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11 April 2002 (Thursday): gavel rap?

Does anyone know more about why the U.S. government opposes the formation of the new International Criminal Court?

Obviously I haven't been following this until now, but it sounds like yet another example of American arrogance to me. Our enemies must be tried in our courts and on our terms, but we won't other nations get their hands on innocent American citizens, no sir. What's more, apparently Congress has already passed a law forbidding anyone from cooperating with the new Court in any way. It's for our own good, you see. Not that we have any war criminals or genocidal groups in our nation's history, not at all, but some evil bad guys out there could make it look like we do, and that would be a sticky situation, now wouldn't it?

I don't like being such a cynic. I wish I had the courage that the noblest of activists do: sense something is wrong, investigate until the whole truth is uncovered, and work tirelessly to set things right. It's pointless for me to sit in my comfortable chair and blather about how fucked up the world is, and oh look, here's another example. But I haven't got the energy to throw myself into a political fray, not right now. I have sunsets to admire, friends to love, silences to savor. Life seems too precious to waste by putting myself in demoralizing situations.

Trains of thought like this always arrive at the same central question for me: do the privileged have a responsibility to appreciate that privilege, to enjoy it to its fullest -- or is their responsibility to set aside their blessings, instead devoting their time to making the world more just and less brutal? Can anyone justify sipping martinis poolside while entire nations die of starvation? Or shrug our shoulders as our president threatens to unsign an historic treaty? How much are we supposed to care about what goes on beyond our white picket fence?

posted by enjelani @ 05:14 PM PST

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