Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the Security Council on Wednesday that no U.N. resolution authorized military action or “the violent overthrow of the leadership of a sovereign state.” [Associated Press, 3/20/03]

Wrong. Iraqi sovereignty is a fiction. No government that rules its people by force has any legitimate claim to sovereignty; in fact, it is the obligation of its people to overthrow it. If they are unable, and if a foreign power has reason to help, it has every right to do so. The article continues:

… Declaring that military intervention “has no credibility,” Germany’s Joschka Fischer also stressed, “There is no basis in the U.N. Charter for a regime change with military means.”

If that’s true, then all it means is that the charter has to be changed. Any putative law that recognizes the legitimacy of dictatorships is an oppressive, unjust law that deserves no respect. When government becomes destructive of the ends for which it is established, as our founders wrote, it is the right of the people “to alter or abolish it.”

There are also “no indisputable facts” to demonstrate that Iraq threatens the United States, [Ivanov] said. If there were, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush could exercise its right under the U.N. Charter to respond in self-defense.

What does “indisputable facts” mean? The fact that foreign powers are unwilling for their own political reasons to accept evidence put before them doesn’t invalidate that evidence. Ivanov’s standard means that we would have to wait until Manhattan was a smoking hole in the ground before we could act, and even then we wouldn’t be allowed to do anything unless we had “indisputable” proof that Saddam Hussein had orchestrated the attack. But no further justification is needed for overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime than that he is a murderous dictator.

Does this mean we should go and overthrow every dictatorship in the world? It means that doing so is permissible–not that it is obligatory. Only someone on the false premise of altruism would confuse the two.

Voice of Capitalism

Capitalism news delivered every Monday to your email inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest