Commentary Magazine


"Sexgate," International Court, etc.

"Sexgate" TO THE EDITOR: I hesitate to disagree with Norman Podhoretz ["’Sex- gate,’ the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bumble," June]. On so many issues, and on so many previous occasions, he has been right. Whether he is right now in saying that the American people are not ex- periencing moral decline, we will know soon enough.

I hope he is right! WILLIAM J. BENNETT EmpowerAmerica Washington, D.C.

To THE EDITOR: Having just read "’Sex- gate,’ the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bumble," I am a little disappointed. Norman Pod- horetz is one of our most eloquent, lucid, and tren- chant spokesmen for con- servative values, and I do not disagree with anything sub- stantive in the article. But it has some flaws. For one thing, the sketchy discussion of the movie An Officer and a Gentleman and the TV show Ally McBeal, instead of "provid[ing] us with reveal- ing clue[s] to the complex- ity of the moral condition of the nation," as Mr. Pod- horetz suggests, winds up trivializing the subject and adding a gossipy quality to his arguments.

My second point is that in his discussion of the "sis- terhood," though Mr. Pod- horetz, at least for the most part, avoids name-calling, emotion seems to run away with him. Understandable as this may be, it gives the article a breathless, angry, overexcited quality that tends to undermine its ob- jectivity and credibility.

It sometimes seems as if Mr. Podhoretz is preaching to the choir and therefore does not feel the need to supply verifying material. At times his points lack the depth of background histo- ry or analysis they need to make them more convinc- ing. These qualities are the very ones that usually sepa- rate Mr. Podhoretz from his contemporaries.

I do not have any argu- ment with the truths Mr.

Podhoretz tells, merely how they are told here. The ar- ticle is otherwise excellent and badly needed. This country needs many more voices like Mr. Podhoretz’s to achieve some semblance of balance. His latest piece is a just and necessary re- sponse to the unbelievable hypocrisy and intellectual and moral dishonesty mas- querading as mainstream thought that are so common today on the radical Left.

Someone must stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes, and I thank Nor- man Podhoretz for doing just that.

PAUL GROBEN Houston, Texas To THE EDITOR: Rather than issues of sex- ism, the sexual proclivities of the President, or Mr. Bum- ble’s concept of misguided laws, what seems once again at stake here is the abuse and misuse of power.

Men and women are not different from one another when it comes to the lust for power. They want what they want and are willing to do, and say, anything to get it.

Women are far from inno- cent; they have used sex as a route to power forever.

Those who were truly sharp brought leaders down through sex or used it to help transfer power to an- other man of their choice.

Perhaps the most vital con- cept that feminists (pretty and plain) helped us under- stand is that we can now transfer power to ourselves.

Neither Anita Hill, nor Paula Jones, nor Kathleen Willey understood that one cannot get what one wants today by whining, com- plaining, or even pointing the finger of blame at issues that are clearly sexual.

What some people (e.g., Monica Lewinsky) want is simply to bask in power.

Others want the ring of power for themselves. To do that they must knock some- one off the power pedestal.

Bill Clinton’s foes, un- [3]COMMENTARY SEPTEMBER I998 able to challenge the Presi- dent on anything he has done politically, have turned instead to sophomoric moralizing in the hope that the public will be outraged enough to bring him down. This is not work- ing. His sexual behavior is simply not our business, and we know it.

Kenneth Starr would have us believe otherwise, and his personal vendetta against Clinton, at great public ex- pense, seems to have led him to the misuse and abuse of his investigative authority- and all without evident re- sult. When one individual can "do a McCarthy" with the law on his side, our rights as individuals are in serious jeopardy.

Perhaps Mr. Podhoretz’s unchecked assumption of Clinton’s guilt and his po- litical disagreements with Clinton lead him to over- look this abuse-of-power is- sue, which would normally agitate the conscience of a conservative like him.

DIANA ROSEN Sausalito, California To THE EDITOR: Although I always enjoy the acuity and perception of Norman Podhoretz’s arti- cles and usually agree with them, I must take issue with "’Sexgate,’ the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bumble." Surely Mr. Podhoretz must realize that the pursuit of power is the basis of the feminist movement. Specifically, it is pursuit of the power fem- inists perceive to be held by the leaders of the cultural status quo: the conserva- tives, so to speak. Thus fem- inists are far less likely to bash a quasi-liberal like Clinton than a political con- servative.

One’s cultural belief sys- tem is the primary source for providing meaning and value in life. Its debasement is a terrible blow to any in- dividual or group because it strikes at the essence of one’s existence. Isn’t the fact that Clinton’s persona is viewed as threatening to core conservative cultural values the true reason he is so vilified? BRUCE PORTER Venice, California To THE EDITOR: As an OrthodoxJew and heir to a rabbinical Ortho- Gramercy Park Hotel Your Private Oasis Just South of Midtown Manhattan Imagine…You’re just minutes away from a trip to Europe! Whether you’re dining on one of Chef Robert’s 20 freshly prepared pastas ($12.50 – $19.50) or planning a wedding, (packages begin at just $57 per person), you’ll find our hotel to be an oasis of Olde World charm. With Soho, the Village, Madison Square Garden and Off-Broadway theaters in the neighborhood, make it your business to pleasure yourself in style.

