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.