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Reg Smythe Would Be Proud

When I was a kid, less than 10, I had a lot of collections of comics. Not comic books, but books of newspaper strips like B.C. and Andy Capp. One of my favorite Andy Capp strips was Andy in his de rigeur hat standing by the sidelines of a football (British) game, being written up by the referee. The ref is obviously taking dictation and is reading back Andy's statement: "I-thought-he-was-going-to-hit-me-so-I-hit-him-back-first." I thought this was funny enough to base my treatment of my sisters on it for years.

Well, I think that Richard Haass, Director of Policy Planning for the State Department, had the same book, because in early 2002 he is quoted as saying "Sovereignty entails obligations. One is not to massacre your own people. Another is not to support terrorism in any way. If a government fails to meet these obligations, then it forfeits some of the normal advantages of sovereignty, including the right to be left alone inside your own territory. Other governments...have the right to intervene. In the case of terrorism, this can lead to a right of preventative, or peremptory, self defense. You essentially can act in anticipation if you have grounds to think it's a question of when, and not if, you're going to be attacked."

So...in the mid-1970's, it was lowbrow British humor. Now it's official foreign policy.

Just so we're clear.