The New International Criminal Court
Courting Global Tyranny
by William F. Jasper
Everywhere throughout Rome these days the signs of construction and restoration are unmistakable: ancient monuments, temples, churches, and basilicas are shrouded in scaffolding and streets are blocked off to traffic as workmen paint, chip, clean, and pave. The furious renovation campaign is in preparation for the new millennium, which has been designated Europa 2000 by the European Union and the Year of Jubilee by Pope John Paul II.
But the most significant construction in the Eternal City this summer did not involve bricks and mortar, and was largely invisible to the millions of tourists who came to bask in the Mediterranean sun and the grandeur that is Rome. For five weeks during June and July, hundreds of delegates from 160 nations met at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) complex to construct what advocates called "the last global institution to be created in this century": the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Rome's socialist environment offered sympathetic venue for vast UN/ICC bureaucracy
Late on July 17th, the last day of the conference, following grueling hours of high-pressure arm twisting, a global "consensus" was declared by the ICC Plenary Session, and the announcement was made that 120 nations had voted in favor of approving the new "Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court."
Only the United States and six other nations Israel, China, Libya, Qatar, Iraq, and Yemen voted against the statute. Twenty-one nations abstained.
The new International Criminal Court will come into existence in The Hague once 60 countries have ratified the treaty. This is profoundly significant to all peoples who dwell on this planet, and especially to Americans, since the ICC claims universal jurisdiction to try individuals charged with genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression, anywhere on earth even if the supposed defendants are citizens of a nation that has refused to ratify the treaty and the alleged crime has taken place inside the boundaries of that nation. This unprecedented claim of authority and the extension of treaty obligation to nonparty states is a truly audacious usurpation even for the United Nations, which has grown increasingly brazen with each succeeding global summit. If allowed to stand and to thrive and grow, as its champions intend this Court will sound the death knell for national sovereignty, and for the freedoms associated with limited, constitutional government.
Of course, the issue of the Courts credibility absent U.S. participation, and the practical matter of enforcing ICC judgments against an unwilling U.S. (or against just about anyone else, for that matter, without U.S. support), has not been lost on all. "You cannot have a court of universal jurisdiction without the worlds major military power on board," Netherlands delegate Gam Strijards was quoted as saying by the New York Times. "I wont say we gave birth to a monster, but the baby has some defects." The myopic Dutchman may see a defective baby, but any sober, rational evaluation of the ICC will confirm that the creature born in Rome is indeed a monster. Which is hardly surprising, inasmuch as it would be illogical to expect anything but a monstrous product to be produced by the monstrous process that was the Rome ICC conference.
Carefully Managed Forum
There is an old adage that those with weak stomachs should not watch sausage or legislation being made. That advice was especially true for the global confabulation which produced the ICC Statute. The Rome gathering was the culmination of a multi-year program of PrepComs (Preparatory Committee meetings) that had been carefully orchestrated to arrive at the contrived global "consensus" that is now being celebrated by the devotees of "world order." Far from the careful, deliberative process concerning narrow, tightly defined issues that typify most treaty negotiations between nations, the ICC summit was an exercise in managed chaos aimed at establishing an international criminal code that will be binding upon the entire planet. Yet all the redundant, pious platitudes about reverence for "the rule of law" could not hide the fact that this was truly a lawless conference in pursuit of lawless objectives.
Terra Viva, the official NGO (non-governmental organization) newspaper, noted in its first issue for the conference that "with more than 1,700 passages of the draft statute in brackets indicating disagreement among governments over wording almost every issue central to the ICCs existence is still open for discussion."
Kirsh: Conference chairman kept pace chaotic.
"Even by past standards of international treaties," the radical journal commented, "the draft statute is vague and runs to a hefty 166 pages in English." What this meant for conference delegates was an impossible task of trying to keep up with a dizzying deluge of endless text revisions, high-powered lobbying by NGO militants, and devious schedule manipulation by Conference Chairman Philippe Kirsch.
The conference organizers were taking no chances and had so blatantly stacked the deck in favor of the ICC that its creation was never seriously in doubt, despite the furious diplomatic theatrics and the frequent handwringing over a multitude of obstacles that supposedly threatened to scuttle the statute.
To begin with, by holding the conference in Rome, the ICC advocates were guaranteed not only the advantage of all the assistance which the left-wing Italian government would give, but the aid as well of a huge cadre of Italian professors and activists who have been among the most fervent apostles for establishing a global judiciary. Holding the conference at the FAO further guaranteed that the huge UN bureaucracy would be strategically positioned to assist in all phases of the event far more than if the summit had been held at a neutral venue.
To tilt the process even further, the conference was loaded up with delegates from UN agencies such as the International Law Commission, UNESCO, UNICEF, the UN Commission for Human Rights, the UN Commission on Crime, the UN Office for Drug Control, and intergovernmental organizations like the Council of Europe, the European Community, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Interpol, the Organization of African Unity, and the Organization of American States.
But by far the most dramatic development in Rome was the emergence of the NGOs as rent-a-mob power brokers in the increasingly sordid business reverently referred to at these gatherings as "evolving norms of international law." Paul Taylor, diplomatic editor for Reuters, sinned by understatement when he reported that "the enormous influence of NGOs inside the conference was one of the key features of the five-week Rome meeting." The incestuous relationship between the UN/ICC officials and the NGO radicals and the flagrant connivance by the two forces to push the entire conference proceedings ever leftward made a complete mockery of their sanctimonious paeans to justice, fairness, transparency, and the "rule of law."
Conference officials attempted to establish a moral imperative at the outset which posited that the ICC was essential not only to end the gravest of crimes but to restore the credibility of the UN and global institutions. "If we succeed," World Federalist William R. Pace told the ICC conference "it means the establishment of a court which will prevent the slaughter, rape, and murder of millions of people during the next century."
By keeping the conference rolling at a relentless pace and swarming the conferees with non-stop lobbying by militant NGO delegates, the organizers achieved a pressure cooker effect which wore down any resistance to the pre-ordained outcome. The Rome process provides an alarming look into the dreadful prospect of "the rule of law" under an unrestrained UN regime.
Vague and Dangerous
John R. Bolton, senior vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, in his July 23, 1998 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that even for genocide, the oldest among the crimes specified in the Statute of Rome, "there is hardly complete clarity in what it means." The ICC Statute contains the same definitions for genocide that are found in the Genocide Convention. Mr. Bolton observed: "When the Senate approved the Genocide Convention on February 19, 1986, it attached two reservations, five understandings, and one declaration. One reservation, for example, requires the specific consent of the United States before any dispute involving the U.S. can be submitted to the International Court of Justice. One of the understandings limits the definition of mental harm in the Convention to permanent impairment of the mental faculties through drugs, torture, or similar techniques. Another understanding provides that the Convention should not be understood to function automatically as an extradition treaty."
Even these legal protections are of dubious value in an organization replete with thugs, tyrants, kleptocrats, and mass murderers. In fact, by giving a sense of false security they served to dignify and make palatable a toxic substance which would otherwise have been rejected for the dangerous sham that it is. However, under the ICC regime even these dubious protections are not available. Article 120 of the treaty states emphatically, "No reservations may be made to this Statute." In order to ratify the Statute, the Senate would have to repudiate the positions it laboriously worked out to cover the obvious defects in the Genocide Convention and then trust that parties who mean us harm will not make use of their ample opportunities to charge American citizens with "genocide."
"War crimes" and "crimes against humanity" are even more vaguely defined, and thus, fraught with even more danger. Under crimes against humanity, for instance, we have the crime of "persecution," which is defined as "the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity." Would an activist ICC judge have difficulty discovering in that definition the authority to strike down any laws or even the policies of private religious bodies for that matter that "deprive" homosexuals of their "fundamental rights"? Not likely. How about "other inhumane acts," such as "causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health"?
Similarly, under "war crimes," there are definitions sufficiently broad to drive a UN Panzer division through. Consider the hooks that could be devised with these crimes:
"Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health."
"Killing or wounding treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army."
"Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."
"Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such an attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment...."
Can we really consider allowing a panel of UN judges to decide whether a U.S. military bombardment or other operation constitutes a crime of causing "great suffering" or "serious injury to health"? Can we truly contemplate allowing ICC "jurists" to determine if a Marine sniper or an Army patrol carrying out an ambush of an enemy force is guilty of "killing treacherously"? Is there a possibility that "outrages upon personal dignity" could be interpreted by an anti-American judiciary to our detriment? What shall constitute "knowledge" that an attack will cause "incidental loss of life or injury"? And what does "civilian objects" mean? If your mortar round overshoots and blows up a farmers haystack are you guilty of a war crime? Probably so, if youre an American.
Vague "war crimes" definition would keep our soldiers in constant peril to prosecution
Still more disturbing is the ICCs claim to have jurisdiction over "internal conflicts" under the "war crimes" rubric concerning "armed conflicts that take place in the territory of a State when there is protracted armed conflict between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups." Imagine how that might be applied to the ongoing gang warfare in many of our cities, or a siege of rioting such as we experienced in Los Angeles and other cities a few short years ago.
Are these paranoid and frivolous objections, as the ICCs fervent backers claim? How can anyone think so?
We have numerous decisions by our own activist federal judges, who claim to find a "constitutional" right to abortion, for example, lurking in the "penumbras formed by emanations from the Bill of Rights." Can anyone familiar with the record of the UN think that judges from Russia, China, Cuba, Iran or even some of our supposed "allies" for that matter would feel any more constrained against playing God than our own robed subversives?
Hotbed of Hatred
As one who was in Rome "at the creation," this reporter can attest firsthand to the fact that the longstanding hatred toward the United States by the vast majority of the pathetic regimes that comprise the UN menagerie is still alive and well. Day after day during the ICC conference the U.S. was subjected to tirades and condemnations by official delegates as well as by NGOs for past and present sins. In fact, from the non-stop anti-U.S. invective one might imagine that America is the principal, if not the sole, source of evil in the world. The billions of dollars that we have ladled out over the past half century to these countries and the UN itself have purchased us not an iota of good will.
There were calls for prosecuting Presidents Bush and Clinton for war crimes. The NGO "Society for Threatened Peoples" charged the U.S. with these past "war crimes": "Dropped 15 million tonnes of bombs in the Vietnam War, conducted air raids on Cambodia, supported Indonesias annexation of East Timor, backed right-wing death squads in Guatemala in the early eighties."
Months before the Rome summit had even begun, the UN Commission on Human Rights had targeted the U.S. with a purely political attack alleging that this country unfairly applies the death penalty. The Commission report charged that the U.S. was in violation of the 1966 UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and called on the U.S. to suspend all further executions until U.S. state and federal laws were brought into compliance with "international standards and law."
