Our Global Anti-Terrorist Question for the 21st Century©
December 31, 2001
To begin with, I am not a lawyer, only a single, declared citizen of
the world. But I have submitted two briefs to the United States Supreme
Court* and one to the International Court of Justice** at The Hague on the
subject of world law and its legitimacy. All were denied a judicial hearing
at the time. More about these below.
World law in its infancy can be found in the Nuremberg Principles. They
were adopted by the tribunal set up by the Allies after World War II to
indict and try the Nazi leaders. They were the "losers" of that war. I was a
B-17 bomber pilot in the 8th Air Force in this war, therefore, as a US
citizen, I was one of the "winners." Among the other "crimes" the Allies
created for the trials was "Crimes Against Humanity." These have been used
ever since to indict, try, convict and punish certain individuals accused by
nation-states of committing this alleged crime. I dissent.
First of all, any word used in criminal cases must have a legal
definition. "Humanity," however, has not been defined legally. Can humanity
then be legal? If not, then how can it become a plaintiff? And if so, who
then represents this ultimate plaintiff? ET lawyers?
Secondly, if an individual is charged with a "crime against humanity,"
the charge itself auto-matically renders him/her guilty. For humanity
obviously needs no defense being inclusive. Also since anyone charged of a
"crime against humanity" is by definition a member of humanity, he/she is
both plaintiff and defendant, an obvious contradiction in terms!
Then there is another problem. Most of the people charged with this
"crime," have obviously not killed humanity as such, but only other
individuals. Indeed, if humanity were "killed," there would be no one to try
or be tried by. As for threatening humanity, that is no longer an idle
Throughout the world of jurisprudence, the threat of causing death is
considered a crime in itself, and a felony. And herein lies the final
dilemma. Since August 5, 1945, a real threat to humanity itself became
evident. We humans had entered the so-called Nuclear Age. The nuclear "gun"
was and is pointed at everybody, i.e. humanity. Its proliferation continues
to this day. Nine nations possess nuclear bombs but the USA and Russia
dominate in terms of numbers on-line: 7,500 and 6,500 respectively. Today's
headlines citing India's and Pakistan's quarrels about who "owns" Kashmir,
concern humanity itself considering the possession of nuclear weaponry by
both nations. Neither death nor radio-activity, however, is a respector of
nationalities or indeed religions. Needless to add that the first atomic
bombs, the "Big Boys," exploding over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pop-guns
compared to today's nuclear megatonnage, enough to wipe out all vestiges of
living matter on the planet many times over. This US-condoned, extra-legal
and indiscriminate "terrorist" act of August, 1945 set the stage for the
decisive one, the elimination of the human species from the planet.
A deadly psychological repression of the danger to humanity itself has
insidiously conditioned the world public via the use of the ultimate
oxymoronic phrase "national security." The common syndrome is fear, its
latest manifestation being the current "war against terrorism." That the
presidents and prime ministers of these nine nuclear states all justify
their possession of nuclear weaponry in the name of "national security" is
the ultimate political terrorism directed against us, the citizens of the
world. Indeed, the trust of their citizens is not only being betrayed by
these so-called leaders, but worse, they are the prophetic purveyors of
humanity's demise. Should anyone of them push the nuclear trigger, humanity
itself could cease to exist.
Are they not then the real "criminals against humanity"?
Today, President George W. Bush and his fellow national leaders are
"pointing" a nuclear "gun" at you and me. The same "gun" is also aimed
directly at humanity.
That is a realistic if inconceivable global felony .
This nuclear threat is the penultimate crime on our home planet. We,
humanity, therefore, have become the legitimate "plaintiff." (The ultimate
"crime," of course would be the destruction of the planetary environment
These nine national, not world, leaders then, whatever their politics
and personal inclinations, thereby threaten humanity itself.
Should they not be indicted, tried, convicted and punished as war
criminals? Is not this the veritable "crime against humanity" drafted by the
Nuremberg Principles? Already, this very international court at The Hague,
in 1999 condemned nuclear weaponry as "illegal" with the incredible caveat
that if a nation-state itself was being "destroyed," the use of nuclear
weapons would be justified in its "defense." In other words, to "protect"
the fictional state millions of human can be destroyed and radio-activity
released to condemn future generations.