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New York, NY 10010 212-475-4320 !’ Fax (212) 505-0535 as .L Out of state call toll-free: ‘ u l 1-800-221-4083 b II dox tradition on both sides of my family, I found Nor- man Podhoretz’s article both welcome and unwel- come. First, let me thank him for all his brilliant ar- ticles on the perverse move- ments afflicting American society. My problem, how- ever, is that in his arguments he has not brought to bear the powerful Jewish her- itage, the Torah.

His detailed criticism of the women’s movement is mostly on target, but why resort to noxious speech (even in quotation)? Why adopt feminist techniques in order to fight them? It real- ly is not necessary. The fight Mr. Podhoretz is carrying out should be fought on a Jewish plane, not in the muck of those whom he re- sorts to quoting.

Torah Judaism makes clear that women, in spite of being subject to men, are spiritually superior. In Gen- esis, Sarah was on a higher prophetic level than Abra- ham. Proverbs instructs us to listen to the Torah of the mother, not the father. In Judaism, it is the mother, not the father, who deter- mines whether the children are Jewish. Yet given all that, man is still the mas- ter. God is always spoken of, correctly, in a masculine sense.

Conservatism should emphasize moral values. I respectfully submit that Norman Podhoretz should use the unique perspective of the Jewish heritage to promote those values and attack the licentious per- versity of American society.

MOSES MORDECAI TWERSKY Providence, Rhode Island To THE EDITOR: Norman Podhoretz’s ar- ticle is a comprehensive cri- [4] b rruc-a- — acieraPrralLETTERS FROM READERS tique of sexual harassment, but it contains two errors.

The first is really the error of the judge Mr. Podhoretz quotes who, in dismissing Paula Jones’s lawsuit, re- ferred to a "purported ex- pert with a Ph.D. in educa- tion and counseling." I received a master’s in mar- riage, family, and child- counseling (MFCC) from a major university. The pro- gram was in the department of education. Later I ob- tained a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Among the best therapists I have seen are MFCC’s and social workers, who often have more em- pathy and involvement with their patients than either psychologists or psychia- trists.

The second error is Mr.

Podhoretz’s. He refers to sexual aversion, which Paula Jones claims to have devel- oped as a result of her ex- perience with Bill Clinton, as a "newly invented dis- ease" and a "preposterous diagnosis." A century ago Freud described cases of sexual and other problems stemming from prior sexu- al abuse. Sexual-aversion disorder is listed in the cur- rent Diagnostic and Statisti- cal Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the standard for psychological diagnoses, and was also list- ed in the previous edition.

The problem is thus neither new, nor invented, nor pre- posterous.

Why should one be sur- prised if, in such an emo- tionally-charged area as sex, a traumatic experience caus- es aversion? In reality, child- hood sexual abuse, rape, sex- ual battery (which Paula Jones claims to have suf- fered), and unhappy love af- fairs can each be followed by aversion to sex that can last years or a lifetime.

I was not in the hotel room, so I cannot say whe- ther Paula Jones’s accusa- tions against Clinton are true. But I can say that the symptoms she reportedly describes are relatively com- mon and can be caused by similar traumas.

STEFANIE AUERBACH STOLINSKY Beverly Hills, California To THE EDITOR: Many thanks to Norman Podhoretz for another blockbuster, long anticipat- ed and most welcome. I think it is worthwhile to em- phasize two points that seem to sustain Bill Clinton’s ap- parently continuing popu- larity. The first is a combi- nation of economic pros- perity and political indif- ference. While Clinton may not be given much credit for the favorable economic numbers, no one wishes to rock the boat. A wealth of new business orders or a busy professional practice are powerful incentives to ignore the sexual shenani- gans going on in the White House. It is not surprising, then, that Clinton maintains a certain degree of popular- ity among men.

The response of the "sis- terhood" and of women in general should also come as no surprise. It is a question of sexual attractiveness. The President is naturally se- ductive. He is tall, reason- ably good looking, has charm, charisma, and a shameless ability to lie with a straight face. These are winning qualities, especial- ly in this age of television.

PAUL ROSENTHAL Tarzana, California TO THE EDITOR: I agree completely with every aspect of Norman Podhoretz’s "’Sexgate,’ the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bum- ble." It is the best thing I have yet seen on the Clin- ton sex scandal.

While I appreciate its many fine points, I was par- ticularly intrigued by Mr.

Podhoretz’s brief comments on pop culture developed in connection with An Of- ficer and a Gentleman and Ally McBeal. I hope he will consider expanding his brief remarks on these matters into a full-length article. In so doing, he could con- tribute importantly to our understanding and even to our ability to influence the synthesis he sees taking place.

JONATHAN BURACK Stoughton, Wisconsin [5] rCOMMENTARY SEPTEMBER I998 To THE EDITOR: Hats off to Norman Pod- horetz for his excellent "’Sexgate,’ the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bumble." I myself have had trouble attempt- ing to place a moral label on our nation as, on the one hand, I observe a religious revival sweeping the coun- try while, on the other, I wince at the entertainment industry succumbing to pre- senting anything that sells.

Mr. Podhoretz’s thesis that "there are two audi- ences, or even two nations, out there-one traditional- ist and one liberationist" is right on the money. I, too, see a gradual, subtle turn to the Right, though I cannot provide an exact definition of the Right.

JOHN GLASS Guadalajara, Mexico To THE EDITOR: I have just finished read- ing Norman Podhoretz’s brilliant article on the pre- sent state of sexual harass- ment in the United States.

Mr. Podhoretz, you have done a noble deed. Con- gratulations.

WALTERJ. SCHLOSS New York City NORMAN PODHORETZ writes: Like WilliamJ. Bennett, I too hope I am right in ar- guing that the response to the Clinton sex scandals does not point to a general moral decline among the American people. For many years the American people were vilified for sinning against the values of the Left, and it disheartens me to see them now being hit from the other direction by some of my conservative friends (Mr. Bennett by no means being alone in this).

I regret having disap- pointed so friendly a read- er of my work as Paul Gro- ben, and perhaps I should have made an already rather long article even longer by being less "sketchy" in my account of what I think the popular culture tells us about the state of things out there.

But I find myself a little puz- zled by his complaint that I failed to supply "verifying material" or "background history and analysis" in the other sections of the piece.

I thought I had done just that by going back to the be- ginning in my account of the issues involved and in quot- ing so many statements about them.

I agree with Diana Rosen and Bruce Porter about the importance of the "lust for power" in the feminist movement, but in my judg- ment there is much more to say about the sisterhood than that, and I tried to say some of it. Where I disagree with Diana Rosen entirely is in her attack on Kenneth Starr. As I have made clear on numerous occasions, I oppose the institution of the Independent Counsel, and I regret that the Democrats did not abolish it when they had the chance (now they regret it too). But whereas the Iran-contra counsel Law- rence Walsh, who (as we now know from one of his for- mer assistants, Jeffrey Too- bin, among other sources) truly did abuse his power by working not to get at the truth but to get various in- dividuals, Kenneth Starr has been the soul of prosecuto- rial scrupulousness. He has been trying to determine whether Bill Clinton in ef- fect was paid bribes when he was governor of Arkansas and if, as President, he then committed and/or suborned perjury. That this is our busi- ness should be apparent even to people who think that his sexual behavior isn’t, though it seems to me very revealing that Diana Rosen, like the feminists I wrote about, is willing to give him a free pass here. Indeed, one feminist journalist declared that, in return for Clinton’s support of abortion, she would be happy to do unto him what Monica Lewinsky evidently was in the habit of doing.

The reason I make much less use of Jewish sources than Moses Mordecai Twer- sky would like is that I usu- ally address myself to an au- dience-both Jewish and non-Jewish-for whom such sources cut little or no ice, to put it mildly. But like Maimonides (‘havdil a thousand times over), I believe that secular reason- ing is capable of arriving at many (not all) the truths and commandments of revelation (and only seven of those commandments, af- ter all, apply to the "sons of Noah"). As for the "noxious speech" I quoted, I did so in this article (and also in some other pieces I have written) because there are instances (the writings of the Marquis de Sade or Erica Jong’s re- mark about the President) when neither paraphrase nor description can convey the full impact or the character of the ideas under examina- tion and attack. It is also important to show people by direct quotation that when I use a word like "pornographic," I am nei- ther exaggerating nor being prissy.

Having had some ac- quaintance of my own, mostly via the printed page, with the type of therapist Stefanie Auerbach Stolin- sky defends, I am not con- vinced by her anecdotal ev- idence that the judge in the Paula Jones case was wrong in speaking so dismissively about the credentials of the "expert witness" who testi- fied about "sexual aversion." Nor would I any longer trust what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Asso- ciation says about this or anything else-not after the way the APA allowed polit- ical pressures (and politi- cally-correct ideas) to turn itself upside down on the is- sue of homosexuality. As for "sexual aversion" itself, Stephanie Stolinsky (or rather, Freud) may well have a point when it comes to the sexual abuse of small chil- dren. But Paula Jones was no child when she walked into Bill Clinton’s hotel suite that day, and so far as I am aware, no evidence was pre- sented to show that anything that may have happened to her there damaged her sex life thereafter. It certainly did not prevent her from getting married.