Of course, we dont mean to imply that all of the U.S. bashing was emanating from Third World countries, communist satrapies, or UN agencies. Canada, Norway, Britain, Germany, Italy, and other European "allies" vied for top anti-U.S. honors, too. On the final day of the conference, when the very minimal objections of the U.S. to the ICC were soundly defeated, the assembled delegations erupted in a tumultuous and defiant display of anti-American jubilation which was joined by much of the press corps including "American" reporters.
Naturally, the U.S. NGOs topped all others in attacking their homeland. As Reuters reported, "the American NGOs were the scourge of the United States" at the conference. On July 8th, a Terra Viva headline, "Police Brutality Deeply Rooted in U.S.," announced the release of a Human Rights Watch report charging a national "epidemic" of police brutality. The 440-page report, entitled Shielded From Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States, was time-released for maximum effect on the conference. Human Rights Watch spokesman Richard Dicker seemed never to be satisfied if not hurling vitriol at the U.S. But that has not hindered him or his group from receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year from the Ford Foundation.
It would be utterly foolish to imagine that this army of international rabble rousers masquerading as "human rights" champions will not seek to use the new ICC Statute principally as a weapon against America. But if the three "core crimes" offer opportunities for mischief because of fuzzy definition, what about the crime of "aggression"? The ICC Statute doesnt even offer a definition of this nebulous crime, but simply says that the world should blindly approve the Statute and trust in the benignant global servants to come up with a universally acceptable definition. Here, exactly, is what the treaty says, in Article 5, Section 2: "The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime." Is that audacious enough for you?
It was audacious enough to surprise even many of the most rabid ICC advocates who, as a tactical maneuver, had written off the inclusion of aggression among the core crimes as simply unrealistic. Like many others, Hans Corell, UN Undersecretary-General for Legal Affairs, had argued that attempting to include aggression might jeopardize the whole package because the "crime of aggression is considerably more complex, since it is difficult to have a clear definition of what aggression is."
When Professor Benjamin Ferencz insisted that "aggression is a supreme international crime" and "supreme crime needs a Supreme Court," even Terra Viva argued that perhaps now was not the time to pursue that agenda. Noted the NGO journal: "Many feel that aggression is a nebulous legal concept. For example, some point out that the International Law Commission spent twenty years unsuccessfully trying to define it. In addition, they say, aggression is performed by governments, not individuals." Nevertheless, it is now part of the Statute. Obviously, the forces of Dr. Ferencz and Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini (another radical advocate of including aggression) prevailed.
But to pile audacity on top of audacity and usurpation on top of usurpation, perhaps the crowning offense of the Rome summiteers is the insistence by its authors that once the magical number of 60 ratifying countries is achieved, the ICC becomes universally binding on the entire rest of the world. It is an astounding and unprecedented arrogation of power. Never before has the claim been made that states which are not party to a treaty are nonetheless bound by the same instrument. It is a violation of the most fundamental principle of treaty law. As the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states, "A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent."
This, naturally, did not matter a fig to the vainglorious globocrats on the Tiber as they set about crafting their own concept of "world law." Besides, they warbled, concerns of a runaway court are wildly chimerical. The principle of "complementarity" would protect against any such tendencies, they claimed.
That was the tune sung by European Commissioner Emma Bonino when she came to Washington in May to inoculate the Senate against fears of a usurpatious ICC. The Court "will not undermine national sovereignty," she pledged, and "is not designed to replace national courts but to complement them." Why, we have her word for it.
Likewise, World Federalist Association president John Anderson assured that there is nothing to worry about. "The principle of complementarity underlying the treaty assures that the court will hear a case only when no national court is available or willing to hear it," he insisted. "This policy would limit prosecutions to suspects whose national legal systems have broken down or are manifestly unjust." Canadian Justice Louise Arbour, who serves as the chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav Tribunal, is yet another distinguished "expert" who offered assurances and admonished the wary that "an institution should not be constructed on the assumption that it will be run by incompetent people, acting in bad faith from improper purposes." The message from all the votaries of global justice was the same: trust us and our so-called "principle of complementarity."
However, James Madisons principle of "prudent jealousy" seems to be more apropos here. "The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents," Madison observed. "They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle." Thomas Jefferson provided an important corollary in the form of this dictum: "In questions of power let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution."
A search of the ICC Statute yields no valid reason to prefer the advice of Bonino, Anderson, and Arbour over that of Madison and Jefferson. Indeed, Article 17 of the treaty asserts that a state is considered to have primary jurisdiction over a crime "unless the state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution." And who will determine, under an ICC regime, when and whether a state is "unwilling" or "unable" and just how "genuine" its investigative or prosecutorial efforts are? The ICC judges, naturally.
The Court also claims (in Article 70) jurisdiction over "offences against its administration of justice," such as: "giving false testimony" or "impeding" or "intimidating" an official of the Court. Again, the ICC itself will determine what constitutes "impeding" or "intimidating." In the event of conviction for these administrative crimes "the Court may impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or a fine in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, or both."
And where, pray tell, will the victims of ICC "justice" serve their sentences? Lets consult the Statute. Article 103 provides: "A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a state designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons." A comforting thought, no? Even more solace might be drawn from Article 104, which states: "The Court may, at any time, decide to transfer a sentenced person to a prison of another state." In speaking of "states," the Statute is referring not to states of the U.S., of course, but to nations. Which means that one might be sentenced to prison in Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Rwanda, etc., or even several of the above, in musical chair succession, so that your family, friends, and legal counsel might have not even the slightest idea of your location.
Whats more, the Court has been given its own prosecutor with virtually unlimited proprio motu powers to investigate criminal cases on his own initiation, or to undertake cases that have been referred to his office by state parties, the Security Council, or NGOs. These assertions of authority and jurisdiction by the ICC are obviously in fundamental opposition to American law. Under our Constitution, only the states and federal government have the authority to prosecute and try individuals for crimes committed in the United States. Article III, Section 1 provides that the judicial power of the U.S. "shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish." No judicial body or tribunal not established under the authority of the Constitution may exercise jurisdiction over citizens of the United States for real or pretended crimes committed in the United States. Nor may U.S. officials turn over U.S. citizens to a foreign government to be tried for alleged crimes in that country without a valid extradition treaty with that country.
Right to Jury Trial
The ICC Statute is not an extradition treaty and is so fundamentally irreconcilable to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that American participation in this misbegotten institution is legally and morally impossible. One of the most cherished rights of Americans that is threatened by the ICC is the right to a jury trial by ones peers. In the list of grievances brought against King George by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence we find:
Combining with others to "subject us to Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation."
"[D]epriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury."
"[T]ransporting us beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offenses."
It seems we have come full circle and must fight that battle again. Our Constitution (Article III, Section 2) provides that the "trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed...." This right was deemed so important that it was repeated again in the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Justice Joseph Story, in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), observed: "The object of this clause is to secure the party accused from being dragged to a trial in some distant state, away from his friends, and witnesses, and neighborhood; and thus subjected to the verdict of mere strangers, who may feel no common sympathy, or who may even cherish animosities, or prejudices against him." Are we in less need of such protections today, especially considering the claims of the ICC and its adherents?
The Sixth Amendment also guarantees "a speedy and public trial." Under federal law, a speedy trial has been defined to mean that a defendant has the right to be brought to trial within 70 days. There is no such guarantee under the ICC statute. If we look to the Yugoslav Tribunal as a model as the ICC proponents so frequently advise we see the Tribunal Prosecutor arguing that five years is a reasonable time for a defendant to wait in prison for a trial. Other ICC advocates cite the European Court of Human Rights as a model for the ICC. This international judicial body has ruled in various cases that pretrial detention of three, four, or even seven years, is acceptable.
All this dashes to pieces deceitful claims like John Andersons statement in his letter in USA Today on July 20th averring that the "World Federalist Association supports a strong international court because we want to see the world as a whole approach the high standards of justice that operate in the United States." Quite clearly the ICC Statute represents not an embrace by "the world as a whole" of our "high standards of justice," but an attempt to impose on the world and the U.S. a global mechanism for judicial tyranny. And the ICC architects have made it abundantly clear that they have just begun. To the already conveniently elastic "core crimes" they have already proposed adding drug trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, environmental and economic crimes, crimes against labor unions, embargoes, child pornography, and a host of other offenses.
Dr. Charles Rice, professor of law at Notre Dame University, has termed the ICC "a monster," both in concept and reality, noting that it effectively "repudiates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and cancels the 4th of July." "In our system," Professor Rice explains, "law is supposed to be a rule of reason which, in a sense, controls the state and compels the state to operate under the law." But the superjurisdictional ICC, he points out, has no legitimate basis for its claimed authority, no protections against abuses, no accountability, and virtually no limits to its jurisdiction. "What are the limits on the ICC?" he asks, and then answers, "There are none. Its insane!"
Insane, yes. And if the ICC architects have their way, the entire planet will soon become a global insane asylum with the inmates in charge.
As Terra Viva plainly stated, "The issue now at stake is global governance." Precisely. "Global governance" is a hallowed term which poured forth in superabundance in the speeches, conversations and scribblings of the Rome conferees. Like "the rule of law," it is globospeak code for "world government," a term that the one-world cognoscenti have learned to avoid "because it frightens people." We have this directly on the authority of former Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA), a former national president of the United World Federalists and a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC). As a state legislator back in 1949, Cranston authored a resolution memorializing Congress to call a national convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to "expedite and insure the participation of the United States in a world federal government." But in a 1976 interview with the Institute for World Order, Cranston advised his one-world brethren to adopt semantic camouflage, since "the more talk about world government, the less chance of achieving it, because it frightens people who would accept the concept of world law."
And world law under a world government is exactly what Benjamin Ferencz, the eminence grise of the ICC conference, had in mind when he told conferees that "outmoded traditions of State sovereignty must not derail the forward movement," and "antiquated notions of absolute sovereignty are absolutely obsolete in the interconnected and interdependent global world of the 21st century."
Just the Beginning
Many Americans who watched the Rome summit with grave foreboding no doubt heaved an immense sigh of relief on learning of the Clinton Administrations vote against the ICC Statute and the apparent resolute opposition voiced by Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and others on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Indeed, it was comforting to hear the forceful statements of Senators Rod Grams (R-MN) and John Ashcroft (R-MO) at the July 22nd hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations. Senator Grams, who chaired the hearing, stated: "This Court claims universal jurisdiction; in other words, the right to prosecute United States citizens even though the U.S. is not a party to the treaty. It is important for Congress and the American people to become apprised of the details regarding this court sooner than later. While I am relieved that the Administration voted against the treaty in Rome, I am convinced that is not sufficient to safeguard our nations interests. The United States must aggressively oppose this Court each step of the way, because the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court is not just bad, it is dangerous."
