US threatens countries over ICC exemptions
Speaking of hypocrisy...the US is threatening that it will cut off aid to a number of European countries if they do not sign special bilateral deals that would exempt US soldiers from being tried as war criminals at the International Criminal Court.
In an exercise in brute diplomacy which is causing more acute friction with the European Union following the rows over Iraq, the US administration is threatening to cut off tens of millions of dollars in aid to the countries of the Balkans unless they reach bilateral agreements with the US on the ICC by the end of this month.

The American campaign, which is having mixed results, is creating bitterness and cynicism in the countries being intimidated, particularly in the successor states of former Yugoslavia which perpetrated and suffered the worst war crimes seen in Europe since the Nazis. They are all under intense international pressure, not least from the Americans, to cooperate with the war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia in the Hague.

"Blatant hypocrisy," said Human Rights Watch in New York on Tuesday of the US policy towards former Yugoslavia.

Croatia is sitting on the fence, refusing to accept what the prime minister, Ivica Racan, dubbed "an ultimatum", but still hoping to reach a compromise with the US. The American ambassador in Zagreb published a letter in the Zagreb press last week warning that Croatia would lose $19m in US military aid if it did not capitulate by July 1.
Nothing like a good campaign of writing letters to the editor to get results.

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