The world's first permanent court for the prosecution
of war criminals and dictators became a reality today as the United States
stood on the sidelines in strong opposition
.The Bush administration
argues that the court will open American officials
to unjustified, frivolous,
or politically motivated suits.
NY Times, April 12, 2002
Late 21st century historians generally agree that the World
Heavyweight Anarchy Movement (WHAM!) reached the peak of its influence in
2050 just before nearly everybody blew up nearly everybody else.
Scholars trace the movement's origins, ironically enough, to April
of 2002 when the requisite 60 nations signed the treaty that created the
International Criminal Court, thus provoking exuberantly hopeful optimism.
Many thought that the new court would be the perfect venue for
settling cases like the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of the
previous year, and the lethal policies pursued by Ariel Sharon and Yasser
"Those who commit war crimes, genocide, or other crimes against
humanity," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "will no longer be beyond
the reach of justice. Humanity will be able to
respond to the worst of
human nature with one of the greatest of human achievements: the rule of
And that frightful prospect was enough to set in motion the
eventual establishment of the World Heavyweight Anarchy Movement (WHAM!).
Three of the world heavyweight countries in 2002China, Russia, and what
was then known as the United Statesboycotted the International Criminal
The U. S., heaviest of the heavyweights, had signed the court
treaty during the Clinton administration. But a year and a half later
the Bush II administration opposed the court because it would open
Americans to unjustified, frivolous, or politically motivated suits.
Americans, the Bush staff argued, should be exempt from the
court's jurisdiction. And if they were not, the president might "unsign"
Michael Posner, director of the Lawyers Committee for Human
Rights, pointed out that "No American president in 200 years has unsigned
a treaty, as far as we can find."
Had the controversy ended there, scholars say, the World
Heavyweight Anarchy Movement (WHAM!) might never have come into being.
But in 2006, the state of Mississippi decided to re-establish
slavery. When the federal government pointed out that slavery would
violate the U.S. Constitution now, the Mississippi governor yelled a rebel
yell and rebelled.
"Following federal law as interpreted by federal courts," the
governor said, "would open Mississippi to unjustified, frivolous, and
politically motivated suits. We hereby unsign all documents connecting
our state to the federal government."
The Truth, Mainly
And that was just the beginning.
In 2028, the Lancaster County Commissioners unsigned documents
connecting the county to the state of Nebraska because they disliked the
policies of Gov. Ernie Chambers, who despite being 91 years old, could
still (and often did) bench press the entire membership of the county
By 2034, municipalities all over the Ununited States of America
were unsigning their connections to county supervision because, they said,
the status quo would open them to unjustified, frivolous, and politically
And five years later, neighborhood precincts were breaking ties
with city courts all over the country for the same reason. By 2040, what
would have been crime outbreaks were breaking out all over the country,
but attempts to bring charges against the "criminals" were dismissed as
unjustified, frivolous, and politically motivated.
Judges by that time had unsigned their allegiance to any
government agency whatsoever.
This disintegration of the Ununited States was being watched
carefully by potential anarchists abroad, and by 2048, the World
Heavyweight Anarchy Movement (WHAM!) was up and running. The group, of
course, had no rules to rebel against, but when a delegate from Sweden
suggested that meetings might run more smoothly if they followed Robert's
Rules of Order, he was summarily executed by an irritable Ayn Rand
enthusiast from Idaho.
And, as we all know now, two years later, the most recent War to
End All Wars ended because, unencumbered by law, nearly everybody had
exercised the individual freedom to blow up nearly everybody else.
What was left of the world was evenly divided between Enron and
the Mafia. Their CEOs said that they really, really liked not being
bothered by unjustified, frivolous, and politically motivated suits, and
that they were just crazy about anarchy.
Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity
from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail