Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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When the Pope and I Agree With Each Other, You Know We're Onto Something.

"Noam Chomsky: What the serious peace movement has been asking for is pretty much what the Pope just asked for, openly. He said, and he's right, it was a terrible crime and when there is a crime, those who are responsible should be held accountable and brought to justice, but without harming great numbers of innocent people. If somebody robs my house and I think it was someone in the neighborhood across the river, I don't go out and kill everyone in that neighborhood, that's not the way you proceed. They way you proceed is through lawful means. And they're available, and there are plenty of precedents for them. The United States should, if it can, and that's not going to be easy, present a credible case against whoever was responsible for these atrocities. That is not going to be easy, which is probably why they haven't done it, but that has to be done as a preliminary. And then there are measures that can be taken through international institutions.
Question from Stephanie Daniels: Are the international courts a real option for the US now? If the US recognized their legitimacy and jurisdiction, would someone (US military? UN forces?) be authorized to go into Afghanistan and arrest bin Laden even without hard evidence.
Noam Chomsky: Not without evidence of course. Even NATO countries say they can't proceed without evidence. And nobody really knows if it happens to be bin Laden. But yes, the courts are certainly available. Now, the international criminal court, unfortunately, we cannot approach because the U.S. has refused to recognize its jurisdiction. But there is the world court, and if the U.S. wanted, it could set up a special court the same way that it was done for Yugoslavia. There is also the UN Security Council which can initiate forceful actions if it is presented with serious reasons.
We should remember that there are real precedents for this. The most obvious, because it is supported by a World Court decision and UN Security Council resolution, the highest authorities. Twenty years ago the United States launched a war against Nicaragua. That was a terrible war. Tens of thousands of people died. The country was practically destroyed. Nicaragua did not respond by setting off bombs in Washington. They went to the World Court with a case, the World Court ruled in their favor and ordered the United States to stop its "unlawful use of force" (that means international terrorism) and pay substantial reparations. Well, the United States responded by dismissing the court with contempt and immediately escalated the attack. At that point Niagara went to the UN Security council which voted a resolution calling on all states to obey international law. They didn't mention anyone, but everyone knew they meant the United States. Well, the United States vetoed it. Nicaragua then went to the General Assembly which, two years in a row passed a similar resolution with only the United States and Israel opposed. El Salvador in one year. But of course, the United States is a very powerful country. If it opposes lawful means, they can't be pursued. So Nicaragua could do nothing. On the other hand, if the U.S. pursued those means no one would stop it. In fact, everyone would support it."

from's transcript of Noam Chomsky's October 2 appearance in the MSNBC chatroom
Or for the shallower simplified version, try this web comic I got from Mia's journal.
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