What and who are they?
Since President George W. Bush is intent on removing rogue governments from the face of the earth, it is extremely important for U.S. citizens to understand what rogue nations are, and to know which nations are the true rogues.
Rogue nations are those having governments that are threatening to international law and world order. Note that it is the governments of such nations that make them “rogue.” It might be better to speak of “rogue governments” than “rogue nations.”
The remainder of this pamphlet will provide important information that may be useful in helping you to determine which government is the world’s biggest rogue.
1. In December 2001, in an action contrary to nearly universal world opinion, the United States officially withdrew from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. This action threatens to begin a new nuclear arms race centering around defensive (“Star Wars”) systems and the offensive missile systems needed to defeat them.
2. In July 2001, the United States walked out of a London conference called to discuss a 1994 protocol to the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The protocol’s purpose is to strengthen the Convention by providing for on-site inspections. The United States is the world’s largest maker of biological and toxic weapons.
3. The United States was the only country to oppose the July 2001 United Nations Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms. These weapons are the main fuel in several ongoing wars on the African continent. Unfortunately, the U.S. government continues to thwart U.N. efforts to curb the sale of such arms in Africa.
4. In April 2001, a U.N. vote removed the U.S. from the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission. One of the reasons given was the U.S. record regarding basic human rights around the world. Of particular importance was an action just two months earlier, when the U.S. had cast the only dissenting vote against a U.N. Security Council resolution to send human rights monitors to Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. The U.S. veto prevented the monitors from being sent. Unfortunately, it was far from the first time that the U.S. used its power within the U.N. to shield countries it supports from the same human rights standards and scrutiny that it advocates for countries it doesn’t like. Through the years, the U.S. has compiled a record of supporting several of the worst human rights violators of modern times: Suherto of Indonesia, Mobutu of Zaire, the Shah of Iran, Park of South Korea, Marcos of the Philippines, Pinochet of Chile, and many others.
5. The U.S. government continues to maintain its stance that it will approve the International Criminal Court (ICC) Treaty only if U.S. citizens are exempted from the Court’s jurisdiction. The July 1998 Treaty was approved by 120 countries, and rejected by only the United States and six others. The Bush administration is currently threatening countries with punitive economic measures if they fail to agree to the exemption of U.S. citizens.
6. The United States refused to sign the 1997 Land Mine Treaty which banned the use of weapons that kill several thousand innocent people – mostly children and other civilians – each year. The weapons continue to kill long after the reasons for their deployment have disappeared.
7. In February 2001, the United States rejected a pledge signed by 123 nations to ban the manufacture and use of anti-personnel bombs and weapons. The U.S. used cluster bombs in the 1991 Gulf War, and again in the 2003 Iraq War. Like land mines, the “bomblets” released by cluster bombs – often unrecognizable to children as dangerous – continue to kill years after the weapons are used. The reason for using cluster bombs is often said to be the destruction of an enemy weapon or fortification. But they are far too costly to be used for that purpose; weapons much cheaper would be more effective. Cost of manufacture makes cluster bombs strictly anti-personnel weapons.
8. In clear violation of the U.N. Charter, President Bush has declared – and has exercised (in Iraq) – a “right” of the U.S. to wage wars of aggression for purposes of preemption.
9. In May 2001, the United States government refused to meet with European Union nations to discuss economic espionage and electronic surveillance of phone calls, emails, and faxes. The U.S. insists on its “right” to carry out such surveillance without any show of cause or necessity.
10. The United Stares has repeatedly rejected calls by the U.N. to stop its embargo of Cuba. For instance, President Bush rejected the U.N.’s October 2001 resolution calling for an end to the embargo that was passed by a vote of 167 to three. Only Israel and the Marshall Islands joined the U.S. in opposing the resolution.
11. Although the Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty was signed by President Clinton in 1996, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify it. Eighty-nine nations, including nuclear powers France, the United Kingdom, and Russia, have ratified the Treaty.
12. As of 2003, the only countries that had signed but not ratified the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women were the United States, Afghanistan, San Tome, and Principe.
13. The United States continues to refuse to recognize any jurisdiction of the U.N.’s International Court of justice (ICJ, The Hague) over the U.S. Accordingly, when the Court ruled in 1986 that the U.S. was in violation of international law for “unlawful use of force” in Nicaragua, the U.S. refused to accept the Court’s finding. A U.N. resolution calling with U.S. compliance with the decision was approved 94-2. Only Israel joined the U.S. in voting “no.”
Note: Much of the information in this pamphlet was obtained from an article in the March/April 2003 issue of Timeline, and an earlier (2001 or 2002) compilation by Richard DuBoff in Z Magazine.
Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice
175 Wendell Ave., Pittsfield MA 01201
Meetings held Sundays at 11:30 a.m. (11:00 a.m. in July and August)