And the danger has just begun. The world government partisans who have brought the ICC this far have invested too much and achieved too much to let up now. They, of course, hope to see the U.S. ratify and become fully entwined in the Court as soon as possible, but they are willing to take many years to achieve that objective, if necessary. However, with the Establishment media cameras dishing up fresh war crimes daily from Kosovo, and more numbing atrocities from Africa, the emotional hard-sell campaign to end "impunity" can be expected to escalate and to create a formidable momentum on very short notice. President Clinton has been an avid proponent of the ICC since his first days in the Oval Office. His objections to the current ICC Statute if real at all (which is highly doubtful) do not concern the most fundamental constitutional, legal, and moral issues involved in this serious issue. At best they reflect his most current assessment of political expediencies. And those too can change very quickly.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem we face in this fight is the lack of dependable Republican opposition in the Senate. Even though some senators are expressing their unalterable opposition to the treaty as is, we can be sure from past experience that the gradualist war is already underway to convince them that the ICC is a fact, a fait accompli, one which we will have to recognize sooner or later, and that we might as well try to make the best of it. Our past experience with the Genocide Convention, GATT, NAFTA, WTO, and other internationalist programs indicates it will require a sustained and unyielding effort on the part of every partisan of freedom to keep the ICC monster caged. Ultimately, however, the only lasting solution is to get out of the United Nations completely and get the United Nations out of the United States.
Court of International Criminals
by William F. Jasper
Could American citizens someday be hauled to a foreign land to stand trial before a United Nations tribunal made up of judges from some of the most oppressive regimes in the world? That is a possibility more imminent than most people imagine. In the past year, the U.S. Senate and the UN have been moving quietly but rapidly to establish an International Criminal Court (ICC) that threatens all of the rights, protections, and freedoms Americans so often take for granted.
The ostensible reason for establishing such a court, according to its advocates, is the need for an impartial international venue to try war criminals, pirates, terrorists, international drug traffickers, and other assorted threats to "world peace." The more proximate cause of the current rush to create this new institution is the frustration and anger over ongoing atrocities and human rights abuses in Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, and other hell holes.
Thus inspired with holy zeal for suffering humanity, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 32 on January 28, 1993. The nonbinding resolution reads, in part:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled...
Congress finds that --
(1) the freedom and security of the international community rests on the sanctity of the rule of law;
(2) the international community is increasingly threatened by unlawful acts such as war crimes, genocide, aggression, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes of an international character;
(3) the prosecution of individuals suspected of carrying out such acts is often impeded by political and legal obstacles such as disputes over extradition...
(5) since its inception in 1945 the United Nations has sought to build on the precedent established at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials by establishing a permanent international court with jurisdiction over crimes of an international character...
(9) given the developments of recent years, the time is propitious for the United States to lend its support to this effort.
Accordingly, the resolution holds it is the "sense of Congress" that:
(1) the establishment of an international criminal court with jurisdiction over crimes of an international character would greatly strengthen the international rule of law;
(2) such a court would thereby serve the interests of the United States and the world community; and
(3) the United States delegation should make every effort to advance this proposal at the United Nations.
Hearings on S.J. Res. 32 were held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 12, 1993. The committee passed the resolution by a vote of 11 to 7. On June 29th, S.J. Res. 32 was debated again in the Subcommittee on International Operations and a 236-page report (Report 103-71) on the subject containing testimony of both proponents and opponents was ordered to be printed by the Senate. The subcommittee voted to add the resolution as an amendment to the State Department authorization bill, S.1281, which has been wending its way through Congress over the past year.
On January 26Th of this year, Senator Dodd cited the continuing bloodshed in Bosnia and appealed to his Senate colleagues to support the call for a permanent international court modeled after the newly established UN tribunal for war crimes in Yugoslavia. "We all watch, every night, the television screen and we see the covers of our newspapers and magazines," said Dodd. "It is abhorrent to us that innocent civilians are being gunned down by the ruthless terrorists of the Serbians and others. We are incensed by it. And so we support an international criminal court on an ad hoc basis to deal with it. What I am suggesting is, does it not make some sense to maybe deal with this in a more substantive way rather than on an ad hoc basis?"
Framed in such noble rhetoric, the proposal, no doubt, does make sense to many people. But under close examination, the proposed court is revealed as, at best, a paper tiger that will have no power to enforce decisions against the world's most egregious offenders, or, at worst, a tyrannical monster that will usurp global judicial authority. And the continued efforts of "the best and the brightest" minds in international law over the past 50 years have not been able to resolve this dilemma.
At the United Nations, many different draft statutes for an ICC have been on file for decades. For the past four years, the UN's International Law Commission (ILC) has been studying the ICC issue with renewed fervor. Last year the ILC brought forth a 67-article draft statute for an international criminal court. This is the document that has been eliciting such hopeful excitement in internationalist circles. In November 1993 the UN General Assembly voted to request the ILC to complete its work on the statute during the 1994 session. One-world advocates eagerly anticipate this statute as a giant step forward in establishing the structure and the legal precedent for the UN's ultimate judicial supremacy over all the world.
The ILC's draft statute for the ICC, as 'even many of its supporters note, is replete with problematic language. This is evident, says Michael P. Scharf of the New England School of Law, "most notably with respect to the obligations it imposes on states that are party to the Court's Statute but have not accepted the Court's jurisdiction with respect to the type of offense involved in a particular case." Professor Scharf, it should be noted, is an ardent supporter of establishing the ICC. In his testimony in favor of the ICC, which was placed in the Congressional Record on January 26th, Scharf, nonetheless, outlined a lengthy series of "problems" with the ILC draft statute. Scharf commented:
For example, under Article 33(2) of the draft statute, such states [who have not accepted the Court's jurisdiction for particular types of offenses] are required to ensure that the accused is arrested. Article 46 provides that the Court has authority to "require any person to give evidence at trial," even if that person is a national of a State that has not accepted the ICC's jurisdiction with respect to the particular offense. The commentary to Article 58 provides that Parties have a "general obligation to cooperate with and provide judicial assistance" to the Court, even in cases over which they have not recognized the Court's jurisdiction. Article 45 requires Parties not to try the accused if he/she has been acquitted or given a light sentence by the international criminal court even for offenses over which the State has not accepted the Court's jurisdiction. Article 63 provides that Parties that have not accepted the Court's jurisdiction over the type of offenses at issue, must prosecute the offender and forgoes the option of extradition to a third State.
And that barely scratches the surface. Article 26 gives the ICC jurisdiction over other crimes "under general international law" and "under national law which give effect to provisions of a multilateral treaty." Scharf noted that this "would give the ICC jurisdiction over uncodified, open-ended offenses that are not defined with sufficient specificity and precision to inform people of what acts will be considered criminal." Still, after enumerating these and other serious defects, Scharf said the draft "provides a solid basis for negotiations of a statute for an ICC that will be acceptable to a broad range of countries."
The defects in the ILC draft statute are, more or less, resident in all of the other draft statutes put forth by other organizations for an ICC. L. Ralph Mecham, director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, presented the report for the Judicial Conference of the United States on the proposed draft statutes to the Senate. The Judicial Conference found numerous apparent conflicts between the ICC drafts and U.S. constitutional and legal principles. "For example," states the report, "trial by jury is fundamental to our system .... However, none of the draft statutes summarized above provides for a jury trial even for the most serious offenses...." Furthermore, "None of them addresses the practical question of what standards would govern enforcement in the U.S. courts of search warrants and arrest warrants issued by an international tribunal." The Judicial Conference report continues:
What rules of evidence and procedure would apply? The draft statutes generally leave these questions for consideration by the Court itself, putting off some of the most complex and important questions.
The draft statutes do not agree on whether and how appeals may be taken. Nor do they address the appropriate standards of review. None of them provides for appeals to a different judicial body than that which conducted the trial.
Where would persons awaiting trial be confined, and what bail standards would apply? Where would those convicted be incarcerated? Once again, we are aware of no detailed consideration of these questions.
Cause for Concern
And, once again, as with so many similar threats in the past, the sole warrior to rise in opposition to this dangerous movement was Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC). "In all candor and with all due respect," Helms told his colleagues, "... this is an unwise and dangerous proposal. What is at stake is a proposed total reversal of long-standing United States policy against encouraging the establishment of a permanent international criminal court to try individuals -- potentially including American citizens -- for such vague crimes as 'colonialism' or 'environmental crimes' before judges who could be from North Korea, Cuba, or the Palestine Liberation Organization."
Is this an exaggerated or empty fear? Hardly. At the May 1993 hearings, Senator Helms asked Professor Cherif Bassiouni, one of the leading architects of the ICC, "What is the probability that member states [of the UN] such as Communist China and Iran and Libya, Syria, and observer groups such as the PLO, will be empowered to become key players in the establishment and operation of an international criminal court?" Bassiouni responded, "There is no guarantee against the election of an individual from any state by general assembly." Precisely. Every dictator and self-anointed "maximum leader" has an equal shot at providing judges, prosecutors, and other officers and personnel for the court.
Another matter that greatly troubled Senator Helms involved the potential loss of our national sovereignty to the proposed UN court. Many pooh-poohed the senator's fears as unfounded. However, Professor Bassiouni, ironically, proved Helms' qualms were far from baseless. According to this internationalist, in the new world order "traditional sovereignty-based arguments against the recognition or application of internationally protected human rights are no longer valid." Bassiouni, who is a professor of law at DePaul University and president of the International Human Rights Law Institute, asserts that "international human rights law can penetrate into areas that in the past have been deemed to be wholly within the realm of domestic law."
"Historically, the notion of sovereignty has been a bar to the application of international substantive legal norms to national criminal justice processes," said Bassiouni in his Senate testimony. "Over the course of time, however, the increasing influence of international regulation of armed conflicts and the development of international criminal law have broken through national sovereignty barriers."
Benjamin B. Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor at Nuremberg and another leading champion of an international criminal court, also acknowledged that the ICC represents an assault on sovereignty. However, he tried to put a patriotic gloss on the subversive effort, saying
Setting up such a court would involve limiting sovereign rights in a way that would certainly be familiar to Americans: Just as the 13 Colonies found it necessary to cede many sovereign rights to a central government in 1787, so the violent and interdependent global community of today is beginning to learn that real sovereignty belongs to the people and that no one should be allowed to get away with murder.
