- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2002

Dutch dumfounded
The Dutch ambassador has dismissed U.S. concerns over the International Criminal Court as "unfounded" and has denounced a bill to protect American troops from the court's jurisdiction.
"We strongly believe that the concerns expressed by the United States on hypothetical future activities of the court are unfounded and that the Rome Statute [the treaty establishing the court] provides all necessary safeguards against the misuse of the court for politically motivated purposes," Ambassador Boudewijn Van Eenennaam said in a speech.
He called the American Servicemembers' Protection Act "counterproductive and uncalled for."
"We strongly reject any U.S. efforts, based on this proposed legislation, to actively discourage third states from ratifying the Rome Statute or participating in the court's proceedings," he said.
The ambassador also criticized a provision in the bill to allow the United States to send troops to free American military personnel held in foreign countries under court authority.
Critics have labeled the provision the "Hague invasion act" because the court will be located in that Dutch city.
"As you will understand, the Netherlands, a NATO partner and close ally of the United States, was not particularly amused by Section 3008," he said, referring to the provision.
"Even though we do not deem an American invasion of the Netherlands an imminent threat, we do think the language in Section 3008 was ill-considered, to say the least."
Mr. Van Eenennaam was speaking last week at what was dubbed the "birthday party" for the tribunal, after the United States announced it would reject the treaty. President Bush this week made it official.

Serbian honors
The Yugoslav Embassy has honored a retired Vanderbilt University professor for defending the image of Serbs during the U.S.-led war in Kosovo.
Alex Dragnich, an American of Serbian descent, was awarded the Yugoslav Star First Class "for merits in building a positive image of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the United States."
Mr. Dragnich, a Maryland resident who also served in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, said he always supported the democratic movement in Yugoslavia and opposed Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic, now on trial for war crimes.
But, he said, he was "troubled" by what he regarded as "biased actions of the U.S. government, especially the Clinton administration, and the media toward the Serbs, American allies in two world wars."
He said he was "puzzled that the Serbs were punished, while the Croats, Muslims and others were aided, although members of all ethnic groups were guilty of evil deeds."

University's diplomat
John K. Menzies, a former ambassador to Bosnia, was named president of Graceland University, the Lamoni, Iowa, school where he earned an undergraduate degree.
"We are extremely pleased that Graceland University will be led by someone of Ambassador Menzies' preparation and accomplishments," David J. Robino, chairman of the university's board of trustees, said in a statement.
Mr. Menzies, who served 20 years in the Foreign Service, was ambassador to Bosnia during the civil war in the 1990s.
The State Department awarded him for his service in Bosnia in 1996, saying, "There are people, Bosnians, Croats and Serbs, alive today because of John Menzies."

New at the academy
The American Academy of Diplomacy has elected nine new members, including four former U.S. ambassadors.
The new members and the positions they held when they left the government are: Charlene Barshefsky, U.S. trade representative; Richard E. Benedick, deputy assistant secretary of state for environment, health and natural resources; Julia Chang Bloch, ambassador to Nepal; Ulrick Haynes, ambassador to Algeria; Martin Indyk, ambassador to Israel; Curtis W. Kamman, ambassador to Colombia; Daniel H. Simpson, Bosnia director at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; Roscoe Suddarth, foreign affairs adviser at the Naval War College; and Edward S. Walker, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.


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