It goes without saying, fi- nally, that I thank Paul Rosenthal, Jonathan Burack, John Glass, and Walter J.

Schloss for their generous words.

The International Criminal Court To THE EDITOR: In "Against an Interna- tional Criminal Court" [May], Lee A. Casey and David B. Rivkin, Jr. present thoughtful grounds for doubting whether the Unit- ed States should adhere to a proposed treaty to es- tablish such a court. They argue that we should not en- ter into international oblig- ations with which we do not intend to comply fully and that, if the UN-sponsored [6]Shouldn’t you be keeping an eye on things like this? Far Eastern Economic Review is your eye on Asia-Pacific.

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l AMEX L Visa Q MasterCard O Novus Company I Card No. Exp. Date __ Address Signature City State __ Zip I I Mail To: Far Eastern Economic Review, 228 East 45th St, Suite 1515, NY, NY 10017 1COME/SA88ZI ( 1998 Dow Jones and Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved. D ESE I I I I I I I ICOMMENTARY SEPTEMBER 1998 treaty to establish an Inter- national Criminal Court would put us in a situation of having to defy the treaty obligation in our national interest, then we should not enter into the treaty in the first place.

This kind of conflict is particularly likely to occur in the criminal area, as shown by Virginia’s recent execution of a Paraguayan national, despite a remark- able order by the Interna- tional Court of Justice to stay the execution. Such episodes weaken the ability of the United States to rely upon international law.

Unfortunately, however, Messrs. Casey and Rivkin support their opposition with an almost absurd con- stitutional argument. Of course American tribunals are subject to the protec- tions of our Constitution, and under our Constitution these protections cannot be impaired by treaty. But this does not mean that a foreign tribunal may not try an American.

Let us say that an Amer- ican in the United States sends a letter bomb to France, killing the intended victim there. There is patently no constitutional difficulty with a proper ex- tradition of the criminal to France for trial in France.

This is so despite the lack of a jury trial and other U.S.

constitutional protections in the French criminal system, not to mention the lack of judges in France who are ap- pointed by a U.S. President.

Clearly, an American can be tried by a foreign court.

The Supreme Court in the well-known 1913 case of Charlton v. Kelly upheld the extradition of an American citizen to be tried in Italy for murder. While that murder occurred in Italy, there is no constitutional basis for dis- tinguishing that case from the letter-bomb example, where the victim suffers the intended injury in the for- eign state.

The Constitution clear- ly permits treaties requiring the United States to hand up its citizens for trial abroad by foreign courts.

Whether the United States should enter into the treaty for the International Crim- inal Court is-as Messrs.

Casey and Rivkin point out-another matter.

JOHN M. ROGERS College of Law University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky To THE EDITOR: Lee A. Casey and David B. Rivkin, Jr. claim that the proposed International Criminal Court "will not, and cannot, work as adver- tised." The first argument they present is that the U.S. gov- ernment cannot delegate its judicial authority to put Americans on trial for offenses (like planning an allegedly illegal military action) that they have committed on American soil to an institution that is not a court of the Unit- ed States.

I believe another word for such an offense is ag- gression, and the Pentagon does not have to worry.

Even if the crime of ag- gression were included in the mandate of the Interna- tional Criminal Court, as it was after World War II at Nuremberg, only the Unit- ed Nations Security Coun- cil can declare a military action by a state to be ag- gression, and the U.S. has a veto over Security Council decisions.

The authors’ second ar- gument is that the proposed court would be unconstitu- tional because it would "fail to provide American defen- dants the basic guarantees they enjoy under the Con- stitution’s Bill of Rights," as decided by cases before the Supreme Court. In fact, the cases that the authors cite are from the Civil War era, the 1890’s, and World War II.

They ignore developments in the law over the last 50 years. The U.S. Constitu- tion specifically provides that treaties are the supreme law of the land, and it is the prevailing opinion of cur- rent legal authorities that this constitutional provision should be respected. Fur- thermore, the statute of the proposed court will incor- porate the legal standards of the major legal systems of the world, including that of the United States, to be sure that every defendant has a fair trial. And if the United States government were to investigate in a fair way and either find insuffi- cient evidence for a trial or itself try an American ac- cused of war crimes, the in- ternational court would have no jurisdiction.

The authors’ third argu- ment is that even if the pro- posed international court were constitutional, it should not be created to sit in judg- ment over despots and mass murderers because the U.S.

and its allies would also fall under its jurisdiction and the court is likely to be politi- cized like other United Na- tions organs. But UN or- gans are by their very nature political bodies; the court would not be. Its officers would be chosen for their legal knowledge and in- tegrity, and they would be subject to supervision, pub- lic scrutiny, budgetary con- trol, and impeachment.

The best precedent we have is the War Crimes Tri- bunal for the Former Yu- goslavia, on which the au- thors heap praise. It has been operating now for about four years. Its pros- ecutors, including Judge Richard Goldstone of South Africa, have acted beyond reproach. And the Tribunal has investigated and tried indicted war criminals with a growing degree of success.

