An Illegitimate Standard of "Legitimacy"
By Don Watkins (sent to the Washington Post, August 8, 2007)
In an August 6 column, "The Next Intervention," Ivo Daalder and Robert Kagan argue that approval from "the world's democracies" is necessary to lend "legitimacy" to U.S. military action. This is a vicious, suicidal requirement.
If the U.S. government determines that another nation threatens the lives and liberty of American citizens, it has an obligation to defend them. To demand that it first beg "its democratic partners in Europe and Asia" for permission is to perversely advocate subordinating our security to the whims of (often anti-American) foreign politicians.
We should reject this immoral call for American self-sacrifice and demand a foreign policy that upholds American security as an absolute. We do not need the sanction of world opinion to make defending ourselves "legitimate."