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  Editorial 10/Aug/05  
US Repeal The Hague Invasion Clause

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 Request that they please work to get this "The Hague invasion clause" repealed.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.

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