- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

A diplomatic vacuum

A former European ambassador to the United States is worried that some "not very friendly countries" are trying to take advantage of the U.S. election deadlock.
The ambassador, who asked not to be identified, said the election has created a "kind of vacuum," especially at the United Nations. He would not name the unfriendly countries but, asked if he meant Russia and China, said, "You are not very far off."
He said the contested election could damage the next president, if the dispute continues.
The ambassador was expressing the private thoughts shared by many foreign diplomats in Washington.
"You have to close this fight down," he said yesterday. "Your image, your reputation may be harmed."
"You want to have a president with full credibility. I hope this will be decided this week."
If there is a positive side to the dispute, it is a demonstration of the Constitution's stability.
"It is proof you are an established democracy," he said. "It is painful exercise, but all within the rule of law."

Criminal court threat

A bipartisan group of U.S. statesmen is opposing the proposed International Criminal Court because it could threaten American sovereignty and pose risks to U.S. troops abroad.
The group, in a letter to Rep. Tom DeLay, expressed support for his bill to protect members of the military from prosecution under the U.N. tribunal if it is established.
The Texas Republican and majority whip is the chief House sponsor of the American Service Members' Protection Act, which was introduced earlier this year.
"This legislation is an appropriate response to the threat to American sovereignty and international freedom of action posed by the [court]," said the letter signed by former senior members of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations.
They said the court would claim jurisdiction over U.S. troops, even if the United States refuses to approve the treaty signed by representatives of 120 countries at a U.N. conference in Rome in 1998. The court would be established after 60 of those nations ratify the treaty and would prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
"Any Americans prosecuted by the [court] will be denied basic constitutional rights guaranteed them under our Bill of Rights," the group wrote.
They said the court could jeopardize future presidents, Cabinet officers and other national-security officials.
"The risk of international criminal prosecution will certainly chill decision-making with our government and could limit the willingness of our national leadership to respond forcefully to acts of terrorism, aggression and other threats to American interests," they said.
"Indeed, we believe that American leadership in the world could be the first casualty of the [court]."
The letter was signed by:
Former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III (Bush), Lawrence S. Eagleburger (Bush), Henry A. Kissinger (Nixon, Ford) and George P. Shultz (Reagan).
Former Secretaries of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (Ford) and Caspar W. Weinberger (Reagan).
c Former National Security Advisors Richard V. Allen (Reagan), Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter) and Brent Scowcroft (Bush).
Former CIA Directors Robert M. Gates (Bush) and R. James Woolsey (Clinton); and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick (Reagan).

Foreign Affairs Espanol

Foreign Affairs, once a magazine for English-speaking policy wonks, is pursuing the fast-growing Spanish market with the publication of a Spanish-language edition.

Foreign Affairs en Espanol debuted this month in time for the inauguration of Mexican President Vicente Fox, who wrote an article for the new magazine.
The 78-year-old bimonthly publication, with a worldwide circulation of 110,000, printed 3,000 copies for its initial Spanish press run. The Spanish edition will appear regularly in January, May and September.
Rafael Fernandez de Castro, head of the international relations department at the Independent Technological Institute of Mexico, has been named editor of the Spanish edition.

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