The Hartford Courant cheered Senator Dodd's efforts with a similar theme in its February 6, 1993 editorial, "Time for an International Court." "The United States has been reluctant in the past to support such a move out of fear that U.S. citizens might be brought before an international court," opined the paper. "That is, indeed, a possibility. As Americans, we should not fear it -- any more than we fear the rule of law in our own communities" (emphasis added). (Of course, Americans don't fear "the rule of law"; it is the blatant disregard of "the rule of law" -- i.e., a disregard of constitutional restraints upon government -- that Americans fear. And rightly so.) The Courant continued: "The need for such a court is obvious. Each week news stories reveal the limitations of law enforcement. As the world shrinks, international crime increases. How to bring to justice the pirates who prey on refugees on the high seas in Southeast Asia? Those poachers of endangered species? Those who flout environmental regulations and cause large-scale damage to the earth ?" (emphasis added)
The United States Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations shares the Courant's eco-crime concerns. Along with piracy, aircraft hijacking, and the taking of civilian hostages, the Commission cites "destruction or theft of national treasures" and "environmental damage" as grave crimes that should fall under ICC purview. Yes, if the erection of your new barn destroys the habitat of the desert dung beetle, your fishing nets snag an endangered halibut, or your factory smokestack spews one too many particles into the atmosphere, you could face not only the holy wrath of the federal EPA, but you could also be dragged in chains to Addis Abbaba -or whatever other appropriate venue the ICC may decide -- for dispensation of justice.
The primary leadership for this new push for world governance is coming, naturally, from America's "Wise Men," the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Besides Senator Dodd, other key CFR sponsors of S.J. Res. 32 in the Senate include John Kerry (D-MA), Claiborne Pell (D-RI), and George Mitchell (D-ME). Pushing the proposal from the Administration's side are President Clinton (CFR), Secretary of State Warren Christopher (CFR), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright (CFR), and Conrad K. Harper (CFR), legal adviser to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Representative to the UN General Assembly.
Providing key support from the "outside" are many CFR Insiders operating through internationalist organizations, academic posts, and the national press. World Federalist Association President John Anderson (CFR) "strongly" endorsed S.J. Res. 32. The American Bar Association task force on the ICC, led by former Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti, has also endorsed the effort. Key advisers to the ABA panel are Professor Louis B. Sohn (CFR), coauthor of the world government blueprint, World Peace Through World Law, and international lawyer Jerome J. Shestack (CFR).
Providing strategic scholarly support to the ICC endeavor, in addition to Bassiouni and Ferencz, is Thomas Buergenthal (CFR), professor of law at George Washington University. Buergenthal, together with Richard N. Gardner (CFR), professor of law at Columbia University, negotiator Max Kampelman (CFR), and other CFR "Wise Men," comprise what Professor Otto Schacter has admiringly described as the "invisible college of international lawyers" who draft the international treaties, conventions, and covenants -- and then provide the "expert testimony" that guides the legislative, executive, and judicial decisions implementing them.
On January 26th, the Senate voted 55 to 45 in favor of a motion by Senator John Kerry (CFR) to table (kill) an amendment by Senator Helms that would have stripped S.J. Res. 32 from the State Department authorization bill. Senators Kerry and Dodd assured their colleagues that "this is a sense-of-the-Senate resolution. It does not mandate or bind us to anything." The resolution merely puts the Senate on record in favor of advancing the ICC "exploratory process," Kerry said. That "exploration" will soon lead to adoption of an International Criminal Court treaty, unless American voters send strong messages of opposition now -- and in November.
A "fact sheet" distributed at the recent "Second World Congress on Family Law and the Rights of Children and Youth" in San Francisco (Children's Rights Congress) accuses conservative groups of disseminating "misleading, unnecessarily inflammatory or unfounded information about the substance and intent of the Convention...." The same accusation was retailed in an essay in the Fall 1996 issue of Transnational Law and Contemporary Politics, which lamented that "the Convention faces extremely well-organized and vociferous political opposition in the United States [from] conservative organizations [who] have expressed strong opposition to the Convention and are mounting a well-coordinated political attack on it with the intention of blocking U.S. ratification." The essay accused opponents of the Convention of "polarizing the American public" and haughtily asserted that "the opposition does not speak for a consensus of the American people."
A common rhetorical theme of the Convention's supporters is that only irrational right-wing ideologues could construe the treaty as a threat to parental rights, constitutional order, and national sovereignty. However, a close reading of both the Convention and the pronouncements of its supporters will illustrate that its critics understand and appreciate both the intent and the substance of that treaty only too well.
Speaking at the Children's Rights Congress, Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor observed that the Children's Rights Convention "challenges the dichotomy between the privacy of the family and the public domain of the State and its instrumentalities. The Convention disaggregates the rights of children from the rights of families and constitutes children as independent actors with rights and with respect to both parents and with respect to the State." (Emphasis added.)
In simpler language, Dr. Horta's conclusion agrees with that of the Convention's critics in America: The Convention is intended to emancipate children from parental authority within the home, and invests them with "rights" that can be enforced against their parents.
The parental role, as defined by the Convention, is that of "guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in this Convention" and of bringing up their children "in the spirit of the ideals enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations." The document also instructs ratifying governments to "render appropriate assistance to parents" in these endeavors -- an open-ended mandate for government intervention in the home. Furthermore, it must be remembered that governments do not "assist" -- they compel; hence, the Convention would require, in principle, that ratifying governments compel parents to bring up their children in accordance with the UN's guidelines.
The UN's International Year of the Family (IYF) program, which co-sponsored the Children's Rights Congress, insists that the family must be reconstituted as "the smallest democracy at the heart of society." In keeping with that theme, UNICEF explains that "rather than creating conflict between the rights of parents and the rights of children, the Convention encourages an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and mutual respect."
How might this work in practice? Under the Convention, if a child decides he has a "right" to join a street gang or religious cult, for example, the parent's role would be to engage in "dialogue," rather than exercising parental authority in ways that inhibit the child's "freedom of association" or "freedom of religion." In the secular egalitarian order which the Convention seeks to create, parents and children would be equal before the state -- a radical departure from the biblical worldview in which children are required to honor and obey their parents to the extent that the parents honor and obey God.
The Convention would also forbid parents to employ biblically mandated physical discipline. UNICEF explains that the Convention "makes it clear that children shall be protected from all forms of mental or physical violence or maltreatment. Thus, any forms of discipline involving such violence are unacceptable."
Most ominously, the Convention would establish the legal framework for the seizure of children from parents who use their authority in an "undemocratic" fashion or who practice spanking or other "unacceptable" means of discipline. Article 9 of the document dictates that "a child shall not be separated from his or her parents" unless "competent legal authorities subject to judicial review determine ... that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child." When read in light of what it would empower government to do, this passage is revealed to be a license for the state to snatch children at whim. After all, what government, no matter how corrupt or incompetent, would not see its own actions as being in "the best interest of the child"?
"Geopolitical Social Contract"
Would the Convention, as its critics claim, constitute a threat to national sovereignty and America's constitutional order? The answer is an emphatic "yes."
UNICEF's The State of the World's Children 1997 report specifies, "Once a country ratifies [the Convention], it is obliged in law to undertake all appropriate measures to assist parents and other responsible parties in fulfilling their obligations under the Convention.... Fulfilling their obligations sometimes requires States to make fundamental changes in national laws, institutions, plans, policies and practices to bring them into line with the principles of the Convention."
In other words, just as unconstitutional federal "mandates" are used to dictate policies to the states, the Convention requires ratifying national governments to enforce UN standards within their nations, even if this requires "fundamental changes" in their political systems. And what are some of those treaty-mandated standards? They include free education, child care, health care, family planning services, etc. "to the maximum extent of [the nation's] available resources." In the case of the United States, those "fundamental changes" would include the destruction of America's constitutional system.
The U.S. Constitution does not authorize the central government to play any role in child or family policy. To the extent that government at any level has such a role, it falls within the rights reserved to the people and to the states by the Tenth Amendment; in short, it is a local and state responsibility. However, according to the "fact sheet" distributed at the Children's Rights Congress, "The Convention would prevail over state law in all cases."
Clearly, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the spearhead of a radical assault on parental rights, national sovereignty, and the U.S. Constitution. However, according to UN adviser Eugene Verhellen, who is director of the Children's Rights Centre at the University of Ghent in Belgium, the Convention is also "a geopolitical, binding social contract" that will advance the Marxist vision of "human rights."
In a workshop at the Children's Rights Congress, Professor Verhellen explained that there have been "two generations of rights." The first generation, embodied in the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution, led to restrictions on the state's interference in the lives of its subjects; this was the generation of "civil and political rights." The second generation began "in 1917, with the revolution in Russia," Verhellen approvingly stated. As a result of that revolution, "economic, social, and cultural rights emerged. By nature, these two generations of rights assume different roles for the state."
Although the Children's Rights treaty contains provisions dealing with civil and political protections, Verhellen notes that the Convention (like all the other UN "human rights" instruments) is a "second generation" human rights instrument in that it expresses "a romantic idea of how the state should take care of us, about how we as an organized state can provide human dignity and live a decent life" -- and is therefore the political offspring of the Soviet revolution.
Ratification of the Convention requires national governments to eschew "incremental" child and family policies in favor of "comprehensive and integrated" policies, continued Verhellen. As one workshop participant noted without a hint of disapproval, a less euphemistic term to describe such "comprehensive" national policies would be "socialist" -- the "womb to the tomb" policies typical of both Scandinavian welfare states and Soviet-style despotisms.
But the Convention embodies another radical principle, according to Verhellen: Parens Patriae, or the "parenthood of the state," a principle whose triumph will result in nothing less than the "deconstruction and the reconstruction of the concept of the family." "By recognizing children as the bearers of rights that the state must protect, the [Convention] makes family relationships more equal," Verhellen explained to THE NEW AMERICAN. "This process will eliminate the hidden inequalities that are found in the older concept of the family." Invoking the UN slogan that the family must be "the smallest democracy at the heart of society," he insisted that "the family in this new society must serve as a kind of mediator, preparing its members to be part of the larger democracy."
The Real Purpose
Perhaps the most powerful indictment of the Convention is provided by a partial roster of ratifying nations. As Dr. Ramos-Horta observed in his address, "Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam are all parties to the Convention." None of the regimes governing those nations has displayed a notable commitment to improving the lives of children. Indeed, as left-wing activist Caroline Moorehead, a supporter of the Convention, recently pointed out, "The Convention on Children is being violated, systematically and contemptuously, and no countries violate it more energetically than those that were quickest to sign. Almost every ill it set out to remedy has grown worse in the years since it was drafted."
This is because the Convention is not intended to protect children, but to enhance the powers of the United Nations. Hillary Clinton, honorary chair of the Children's Rights Congress, claims that "it takes a village" to raise a child. Through the Convention, the new world orderites hope to become the chieftains of a global village in which the UNICEF slogan "Every child is our child" will be realized. It is to the credit of America that it has thus far refused to enlist in this cynical and destructive enterprise.
In Loco Parentis
by William Norman Grigg
G.K. Chesterton wrote, "The ideal for which the family stands is liberty. It is the only institution that is at once necessary and voluntary. It is the only check on the state that is bound to renew itself as eternally as the state, and more naturally than the state."