This decision will live in infamy as it insanely affirms national
sovereignty above humanity's right to live.
This raises the obvious question: tried by what court? The
International Court of Justice, despite its pretension to justice, is not
empowered by its own charter to try the very states or its principal
officials which chartered it. The United states, for instance, has already
refused to accept jurisdiction of the international court of indictments
brought by other UN member-states. A veritable world court of human rights
is obviously needed.
But, you will ask, are not these national leaders protected by their
very official positions? Well, no national official is above the law but
only its servant. In modern times we have seen indictments against Pinochet,
Milosevic, Fujimori, Marcos, Stroessner, Bhutto, Babangida, Suharto and the
list goes on.
What can we, the citizens of the world, do to prevent this ultimate
The opposite of "Crimes against humanity," is self-evident: "Compact
with humanity," i.e. world law by, for and of the citizens of the world
community. In short, legalize humanity. And only we humans as world citizens
can do it.
If government has evolved to the national level from the 17th to the
20th centuries, the last being the bloodiest of all, but not to the 21st
century global level where our technology and communications already are,
then government must evolve to deal with OUR major problems which are global
Indeed, all the political tools have been available since 1948 when
the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights as a "common standard of achievement for all
people and all nations" Article 21(3) implicitly sanctions the evolution of
a democratic world government:
"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of
And how is this peoples' general will to be expressed?
"This will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which
shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or
by equivalent voting procedures."
So far so good. The major lack, however, is not declared world citizens
which is already happening worldwide but candidates for world public office.
Suppose, for example, Nelson Mandela or any respected leader publicly
declares himself or herself a "candidate" for world public office, where is
the global electoral framework through which such a potential candidate
could legitimately campaign and be elected?
In January, 1949, after receiving 50,000 letters in the first week all
claiming world citizenship, I founded the International Registry of World
Citizens in Paris. It was designed to be the first electoral machinery for
such global public office. Over 750,000 individuals registered as world
citizens in a period of 13 months, an incredible mandate for an elected
global parliament. Even enlightened national parliamentarians at the time
formed an NGO called "Parliamentarians for Global Law" later changed to
"Global Action." The legitimate political outcome of that first world
citizen registry of 1949 is the World Government of World Citizens declared
in September, 1953. Its administrative organ, the World Service Authority,
continues the registration of individuals as world citizens.+
I began this article by citing my two briefs to the US Supreme Court
and one to the International Court of Justice. In all three briefs, I
affirmed the sovereign right of the individual to choose his or her
political allegiance as the basis of all democratic government, sanctioned
implicitly by the 9th Amendment to the US Constitution. (In the petititon to
the ICJ, I pointed out the illegitimacy of war itself and that both
President Ronald Reagan and Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev were war criminals
for threatening my/our life with nuclear weaponry). I noted that most
national constitutions claim that the government power derives from the
sovereign people. This is as true today as it was in 1776 when Thomas
Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence in which the "inalienable
rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" could only be
protected by government "with the consent of the governed."
Moreover, if it is legal to exercise one's sovereign right of political
choice as did the US Founding Fathers and that choice is world citizenship,
then the legitimate status of world citizenship both complements and
prevails over that of national citizenship by definition.
The political implications are historically and dynamically relevant to
the illusionary power of the vaunted yet obsolete nation-state system.
In short, the legitimacy of world citizenship outranks that of all
In conclusion, as humanity and all humans enter the 21st century, the
primordial question each of us must answer is: Shall we continue the ancient
war game in a nuclear-triggered world which could eliminate the race in
toto, or shall we survive individually and as a species by outlawing war via
the proven method of law?
The decision is ours, not God's, not nature's, not possible ET's, and
certainly not national leaders, but ours as actual citizens of planet Earth,
our only home.
And the time to make it is NOW!
*No. 81-428, August 28, 1981; No 81-427, October, 1981
**Filed March 15, 1985
South Burlington, VT 05403
Tel: (802) 864-6818; Fax: (802) 862-3744
Internet: http://www.worldservice.org; www.worldcitnews.org