Friday, April 08, 2005

The Law of Might is Right!

The USA and Colombia has an extradition agreement, which allows for criminals to be send to the country, where the offence was committed, to face trial.

200 Colombians have since been extradited to the US to face criminal charges for drug trafficking.

But the US Ambassador to Colombia said recently that a group of American soldiers who have been arrested for drug smuggling will not stand trial in Colombia. Apparently the agreement allows the American troops to be above Colombian law.

Bogota has to tread carefully because it’s so dependent upon American aid. It is the third largest recipient of US aid after Israel and Egypt. Undoubtedly it will and must kowtow to Washington’s stand that no US troops will ever stand trial in Colombia even if they commit serious crimes.

The United States has a ’status of forces agreement’ (SOFA) with many host countries where US troops are deployed, that denies the host nations from prosecuting US troops for crimes committed on their soil, except in the most minor of cases.

While US apprehension at the arbitrary and draconian legal system of some nations may be understandable, the agreement even extend to countries whose legal systems are, according to Chalmers Johnson, every bit as, and perhaps more sophisticated than the US’. This just goes to prove it’s not so much the fear of US soldiers receiving unjust treatment, but rather the US government putting its personnel above the laws of sovereign countries.

Some countries have termed SOFA as an unequal treaty, which only works to the benefit of criminally inclined US troops, while some, particular those in the Middle-East, have been so embarrassed at the insult to their sovereignty that they have remained silent about its existence.

The US has frequently used a combination of threats and bribery to force countries to put American troops beyond the reach of their laws.

Might is Right!

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