Forget about a ‘world policeman’

There is an implied fallacy in Hugh Cortazzi’s March 7 article, “Where’s the world policeman when you need one?” The fallacy may be prevalent in many nations, but it is untrue.

The United States never was, never will be and does not want to be the world’s policeman. To be a valid policeman, an entire society must be one — unified under a set of acceptable laws — and it must give police the right to use force in support of these laws while constraining the police against illegal force. These conditions have never existed relative to the U.S.

Some hold that the United Nations is some superior lawful body, standing on a higher moral ground, that can direct U.S. force. The U.N. has no such standing; it is a debating society that must use persuasion to cause Americans to act.

In the last total war, the U.S., allied with other nations, conquered Germany and Japan. The mind-set of those nations has vanished with the agony of war, which, like most wars, should never have been fought. History is clear that peaceful interaction among Japan, China and the U.S. is infinitely more beneficial than war. Our problems are tiny compared with the benefits.

The greatest threat at present is an unstable North Korea; it could unilaterally suck everyone into a disaster, a hot war.

But there is no viable policeman. This must be clear to all. With China’s land mass and proximity, Japanese talent and American capital, there must be an answer to this problem.

r.l. hails sr.
olney, maryland

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.