Week of Sept. 3, 2008

Crimes against humanity

Thank you for the Aug. 20 editorial on “Crimes against Humanity.”

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I totally agree with your conclusion that the international community should see to it that Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is arrested and extradicted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

But your editorial contains a technical error. Radovan Karadzic was extradited to the Hague but not to the International Criminal Court. The ICC has jurisdiction only over crimes committed after July 1, 2002. Karadzic is being tried by the Ad Hoc Tribunal for Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia established in 1994 by the U.N. Security Council, which does have jurisdiction in his case.

You correctly noted that Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Liberia’s Charles Taylor were tried by other tribunals. The same is true for Karadzic.

In the third paragraph where you note that the United States is a party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide I think you should also have noted that the United States has not ratified the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court and thus is not a member of the Assembly of States Parties which governs the ICC.

In 2001, President Bush announced that he was renouncing President Clinton’s December 2000 signing of the Rome Statute, something which is unheard of in international law and something which the U.N. has not accepted.

On the other hand, the United States (under Bush and with Condoleezza Rice’s urging) abstained rather than casting a veto on the U.N. Security Council resolution concerning Darfur, a resolution which among other things invited the ICC to investigate the charge that genocide and war crimes had been committed.

Ronald Glossop

Coordinator of the St. Louis Alliance for the ICC

Guns and the High Court

With regard to the articles on the Supreme Court decision regarding gun control. Coming from an older generation, I would have to ask the liberal writers and supporters, “What would be the response in Warsaw about owning guns in the 1930s. I do not support the concept of people running around and killing each other. On the other hand, self-preservation is part of our religion.

Two quotations come to mind. “There arose in Egypt a pharaoh that did not know Moses.” Paraphrased, “There arose an administration that did not know Einstein, Salk, Gershwin, Brandeis and millions of others. This can be found in the very beginning of Exodus.

The second is found in Deuteronomy XXV 17-19. “Remember the Amelikites for what they did to you when you were weak.”

Your readers would be better served to stop and think about world conditions and recognize that there is only one safe haven for Jews and that is Israel. Remember the S.S. St. Louis.

Stephen Weitz

Boca Raton, Fla.