In the last year, the number of indicted war criminals in its custody has grown from seven to 26.

The fourth argument is that a U.S. decision to attack Saddam Hussein would leave the President and those ex- ercising authority under his command vulnerable to in- vestigation and prosecution.

But as the authors admit in their next paragraph, "a sce- nario like this one… seems unlikely." In short, Messrs. Casey and Rivkin fail to make a case that the proposed court "will not, and cannot, worL" Following their advice would just make it easier for tyrants who commit war crimes and genocide to es- cape justice. And it would end the opportunity now of- fered to codify in interna- tional law the imperative of redress for victims of war crimes and genocide, in- cluding rehabilitation, resti- tution, or reparations.

HARRIS 0. SCHOENBERG Coordinating Board ofewish Organizations New York City LEE A. CASEY and DAVID B. RIVKIN, JR.

write: Most of the points made in these letters have been rendered moot as a result of what happened at the UN Conference on the Interna- tional Criminal Court held [8] IB S – T=qa * a – Ip I IP L 4 II IT, Now you can see why The Washington Times has become the talk of the nation! Because now you can get FOUR FREE ISSUES of The Washington Times NATIONAL WEEKLY EDITION! It takes the best of our award-winning daily news coverage and makes it available to you every week — no matter where you live! Try it FREE! No Risk… No Cost… No Obligation! The Washington Times. It’s the newspaper they’re all talking about on Talk Radio, C-SPAN, and the Sunday morning talk shows. It’s the one that’s driving Clinton, Bonier, Boxer, Daschle, and Gephardt crazy! Why? Because it’s the only daily newspaper in the nation with the courage to cover news honestly – without the liberal spin you always get in The Washington Post and The New York Times. And now our NATIONAL WEEKLY EDITION brings it all right to your door every week! Claim your 4 FREE ISSUES of the National Weekly Edition today! "The Washington Times is the definitive journal of the New American Revolution." -Tom Clancy ‘"Even the mavens of the establishment media admit: The Washington Times gets the story first." -Rep. Dick Armey ‘"My staff and Iread the Times every morning for the insightful editorials and the latest breaking political news" -Rep. J. C. Watts "The Washington Times breaks the stories the liberal media refuse to touch." -L. Brent Bozell ‘The Washington Tunes is the first paper I reach for in the morning … essen- tial reading for any- one who cares about what goes on in the world today." -Arianna Hufington "Living in San Francisco, I find the National Edition of the Washington Times an indispensable weekly summary of what’s going on in the nation’s capital." -William A. Rusher CALL 1-800-363-9118. (Mention Express Code: "UHJABA") II 6IIII6I*SsT – – – S S – IS – I -u * * SS |I SiS I ‘ -; – -*S1S1 ilCOMMENTARY SEPTEMBER I998 in Rome from June 15 to July 17. The final document that came out of that con- ference was so much worse than the advance propos- als for the ICC on which we based our article that we would like to bring readers up to date.

Not only were all the fears expressed in our essay confirmed at the Rome con- ference, but the extreme na- ture of the final treaty alarmed even the Clinton administration, which had enthusiastically-and blind- ly-supported the creation of a permanent ICC. The modest mechanisms by which the U.S. sought to make the Court accountable to some institution other than itself-such as a re- quirement that matters be referred to it for investiga- tion and prosecution by the UN Security Council-were resoundingly, indeed venge- fully, rejected.

What became apparent at the conference was that the delegates, from more than 125 countries, seemed more interested in setting up a supranational organ- ization capable of reining in American power than in creating an institution aimed at bringing interna- tional outlaws to justice. The final tally-with only sev- en other countries join- ing the U.S. in voting against the treaty-only confirmed this impression.

In our article, we point- ed out that the ICC, as a law unto itself, entirely unac- countable for its actions to any other authority, could be used as a political tool against the United States and its allies. We also feared that the ICC, once es- tablished, would quickly become the world’s police- man-as well as its pros- ecutor, judge, jury, and jail- er. Proof that our fears were well-grounded is to be found in the final document of the Rome conference. But what we did not anticipate was that, in violation of the ac- cepted rules of internation- al law, that document would include an unprecedented provision claiming jurisdic- tion for the ICC over states that have not signed and rat- ified the treaty.

What we now have is, in fact, an international Inde- pendent Counsel, capable of initiating prosecutions against American citizens.

Moreover, the areas with- in the ICC’s jurisdiction- war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and ag- gression-are either so broadly defined as to cover acts never before considered violations of international law or, even more disturb- ing, not defined at all. The crime of "aggression," for example, is to be defined by the states that eventually join the treaty-and in any man- ner they choose. No find- ing by the Security Council that aggression has taken place, as suggested by our correspondent Harris 0.

