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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
US Repeal The Hague Invasion Clause
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:04 pm    Post subject: US Repeal The Hague Invasion Clause Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On another forum topic , it came to my attention that there is an American law authorizing the invasion of The Hague, The Netherlands, in case the World Court were to prosecute American soldiers. I had never heard of such a thing. Apparently there is a provision in the American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002 which authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a US-allied country being held by the court, which is located in The Hague. This provision, dubbed the "Hague invasion clause," has caused a strong reaction from US allies around the world, particularly in the Netherlands. See here.

This is certainly preposterous. Authorization to invade The Hague for hypothetical reasons is at best provocative. I'm sure the intent is to preserve the sovereignty of the USA, but this not only makes us appear arrogant and aggressive, it makes our friends uncomfortable and causes anti-American resentment.

The World Court just happens to be in The Netherlands like the UN just happens to be in the US. What if the Chinese Central Committee passed a law authorizing the Red Army to invade New York if a Chinese national was ever detained by a UN peace keeping force somewhere?

If you are an American, please write to your congressman and senators. Ask them what do they think of this? It is easy to contact them at www.house.gov or www.senate.gov . Request that they please work to get this "The Hague invasion clause" repealed. Let them know we would like like to tell our Dutch friends we are really reasonable people over here with a government that is responsible and responsive. That we respect the sovereignty of their country as we do our own.

This may not be the biggest or most significant issue you may have with the American government, but it is possible to conceive of responsible legislators taking action to repeal this if it is brought to their attention that it concerns enough constituents.

If you write to your representatives and one or more respond, please let us know about it. That in itself would be interesting and informative. I just contacted my three national representatives via their web forms. I usually get a response - sometimes is takes a couple of months.

Thanks...

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some more, though old, information is available on this site;
http://www.hogerhand.nl (english version available)

These nice people combined culture jamming, art and peacefull protest by creating a "militia" to patroll the scheveningen beach and set up "fortifications" (Scheveningen is the coastal neigbourhood of The Hague). Their actions received support from two Dutch political parties; Groen Links (Green left) and the SP (Socialist Party) as well as Benjamin Ferencz.

Sadly this didn't receive the media atention I think it deserved and by the age of their website I suspect the activists have since given up. That's very sad; I count their initiative amongst the most interesting and creative political moves in recent history.

After their website was linked to from GlobalDarkness, a site that mainly deals with The Hague underground electronic music, I briefly corresponded with one of their volunteers but sadly no clear schedule was available and so I never got to visit their initiative. It is utterly beyond me why such a beautifull initiative; civilians volunteering to erect a symbolic wall in protection of international law and justice when their government fails to do so didn't receive more attention. If it were up to me they'd be nominated for a Nobel prize.


Borowed from their FAQ;
Quote:

Is this some kind of joke?
Quite the opposite. This is deadly serious. Thanks to the absurd images this Invasion Act conjures up, many people think that the bill is not meant to be taken seriously. This is a major mistake, for it underestimates the deep symbolism which underlies the Invasion Act.

For the Bush administration, this bill is the ultimate instrument with which to establish a radically new position towards the international community. A position that breaks with the long tradition of supporting the development of international law. The Invasion Act is the Bush administration's way of showing that it means business. With the Hogerhand People's Front we also mean business — make no mistake!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I got this from my Congressman's respond-a-bot:

    Thank you for taking the time to email me about an issue of importance to
    you. I will review your comments and take them into consideration. It is
    my privilege and duty to represent the views of the citizens of the 15th
    District of Pennsylvania. The more I hear from those I have the honor to
    represent, the better I can fulfill my responsibilities. My staff and I
    will make every effort to respond to your concerns, comments and questions
    in a timely fashion.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your comments with me. I encourage you
    to continue to check my website at www.house.gov/dent for updates on the
    legislative issues facing the 109th Congress and events taking place in
    the 15th District. As always, never hesitate to contact me with any
    additional concerns.
    With best wishes,
    Charles W. Dent


This is very disapponting. You'd expect at least he'd use a program that would extract the subject and make the response look at least a little bit customized. When he ran for office, he said he wouldn't represent the narrow interests of his political party, Republican, but would listen to the views of his constituents. Mr. Dent, you can do better than this.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Last night my downstairs neigbour locked herself out of her house in her pyama (no info on why or how people manage to do that) so she rang our doorbel.

