The VigilanceVoice

July 3, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 294

Attack on America:
The Clint Eastwood Sheriff Syndrome--
No More Sheriff Of Vigilance

Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, July 3--There's a new sheriff in town, and America doesn't like him.
      He's swaggered into town and shown his badge, claiming domain over the world that once was the sole privy of America to protect.
      Now, there's a scheduled shootout at the O.K. Corral, and, if the winds of change blow the wrong direction, America's badge and shield as the "policeman" of the world, may be turned in.
      It's all about power, all about "Who's In Charge?"
      If you want to know who is in charge in a prison, you find the guy with the television clicker.   He's the toughest of them all, because no one is going to argue with him when he changes channels.
      However, if all the other weaker inmates gang up on him, there's a good chance they can rip the clicker from his paws, but then the next question arises, "who among the mass of the weak is the strongest?"  Ruling the television by committee can turn once-fascist order into utter chaos.
      Eventually, the toughest will regain control, knowing the weak cannot fathom enough collective strength and single leadership to endure.  It is, was, and always be the law of nature--survival of the fittest.
      As America sits on the cusp of its Independence Day celebration, just a few hours away from this writing, there's a force in Europe seeking to strip America of a long legacy of police power to fight any nation or enemy of oppression and tyranny.
      Back in the "old days," as America was being formed, we established certain principles of justice to live by.  One of the heroes of those days was a guy named John Adams.   He was a farmer's son.   He rose in the pre-Revolution days to represent bold leadership and fearless courage for certain principles.
     One of those was the Boston Massacre.  British soldiers fired into a mob of colonists and were put on trial for murder.  No one wanted to defend them.  Association with their "evil acts" would taint whomever stepped up to the plate.  But John Adams figured that America's brewing principles of "justice for all," included one's enemies.   He defended the British soldiers, and they were set free.
      A key to American justice has always been the jury system--tried by one's peers.   This system offers a balance between the political prejudice of a judge and the common sense of a jury.    Since the foundation of law is the question:  "What would an average citizen do in a situation such as this," the jury becomes the sounding board for fairness.  While not perfect, it is more perfect than sentences meted out by potentially bigoted or politically motivated judges ruling on whims or grudges.
       This is one of the sore spots America faces as the new world sheriff takes a stroll down the streets of world turmoil, puffing out his chest and telling everyone that America's days of unilateral management of justice is over.   America, despite its arsenal of political, economic and military weapons, is no longer in charge of being the key defender of tyranny and Terrorism worldwide.  

      The "plot," if one could call it that, is to make every country liable for acts of "genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity."   It is called the International Criminal Court (ICC), and came into official force July 1, 2002.

        Its composition is primarily European countries who will wield a new power--the power to indict and convict any nation it believes acted in a "criminal" fashion against other nations.
       America refuses to participate.
       While former President Bill Clinton signed on, current President George Bush signed off as a member.
        The United States doesn't fancy having a judge-ruled international court subjecting its military to "their laws."   The ICC provides no "jury by peers," and, according to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfield, American military personnel as well as political leaders, could be subject to war crimes if a judge or group in power at the ICC wanted to use politics to attack America.

US Secretary Of Defense, D. Rumsfield

       In the past, America had a free hand in moving around the world, engaging tyranny.   It was the Clint Eastwood of a world wracked by despots.   But like  Eastwood movie characters, once the town was tamed, the citizens wanted him out.  His power threatened their power.  
        Winston Churchill suffered such a fate.   He was the hero of Britain during the war, a ferocious leader, a bulldog who sank his teeth into the neck of the enemy and shook until its arms and legs spun off.   But once peace was won, he was shuffled off into the pasture, the pages of history trying to deny him the unlimited power he once held.
        A similar scenario is underfoot by the formation of the ICC.   While it wants to have America's might and power at its disposal, it also wants to manage and contain that might with the threat of prosecution if America steps out of ICC boundaries.
       Unfortunately, no one really knows what those boundaries might become.  It is easy to say such judicial power would only be used "wisely," but then any power can be corrupted.
        Currently, there is a standoff.  The new and old sheriffs are staring at each other to see who flinches first.   America will not enter into any action in any country without "immunity" of its forces from the ICC.   This angers many who formed the ICC, calling America a "unilateral power force," who won't "play ball."

        America, however, has more guns and bullets and reserves than any of the others who wish to employ its resources.   If America is going to be the Clint Eastwood of the world, it doesn't want to have a noose around its neck.
        Rules of War are not all the same.   Some countries fight differently than others.   Some consider victory from a different perspective, such as allowable "collateral damage."   Those who walk a narrower path may consider "collateral damage" acts of "genocide."   An ICC court today might indict and convict all those responsible for the Dresden fire bombing during World War II.    Canada might want to show its power by charging the U.S. with "criminal negligence" over the error that caused their troops in Afghanistan to be killed by mistake when U.S. planes attacked their position.
         The permutations are endless.
         But the signal is clear--America is no longer the icon of world protection.   Its power is being challenged, its unilateral right to fight whomever and wherever it pleases with immunity to international sanction is being threatened.
         Entering into Independence Day, we have Terrorism to thank or curse for the stripping of America's powers worldwide.   For some nations, the idea that America can track and hunt down Terrorists anywhere in the world threatens their security.   It sets off earthquakes under their sovereignty.       

