Category Archive 'International Law'

01 Jan 2011

Obama Giving It Back to the Indians

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John Bershad mocks a pre-Xmas blog post by Bryan Fisher editorializing on the subject of Barack Obama’s endorsement of one of those UN Declarations of Rights which was rejected by the Bush Administration.

With so many rumors of how President Obama will eventually send this country hurtling into the fiery abyss of Socialist Gay Muslim Hell, you have to forgive us if we missed one. However we don’t want any of our readers to feel left out during any New Year’s Eve “How is Obama going to kill America now?” party games, so we’re circling back to bring you this doozy from earlier in the week: Did you know Obama is going to give away Manhattan to the Indians?! He totally is!

It all started when Obama announced that the United States would support the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People which was adopted in 2007 but opposed by President Bush. The trouble started when people read the Declaration and noticed some suspicious wording in Article 26:

    (1) “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.”

Mr. Bershad neglects quoting the rest of Article 26.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.
3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.

Liberal commentators are describing the UN Declaration as not binding, but as we all know, liberal judges have been known to apply “International Law” in surprising ways.

Watch out, homeowner in Fairfield County, Connecticut when an ultra-liberal judge suddenly invalidates two centuries of title transfers and awards thousands of acres in several towns, including your house, to some black guy from Bridgeport who has a smidgeon of Native America ancestry nine generations back and is now claiming to constitute a tribe.

The real winner on the humor front is Joseph Farrah of World Net Daily, who has a blog post titled: “I’ll Take Manhattan.”

It’s about time!

Barack Obama has finally done something right.

I’m always asked by interviewers if I can think of anything Obama has done that is commendable.

Frankly, until now, he’s done nothing but plot ways to steal my wealth. But things are about to change.

Maybe you missed it, but Obama has endorsed a United Nations resolution declaring the rights of indigenous people that could mean large swaths of the U.S. will be returned to native Americans like me.

I’m hereby staking my claim to Manhattan.

Maybe you didn’t know I have native American blood coursing through my veins. I’m more well-known for my Lebanese and Syrian ancestry. But, truth be told, I have a fair amount of Indian heritage on my mother’s side. So this proposed redistribution of wealth is welcome news for me.

Where do I apply? I want to return wampum for Manhattan.

25 Jan 2008

The American Roots of the Geneva Conventions

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In the American Scholar, David Bosco traces the roots of today’s Geneva Conventions to “Lieber’s Code” adopted by the US Army during the American Civil War from a paper on the treatment of insurgents and guerillas by Francis Leiber (1798-1872) a professor at Columbia University.

Unfortunately, the prospects for another “Lieber moment” appear slim. Many American leaders feel estranged from recent developments in international humanitarian and criminal law. The bewildering network of international conventions, courts, and commissions that is so inspiring to activists often appears menacing to those officials responsible for security policy. The ICC’s birth, for example, occasioned far more handwringing than applause in the Pentagon and the State Department. The pride Lieber felt about being part of the international effort at codification has all but dissipated in government circles.

This change of tone and tactics has much to do with the geometry of power. Lieber’s United States was weak, divided, and struggling to assure foreign observers that it could contribute to the civilizing goals of international law. Today’s United States has unparalleled power, and the international law that once signified membership in a rarefied club now threatens to hinder its freedom of action. Lieber also operated in a simpler legal age. His code, we should not forget, was a unilateral declaration; it was not negotiated with the Confederacy, let alone the rest of the world. The prospect today of amending the international rules governing warfare via negotiations with dozens of countries—some of them hostile—is daunting.

Yet the unwillingness to take up the task has had painful consequences. As the United States conducts its global campaign against terrorism, the Bush administration has often preferred to operate in the murky spaces between vague provisions of existing law. Bush officials have sometimes grumbled about the inadequacy of the existing framework but have proffered little to take its place. The effect on American legitimacy and reputation has been grievous; many foreigners, including close allies, have concluded that the world’s superpower now operates outside the law.

Thanks to Karen Myers.

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