After some improvised burglary tactics tea was had (I had made some during the break-in because she and her doughter seemed quite cold). It turned out she was a refugie from the last Iraq war, first fleeing to Italy, then ending up here. She was understandably deeply woried about her family in Iraq and said she called every day "because tomorow they may not be there anymore". She sufferes from nightmares and symptomes of stress that border on halucinations if I understood it all correctly.

The very mentioning of this act caused her considderable distress. I shouldn't have mentioned it at all. I tried changing the subject but got the impression that she didn't take this act as abstract symbolic gesture at all.

Compared to how laughable that act is; I think it's profoundly un-funny.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I shouldn't have mentioned it at all

if I understand correctly: you mentioned to an Iraqi refugee that Den Haag could be invaded by American troops Question You are a nasty boy Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:
I shouldn't have mentioned it at all

if I understand correctly: you mentioned to an Iraqi refugee that Den Haag could be invaded by American troops Question You are a nasty boy Twisted Evil


I, erm, well, erm. I think she knew already? A different topic might have been preferable.

But, erm, I made her tea! Nice Earl Grey from fresh leaves!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
his political party, Republican

Am I getting this right? Did you vote for a republican? I know, this is none of my business and I am a bit drunk at the moment. I am sorry already, don't know how sorry I'll be tomorrow for asking this... I just want to know the reasons why intelligent people may sometimes wind up voting republicans. It just seems completely incomprehensible for a person like me that has been raised in a Scandinavian (well, almost. Actually Finland isn't a part of Scandinavia) well-being society.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Ponk! I am watching a rerun of Talvisota right now. It is a really good movie.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Hey Ponk! I am watching a rerun of Talvisota right now. It is a really good movie.

Hey, don't push me! I just can't stand Finnish people glorifying Talvisota. People killed innocent people. That was wrong. I have nothing more to add to that.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ponk wrote:
I just can't stand Finnish people glorifying Talvisota. People killed innocent people. That was wrong. I have nothing more to add to that.


Well, you won´t have to. I have now idea about the glorification of this in Finland. However I read the subitles and the film seems to be good so far. Regarding the killing and all, I totally agree with you. Uh, when I think of it.. I hate the glorification of Norway´s efforts in the last war. That makes me want to invest in a decent baseball bat. That shit makes me violent. Shocked Oh shit, I have had too much coffee. I need to relax.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Ponk wrote:
I just can't stand Finnish people glorifying Talvisota. People killed innocent people. That was wrong. I have nothing more to add to that.


Well, you won´t have to. I have now idea about the glorification of this in Finland. However I read the subitles and the film seems to be good so far. Regarding the killing and all, I totally agree with you. Uh, when I think of it.. I hate the glorification of Norway´s efforts in the last war. That makes me want to invest in a decent baseball bat. That shit makes me violent. Shocked Oh shit, I have had too much coffee. I need to relax.

Ok, maybe I have something to add. Wink The film isn't all that bad and you weren't obviously talking about anything but the film. It's just that quite a lot of Finnish people still romanticize the war back in 1939. People here think that it was somehow right to kill Russians, because we were in a war with them. I can't get that. Maybe I'm a stupid idealist.

At least I'm seriously off topic and this isn't even Schmooze. I'm sorry about that.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, let's try to stay OT. Shocked I have distant hopes that one of my elected representatives will actually read this topic. I hope that even if they don't take action to repeal the law, they would at least explain why.

