Law Not War: World Peace And The International Criminal Court.

By Jerry Alatalo

United Nations Charter (1945)

    We the people of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

    to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,

    to establish conditions under which justice and respect of the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

    to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    and for these ends

    to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and

    to unite our strength to maintain international security, and to insure by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed forces shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

    to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

    have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these ends.  Preamble

Earth Flag 11Alphabet Benjamin Ferencz is the 96-year old sole surviving prosecutor of Nazi war crimes during the Nuremburg Trials, and a leading advocate for global jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He and many others have long called for every nation on Earth to join the ICC and end, finally, the potential for any human being regardless of power, wealth, prestige or nation to commit war crimes with impunity.

A United Nations (UN) reform initiative calling for mandatory signing and ratification of the Rome Statute by United Nations member states – joining the ICC and agreeing to its global jurisdiction – holds the promise of “embarrassing” those nations outside the ICC to join or lose respect around the world. Included in such a United Nations reform is expulsion from the UN of those states refusing to join the court, an action which would surely harm more than enhance opposing nations’ international reputation in the eyes of the world’s people.

The time has come for the international community to act powerfully for the realizable goal of ending the carrying out of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide with impunity by those outside the enforcement reach of the ICC. Universal ICC membership once UN reform becomes part of the charter promises an end to wars of aggression, throughout history until now the producer of humanity’s most severe violent disasters and accompanying high levels of death, injury and destruction.

Mr. Benjamin Ferencz has worked for decades to convince people of the urgent need for a worldwide institution of law and order to deter criminals intending to carry out the most heinous actions imaginable. His reasoning is simple to comprehend for any man or woman who possesses plain common sense. With his high level of knowledge, commitment and life experience over 96 years, Mr. Ferencz has gained the admiration and respect deserving of a wise elder speaking out for peace on Earth.

Mr. Benjamin Ferencz urgent, timely and wise message provides the best solution to humanity’s problem of war. Acting on his ideas will absolutely change the world for the better while improving the human condition – now, and for those born in future generations.

It’s time the world listened to him.

(Thank you to Humanity In War at YouTube)

Ending Impunity Stops World’s War Criminals.

By Jerry Alatalo

World Map1Alphabet Benjamin Ferencz is now age 96 and the only living, surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials conducted after World War II came to an end. Since that time, 1946, Mr. Ferencz has been on a mission to create the international law infrastructure necessary to bring about effective deterrence to stop person(s) or group(s) considering conducting war crimes, crimes against humanity, wars of aggression, or genocide.

Through history up until today, too often the world’s most powerful have been able to commit, with no accountability or negative consequences – with impunity – atrocities through initiation of illegal wars: 1) carried out without being attacked, without any justification for the reason of self-defense, and 2) without getting United Nations Security Council approval. Harvard Law School graduate Ben Ferencz has worked hard all of his life to correct/fix that undesirable, often destructive situation in the world.

His idea for global jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, where all nations unanimously agree to join the court and abide by its laws, is perfectly reasonable, simple to understand, yet the highest vision hasn’t been reached; some nations, including the largest, remain outside of International Criminal Court jurisdiction.

While Mr. Ferencz has worked for decades to create the global legal institution, become well-known in legal, academic, peace activist, non-governmental organization circles etc. and continued on with focused efforts, he admits being 96 years old doesn’t leave a lot of time for him to see his vision accomplished. It would be unfortunate if he wasn’t able to see it occur before leaving this Earth, because such an outstanding proposal should have, rightly, come into existence a long time ago.

Of the remaining candidates for President of the United States – Clinton, Johnson, Stein and Trump – the platform of Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein calling for U.S. foreign policy based on international law and human rights seems most closely aligned with Mr. Ferencz.

People familiar with Benjamin Ferencz know his phrase “law not war”. He’s known for his encouraging words at the end of talks (especially to university students) to those puzzled on persisting delays in establishing such a global legal architecture, and the great promise of extensively reducing instances of illegal wars: “Never give up.. never give up.. never give up.”

For a truly good man like Benjamin Ferencz, one wishes he’ll see his life-long efforts bear fruit and that his dream of peace on Earth comes true. Thank you, Benjamin Ferencz.

(Thank you to Nuremberg Legacy Channel at YouTube)

Dr. Cornel West Speech Ties Politics To Spirituality.

By Jerry Alatalo

“I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.”

– MOHANDES GANDHI (1869-1948) Hindu national leader


Alphabet Dr. West’s keynote speech at the Green Party Convention in Houston, Texas was so extraordinarily remarkable and rare for political oratory that one becomes especially careful, and concise, when assembling any analysis and/or commentary. One senses his speech literally manifested the sacred on Earth, and that when such rare occurrences of true spiritual power are beheld the only possible reaction or response is one of highest respect and honor. Along with the unavoidable recognition that Dr. West was on sacred ground during this speech comes the certainty of knowing not to describe it in any manner diminishing that sacred aspect. In other words, when talking about Dr. West’s speech it is of highest importance to remember one is entering the arena of transcendent holy – the human spiritual dimension.

