let off the hook. The US Army’s investigating officer reported to the Army,

there was “overwhelming evidence presented” that Corrales “did with the intent to kill, shoot at and hit the detainee multiple times with an M-4 rifle.”

but after concluding that, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Army investigator added that,

no evidence existed that linked the shots fired by Shore to the detainee’s death two days later.

The multiple shots from the M-4 rifle aren’t evidence enough apparently. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the prosecution of the invasion and ensuing occupation against a largely defenseless country. I’d be interested in hearing how Ron Paul explains this. Did the soldier get justice? He shoots a general during interrogation, the general dies, the US soldier gets the charges dismissed because the evidence can’t link his shooting of the general to the general’s death. This seems highly unjust to me and it is made possible, in part because of the efforts of the Bush regime to remove international accountability for international crimes that US acknowledgment of the ICC would bring. If a soldier from another country killed a US soldier, no less a US general, in interrogation custody we would demand extradition of the criminal to the US for trial and brand the country that refused extradition as a rogue state.

Ron Paul’s support of this travesty of justice seems highly problematic and contradictory to his proclaimed stance of anti-imperialism as well as contradictory to the Libertarian philosophy of accountability and responsibility. It is also disappointing to see so many of his followers and supporters that seem to champion those same ideals stand idly by and not challenge him on the issue of the ICC as it relates to the current imperial regime led by George Bush.

12 Responses to “Ron Paul and the International Criminal Court”

  1. OMG run for your lives!! I can’t believe ANYONE supports Ron Paul after this very compelling and convincing article…

    More dirt on Ron Paul here:

    http://disinter.wordpress.com/2007/10/25/the-dirt-on-ron-paul/

  2. Methinks you would not get any traffic (attention) otherwise, thus the reason for the Ron Paul hit pieces.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    um, being a nativist doesn’t automatically make a person an imperialist. I don’t the U.S. involved in the U.N. LOST treaty for example because it encroaches on U.S. sovereignty, not because it would keep us from controlling the worlds oceans. You’re making a lot assumptions about motivation here.

  4. I didn’t make fabricate anything. The actions of RP that I criticize are true. And RP supporters haven’t challenged the truthfulness. Is shooting the messenger enough?

    Stephanie,
    Sorry if you felt I implied that being a nativist made him an imperialist. I don’t mean to make assumptions about motivations. I understand the espoused Libertarian position so I believe I know what he would say as to abstaining from the ICC.

    The problem is that in reality, war crimes are being committed making abstention from the ICC more than a classroom exercise. It has real world effects that I have never seen RP or any of his supporters even attempt to defend. And unfortunately that includes the comments in this thread. If you don’t care about the real world consequences I would respect you all more if you would just say that. But insulting me isn’t a good substitute for an actual explanation of a very legitimate issue of international policy.

  5. Not insult was intended.

    I don’t believe that i am ignoring the real world implications. But there are more implications than seems to have been considered. I have a problem with the ICC because it’s jurisdiction also covers internal conflicts of it’s member nations during peace time, which makes the name a bit misleading, that causes a problem where american citizens and officials are concerned considering the ICC has an absence of jury trials, retrials allowed for errors of fact , hearsay evidence is allowed, and we would have no right to a speedy trial, a public trial or reasonable bail.

    It’s too much concentrated power with not enough oversight or accountability.

    As an american citizen I don’t want to be subject to an external court that over rides that of my own nation’s and negates my constitutional rights.

  6. “As a six year veteran of the US military and I am perhaps more than most US citizens, aware of what our military engages in overseas. It acts as the police arm of a US empire that is military, economic and cultural in nature. ”

    this leads me to question why you would negate to mention Paul’s opposition to U.S. military bases and police actions around the world, and his opposition to so called “free trade” agreements(state managed).

    He is addressing the same problems, but his solution would be internal reform, instead of oversight by unelected, unaccountable international beauracrats, judges and prosecutors.

  7. I agree with Ron Paul’s policy decisions regarding the elimination of US bases around the world and opposition to exploitative and oligarchic trade ‘agreements’. As for your criticisms of the ICC, there is validity in that the ICC is not perfect. But again, too much abstraction here. In reality, our court system, like the one that just accepted the logic that the shooting of the Iraqi general by the US soldier during interrogation was unrelated to his subsequent death. So the policy of removing those accused from war crimes from int’l purview is also problematic. And that isn’t an abstraction. It’s real. It’s happening. And I think a more persuasive case can be made that current realities of domestic trials of accused war criminals produce a far worse result in terms of justice served, than would the ICC for all its current potential flaws (which stand a much greater possibility of reform than does the historically unjust US judicial system).