Schoenberg (whom events have proved wrong on al- most every point), is re- quired.

In effect, the treaty sub- jects the leadership of any state that uses military force-whether acting in ac- cordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, cus- tomary international law, or domestic law-to the review and judgment of the ICC prosecutor and judges. The argument of Mr. Schoen- berg and other ICC sup- porters-namely, that the Court’s jurisdiction should not extend to American cit- izens who had been fairly investigated by the U.S. gov- ernment-did not prevail at Rome. Under Article 17 of the final document, the ICC can pursue a case where the national government con- cerned "is unwilling or un- able genuinely to carry out the investigation or prose- cution." It is entirely up to the ICC to determine whether a state has been "unwilling" to pursue a case, and specifically whether its proceedings have been con- ducted "independently or impartially." Under our system of gov- ernment, even assuming the most impartial and judicious ICC, any decision not to prosecute is likely to fall short of this standard. With one narrow exception, de- cisions on whether to pros- ecute a crime on the federal level are made by executive- branch officials directly ac- countable to the President.

But the individuals most likely to be accused of vio- lations within the ICC’s ju- risdiction-the military and civilian officials of the Defense Department-are themselves members of the executive branch, and hence also directly accountable to the President. There is here the appearance of a conflict of interest that could easi- ly be taken by an ICC pros- ecutor as grounds for mov- ing forward in any case the United States has declined to prosecute.

Nor, contrary to John M. Rogers’s understanding, would such cases necessar- ily be confined to crimes Americans are charged with having committed abroad.

The Supreme Court has in- deed long held (see Neely v.

Henkel, 1901) that the Con- stitution’s protections "have no relation to crimes com- mitted without the jurisdic- tion of the United States against the laws of a foreign country" (emphasis added).

But U.S. participation in the ICC would subject Ameri- cans to the ICC’s authori- ty for crimes committed in the United States and with- in the jurisdiction of our courts-including crimes committed by Americans against other Americans.

Therein lies the constitu- tional issue we raised in our article.

As all this suggests, Mr.

Schoenberg’s confidence that the ICC, unlike other UN organizations, would not be "political" was be- trayed at the very hour of its birth. And the politics of the court is aimed not only against the United States but against its allies. The most striking illustration is a pro- vision, sponsored by Egypt and Syria and supported by the other Arab states, de- claring as a "war crime" [t]he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupy- ing Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occu- pies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the oc- cupied territory within or outside this territory.

That this wholly novel provision is aimed solely and specifically at Israel was well understood by all. In the words of the Secretary Gen- eral of the Arab League, Es- mat Abdel Meguid, the res- olution creating the ICC "regards Israeli settlements in occupied lands as a war crime," for which Israeli leaders can be subject to prosecution.

Originally we believed that the U.S. could avoid the dangers we foresaw in the ICC simply by refusing to sign and ratify the treaty. In light of the provision that cit- izens of non-signatory states will also be subject to pros- [10]LETTERS FROM READERS ecution, this is no longer suf- ficient. Already the Clinton administration has indicated that, because of what hap- pened at Rome, it will need to reassess American troop deployments abroad, and that the treaties governing the status of our troops in ICC countries (including the oth- er members of NATO) will have to be renegotiated to ensure that Americans are not illegally seized and de- livered to the court.

But even this step will not guarantee the safety of American nationals from il- legal prosecution by the ICC. The only certain way to prevent that is to prevent the treaty itself from com- ing into force, which it will do upon being ratified by a minimum of 60 nations. If we do not succeed in stop- ping the ICC now, we will find, to borrow Thomas Jef- ferson’s words regarding an- other indefensible institu- tion, that we "have the wolf by the ears; and we can nei- ther hold him, nor safely let him go." Immigration and Multiculturalism TO THE EDITOR: Linda Chavez’s assertion that "both recent immi- grants and America itself would have much to gain if fewer Latinos were admit- ted" would seem to repre- sent a welcome and long overdue shift in her think- ing on the subject of immi- gration ["Our Hispanic Predicament," June]. How- ever, Miss Chavez’s article is rendered less than fully persuasive by her astonish- ing failure to explain-or even to mention-her for- mer opposition to the views she is now espousing.

Take the question of as- similation. When I re- marked in National Review four years ago that the way to lessen the Hispanic sep- aratism that Miss Chavez disliked was to reduce the mass Hispanic immigration that she supported, Miss Chavez in a letter to the ed- itor (May 2, 1994) called me an "expert complainer" and insisted that Mexican im- migrants are rapidly assim- ilating. "Immigrants them- selves desperately want to become Americans," she concluded. "How ironic that Mr. Auster lines up with the multiculturalists and tells them that they just won’t fit in." Yet now she writes that large-scale immigration from Mexico "is unques- tionably a factor inhibiting the successful assimilation of Mexicans already here." In other words, Miss Chavez is now conceding a point that she and other pro-im- migration conservatives have resisted for many years: that third-world immigration it- self, not just government- sponsored multiculturalism, is a major cause of cultural balkanization in the U.S.