       America is being viewed by some as a "bully who needs taming."   President Bush made it clear to the world he was willing to fight Terrorism with or without world support.    This edict  galled those who consider Terrorism a gnat on an elephant's ass.   Giving America unbridled power to roam the world in search and destroy missions of Osama bin Laden types, was too much for many to swallow.   
        The ICC formation was fundamentally an attack on America's role as the world's policeman.   Now, it has turned into a face-off between who's in charge.
        I believe Terrorism is only a front.   It is a symbol.  It is a mask.
        Further, I believe America's Terrorism strategy has been, at best, narrow and short-sighted.   Politically, militarily and emotionally, we have targeted Terrorism to be the "evil without."
        If we look at the history of American intervention, we find that our real battles have been not to destroy the "tyranny" that existed, but to "establish the democracy," that could exist.  It is "Terrorism within" that should be our strategy, and instead of bombs and bullets, we need to promote the infusion of democracy as the sign of victory.
       Our stand in the Middle East calls for the removal of Terrorism and the implantation of democracy, but to many, the words are rhetoric.   Our plan fell short in implementation.
       Our battle in World War II was not to defeat Germany, but to rebuild Europe as a democratic union,  where its countries became collectively intra-dependent on one another.  This reliance on each other would thwart war because it would upset the social, economic and political balances established under the Marshall Plan.  
        The creation of the European Economic Union was the fruition of a dream that Thomas Paine and the founders of America held fast to their hearts  They wanted democracy to spread to Europe.   America, they believed, would provide a powerful model for the world that there was a better way to live and prosper than allowing power to rest in  monarchies or despots, or fascist leadership.
       Vietnam was a failed attempt to achieve "instant freedom" for the people of that country.   But the war is not over.   Thousands of Vietnamese are here in the United States learning the powers of democracy and bringing them back to their homeland.  One day, as Europe has enjoyed democracy, the true impact of the Vietnam War will be felt as that nation learns to apply the principles of freedom, justice and democracy on an everyday basis.   Then, the history books can put an exclamation point to the "right" or "wrong," or "just" or "injustice" of America's involvement.
       China, the great giant of concern in any equation of international management, is inching in democracy's direction.   But it, as all great nations, believes that power is ultimately rooted in the size and strength of military force.  Its armies grow.  Its ability to conquer other nations does not sleep.  Neither does it in Pakistan, nor in India.
        The ICC, primarily European, shields its eyes to China and the East.   Were it to look at the threat China presents, it would not want to strip America of its Clint Eastwood powers, or subordinate it to the rule and whim of  "criminal indictment."

        In its own way, the ICC is trying to "sell off" an asset--America's shadow.  For years, our power and might has sheltered Europe from the former threats of communism and Russia's constant threat.   Now that Russia is in the throes of democratization, Europe feels safe.  It can wash its hands of America's "intrusions," and consider it a "foreign invader" if it so wishes to through criminal war crime  indictment.
        I promote the existence of the Sentinels of Vigilance, the spirits of those who rise about the World Trade Center, a lonely field in Pennsylvania, and above the Pentagon.    These Sentinels of Vigilance answer only to a Higher Power--that power being the safety and security of the children, and their children's children.  They do not answer to the courts of international judges.
        As a Citizen of Vigilance, I must do what is right despite what others might think is right.   If I see a child being abused by an adult, I must step in and put myself between the Terrorist and the Terrorized.   I cannot worry about being "judged" by human laws, or the liability I might assume by "sticking my nose into other's business."
        The protection of the children's rights far exceed any adult rights, and the laws of Vigilance proscribe I use Courage, Conviction and Right Action to counter the Terrorism, and not be swayed by Fear, Intimidation or Complacency.
        The ICC is Terroristic in that it creates Fear, Intimidation and drives the American legacy of fighting for freedom into a state of Complacency.
        U.S. government spokespeople have clearly stated the United States may elect not to participate in any military actions abroad unless granted immunity from the ICC.   It will not be subject to the whims of those who try to supercede America's long history of intervention in the name of democracy.
        The ICC is trying to eat its own child.   By forcing America to surrender its rights to judge its own, the ICC is putting at peril those hundreds of thousands of children who have been liberated from oppression over many years of bloodletting.  Americans have never hesitated to send their children to die for the rights of other children in lands they never knew existed.     

Clifford McKenzie in Vietnam

       I went to one myself in 1965, prepared to die for the rights of the children to be free.  Over 50,000 of my comrades died so that one child might grow up and know freedom, and spread it to others.
       I think the President and his staff ought to talk a lot more about America's Vigilant role than its militaristic role.   If the President and his staff look at our job as policemen to the world, we are policing the rights of the children.   We are offering them sanctuary from oppression, as our children enjoy it today.
       Perhaps in no other nation does a child have more rights than in America, and those rights grow daily.  While we may not perfect in this respect, our constant dedication to the preservation of a child's freedom from all forms of Terrorism stands above the crowd, symbolic of our real intentions.
       If the President were to promote America The Vigilant, not America The Warrior, I think the ICC would be forced to back down.   I would not want to think America was hamstrung from protecting the children of the world because of the empanelment of a group of judges who want to emasculate America's role as the Sentinel of Vigilance.

Go To July 2--Congressional Mail Laundry Quandary   

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design