For this reason, dictators and despots of all varieties have sought throughout history to corrupt the conventional family, appropriate its functions, and remove the individual from the shelter of the home. Accordingly, those concerned about individual liberty should become suspicious whenever they hear a politician or bureaucrat refer to "our" children.
Children of the "Republic"
The concept that the state should control the development of children arguably began with Plato, who made the government of his totalitarian "republic" the custodian of "its" children. The Jacobin government of revolutionary France, which sought to create a totalitarian "republic,, systematically subverted family connections. Bertrand Barere, a member of the revolutionary Committee on Public Safety, taught that the "principles that ought to guide parents are that children belong to the general family, to the republic, before they belong to particular families ... the spirit of private families must disappear when the great family calls .... You are born for the republic and not for the pride and despotism of families."
The Soviet revolution, a lineal descendant of the French Revolution, trafficked in nearly identical concepts. A.S. Makarenko. the Stalin-era family theorist who became known as the "Dr. Spock of the socialist world," wrote in the Handbook for Soviet Families that the state had "handed over a certain measure of social authority" to individual families. According to Makarenko, "[The Soviet] family is not a closed-in, collective body, like the bourgeois family. It is an organic part of Soviet society, and every attempt it makes to build up its own experience independently of the moral demands of society is bound to result in a disproportion, discordant as an alarm bell."
Unfortunately, the drive to collectivize the American family proceeds with little opposition. As the November 14, 1993 New York Times reported, "Bit by bit, the country's urge for collective child-rearing is becoming more visible." According to Times reporter Ronald Smothers, embattled parents are desperate for any help they can find: "Feeling thwarted in trying to rear their children and enforce standards of behavior that at one time seemed clear and universal, parents are increasingly reaching out for help and welcoming any help that is volunteered. Many appear willing to subcontract a portion of their role to government, schools and whatever communal vestiges remain in a mobile and complex society."
Many analysts ascribe these developments to the supposedly inexorable laws of social development. However, as the late historian Christopher Lasch observed, "The family did not simply evolve in response to social and economic influences; it was deliberately transformed by the intervention of planners and policy makers [who] sought to remove children from the influence of their families ... and to place them under the benign influence of the state and school."
On April 11th, the Carnegie Corporation published Starting Points: Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest Children, a report calling for greater government involvement in the lives of children in the years from birth to age three. That report was timed to generate support for a substantial expansion of the Head Start program; it has also achieved quasi-scriptural status for those who support even more extensive regulation of the family by the state. But the evidence is conclusive that government entanglement in family affairs has created or abetted the majority of the problems that provide fodder for think-tank policy wonks.
Government can create neither wealth nor liberty, but it has an unparalleled ability to create work for itself. Nothing illustrates this fact better than the welfare state's effect upon the family. Allan Carlson of the Rockford Institute has written, "The rise of the welfare state can be written as the steady transfer of the dependency function from the family to the state; from persons tied by blood, marriage or adoption to persons tied to public employees." Carlson has pointed out that what he calls "the collapse of family structure" in America began in earnest in 1965 -- about the same time that the "Great Society" welfare state was inaugurated.
However, by the time the Great Society began, Social Security -- arguably the most disruptive social program ever devised -- was well entrenched. By making the state the broker of social insurance, Social Security has disrupted the bonds between generations and sewn discord between them. As family therapist Michael Bettinger observes, "in the 'old' days, before Social Security, people had to rely on others more than they do today .... If people did not build and maintain relationships with family and friends, they might find themselves in need of help, but there would be no one there to help them. People could not easily write off their families after a minor dispute." However, "Most of this changed with introduction of Social Security." According to Bettinger, Social Security has abetted family disruption: "As a family therapist, I have seen too many individuals cut off from their families for the slimmest of reasons .... They know when they get old or ill, Social Security will take care of them. They believe they do not need each other."
The tax burden created, in large measure, by Social Security and various welfare state "entitlement" programs has been sorely felt by families. In 1950, a family of four paid about two percent of its adjusted gross income in federal income tax; in 1993, a similar family paid about 24 percent. Between 1946 and 1993, the standard deduction for children increased from $600 to $2,500; however, to keep pace with inflation, that deduction should have been at least $7,800. Accordingly, every family with a combined household income of less than $32,000 should have been relieved entirely of payroll or income taxes.
The state's appropriation of family functions creates a feedback loop. "Entitlement" programs consume tax dollars from families; the increased tax burden forces both parents into the work force; parental absence cultivates new social problems -- resulting in a new "need" for entitlement programs. In this fashion, families become knitted to the government in a state of enervating dependency.
The Kansas Case
Some advocates of the traditional family have sought to protect parental authority through the passage of state-level "parental rights" amendments. Pro-family activists in Kansas recently proposed the following amendment to their state constitution: "Parents shall retain the fundamental right to exercise primary control over the care and upbringing of their children." After being modified to include "the state's traditional responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of children," the measure was defeated by the state legislature.
Jim McDavitt, director of the Kansas Education Watch (KEW) network, laments, "With the defeat of the Parental Rights Amendment on March 29th, every parent in Kansas was told by over half the legislators that they are not the primary decision makers in the lives of their children. They are, however, as a group at large, considered capable and likely of criminal child abuse." Recalled McDavitt, "During the floor debate, House members, both Republican and Democrat, described how giving parents primary control would result in wholesale child abuse and injury to the children."
Opposition to the parental rights amendment included State Representative Denise Everhart, who declared, "I have a thousand stories of child abuse that I will recite on the House floor one at a time if I have to in order to keep this amendment from passing." But none of the measure's critics was more demagogic than State Representative Rochell Chronister, who declared that "every time I see this amendment, I cannot help but think of those children that were burned alive by David Koresh in Waco, Texas." (More perceptive people understand that the Waco Massacre illustrates the dangers of government involvement in child "protection" issues.) This piece of rhetorical dishonesty was seized upon by the measure's critics, who repeatedly referred to the proposed amendment as the "David Koresh amendment."
Supporters of the parental rights measure were not acting out of whimsical or alarmist impulses; rather, they were reacting to an ominous expansion of the state government's power over individual families. In an August 20, 1991 story bearing the headline "Bigger State Role Proposed in Children's Lives," the Wichita Eagle reported, "Kansas must change its tradition of leaving the responsibility of rearing children strictly to parents if its youth are to be adequately prepared for life, members of a legislative student committee were told...." A measure introduced in the state legislature in 1992 (House Bill 3113) stated: "The legislature hereby declares that the state is ultimately responsible for meeting the educational, health, mental health, and welfare needs for every child and every adolescent in the state."
Pro-family activists in Kansas fear that the defeat of the parental rights amendment may set the stage for a new escalation in the war upon the family. KEW's McDavitt reports that "during the testimony in the House Judiciary hearing one conferee testified about a book by Hugh LaFollette entitled Licensing Parents ... and its argument that parents should not be allowed to parent unless they have been fully licensed by the state."
Ready to Act
The readiness of "child protection" authorities to pounce upon "abusive" parents was recently illustrated by an incident in Woodstock, Georgia. A grocery store employee saw 35-year-old Lynn Kivi discipline her nine-year-old son after the youngster misbehaved. The employee called the police, who quickly arrived and asked the boy if his mother had ever hit him before. The child guilelessly replied, "I get smacked when I am bad." Mrs. Kivi also admitted to police that she had struck the child. The police slapped handcuffs on the mother and took her to jail. At the time of this writing, Mrs. Kivi is free on $22,050 ball, but she faces a charge of "cruelty to children" -- and a possible prison term of 20 years -- for the "crime" of disciplining her own child. But the only cruelty inflicted upon the boy resulted from the state's seizure of his mother. Since his mother's arrest, the child has been tormented by nightmares in which he is permanently separated from his parents.
Phillip Jenkins of the Administration of Justice Department at Pennsylvania State University points out that "child abuse cases have served as a massive bridgehead for the notion of the 'objective expert,' the neutral professional who is seeking to protect the child and the community in the face of all the obstacles posed by outmoded legalism." The infiltration of such "experts" into the lives of families is a dominant objective of federal educational and social policies.
Attorney General Janet Reno, who was described by Florida Senator Bob Graham as "part crime fighter, part social worker," insists that because of the social failures that have been abetted by statist social policies -- or summoned into existence by deliberate design -children should be considered within the federal government's primary jurisdiction: "... when we talk about access to legal services, our traditional response has been to say parents will represent their children's interests. [But] there are too many children in America for whom the fabric of society has literally fallen away and have no one to speak out and to advocate for them. And we have a great challenge to devise a system that can do that."
In Janet Reno:Doing the Right Thing, reporter Paul Anderson writes: "Reno's agenda for children is ambitious, to say the least: Every pregnant woman should have prenatal care .... Every child should be immunized. Every child age zero to three should have 'either proper parental supervision' or 'safe, good, constructive, thoughtful 'educare' that blends into Head Start .... From kindergarten through high school, students should be offered creative activities in the afternoons: computer instruction, art, music, and drama as well as athletics."
According to Reno, "We" -- meaning the federal government -- "[have] got to make sure that parents are old enough, wise enough, and financially able enough to take care of their children, and that they are taught parenting skills that enable them to be responsible parents." Of course, "parenting skills" were quite effectively taught long before the federal government was devised. Like the Carnegie Foundation, Janet Reno insists that the government must especially focus its efforts on children "in the critical years between birth and age three" -- essentially that the state must take over the basic task of molding early childhood habits and attitudes.
According to the April 4th issue of U.S. News and World Report, Janet Reno's Justice Department has endorsed "federal backing for 'home visitation,' citing the example of Hawaii, which encourages parents in families where authorities suspect a risk of child abuse to allow outside counsellors into their homes as early as during pregnancy." The Hawaiian program so warmly endorsed by the Justice Department, which is entitled "Healthy Start," was the subject of a two-segment "American Agenda" profile on ABC television in March 1993. According to ABC reporter Rebecca Chase, "Every time a baby is born [in Hawaii], workers screen the mother's chart, looking for signs that families are under stress .... If they find warning signs, they interview the parents to determine what kind of support system is in place [and] whether there is a family history of abuse. Parents who seem under stress are offered help." For those who accept the "help," weekly visits from Healthy Start workers begin.
Although the program was sold as a solution for the problems of low-income families, over 50 percent of Hawaiian families with young children are now enrolled in Healthy Start. Furthermore, despite the program's putative emphasis on early childhood development, state supervision does not end after infancy. According to Chase, "Home visits continue as necessary as the baby grows up and the problems change." Furthermore, the "services" provided extend to things other than child abuse prevention: "The program is also proving to be an effective way to link families with other services -- birth control, medical care, and preschool, for example."