In support of this idea, she cites low rates of nat- uralization and English acquisition among Hispan- ics and recounts the shock- ing anti-American riot by 90,000 Hispanic soccer fans at the Gold Cup match in Los Angeles this past Feb- ruary. But these and similar indicators of Hispanic non- assimilation have been man- ifest for years. Why did Miss Chavez not draw the same conclusion from them ear- lier? In "What to Do About Immigration" [COMMEN- TARY, March 1995], she her- self referred to a march by 70,000 mostly Hispanic demonstrators through downtown Los Angeles in which they denounced pro- posed cut-offs in public as- sistance for illegal aliens while waving Mexican flags and shouting "Vrva la Raza." Yet this event, shocking as it was to many Americans at the time, did not lead Miss Chavez to question the will and ability of Hispanics to adopt American cultural identity. Instead, she dis- missed such concerns.

"[N]early half of all His- panics consider themselves white," she wrote, and "by defining themselves as white, Hispanics are identi- fying with the majority." Any failure of Hispanics to assimilate, she opined, was exclusively America ‘s fault: "[I]fwe … cease to believe that being an American has any worth or meaning, we [11]COMMENTARY SEPTEMBER 998 should not blame immi- grants, most of whom en- tertain no such doubts." Miss Chavez has also used scare tactics aimed at si- lencing immigration re- formers. Writing in the No- vember 18, 1996 New York Times, she argued that Re- publican support for limit- ing welfare benefits to legal immigrants and denying welfare benefits to illegal aliens (measures that Miss Chavez herself had suggest- ed in her March 1995 COM- MENTARY article) had con- vinced Hispanic voters that the GOP is "anti-immi- grant." And she advised Re- publican congressional lead- ers "to resist those who want to continue the fight to cut back legal immigration." Given the above record, an intellectual accounting by Miss Chavez would seem to be in order. If the convert on the road to Damascus is to have any credibility in her future pronouncements on this issue (and I hope she will), then she needs to ad- mit that she is in fact a con- vert, take responsibility for her past attacks on views and people she now seems to be agreeing with, and explain what has made her change her mind-if indeed she has changed her mind. The problem is not merely aca- demic. In the absence of a principled retraction of her earlier statements, how can Miss Chavez expect Re- publicans to commit them- selves to the restrictionist policy that she now says she favors, but that-just two years ago-she character- ized as morally wrong and politically suicidal? LAWRENCE AUSTER New York City To THE EDITOR: Linda Chavez claims that there is a "complete absence of empirical evidence that [bilingual education] does any good at all." This is not what the published research says. Those who have re- viewed the research on the effectiveness of bilingual ed- ucation can be divided into three groups: (1) those who have concluded that chil- dren in properly organized bilingual programs impres- sively and consistently out- perform those in English- only programs on tests of English-language develop- ment (the group of which I am a member); (2) those who have concluded that bilingual programs provide a slight advantage over all- English alternatives; and (3) those who have concluded that "structured immersion" is more effective than bilin- gual education.

While there is still con- troversy, there is also consi- derable empirical evidence showing that bilingual edu- cation is effective in helping children develop English lit- eracy.

Miss Chavez claims that Hispanic parents are not enthusiastic about bilingual education. But Hispanics voted against California’s Proposition 227 by a two- to-one margin, and most polls show that they support bilingual education (see my review-paper in the Bilin- gual Research Journal, 1996).

A poll that does not show this is the one conducted by Miss Chavez’s group, the Center for Equal Opportu- nity, which asked the fol- lowing question: In your opinion, should children of Hispanic back- ground, living in the Unit- ed States, be taught to read and write Spanish before they are taught English, or should they be taught Eng- lish as soon as possible? This question presup- poses that learning to read and write in Spanish will not help children learn to read and write in English "as soon as possible." But learning to read in the first language is a short-cut to second-language reading because it is easier to learn to read in a language you al- ready understand, and lit- eracy transfers rapidly across languages.

Finally, Miss Chavez claims that "As of 1990, three-quarters of Mexican immigrants who arrived in the 1980’s still spoke little or no English." In 1990, I examined data on the Eng- lish-language ability of im- migrants from Mexico who arrived in the U.S. between 1980 and 1990 and who said they spoke a language oth- er than English. Among those who became U.S. cit- izens, 53 percent said they spoke English "very well" or "well." Among those who did not become U.S. citi- zens, 37 percent spoke Eng- lish "very well" or "well." For children ages five to sev- enteen, the respective fig- ures were 75 percent and 58 percent.

STEPHEN KRASHEN University of Southern California Los Angeles, California LINDA CHAVEZ writes: I suppose I should count it a testament to the level- headedness of my own po- sition to count among my critics those at both ex- tremes of the debate over immigration and multicul- turalism-Lawrence Auster and Stephen Krashen.