    Some of Ron Paul’s ideas are good ones. The bad things, which I can’t seem to get a single Ron Paul supporters to admit the existence of at all are hugely problematic for me. Makes it difficult to have a discussion. But this has been good for me. So thank you for taking the time and ruminating for me. I still think the bad outweighs the good but I can’t really have that discussion with a Paul supporter because in that world, I’m finding, Ron Paul is 100% gold.

  8. A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.

    The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.

    Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people’s hearts by passing more laws and regulations.

    It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government “benevolence” crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.

    Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetuate racism.

    The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence – not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

    In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.

    — Ron Paul

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/racism/

  9. Disinter, the notion that collectivism is at the heart of racism denies so much history and essentially attempts to just rewrite a new narrative more friendly to the individualistic extremism advocated by Libertarians and the rest of the ‘greed is good’ gang.

    Your comments can only be even marginally interpreted as correct if one has drank gallons of Hayek, Rand, Friedman and Paul Kool-Aid.

    In the real world, racism existed in the 16th and 17th centuries when European elites began using race to separate the white and non-white groups of the working class that they sought to exploit. Dividing and conquering them both. One group enslaved, the other group stuck to sharecropping to make ends meet. As liberty expanded and the elites attempted to export their rule and build the empire, they had to make domestic concessions and groups, separated by the ruling class along racial lines, began to fight for rights as a group.

    Then enters the ridiculous ideology purported by Libertarians that these people weren’t victims of anything or oppressed by anyone and that in fact they separated themselves into groups.

    You guys are really nutty.

  10. As nutty as Bill Cosby.

    You are free to define yourself as a group as long as you desire.

    Your government, on the other hand, should not.

    Legislation that targets a single group, is, by nature, EXCLUSIVE, of other groups. The constitution provides for ALL citizens already. Equalizing legislation isn’t needed, what IS needed, is equal enforcement.

    It’s not as ridiculous as you say, it is, however, is far different than what you’re used to.

  11. correction, “It is, however, far different than what WE AS A NATION, have become accustomed to.”

  12. Dan, like disinter and your friends, you have a delusional perspective not based in fact. In short, as I tried to convey to disinter, you attempt to turn history on its head.

    You seem to think that the categories of race and the exclusionary culture was created by the very people oppressed. Anyone that even marginally attempts to observe history would be left scratching his head at the conclusions the two of you, and your ideology, reach.

    It’s not the historical oppression and structures that have been built on that oppression, it is simply the deluded minds of black people and other historically oppressed groups imagining the obstacles and thus holding themselves back. And then, ironically, you wonder why your numbers remain largely and quite disproportionately white and male. Or maybe you don’t wonder. Maybe you don’t care. That seems as likely as anything else as you simply dismiss as delusion and irrationality, any claim made by others that counters your ideology.

    No matter how based in fact, no matter the evidence. They are all just unenlightened collectivists imagining oppressive structures and institutional biases that don’t exist.

    You all’s constitutional delusions are almost as bad as your value of gold delusions. It exists simply in your heads. The Constitution is a document founded in the denial of the liberty and freedom of the majority of the entire population. This is not my opinion but simple fact.

    Women were excluded.
    All non-whites were excluded.

    So over the years, and against the opposition of white males generally (save a few), we have fought to expand the rights denied by this hallowed Constitution. But still, today, it is obvious that we do not have anything remotely close to an egalitarian society.

    This doesn’t seem to faze you guys in the least. You simply blame it on, of all things, government. In this delusion, you imagine the government as some autonomous oppressive structure that somehow operates outside the control of everyone.

    Again, in reality, the government isn’t a freewheeling entity. It is controlled. And its controllers are not anonymous. It is controlled by the same private free-market touting business class of elites that claim the government needs to be shrunk.

    A cursory look at lobbyists in DC and the percentage of contributions that come from business vs people viewed alongside bills and voting records confirms this as well. So the gov’t is controlled by the same business class that blames the gov’t for everything.

    We have the corporatocracy controlling the gov’t and simultaneously blaming it for the ills of society. And then they have you guys cheering for them in the background. If only whatever is left of the gov’t could only be eliminated as well!! That way, the private corporatocracy could control the society and economy in an even more uncontested fashion!! Wouldn’t that be great?

    Child labor restrictions
    Social care for the sick and our elderly
    Fire departments
    Emergency medical services and public hospitals
    Survival work wages
    Restrictions against slavery
    Public education

    I’d say that 99% of the population supports at least two of these things on this list that could be much much longer. All of these things were gained by collective struggle by groups with collective identity. And all of these things were opposed by conservative, individualistic ideology dating back into the 19th century.

    The notion that this emphasis on the individual as a positive force in society, has little historical basis while collective struggle is responsible for just the lion’s share of the things we cherish in our society.

    It is for this reason, not any personal animosity, that I call you guys nutty.

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