Another Hawaiian program, "Open Doors," offers a state subsidy to parents and advice regarding the choice of child care programs. According to Chase, "Ultimately, Hawaii's goal is to provide not just day care, but early education to all children to make sure they are ready to learn when they start school." The ABC program displayed a couple who endorsed the program: "We're really confident and at peace with them being there [in state-administered child care centers] .... We can just do our jobs and do it well, instead of stressing out and worrying what's happening to them." The implicit message is that all American parents should be able to surrender their children to the state with similar equanimity.
Children "At Risk"
A measure before the California legislature would create a similar program in that state. The bill, AB 3345, would allocate federal grant money for the creation of "neonatal and early childhood home-based prevention services for families at risk of child abuse and neglect."
The problem with this concept, according to Roy M. Hanson of the California Child and Family Protection Association, is that "There is no legal statutory definition of 'at risk.' Use of the term 'at risk' amounts to a blank check for intervention in the home by the therapeutic state." As a result, observes Hanson, "You can be a good and innocent mother of several children with no history of abuse or crime and still be considered at risk of being an abuser under this program."
The assumption that all families are "at risk" of child abuse is confirmed by Barbara F. Meltz of the Boston Globe. Summarizing the perspectives of "the large network of professionals who deal with child abuse," Meltz urges that parents should enroll in "parent education" courses before the birth of their child. Notes Meltz, "these programs help only parents who can be identified as being at risk. The truth, experts say, is that anyone is capable of hurting their child." This would seem to simplify the task of identifying "at risk" parents: apparently all parents are "at risk."
The Goals 2000 Act represents a profound enrichment of the idea that parents are little more than administrative agents of the state. According to a summary of the act, "every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children." When read with sobriety, this is an implicit claim that it is the state -- not the parents -- which has primary responsibility for the "social, emotional, and academic growth of children"; through the program, the state will condescend to permit parents a larger role, but that role must be compatible with the state's designs. To help dictate those designs to parents, Title IV of Goals 2000 will create "Parent Information and Resource Centers" which will "help provide parents with knowledge and skills needed to participate effectively in their child's education."
Under Goals 2000, parents will have to create the proper environment of "readiness to learn" as that environment is defined by a National Education Goals Panel. As an Education Department backgrounder points out, "Experts differ on just what constitutes 'readiness,' so communities need to consider what aspects are most important to them and then design a strategy that fits their needs." Once again, the locus of control would be removed from the home and assigned to "experts" who would act in the name of "community needs."
Perhaps the most effective means to collectivize the family is to hasten its destruction through social re-definition. Every successful society has been predicated upon the conventional "nuclear" family, which is organized around a man and a woman who are joined in legal wedlock. However, powerful interests seek to institutionalize "alternative" models of the family.
The UN's International Year of the Family (IYF) is, among other disreputable things, a campaign to redefine the family. According to an IYF profile published in the March 1994 UN Chronicle, "... the nuclear family itself is changing. Non-traditional family types are becoming more common, such as cohabitation, same-gender relationships, [and] single-parent families...." Michael Stewart, the Utah official who presides over the IYF-linked "Patron Cities" program, observes that IYF materials avoid a standard definition of the family because "that definition is changing."
On April 15th, the Cleveland-based Federation for Community Planning held an IYF-related conference entitled "Families: Redefining, Reinforcing and Revitalizing." According to the event's prospectus, "We [the event's planning committee] began by discussing 'the family.' We came to realize, though, that no one 'family' structure typifies today's society. Rather, today's families come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and forms. As a result, the [Federation] recognizes the definition prepared by Family Service America: 'A family consists of two people, whether living together or apart, related by blood, marriage, or commitment to care for one another.'" By this definition, a "family" might consist of nearly any imaginable combination of people. An even more radical definition comes from a booklet prepared by the Utah Center for Families in Education: "Let's be clear about the meaning of 'family.' It means a child and an adult responsible for that child's upbringing." Under this formula, a "same-sex couple" given custody of a child would be considered a "family," as would a dyad composed of a child and his state-appointed custodian.
In a speech given at the University of Chicago on November 15, 1991, Donna Shalala -- who now presides over the Department of Health and Human Services, an agency which dwarfs the Pentagon -- predicted the society that would greet "Renata," a fictional four-year-old kindergarten student, in 2004: "Renata doesn't know any moms who don't work, but she knows lots of moms who are single. She knows some children who only live with their duds, and children who have two duds, or live with their mothers and their grandmothers. In her school books, there are lots of different kinds of friends and families...."
After school, Renata would not go home, but rather to a publicly funded day care center where she and her fellow inmates would be further weaned from "patriarchal" culture by playing gender-neutral games. According to Shalala, Renata is a true World Citizen -- she "will think of herself as part of the world -- not just her town or the United States."
Shalala told her audience that the world she envisioned would not come into existence by accident, but rather "because we made it our top priority in our communities and in Congress." Americans devoted to the traditional family -- and the liberties it represents -- had best become aggressive in the defense of their priorities.
Supplanting Mom and Dad
by William P. Hoar
Have you heard about the national program that is supposed to help both needy and other families for the common good? It is so impressive that even those one might expect to be suspicious have promoted it. As a prominent professor from one of the world's most prestigious universities described it, the plan's chief purpose is to provide a nationwide "service of advice, instruction and help for young mothers and for children, especially those below school age."
The professor goes on to explain, "Recuperation homes are made available for mothers after child-birth, nurseries and kindergartens have been provided, in particular in country districts, for looking after the young children during harvest time when the mothers are in the fields, and a network of advisory health centres has been established all over [the nation]. In general the aim is to diminish infant and child mortality, to raise the standard of health in the early years of child life, and to emphasise the importance of preventative and remedial measures as a means of diminishing poverty."
Is this panacea a program of the Children's Defense Fund? Or Goals 2000, as pushed by the Clinton Administration? Or perhaps it is a description of that newly nationalized program called Parents as Teachers to help mothers and fathers raise their own children? No, it was not written about a plan endorsed by one of the above. But it could just as easily refer to such "new" liberal schemes that are as old as the "benign" totalitarianism pushed by Plato.
For the record, the quoted material is by C.W. Guillebaud, a Fellow of St. John's College, University of Cambridge, and is taken from his 1941 book The Social Policy of Nazi Germany. Mr. Guillebaud was referring to Hitler's National Socialist Welfare Organization which set up the institution called Mutter und Kind, or Mother and Child.
This writer has found it instructive to review this little book, which was published in wartime England, as an indication of how statists, be they national socialists or otherwise, are inevitably enamored of centralized power.
Children are constantly being made into targets of reform by the modern-day educrats. Compulsory education, starting at age six or so, isn't enough, though as psychologist Irving Berkovitz has demurely pointed out, public schools are "the places where the behavior and feelings of the majority of children first come to the close attention of professionally trained adults outside the nuclear family." As bluntly translated by Dr. Allan Carlson of the Rockford Institute, this means the places "where the experts get their turn at the expense of Mom and Dad."
The experiments keep getting moved earlier in life. The government-run Head Start program is one prominent example; this often-cited success (of which more later) isn't sufficient for the behaviorists. They have now come up with pre-Head Start programs, such as a pilot program that began in Missouri called Parents as Teachers (PAT). Federal funding for PAT, contained in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, seems sure to make this a more fashionable standard. "Trained educators," stress proponents, will visit homes to provide instruction to parents "to encourage their child's intellectual development," as one wire service story put it, and prepare the infants for school. But that is not the whole story. Integral to the plan is introduction of the family into a network of "social services," capturing both child and parents into dependence on the state right from the start.
Education researcher Laura Rogers, who has studied PAT extensively, provided a clearer picture of the program in Chronicles:
Simply put, the program pivots on assigning to all parents and children a "certified parent educator." This state employee evaluates the child (under the guise of educational screening), assigns the child a computer code classification, and initiates a computer file that the state will use to track the child for the rest of his or her life. All of the computer code designations label the child to some degree "at risk," and there is no classification for "normal."
The state agent conducts periodic home and school visits to check on the child and the family, dispersing gratis such things as nutritional counseling, mental-health services, and even food. Schools under the PAT program provide free day- and overnight-care. The "certified parent" might forbid the biological parents to spank their child, and might prescribe, if the child is deemed "unhappy," psychological counseling or a drug such as Ritalin. If the parents refuse the recommended services or drags, the state may remove the child from the home, place him in a residential treatment center, and force the parents to enroll in family counseling for an indefinite period.
When conservatives raised objections concerning the PAT program, liberals reacted typically -- with ridicule. For example, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch intimated that next the "far right" would be attacking Barney the PBS dragon with a baseball bat. Programs such as PAT, of course, don't spring up spontaneously from the grass-roots; in the case of PAT, the national replication and "franchising" of the plan was boosted by a hefty grant from the Ford Foundation.
Head Start Expands
Foundations and major industries have long backed programs that rely on government spending and "interdependence" with other nations through outfits such as the Committee for Economic Development (CED). Educational programs are in the forefront of these. One recent CED study, Why Child Care Matters, is typical -- pointing with approval to Edward Ziglar, a founder of Head Start, and how Dr. Ziglar wants to set up public schools as a hub for child care in general. With the opening provided by Head Start, Ziglar is pushing a program called the School of the 21st Century, which is already being implemented in a number of states.
Ziglar, a Yale psychology professor, has claimed that "child care in this country is put to shame" by other nations. And who are these exemplars? They include, he has said, Sweden and then-communist Hungary -- both with majorities of preschoolers in government centers. Also, "In [the People's Republic of] China, nurseries are available for virtually all children from the age of 56 days on. Cuba offers care for children as young as 45 days old as part of a national child care system: the goal for the next decade is to provide day care for all mothers who want it."
Such designs feed off of the Head Start program, which has acquired an undeserved reputation as a successful federal program. In truth, even Dr. Ziglar has admitted that only 40 percent of Head Start centers are of "high quality" and that closing 30 percent "would be of no great loss." Time magazine has acknowledged that President Clinton's excessive praise for Head Start, and the money supposedly saved by it in the long run, "reflects the success of one non-Head Start project at the Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti, Michigan." What educational improvements have been seen, and they are minimal, have proven temporary. To bureaucrats, this means that more money is needed over a longer period of time. And Head Start is, in fact, being expanded under the Clinton Education Department with more funding and with related programs.
These are also favored by the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), where Hillary Clinton and Donna Shalala (now Secretary of Health and Human Services) served on the board. The Carnegie Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Young Children bemoans the fact that only one in 20 eligible for Head Start under age three participates. Among CDF-approved programs to help fill in the gaps -- and make our children even more captive to the state -- are such plans as "A Healthy Start" as part of a nationalized health scheme, an expanded "Head Start," and a "Fair Start" through economic incentives.
The CDF also favors such ideas as federal gun control and family-leave legislation. To get to such objectives, statists must start with the seemingly salutary and non-controversial. Spending more on "free" childhood vaccinations -- which are already available but under-utilized in many cities -- is intended to be fuel for further statist programs.