Despite Mr. Auster’s gloating eagerness to wel- come me into the restric- tionist camp, I remain an en- thusiastic supporter of continued high levels of im- migration to the United States. My support has nev- er been unconditional, how- ever. As I made clear in my March article, "What to Do About Immigration," I believe that the United States would be better off admitting fewer low-skilled immigrants, whatever their race or eth- nic group, because they of- fer fewer economic benefits to the U.S. and are also like- ly to have a more difficult time assimilating. And I have consistently supported giv- ing preference to immi- grants who already know English, regardless of where they come from. But I have also warned in the past that because their homeland is so close and the number of their co-ethnics in this coun- try so great, Mexican im- migrants pose a greater challenge in terms of as- similation than other ethnic groups. Nonetheless, Mr.

Auster is correct to point out that my anxiety on this ac- count is growing. In this connection, the Mexican government’s recent action to encourage dual-nation- ality status for naturalized American citizens of Mexi- can origin as well as U.S.- born Americans of Mexican ancestry is indeed troubling.

For years I have cau- tioned that the policy of pro- viding government services in Spanish as well as in Eng- lish threatens the cultural assimilation of Hispanic im- migrants, even as other fac- tors-such as a strong work ethic, upward mobility, and a healthy family life–ensure that Hispanics are unlikely to become a permanent un- derclass. I was not surprised, however, by Mr. Krashen’s defense of bilingual educa- tion, coming as it does from the foremost proponent of the theory that children can- [12] vLETTERS FROM READERS not learn to read and write properly in a second lan- guage until they become proficient at those tasks in their first language.

Mr. Krashen favors pro- grams aimed at teaching youngsters in their native language for three to six years, or more. Unfortu- nately for him, and in spite of his assertion to the con- trary, there is almost no em- pirical evidence that this method works. For exam- ple, Christine Rossell of Boston University examined every study of bilingual ed- ucation that meets minimal standards of validation and concluded that only 7 per- cent of them show bilingual education to be better than doing nothing at all for chil- dren who do not know Eng- lish, while 64 percent show bilingual education to be worse than doing nothing.

And none of the studies ex- amined by Rossell shows bilingual programs to be better than either English- as-a-second-language or English-immersion pro- grams.

In closing, let me cite from a brief prepared by Keith Baker for the Center for Equal Opportunity in support of a court challenge to Proposition 227, the Cal- ifornia ballot initiative ban- ning bilingual education.

Baker, a social scientist who oversaw the government’s largest longitudinal study of bilingual education, noted the following: Bilingual-education pro- grams that make extensive use of a language other than English typically harm limited-English-pro- ficient children’s learning English, which makes it impossible for them to participate fully in Amer- ican society.

Operation Scorpion To THE EDITOR: In his hard-nosed call for the overthrow of Saddam ["What to Do About Sad- dam Hussein," June], Joshua Muravchik recounts with sparkling lucidity the his- tory of a catastrophic fail- ure of American foreign and military policy, a fail- ure for which the U.S., Is- rael, and perhaps other Middle Eastern countries like Kuwait will one day pay dearly.

Mr. Muravchik shows that allied defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory by a misguided and timorous George Bush-Col- in Powell strategy, which is best summed up in the words of Thomas Aquinas: "If the highest aim of a cap- tain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever." I would like to amplify the historical record by re- calling Operation Scorpion, a proposal made during the Gulf war by Henry Rowen, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Rowen is a former president of the RAND Corporation and a former chairman of the CIA National Intelligence Coun- cil. His plan, which he de- scribed in an article in the National Interest, had the enthusiastic backing of then-Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. But the opposi- tion of General Colin Pow- ell, erstwhile chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Norman Schwarz- kopf, the field commander, proved decisive, and the plan was never adopted.

Rowen’s plan, which called for the occupation of Iraq’s western desert, was based on a valid assumption: the launchers for Saddam’s Scud missiles, which had only a limited range, had to be somewhere in this area.

If the plan had been carried out, the danger to Israel of Iraqi missile attacks would have been effectively elim- inated.

Operation Scorpion, doomed never to sting, might have provided an- other highly attractive gain: Saddam’s overthrow. The occupation of the western desert would have brought coalition troops within 60 miles of Baghdad. Since most of Saddam’s troops were either in Kuwait, wreaking havoc; in the north, facing Turkey; or in the east, facing Iran, oppo- sition to an allied assault on Baghdad would have been minimal.

Though President Bush approved the plan, he did nothing to promote it.

General Schwarzkopf, in his autobiography, called it "as bad as it possibly could be." General Powell agreed. But the plan Powell developed, successful as it was, had two drawbacks. As Rowen puts it: "The Scuds flew and Sad- dam is still in power." ARNOLD BEICHMAN Hoover Institution Stanford, California

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