Over at Political Animal, substitute blogger Blad Plumer caught some flack yesterday for his hand-wringing about "rogue nations," and the possibility that "they" may get their dangerous hands on the bomb thanks to Bush's attempts to undermine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
As if by way of response, Tom Turnipseed, the legendary South Carolina attorney and one of the South's great progressive populists (who almost became state Attorney General in 1998), also had a piece up yesterday at Common Dreams that offers a sobering reminder of our own country's rogue status:
On March 9, the Bush administration announced its decision to withdraw the United States from an International Court of Justice protocol on Consular Relations that the U.S. proposed in 1963 and ratified in 1969. We were the first country to invoke the measure to protect our citizens abroad after the taking of 52 U.S. hostages in Tehran, Iran in 1979. The Bush scofflaw gang in the White House made the decision to ditch the international agreement because opponents of the death penalty have been using it to fight death sentences of foreigners on death row in the U.S.
"The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights" asserts the right of all human beings to freely pursue their social and cultural development and promotes the right to work, the right to unionize and the right to receive "social security, including social insurance", the right to have adequate living conditions, the right to be free from hunger and the right to education. We signed this covenant in 1977 and never ratified it, though 151 other nations have.
"The Convention on Discrimination Against Women" that asserts equality of men and women and rejects discrimination against women, including women's reproductive rights, was signed by the U. S. in 1980, and 179 nations have ratified it. We are the only industrialized country to fail to ratify it.
The "Convention on the Rights of the Child" asserts broad and inalienable rights for children under 18 to be free from want, abuse and exploitation as well as to express their beliefs and ideas. The U.S. signed it in 1995 and 191 nations who signed have ratified. Only the U.S. and Somalia have not.
The "UN Framework Convention on Climate Control (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol" are interesting testaments to the arrogance of the Bush scofflaw mentality when faced with the scientific reality of human over-use of fossil fuels causing global warming and climate change. We ratified the UNFCCC in 1992 and signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 but never ratified it. The Bush administration has now pulled out of negotiations. 189 other nations have ratified including Russia.
The "Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court(ICC) that has international jurisdiction to prosecute individuals (not states) for crimes such as genocide, as well as other crimes against humanity, has been signed by 120 nations, but Bush's scofflaw gang does not want the U.S. to participate.
The Bush administration has also ditched the "Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" that has been ratified by 120 nations; the "Land Mine Ban Treaty", ratified by 144 nations; and the "Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention", ratified in its original form by 144 nations.
Having swept away Plumer's illusions of American exceptionalism, Turnipseed concludes his powerful bill of indictment:
We should not be known as a "rogue nation" with a scofflaw in the White House who chases "security" at the point of a gun. Only by seeking and respecting global law and justice can we have an opportunity for justice and security at home and abroad.