Letter from Ben Ferencz re: Obama Farewell to Military

Dear Friends,

On December 6, 2016, President Obama, as Commander in Chief, made his farewell address to the US Military. Toward the closing, he made the following statement: “We are a nation that stands for the rule of law and strength in the law of war. When the Nazis were defeated, we put them on trial. Some couldn’t understand that; it had never happened before. But as one of the American lawyers who was at Nuremberg says, ‘I was trying to prove that the rule of law should govern human behavior.’ And by doing so, we broadened the scope and reach of justice around the world. Held ourselves out as a beacon and an example for others.” Although the President did not mention my name, the citation is from an interview I gave on NPR, which aired on October 18, 2016. It reminded me of the statement of my supreme commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who as a Republican President of the United States said, “In a very real sense the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law. (April 30, 1958) We see, therefore, that the sentiments of two Presidents, one Republican and one Democrat, have shared my own views condemning the illegal use of military force. It takes courage not to be discouraged. I thank you all for the personal support you are giving to the pursuit of our common goals. With warm greetings and best wishes to you all.