US need not fear international criminal court

Regarding "A superpower's loneliness," (Editorial, July 8), the US government has denigrated the new International Criminal Court by saying it will not participate unless US personnel are given immunity from prosecution for "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity."

Those on trial will have every opportunity to defend themselves in open court. How does the US see this as a "stacked deck"? To paraphrase a proverb: "If you don't do anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear!"

The US government itself has most recently advocated the use of secret military tribunals, where the accused are arrested and imprisoned without any bona fide criminal charges being brought against them. These "prisoners" are given no right to be tried in an open court nor are they given access to legal counsel. This is hardly what one would expect from the supposed "land of liberty."
K. Hawley
Vancouver, British Columbia

Your July 8 editorial "A superpower's loneliness" keenly analyzes the current impasse between Europe and the US over peacekeeping and the International Criminal Court, and the need for an early compromise. I would suggest the following rule for the ICC: A case may be removed from the docket by majority vote of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Everett Refior
Whitewater, Wis.Former president of the Campaign for United Nations Reform

Battling bugs in Afghanistan

Regarding "The other enemy in Afghanistan: creepy-crawlies" (June 24): With all due respect to the "baddest combat entomologist" in Afghanistan, I believe that there have been several fine entomologists who have been over here quite a bit longer than Maj. Scott Stockwell and who have a more realistic claim to that title. Other preventive medicine units have done quite a bit more than their fair share to keep all of the deployed soldiers safe and healthy.

In particular, I would like to point out the work of Capt. Jason Squitier and Capt. Richard McNemee, the first two entomologists to hit the field in that theater. These two officers led the way in establishing the theater entomology program, and it has been through their efforts that the vast majority of the entomological surveillance programs are in place. Special kudos also need to go to Col. Dan Strickman who, as the higher headquarters theater-wide entomologist, provided guidance and support that ensured "on the ground" personnel could do their job.

As the commander of one of the preventive medicine detachments that has been in-theater for a while, I feel that it is only fair to give proper credit where credit is due.
Capt. Stacy A. Mosko Afghanistan

Instead of vouchers, fix public schools

Nothing reveals the hypocrisy among political powermongers more clearly than the recent flap about school vouchers. The real tragedy is that political sponsorship of voucher programs represents a total abdication of support for the public schools by politicians who are afraid to raise taxes and by citizens who will vote against anyone who does.

Our inner-city schools, for the most part, are a disaster. If we cared anything for the children living there we would find the funds to make those schools as good as the ones in the suburbs. Instead, we offer vouchers for children to attend private schools. There are not enough private schools to begin meeting the needs of lower-income families.

So, with even less money available for the public schools, inner-city education continues to deteriorate while the president and others applaud themselves for caring about the needs of the poor.
James R. Smucker
Lacey, Wash.

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