THE HAGUE (Rooters agency) – The Global Court today issued an emergency order calling for the disbanding of US military forces “as a matter of extreme urgency, in the shortest possible time, in no case more than 12 months from the date of this ruling.”
The Court’s unanimous decision was a response to the adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution calling on all member states to make it a criminal offense for “their nationals [to] travel or attempt to travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality … for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts, or the providing or receiving of terrorist training.”
“It is difficult to imagine more horrendous acts of terrorism,” the Judges said in unusually blunt language, “than the unexpected explosion of bombs or artillery shells, invasion by forces unleashing unimaginable firepower, the kidnapping of civilians from their homes to be tortured in foreign lands, the menacing of the entire human race with a grotesque nuclear arsenal, and the similar atrocities that, sadly, are visible on our TV screens nearly every night.”
While there are more than a few countries and non-government forces that engage in such actions, the Court said, “the military forces under the command of the United States Government commit far more of such terrorist acts than do any others. The disbanding of those forces is therefore a precondition for actual implementation of the Security Council resolution.”
In the Court’s hearing of arguments, the attorney for the US government said that the Court should not rule because no evidence had been presented to justify the view that the US was guilty of more terrorist acts than other governments. The argument was immediately dismissed by the Chief Justice, who responded, “Isn’t that rather like saying we shouldn’t make a ruling that takes cognizance of the fact that the sun rises in the east unless we first hear testimony from a professional astronomer?”
Observers were uncertain how the US might respond to this surprise judicial order. It seems possible that the government might reject the Court’s authority outright or, more likely, find various pretexts and subterfuges to evade the decision.
The Judges may have had that possibility in mind, for part of their ruling seems likely to put financial pressures on Washington. In regard to the passage of the SC resolution calling for prevention of “the wilful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds” that would be used for terrorism, the Court said that this “could be read to outlaw the paying of taxes” to a government that commits acts of terrorism.
The Court postponed for further consideration a ruling as to whether the SC resolution’s forbidding of travel to other states to prepare or encourage terrorist acts also requires the disbanding of the entire US diplomatic corps, or only those parts of it sent to Third World countries.