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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

June 09, 2005
10 Questions - 8 (International Law)
8. International Law. When push comes to shove, who would you rather have as the arbiter of what’s considered “legal” in international relations – some tribunal, court, or multi-national forum, or the U.S. government? Doesn’t it worry you to vest more and more power in bodies over which the U.S. has no control, and that – while they may have a great many perfectly respectable members – also include countries that are single-mindedly out to get us? I understand why smaller countries want stronger international legal regimes and multilateral organizations (in significant part to hem us in), but isn't the calculus different for the U.S.?

For what's "legal" in international relations, I'd rather have an international body of law. Maybe a stronger U.N. could help prevent things like Guantanamo? (But I'm touched by the assumption, or is it a pretense, that the USofA is always going to "do the right thing." I used to believe things like that....)

Also, a body of international law will take into account that there are more cultures than ours in the world, and that other cultures and other societies have rights, too.

Smaller countries have much to gain from the U.N., yes, but I think our invasion of Iraq proves that smaller countries have something to fear if nothing like the U.N. existed. If we are willing to invade another country without even the pretext of aggression....

Think of the U.N. as an international democracy...it's there to protect the weak, not to allow the strong to take all the pie. There's enough pie to go around, if no one gets greedy.

If that means we give more than we get, well, so what? We have a lot. We can share.

Besides, it's naïve to think the U.N. offers us no benefits, or that a stronger U.N. wouldn't offer us more benefits.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:38 PM