Give U.N. more power to enforce tough laws

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 10:47 p.m.

My high school civics teacher often described the United States as a "nation of law, not of men." Meaning that, as citizens, we were expected to obey our laws even when we disagreed with them.

And our leaders were expected to enforce those laws with the same even-handed zeal and, when deemed necessary, change those laws. After WW II, the occupation of Germany and Japan was paramount to our military becoming the world's police force. A role forced upon us that we did not want.

I suggest that we cannot have it both ways. We can comply with international law or continue to use our overwhelming military strength to enforce the laws we agree with and ignore those we don't agree with.

A good first step would be to lead the rest of the world in an effort to restructure the United Nations from an ineffective debating society to a world court with real authority to improve and enforce just international law.

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