September 29, 2009
What a Great Idea
Posted by scott at September 29, 2009 02:11 PM
All you guys who want to give up sovereignty to international bodies like the World Court and the UN? Yeah, I totally agree with you now:
In his rambling diatribe to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 23, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi criticized the world body for being unfair to small nations. The comment struck a chord with the Swiss, since Gaddafi has been on a self-proclaimed mission to destroy their little country.
Although the motion [to abolish Switzerland] was thrown out because it violates the U.N. Charter ... some Swiss leaders are still concerned that Libya could use its yearlong presidency of the U.N. General Assembly, which began on Sept. 15, to keep up Gaddafi's vitriolic attacks on their country.
I mean, what's not to love?
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What does this have to do with submitting our leaders to an international court for war crimes?
And I'm curious, which is it: is the UN ineffectual, or is it a danger to our sovereignty?
(Note that I am not an expert on the ICC or the UN. If there are examples of what they're doing wrong, or right, or of powers they have that they shouldn't, I would love more information.)
It seems to me that most of this debate comes down to people's philosophy, though. My philosophy is that people with more power should be more subject to scrutiny and penalties, and that their actions affect the world at large, and hence should be subject to justice defined by the world at large.
The conservative philosophy (it seems to me) is that the US is right no matter what (except the stuff that liberals do) and is above any scrutiny by anyone else.
For examples of what the UN does wrong, an examination of any of the recent emergency meetings of the General Assembly is quite instructive.
As a small-l libertarian, my personal philosophy is that power should be spread as widely as possible, driven down at all cases to the people who are most directly affected by the decision. ANY decision. People who have more power than this are automatically suspect. However, I don't want more scrutiny for such people; I want to figure out how to effectively remove their power and give it to the people directly affected by decisions.
My conservatism comes from my opinion that, however badly and imperfectly, the Republican party is more likely to implement this ideal than is the Democratic. It is my opinion self-defined liberals in particular find the devolution of power to be anathema, as it directly attacks the paternalism which forms the basis of what I perceive to be the core of their philosophy.