Disunited Nations

Why the UN was in trouble from the start

In the months before the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, two words kept cropping up in the vocabulary of its opponents: sovereignty and legitimacy . The war, they said, would threaten the sovereignty of an autonomous state (the Baath party’s Iraq), and it would lack the legitimacy conferred by the backing of the United Nations.

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Half A Million Purple Hearts

Why a 200-year-old decoration offers evidence in the controversy surrounding the Hiroshima bombing.

Early last year, just as NATO was stepping up its bombing campaign in Kosovo, the news broke that the United States was manufacturing 9,000 new Purple Hearts, the decoration that goes to American troops wounded in battle and the families of those killed in action. To the media, this seemed a clear indication that despite its pledge not to send in ground forces, the United States was planning to do just that.

 
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Sometimes Our Job Is To Say No

The head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee explains why it has always frustrated Presidents—and why it doesn’t have to

I have occasionally been referred to as “Senator No,” and I’m proud of the title. But when it comes to saying no, I’m not even in the same ballpark with the first North Carolinian to serve as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Nathaniel Ma¡on. A Revolutionary War veteran and native of Warrenton, Senator Macon was chairman between 1825 and 1829. He was a fierce opponent of any and all measures to expand the power of the new federal government. Read more »

NATO’s Nativity

It was born of a slew of compromises—which may be the secret of its survival in a vastly changed world

Sometimes historical changes march onstage to the sound of trumpet fanfares. And sometimes they arrive with what seems remarkably little notice by a distracted audience. Such, at least, were my own feelings last spring when the Senate voted 80—19 to approve the admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. How could NATO, a defensive anti-Communist coalition of 1949, come to embrace three former Soviet satellites and presumptive U.S.Read more »

Journey Into Our Times

The “conversion” of Arthur Vandenberg, told by a former Secretary of State, his sometime adversary but also his friend

 

The first time I worked with Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg was fairly early in the course of that change in his outlook on the world which one might call his long day’s journey into our times.

 
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