(Thank you to Stand Up at YouTube)

Let The Great 2016 Presidential Debates Begin.

By Jerry Alatalo

“It was government by discussion that broke the bond of ages and set free the originality of man.”

– WALTER BAGEHOT (1826-1877) English economist

Book5Alphabet The 2016 process for electing the next President and Vice President of the United States has come down to – using a college basketball term – the “Final Four”. For sports enthusiasts, the annual competition among U.S. collegiate basketball teams called “March Madness” – where an initial field of 64 teams battles it out on the hardwood until those still standing dwindle down to the “Sweet Sixteen”, then “Elite Eight”, “Final Four”, and the eventual national champions – is a much-anticipated yearly ritual. For the purpose of this writing, it is important to remember that sports champions become determined through direct competition on the field.

There is no difference between candidates for office and athletes, in the sense of logic that asserts politics and sports are fundamentally identical with regard to “deciding it on the field”. Because, thus far, Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson (the “other two” making the “Final Four”) have not secured a place in debates with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the “on the field” concept has become ignored or trampled under foot.

That current situational reality of election 2016 is equivalent to telling two NCAA basketball teams who’ve fought through the competition to the final four that they must now… “Forget about showing up – you’re out of the game, so just stay home.” Most people upon hearing such a development would consider it simply in direct contradiction to everything taken for granted about being an American. In the same way of thinking, exclusion of Dr. Stein and Mr. Johnson from debates with Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump is un-American and wrong.

Now, what is going through the minds of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump when neither of them are welcoming of a series, perhaps four or more, of 4-way debates (ideally, very lengthy ones) for the benefit of American voters? Such a series of debates could easily be arranged, but the obvious stumbling block is the awkward absence of agreement between the four remaining candidates. Dr. Stein and Mr. Johnson agree for equally obvious reasons, chiefly: to get their messages to voters via national media and maximize their respective campaigns’ chances for success.

For Clinton and Trump, their silence or opposition to 4-way debates is also about maximizing their chances for success, but upon consideration one comes to see their stance as failing to recognize the distinction between political and business/market-driven competition. Men and women who run for political office do so, ideally, for reasons associated with the concept of public service – to citizens in their cities, counties, states, regions or nation. Those men and women loyal to the public service nature of political participation and leadership have no fear of allowing people to express the full spectrum of ideas focused on improving constituents’ health and well-being. In fact, they encourage and welcome any practical ideas offering real potential for realized improvement in societal conditions.

It could be argued that encouragement and welcome inclusion of ideas which are new, different and/or opposed to those predominating at any given time in political arenas small to great is an especially important consideration at the highest level, the presidency, where conditions in the lives of billions around the Earth are in the balance. How can Americans accept or tolerate a political system where more time for actual head-to-head debate gets devoted to, as an example, races for State Representative or Senator – than the time allotted for presidential debates?

If candidates for a particular local or state office spend, say, an average of three hours in head-to-head debates, wouldn’t the logical extension at the presidential level lead one to imagine grand totals/averages for presidential candidates in the range of thirty (30) to forty (40) hours, particularly in the remaining 90 days before election day? Now is not the time to stifle debate but to let it expand to maximum levels, all the while knowing the American people are wise enough to make good decisions on both ideas and the candidates who propose them.

The question for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with regard to 4-way, lengthy, prime-time televised debates is this: “What exactly are your reasons for opposing debates with Dr. Stein and Mr. Johnson, when any imagined result leads to record-level viewership by the American people?” Moreover, can any reasonable observer but conclude that 4-way presidential debates will profoundly increase citizens’ interest, enthusiasm, discussion, study, critical thinking skills, and participation in the democratic process? The consequences are nothing but positive – absolutely positive.

So, the Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein presented her proposals, ideas and reasoning during her acceptance speech in Houston, Texas over the weekend. Let Ms. Clinton, Mr. Johnson, Dr. Stein and Mr. Trump agree on:

  1. the benefits of election debates and affirming the immensely positive educative nature of intellectual effort for political “competition”, alternatively known as public service
  2. serious debates’ potential for raising the level of democratic thought, speech and action by Americans, and people of the world, to record heights
  3. the moral imperative for forthrightly engaging – like the great philosophers of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy – in the honorable, broad-spectrum exchange of cross-sector ideas devoted to betterment of humanity
  4. And… the rightness of rapidly arranging then carrying out the “Great 2016 Presidential Debates”

Do the right thing, America. Settle matters “on the field”. Let the debates begin…

“To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!”

– H.L. MENCKEN (1880-1956) American editor

(Thank you to TYT Politics at YouTube)