Just because a person is my elected representative doesn't mean I voted for him. There are good people that are members of both of the political parties. About 2/3 of Americans vote very consistently along party lines - 1/3 vote Republican, 1/3 vote Democrat. The other 1/3 are more independent and vote for individual candidates. I confess to being in that middle group. Still, I'm for universal health insurance, alternative energy, public transportation, respect for the environment, individual rights, and conservative economic policy (low national debt); so, I rarely vote for a Republican. Razz

With the American two-party system (a colossal failure, IMHO) you can end up with some apparently inconsistent voting. For example, my congressman and both senators are Republican, but in this last election Kerry won both in my district and in the state.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I hate the glorification of Norway´s efforts in the last war.

come on Stein be patriotic Very Happy I really enjoyed the story about the Norwegian heavy water sabotage Exclamation

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Hey Ponk! I am watching a rerun of Talvisota right now. It is a really good movie.


arrow http://www.mil.fi/perustietoa/talvisota_eng/index.html

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
so, I rarely vote for a Republican. Razz

Phew! Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think Howard defines OT as on topic and not off topic.

As for the heroic efforts, the heavy water sabotage was an incredible project but realistically the whole raid was based on bad intelligence. As documented even by National Geographic Channel, Germany was not even close to building an atomic bomb. The whole raid was a futile gesture. But they did sink the ferry "Hydro" and kill some norwegians. We should give them credit for that.

It is of course completely possible to honour the mad sabotours and also see the plain stupidity of the people who initiated the raid. Another matter is that it was seen as crucial by the "planners" that Norway was percieved as being a busy playground. This and a number of other raids did manage to convince Hitler that there should be a large permanent german force in Norway .. just in case.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On a meta topic, this topic has been viewed over 16557 times... that's a huge amount for such a new topic...

Are we being linked from somewhere perhaps? That's a lot of little brothers watching.

-diskonext

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

having an elected official in a party you didn't vote for is very common in the US. The political process involved in drawing the district lines is designed to protect incumbants. 98+% of congressmen up for re-election get elected. It is, quite possible, that a state could vote 55 or even 60% republican and have more than half of the seats go to democrats, or vice versa.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

diskonext wrote:
On a meta topic, this topic has been viewed over 16557 times... that's a huge amount for such a new topic...

Are we being linked from somewhere perhaps? That's a lot of little brothers watching.

That's because this topic appears on the front page which gets a lot of hits. I guess I could get in a hack the code to ignore hits from the front page, but that is low on the priority list here.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think the U.S. two party system looks much worse because of the unfortunate naems of the parties. The differences between a "republic" and a "democracy" aren't that well known and practically speaking they are basically the same in modern times. Since the U.S. is both a republic and (nominally) a democracy you'd expect those parties to be quite happy and get along well.....
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The names mean nothing anymore, and the parties do get along very well. As George Wallace so aptly stated, "There isn't a dimes worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats". Some people call them the Republicats.

The fact that voter participation in the US is so horrendously low indicates that the two-party system is a failure.

The American system is one of the earliest modern democracies. aside from getting rid of slavery and giving women their rights, it hasn't been upgraded too much.

American democracy is only an approximate one. Certainly not one person one vote. The people living in states with small populations get more representation the people living in large ones.

The system is based on maximizing round off. The Senate rounds off population in huge chunks. Why should New York or California get the same representation as North Dakota? Every state uses a winner-take-all rule in the presidential elections. A candidate could get 51% of the vote in a state and get 100% of the electorial votes.

The two-party system also rounds off or marginalizes enthusiastic but unpopular minorities. In a parliamentary democracy people who feel very strongly about a certain issue can vote for a small party. Maybe they would only get 1 or 2 seats in parliament, but they would have a voice. In America, there is no voice for these people - only the two parties of mainstream mediocrity.

This is why nobody votes (well most people) and why my representatives are so completely unresponsive to their constituents. Their real constituents are the big-money industrial people that buy them with donations and other corrupt practices.

I'm chagrined when Bush says we are fighting for democracy in Iraq when we don't even have it here.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:

American democracy is only an approximate one. Certainly not one person one vote.


I think all democracies are aproximate ones. The main contrast I see betweent he U.S. system and the more tyoically European ones is that the U.S. does the aproximation on the level of the votes while the Europeans tend to round off on the level of issues. The advantage of this (as I see it) is that what is actually happening is more negotiable and more public (and it's heavily reported on).

I agree with you that there is some irony to the U.S. introducing democracy in Iraq but there is no reason at all why in Iraq it'd have to work like it does in the U.S.. Europe "borrowed" the powergrid system from the U.S. too but it works differently...

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