There has hardly been a missed opportunity for the state to transmit the fact that it -- not parents -- should be seen as the provider. The role of the school has been expanded accordingly through such ploys as school-based clinics, more sex education taught outside the home, school breakfasts, a push for longer hours and more days in school, extra activities in school buildings, etc. Another scheme waiting in the wings is the brainchild of Jane Roland, philosophy professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Roland is proposing a "new kind of school" to which "youngsters of all ages, many of them dragging a parent along," would come to have the state meet their needs.
Many items have already found their way into Bill Clinton's budget -- including the Family Medical and Leave Act, more free vaccinations, more funds for Head Start, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutritional program -- which already touches four in ten babies born in the United States.
There are federal funds for the Summer Youth and Training Program, the Independent Living program (for so-called transitional support for foster children who "age out" of the foster care system), and the deceptively named Family Preservation and Support program to teach families with "at risk" children how to go about bringing up their child in a government-approved way. One popular feature of many of these "innovative" plans is "interagency collaboration," coordinating programs to put services in and around schools -- so that health, educational, and social services bureaucrats can get maximum impact. This approach is part of the focus of the National Education Goals, and is viewed with favor by the National Governors' Association.
National service, a state version of which is mandatory for graduation from public high school in Maryland, falls into this framework as well. Again, there is little new under the sun. Here was an analogous law in Nazi Germany: "National Labor Service is a service of honor to the German Reich. All young people of both sexes are obliged to serve their country in the National Labor Service. The function of the Service is to inculcate in the German youth a community spirit and a true concept of the dignity of work, and above all, a proper respect for manual labor. To the National Labor Service is allotted the task of carrying out work for the good of the whole community."
President Clinton's views are alarmingly similar. National Service, he emphasizes, "will harness the energy of our youth and attack the problems of our time. It literally has the potential to revolutionize the way young people all across America look at their country and feel about themselves .... "Hillary Clinton last year told the National Summit on Children and Families, "We would like the government to be an enabler, more than a regulator."
Yes, indeed, much more. Starting from, at the very least, the womb -- the ultimate goal is a federal Nanny State.
Der Staat Über Alles
by William Norman Grigg
The Book of Matthew warns of a time in which "the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." Where those governed by biblical principles seek to "turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Malachi 4:6), totalitarians seek to turn the hearts of the children to the state by indoctrinating them and deploying them as agents of the state within their own homes.
Educational elites in contemporary America have no compunctions about mobilizing schoolchildren on behalf of political or social agendas, nor do they see anything amiss in using children as informants. Outcome-based education programs and related initiatives almost invariably require schoolchildren to fill out detailed and intrusive questionnaires dealing with their lives at home. Child abuse "prevention" programs encourage children to report incidents of abuse to teachers or other authorities -- and those same programs define "abuse" to include nearly any act of discipline or any parental decision a child doesn't like.
Disrespect for parental authority can be cleverly cultivated in some apparently commendable programs. In his book Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty, James Bovard explains that drug prevention education has been used to teach children to act as informants against their parents. This is ironic, as Bovard points out, because "while schools attempt to indoctrinate children with an almost unlimited fear of illicit drugs, schools routinely arrange to have kids drugged for the teachers' benefit" -- particularly with the drug Ritalin. According to Bovard, "Since 1990, the number of schoolchildren in Massachusetts being administered Ritalin has doubled. The Boston Globe noted that 'some specialists say that schoolchildren are being diagnosed and medicated for [hyperactivity] in too cavalier a fashion' in part because of 'increased pressure on financially troubled schools to provide a quick fix for disruptive children.' Apparently drugs are bad -- except when they are administered for the benefit of the State."
The issues of child abuse and drug abuse may soon be woven together. During recent months, Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders and FDA Administrator David Kessler have expressed a desire to eradicate smoking, essentially contending that tobacco should be regulated as a dangerous narcotic. At the same time, some "child welfare" activists insist that parents who smoke at home are committing child abuse. Legal activist John F. Banzhaff III maintains that "parents exposing their children to second-hand smoke is the most common form of child abuse in America."
Soviet, Nazi Control
In their study Utopia in Power, Russian historians Mikhail Heller and Aleksandr Nekrich summarized the Soviet perspective on family obligations: "The subordination of the family to the interests of the state was a constant theme in literature, the cinema, and every form of art. The family is an important collective, so the argument ran, but the state is an incomparably more important one .... [The] call for betrayal of one's kin was directed to all family members without distinction; in that respect full equality reigned."
Pavlik Morozov was the Soviet regime's poster child. As a 12-year-old in the Stalin-era Soviet Union, Morozov betrayed his father to state authorities, accusing him of being a "kulak" (a wealthy peasant farmer). The young quisling was exalted by Stalin and his sycophants as the model Soviet youth. As Heller and Nekrich recall, "[Maxim] Gorky called on Soviet writers to glorify this adolescent who, 'by overcoming blood kinship, discovered spiritual kinship.'"
Morozov was commended as a role model to members of the Komsomol -- the "All-Union Leninist Communist Union of Youth." Participation in the Komsomol was mandatory for all Soviet youth between the ages of 14 and 28. Peter Gumbel of the Wall Street Journal described the Komsomol as "a cross between Big Brother and the Scouts, a giant organization that rammed Communist theory down the throats of Soviet youngsters while monopolizing all their group activities." No totalitarian organization worked more aggressively to conscript children than Hitler's National Socialist movement. As G.K. Chesterton observed during the years of Hitler's rise to power, "Hitler's way of defending the independence of the family is to make every family dependent upon him and his semi-socialist state, and to preserve the authority of parents by authoritatively telling all the parents what to do .... He appears to interfere with family life more even than the Bolshevists do, and to do it in the name of the sacredness of the family."
In his book Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich, historian George L. Mosse observes, "Nazism, like any revolutionary movement, attempted to capture the new generation and rally it to the cause." According to Mosse, "The Nazis did make changes in the school system, though the federal structure of the [pre-Hitler] Reich made this difficult at first. Until the individual states were abolished, Prussia was the laboratory for much of this change." Once the social engineering schemes developed in Prussia were ready, writes Mosse, "The Nazis attempted to unify the school system, as they 'meshed the gears' of all other activities in the Third Reich."
The National Socialist educational elite sought to eradicate the "bourgeois" values instilled in German youth by their parents. The National Socialist educational system heavily emphasized "character" and "values" training. However, notes Mosse, "'Character' did not 'mean self-reliance and independence, but a steeling of oneself for service and obedience in the name of the Volk and the Führer .... To inculcate service and obedience, the individualism and the enthusiasm of the schoolboy had to be controlled by instilling within him a sense of community." Accordingly, Nazi education was a war upon traditional values and individualism -- and the youth were forcibly conscripted as foot soldiers to prosecute that war.
In 1932, 107,956 youngsters were enlisted in the Hitler Youth organization, as compared with the more than ten million youth enrolled in such apolitical entities as the Boy Scouts. In an essay published in 1934, National Socialist leader Baldur Von Schirach sought to allay parental concerns about the Hitler Youth organization by testifying of the Nazi Party's "pro-family" sentiments: "The family is the smallest and at the same time the most important unit of our Volk community. It can never be the task of the [Hitler Youth] to interfere with the life of the family and with the work of the parents in bringing up their children. But neither should the parental home interfere with the work of the [Hitler Youth]."
However, a year before Schirach assured Germans that the state would never usurp parental authority, Hitler declared in a speech: "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already .... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'"
By 1938, 7,728,259 youngsters had joined the Nazi Youth program. In 1939, Hitler's government enacted a law requiting that all German youth be enrolled in the Hitler Youth program. As leftist historian William Shirer points out, "Recalcitrant parents were warned that their children would be taken from them and put into orphanages unless they enrolled" in the Hitler Youth organization. Once the children had been seized by the state and properly indoctrinated, they were sent forth to battle their friends and relatives who had not accepted the Nazi gospel.
An anguished letter written on June 19, 1939 by Theophil Wurm, the Protestant bishop of Wurttemberg, offers an illustration of the role played by the Hitler Youth in enforcing the New Order. The parents of Wurttemberg confronted what was essentially the Nazi Party's equivalent of outcome-based education. Students in secondary schools were offered a choice between religious instruction and National Socialist "ideological instruction." Recalled Bishop Wurm, "though the parents were openly solicited ... the overwhelming majority of [them] clung tenaciously to their right to Evangelical or Catholic instruction for their children."
Confronted with the resistance of what is now called the "religious right," the Nazi public education system became more insistent. Many of the parents received a "request" that their children be registered for ideological instruction and enrolled in special "recreation camps." Elementary school children were soon required to choose between religious instruction and ideological instruction, but warned that "only ideological instruction would be entered in their annual progress reports" and that their access to continued government education would depend upon their performance in ideological examinations.
As parental opposition to ideological instruction escalated, Nazi public school officials began to tell schoolchildren they would soon be required to enroll in the indoctrination courses. Shortly thereafter, 50 fathers were summoned to the local town hall, presented with a pre-printed application, and told that "ideological instruction was bound to come anyhow and it would therefore be better to sign now."
Recalled Bishop Wurm, "The event produced tremendous agitation in the community .... Again and again one heard the question whether mothers no longer had any rights over their children and whether the Führer's assurance that everyone could seek salvation in his own fashion was still valid."
In other communities, wrote Wurm, "recruitment for the ideological instruction was carried out under especially overt pressure and threats." Teachers told recalcitrant children that their parents would suffer. One student was asked by his teacher, "What does your father do?" When the child responded that his father was a mail-carrier, the teacher declared, "If he doesn't sign [the indoctrination form], he'll see what will happen; he'll have to become a street-sweeper."
Wurm recalls that amid all the conflict, the National Socialist state used its youth auxiliaries to recruit schoolchildren and pressure their families: "In a number of municipalities, standard-bearers of the Hitler Youth ordered their subordinates to see to it that relatives of Hitler Youth members withdrew from religious instruction classes and applied for ideological instruction within three weeks. By such procedures, a matter that is one of the inalienable rights of parents is withdrawn from the free decision of parents and propelled toward an anti-Christian solution, despite all official utterances to the contrary."
In a free society, an individual's loyalties are to God, family, and country -in that order. In a totalitarian society, obedience to the state eclipses all other allegiances. American parents must jealously guard their rights and obligations, lest they suffer the fate of the parents of Wurttemberg.
UN Takeover of the Child
by Jane H. Ingraham
When the United Nations sets out to protect, develop, educate, nourish, and speak for the children of the world -- watch out. The UN bureaucrats, the great majority of whom come from socialist or communist countries where children suffer enormous economic, health, educational, and cultural deprivations, have appointed themselves experts for telling the rest of us what is to be done or not done for, to, by, or with all children, in utter disregard of the vital responsibilities of parents.
