Europe v. America; Uni- v. Multi-lateralism
An excellent post from Bitter Sanity about the differing perceptions in America and Europe of the role of the UN.
Considering what European nationalism did to the twentieth century - not to mention the nineteenth, the eighteenth, and I could go on for a while - it's reasonable for them to have concluded that nationalism unrestrained is the evil that causes war. And to have turned, after the Second World War, to transnational organizations - the UN, the EC, the EU - as a way of putting chains on nationalism, of keeping it within bounds, of preventing it from ever again drawing the whole world into war. These organizations are entrusted with keeping the old demon of nationalism down, and so naturally, they must have a certain degree of authority over national governments.Right on the money. Go and read it all. Thanks to Instapundit for the link.
In order to do this, the UN - more precisely, the web of transnational organizations, but the UN is the foremost of them - must be endowed not only with political power, but with moral force as well. Nationalism is a spiritual phenomenon and it engages people's hearts. To counter it and to overmaster it, the UN must also call upon spiritual ideas: the brotherhood of all people, the future of the world, and peace itself. It must be conceived, not only as symbolizing these things, but as embodying them. Defiance of the UN becomes synonymous with breaking the community of mankind.