3, 2002—Ground Zero Plus
Attack on America:
The Clint Eastwood Sheriff Syndrome--
More Sheriff Of Vigilance
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Go To July 2--Congressional Mail Laundry
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