Smokescreen: The US, NATO and the Illegitimate Use of Force
When is it legitimate for nations to use force? the United States and NATO regularly employ the illegitimate use of force, using false arguments and a haze of purported altruistic justifications to justify their actions. But objective standards to legitimacy exist, and those standards are enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Smokescreen analyzes the workings and legitimacy of the United Nations Security Council, and shows how the United States and NATO governments systematically create the false perception of legitimacy for the use of force. Whenever they cannot meet the standard, they simply employ alternative norm justifications of self-defense beyond the scope of Article 51 and humanitarian intervention. Max Weber's definition of legitimacy, 'legitimitätsglaube' or the belief in legitimacy, has been widely used by social scientists. Unlike moral philosophers, social scientists favor empirical data; therefore, for them, measuring legitimacy becomes possible by measuring what people believe to be legitimate. In this framework the powerful have the ability to manipulate public opinion to create legitimacy for a particular action. the author argues that this is not legitimacy but merely a perception of legitimacy to justify aggression. David Beetham maintains that Weber's definition is a catastrophe, and in its place he offers a formula for legitimacy based on the objective criteria of legality, shared beliefs between dominant and subordinate, and consent from at least the most significant subordinate actors. This book argues that the United Nations Security Council, backed by the UN Charter, holds real legitimacy based on Beetham's formula. Meanwhile, the U.S. education system and mass media largely ignore the history and principles of the United Nations. the book offers a way forward toward international peace and security, in both the interests of Western countries and humanity as a whole.
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Afghanistan agenda aggression al-Qaeda Albanians Albright allies Ambassador American armed attack Article 2(4 Article 51 authority bombing British campaign civilians Clinton administration Commission conflict countries create Croatian Defense democratic economic embargo ethnic European February Federal force Foreign France George H.W. Bush Germany Grenada Holbrooke Human Rights Watch humanitarian intervention illegal international law invasion invasion of Grenada Iraq Iraqi justification killed Kosovo Kuwait legitimate Madeleine Albright ment military action Milosevic misperceptions Muslims NATO NATO’s norms Obama October officials Operation Storm Panama peace and security peacekeeping percent perception of legitimacy permanent members political poll President resolution response Ritter Russian Saddam Hussein sanctions self-defense Serbian Soviet veto strike Summary Statement targeted territorial terrorist threat tion U.N. Charter U.N. Secretary U.N. Security Council U.S. military unilateral United Nations Charter UNSCOM violated vote Washington weapons Weber’s definition Western Yugoslav Yugoslavia