From: Cynthia Boaz

 Subject: West Wing review

 You forgot to mention the best part of last night's episode- the conversation
 between Leo and that Joint Chief dude about the International Criminal Court.
 Leo was making the argument that if the US doesn't ratify the treaty creating
 the court, then other states will follow suit, and thereby undermine the system
 of international norms and laws against war crimes (and crimes against
 humanity/genocide/crimes against peace, etc) that WE helped put in place
 during and after Nuremburg.

 But Mr. Joint Chief argued it would be too much of a violation of US soverignty
 ...that we can't possibly allow US citizens to be held accountable to an international
 body! And to make the point he whipped out a secret file containing Leo's Vietnam
 War service record, and asked Leo if he remembered dropping a bomb during a
 mission called Operation Something or Other.

 Turns out that Leo had dropped a bomb on a dam-- a CIVILIAN target, and killed
 many innocent people. Apparantly Leo had no idea, and he said, in obvious agony
 "WHY DID YOU TELL ME THIS?"  Mr. Joint Chief said, "Because if we sign
 that treaty, you could be charged and tried at the ICC for war crimes."
 And then he looked right at him and said  "Mr. McGarry, ALL WARS ARE CRIMES."
 Chilling. I thought that was pretty bold and pretty progressive of Sorkin to
 bring up the issue of the ICC and the idea of war crimes being committed by
 the world's greatest democracy in the same segment. The message was, if
 we're going to make the world safe for democracy, we're going to have to be
 allowed to do some damn unsavory things now and then. And of course it made
 me think about what kinds of things the Pentagon is covering up and/or lying
 about regarding this "war" in Afghanistan...
 Great show.

 I didn't understand that part.  Leo can't be guilty of anything.
 Major dad ORDERED him to hit the bridge, then tells him 35 years later it was a civilian target.
 That makes no sense to me.

 The "all wars are crimes" was lost on me, too.
 That's too 'John Lennon' for me, ...and a member of the Chief Joints of Staff* said that?.

 * homage to the vulgar Pigboy
 But maybe a bigger point was that the US is so arrogant, we want others to answer to us
 while we refuse to answer to anyone.

 I think world courts and even the UN is a sham because without our muscle they're nothing.
 We damn sure don't need Norway's help to invade some country, so why do we ask for it?


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