Category: United Nations

September 27, 2004

Bush at the U.N.: Sugarcoating Failure

In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday 21st September, Bush spoke of spreading ”freedom” and ”human dignity” in Iraq and Afghanistan. He decried dictators who “believe that suicide and torture and murder are fully justified to serve any goal they declare.” He accused the terrorists of seeking to destroy the Universal Declaration of… Read more »

June 28, 2004

Bush’s “Humane” Torture Policy Hits a Speed Bump

On February 7, 2002, George W. Bush declared in an executive order that he could suspend the Geneva Conventions, which require that war prisoners receive humane treatment. Myriad news reports during the past month suggest that government interrogators took full advantage of that order to extract information from prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison in… Read more »

June 11, 2004

John Danforth—Bad Choice for U.N. Ambassador

Cheers went up on both sides of the aisle last week when George W. Bush nominated John Danforth to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Easy confirmation is expected for the former Republican senator from Missouri who has much experience brokering agreements in the Senate. Coincidentally, Danforth, an ordained Episcopalian minister, was… Read more »

August 29, 2003

The Thin Blue Line: How the US Occupation of Iraq Imperils International Law

The day after the truck bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan remarked, “The blue flag has never been so viciously assaulted as it was yesterday.” Whether executed by remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party, or foreign jihadis, or both working in concert, the attack was the result of… Read more »

August 20, 2003

Sergio Vieira De Mello: Victim of Terror, Or U.S. Foreign Policy?

But for George W. Bush’s illegal and misguided war on Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, would be alive today. Mr. de Mello devoted most of his life to the U.N.’s mission to protect human rights and achieve international peace and security. He served in some of the… Read more »

June 17, 2003

Terrorism or National Liberation Struggle?

The word “terrorism” is bandied about by the Bush administration as it suits its political agenda. It is important to try to define and distinguish between different forms of terrorism, and to distinguish that from national liberation struggles. M. Kalliopi K. Koufa, the U.N. special rapporteur for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, has differentiated… Read more »

February 6, 2003

A Double Standard on Torture: The U.S. Should Practice What We Preach

The Bush administration has a double standard on torture and human rights violations as it prosecutes the “war on terror.” While trying to convince the American people in his State of the Union address that war with Iraq is necessary, President George W. Bush marshaled accusations that Saddam Hussein has tortured his people to coerce… Read more »

September 2, 2002

Invading Iraq Would Violate U.S. and International Law

Despite opposition by many prominent Republicans, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are mounting an intensive public relations campaign to justify their pre-ordained invasion of Iraq. A preemptive strike against Iraq would violate the Constitution and the United Nations Charter. Article I, section 8 of the Constitution empowers Congress, not the president, to debate and… Read more »

December 1, 2001

No Military Tribunals: Let UN Try Terrorists

George W. Bush’s order grant-ing the secretary of defense authority to establish a military commission to try suspected terrorists is a deliberate attempt to circumvent due process protections for criminal defendants, which are widely recognized in the United States and in international criminal tribunals. Ostensibly aimed at members of al-Qaeda, the commission would have jurisdiction… Read more »