Standing Upright in the Winds That Blow

by Dave Schuler on April 9, 2014

I wonder if David B. Rivkin Jr. And Lee A. Casey recognize the irony of the conclusion of their op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:

More than arcane legal principles are at stake. Western failure to champion a narrative of international rights and wrongs, rooted in the language of law and legitimacy, would be tragic. Meeting Russia’s aggression with passivity undermines already weakened domestic support for a robust and engaged foreign policy in the U.S. and other Western countries, and it promises to make the world a more lawless and violent place.

Sadly, the failure occurred long hence. Without entering into an exhaustive catalogue of our own violations of international law they include:

  • bombing Yugoslavia
  • invading Iraq
  • torturing prisoners
  • bombing Libya

I completely understand realist protestations of national interest. However, once you’ve cut your path through the laws, it takes at least a short while before you can stand behind them to protest the actions taken by others in what they see as their own national interests.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

michael reynolds April 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

Yes, it requires some subtlety to cry up international law while violating it. Ideally a couple of years should pass between violating it and citing it.

Jimbino April 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm

And the personal problem for me, a nuclear physicist, is: Why the hell should I contribute to maintaining the hegemony and wars of aggression of the USSA? Though I already speak German, I’m enrolled in studies of Chinese along with Wernher von Braun.

Andy April 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

More evidence that natsec establishment is bubble-bound and unaware of its own dissonance.

Dave Schuler April 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm

For a moment there, Andy, I thought your gravatar might be the Great Seal of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

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