Mea culpa (fortasse)

Interesting op-ed piece in the L.A. Times from Robert McNamara, who served as secretary of defense under JFK and LBJ. In the piece, McNamara admits that as SoD he was responsible for some pretty gruesome activities in Vietnam, including Agent Orange. His point is that the US should participate without reserve in the International Criminal Court and should operate under an international set of rules of war.
Chances are, of course, that McNamara’s voice will go ignored. The US has resisted participation in the ICC because it fears not only that American soldiers be under scrutiny and vulnerable to indictment, but also that “the court might prosecute the president or other civilian or military leaders.” In other words, US presidents would be afraid to order “legitimate but controversial uses of force to protect world peace.”
McNamara, who obviously believes that he personally could well be prosecuted, nonetheless advocates American participation, because he also believes “that the human race desperately needs an agreed-upon system of jurisprudence that tells us what conduct by political and military leaders is right and what is wrong.”
According to McNamara, the Bush league is concerned that the US administration, from top to bottom, could find itself hopelessly mired in “frivolous or unfair” ICC cases. McNamara points out, however, that it is possible for the US to get on board and then negotiate protection against such cases – which is apparently what Clinton had in mind when he signed the ICC treaty on Dec. 31, 2000.
Canada’s participation in the ICC, beginning with the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, is perhaps one more reason the US perception (when there is one) of Canada is less than generous. Militarily, Canada is an international, if underfunded and disregarded, player. We participate in UN-backed coalitions, for instance. And, if our cooperation with the ICC is any indication, we’re willing to subscribe to and live by an agreed-upon [international] system of jurisprudence.
But what do we know? We’re just a bunch of pot-smoking fag hags, right?