A small squib buried at the bottom of the front-page of the April 12 New York Times announced the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC): "More than 50 years after it was proposed, the world's first permanent court for the prosecution of war criminals and dictators became a reality, over strong American opposition." The full article, which apparently did not merit front-page placement, appeared on page A3 and detailed American opposition to the court.
"The establishment of the court has been broadly welcomed by most democratic nations, American lawyers' associations and human rights groups. But it has an implacable foe in the Bush administration, which argues that the court will open American officials and military personnel in operations abroad to unjustified, frivolous or politically motivated suits."
Ten days earlier, the New York Times ran another article with a decidedly opposite theme. In "Yugoslavia to Cooperate With War Tribunal," Ian Fischer reported that "[w]ith tens of millions of dollars in American financial aid frozen, the Yugoslav government pledged today to cooperate .... ,, 'fully' with the international war crimes tribunal. By freezing aid to Yugoslavia, the United States had apparently succeeded in pressuring the Yugoslav government to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and to submit to its authority. This apparent contradiction in American policy did not elude the editors of The Economist.
Harlan G. Cohen,
The American Challenge to International Law: A Tentative Framework for Debate,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol28/iss2/13