This astounding international takeover of the control of children has been in the works since at least 1978 when the communist government of Poland launched a "new way of thinking about children, their needs and rights." A Working Group was set up by the UN General Assembly to prepare a draft of the "new thinking," which soon discovered that children have "inalienable civil, political, and economic rights" of their own, quite apart from, and primarily in opposition to, those of their parents. Developing and propagandizing this pernicious idea of child autonomy provided jobs worldwide for thousands of UN bureaucrats throughout the decade of the 1980s, when massive yearly reports on the state of the world's children set the trap with endless examples of the poverty, neglect, ill health, and lack of education of the world's children, with never a mention of the causal role of authoritarian governments in creating these conditions.
A "Simple Idea"
By late 1989 the UN General Assembly was ready to erase all this misery with a "simple idea"; it unanimously adopted a Convention on the Rights of the Child. Nine months later, in September 1990, the Convention "entered into force" after having been ratified by the necessary 20 nations. This meant that the Convention became part of international law, setting international legal standards binding upon all ratifying nations. Only a few months later, 62 U.S. senators approved a resolution asking President Bush to forward the Convention to the Senate for ratification. Although George Bush approved the Convention, he never took this fateful step for the simple reason that as an international treaty, the Convention required a two-thirds vote (67 members) of the Senate for passage; this was never forthcoming during Bush's term.
Once the Convention had "entered into force," a committee of "ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence" was established with its own "secretariat" (UN-speak for bureaucracy) to monitor "the way the ratifying nations translate the principles of the Convention into national law and practice." Each nation is required to submit regular reports to the Committee of Ten, which holds them accountable for the "proper translation" of the Convention's principles into their own legislation and societal structure.
What are these "principles" that the UN rightly claims will have a "revolutionary impact on the lives of children"? The first "principle" that emerges from the fine rhetoric is the perversion of the definition of true rights into a meaningless smorgasbord of "rights" such as "dignity," "tolerance," "solidarity," "special safeguards," and "full participation in all social, cultural, educational and other endeavors necessary for the child's growth and well-being." To pretend for one moment that such an ideal state of being could, or should, be delivered by government edict is gross demagoguery and deception of peoples (including many Americans) who are sucked into a naive belief in the "goodness" and "noble intentions" of the UN.
Granted by Government
With the concept of rights thus distorted, the second "principle" that emerges is that all "rights" are granted by government under the caring direction and control of UN experts of "high moral standing." This framework is key to the real intent of the Convention: that is, to restructure societal arrangements according to Insider UN mandates. Gone is the extraordinary idea of God-given rights that made Americans the most blessed people in all of human history. Far from using the Bill of Rights' unequivocal negative wording (Congress shall make no law ...), the UN globalists "proclaim," "affirm," "state," "recognize," and "ensure" their phony "rights" that demolish parents' authority over their own children.
A third "principle" of this ominous document is that, like the Constitution of the former Soviet Union, it grants fine-sounding freedoms in one breath, only to nullify them in the next. For instance, "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others." Freedom of expression, information, and association? Well, certainly -except for "certain restrictions as provided by law and are necessary for the protection of national security or of public order or of pubic health or morals."
Wrapping these "freedoms" in totalitarian controls is only one of the hooks in these carefully laid traps that preposterously put children on a par with adults. What the UN is really saying is that children (anyone under 18) have the "right" to refuse to attend the church of their parents' choice, or the "right" to refuse religious training of any kind, or the "right" to join any type of cult or occult group passing as a "religion," or the "right" to defy their parents' belief that associating with druggies or street gangs is bad for them, or the "right" to read or view debasing or pornographic material, etc.
Contrary to the kind of repulsive totalitarianism accompanying the above "freedoms" is the straightforward wording of certain other "rights," such as the "right" of the child to privacy. No fears here about "public health, morals or order." Instead, children have a "right to the protection of the law against arbitrary interference" with this "right" (privacy) which was the operative word used by the Court in Roe v. Wade to create the legal "right" to abortion. This UN-sanctioned privacy seemingly means to establish the child's "right" to obtain an abortion without parental knowledge, the "Right" to purchase and use contraceptives, and the "Right" to heterosexual or homosexual promiscuity.
Under the "children's rights" Convention, the only "right" that is assured is the "freedom" to rebel against parental authority. Although parental authority is sharply limited by the document, government power is absolute. Thus, the effect of the Convention is to entice children out of the protective shelter of the home and leave them exposed to the full force of the global state.
Although the Covenant states that "parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child," this is laughable window-dressing in the face of the thrust of the entire document as well as the very next paragraph: "For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in this Convention, [ratifying] governments shall render appropriate assistance to parents" (emphasis added). To make it perfectly clear that parents count for nothing, the UN masterminds inform us that children are to be "brought up in the spirit of the ideals enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations." That is, centralization of all power in a oneworld socialist government.
Why would the governments of the world agree to the loss of sovereignty implicit in the Convention? An answer is found in the World Summit for Children, held in 1990 under the auspices of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). With tremendous media fanfare, 71 heads of state (including President Bush) and representatives from another 86 countries unanimously adopted a World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children.
Called by the gushing media "a milestone in humanity's treatment of children," at first glance this declaration seems to be a curious repetition of the previous Convention. How many more "rights" to education, nutrition, or health can you have? But the declaration gets down to the nitty gritty in its discussion of "resources" -- that is, how much all these "rights" will cost and who will pay.
We soon discover that the game being hatched -- under the subterfuge of helping suffering children -- is that Western creditor nations should forgive the international debts owed by Third World governments. UNICEF practically wept in claiming that in order to meet debt-service payments, countries had to "harshly cut back" in social services, so that "the poorest and most vulnerable children paid the Third World's debt" with their lack of health and education. Since Third World countries will have to spend $20 billion per year to meet "basic goals for children," and since their debt-service outflows to the rich nations are about $40 billion per year, what could be more reasonable than that the debts of Africa should be written off and those of Latin America greatly reduced?
This line of UNICEF that creditors in affluent countries are killing babies in the Third World is effective propaganda but paints an entirely false picture. The truth is that the net transfer of aid funds to the Third World from the West has been far higher than any outflow during the past decade; between 1983 and 1987, for example, the "developing" countries enjoyed a net transfer from abroad of more than $130 billion. In addition, far from cutting back harshly, figures show that these governments spent more during the past decade than previously.
In other words, what UNICEF's summit was all about was a deceptive fundraiser for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
When George Bush signed this shameful document, he let us know that the Insiders' drive for a New International Economic Order (the global redistribution of our wealth in preparation for world merger) is alive and well and operating under the UN umbrella. Unless we stop them, these conspirators will destroy the greatest experiment in freedom the world has ever known, force us to finance the destruction out of our own pockets, take over the minds of our children, and absorb them into the new world order.
UNESCO: A Budding Global School Board
by Thomas R. Eddlem
In February of this year, the U.S. State Department issued an appeal to reinstate American membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO's long and unambiguous history of anti-American rhetoric and socialistic scheming demonstrates that rejoining the United Nations agency is one of the worst things this country can do to its educational system.
After the ratification of its 1945 charter, UNESCO immediately began making detailed recommendations about how to run the schools of the world. A ten-part series for teachers, published in 1949 under the heading Toward World Understanding, laid out the UNESCO blueprint for a global dumbing-down of education. The second section in the series, entitled "The Education and Training of Teachers," called for "a shift in emphasis from subject teaching to the needs of the child," which could be accomplished by a number of means, including a "greater freedom of choice of subjects" and a "substantial reduction in the number of subjects in the curriculum." Instead of academic subjects, pupils would be given "increased 'free time' to allow students to work on projects." There would also be an "allocation of working time for student clubs," and "a tendency to abandon role from above tin the classroom] in favor of democratic cooperation between staff and students." The 1949 study concluded with a statement that bears striking resemblance to much of the outcome-based educational rhetoric of today: "The old, academic, subject-dominated type of training [of teachers] is rapidly being replaced by a training aimed at the personal as well as professional development of the teacher and effective citizen."
Among the subjects recommended by UNESCO in Toward World Understanding was "The Influence of Home and Community on Children Under Thirteen Years of Age." Notes the UNESCO study, "One of the chief aims of education today should be to prepare boys and girls to take an active part in the creation of a world society...." But love of country must be stamped out by the government schools: "As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only rather precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family that infects the child with extreme nationalism. The school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism." This global citizenry propaganda must begin early: "The kindergarten or infant school has a significant part to play in a child's education. Not only can it correct many of the errors of home training, but it can prepare the child for membership ... in the world society."
It is due in no small measure to UNESCO's pernicious, anti-family, totalitarian influence over the past 40 years that so many outrageous programs and curricular materials marching under the ensigns of "multiculturalism," "global education," "gender equity," and "diversity" have flooded our schools. But we are headed for much worse. In 1990, UNESCO launched a new global education initiative called the World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA), which brought together representatives from 150 countries. The American branch of WCEFA is the U.S. Coalition for Education for All (USCEFA), a collectivist claque sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the U.S. Department of Education, Apple Computer, IBM, and other public and private internationalist entities.
Out of the 1990 WCEFA summit in Jomtien, Thailand came two documents: The World Declaration on Education for All, and The Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs. Oddly enough, the Framework lists six goal areas that almost exactly parallel those put forth in the Goals 2000 legislation enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton this spring. American education policies are being simultaneously nationalized and internationalized in a concerted effort to "harmonize" all education according to a global plan.
From the WCEFA-USCEFA nexus has flowed a continuous procession of conferences, summits, and confabs on such globalist agenda items as: "Basic Education for Democracy, Cultural Identity and Environment"; "Children and Adolescents in Conflict With the Law"; "Technologies for Learning for All"; "Distance Learning"; "Population and Development"; etc. Private, state, and national education organizations have gotten the globaloney "bug" too, dramatically stepping up their international networking and summiteering in the past couple of years. This July, for instance, the Education Commission of the States (ECS) held an Asia-Pacific Conference in Honolulu, featuring education elites from China, Russia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Mexico, and more than 50 other nations. ECS is a high-powered compact of governors, state legislators, and state education officials -- the folks in charge of American education.
Even though these conferences routinely involve people from the far-flung corners of the planet representing dozens of different language groups, the participants all seem to speak the same dialect: edu-babble. They all mouth the same inane utterances concerning "interdependence," "empowerment," "transformation," "holistic approaches," "globalization," "comprehensive integration of schools and social services," "developmental needs," and "community," as if collectively intoning the sacred doxology of a global Cult of the World Mind. They all hum the mantra of UNESCO's universal humanist faith. Small wonder then that almost identical education programs and policies are springing up "spontaneously" in Tokyo, Dallas, Kiev, Toronto, Berlin, Seattle, Seoul, New Delhi, Cairo, and Oslo.
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Last updated 11/27/2010