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The American opinion on international law is that if the US isn't a party to a treaty or an international convention, then it doesn't have to follow it.

Sort of. In the case of the ICC which you cite below American opinion is that America should be party to the treaty.  In any case America is a party to many international treaties that it is currently violating - the Geneva Conventions and the Convention on Torture. These are incorporated into the US civil and military criminal codes.

We never signed on to that one, so if any US government official is sent to the Hague, then that's an act of war.

That is a deeply ironic statement for an American to make.

There are all sorts of so-called "human rights" conventions which are subscribed to by most countries in the world and then plainly ignored.

Absolutely true. And if you're fine with a situation where American statements about the importance of human rights are treated the same as those coming from, say, China or Russia  - i.e. as a bad joke, then good for you.    But if that is to be the permanent US attitude, I really hope that the Europeans dissolve NATO, kick out our bases, and bar overflights by our aircraft. Because that sort of attitude in a superpower with an aggressive policy translates into rogue state status. Fortunately, however, the poll makes it clear that Americans do believe that their country should adhere to, and be held to higher standards.   The Lieberman response to Abu Ghraib 'al Qaeda didn't apologize for 9/11, why should we' or the right wing talking point  'but Saddam was worse' is not one that most Americans share.  

by MarekNYC on Tue May 30th, 2006 at 12:53:49 PM EST
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