If we as a nation are going to assume the role as defenders of the greater good, the idea of sovereignty is paramount to defend for all nations.
The one policy all the nations seem to have adopted and defend is that we know nothing of other nations' foreign policy and they know nothing of ours.
This is the respect for individual rights that confronts us today, Virginia; what is due in the face of the call to arms for causes of humanity that lie within the boundaries of other nations that effects us we would do well to defend.
Should we Americans go to war over causes of humanity that don't cross into our own country?
George Washington wrote to Alexander Hamilton on a basic principle of independence and the need to defend that "One people who had the right 'to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them."'
Our own nation in this second millennium has followed strictly to the law known as our War Powers Act. In this act it simply states that we shall go to war "in response to emergent defense of our national security."
After various debates over objection to the US involvement in foreign war, the newest policy has to do with acts of provocation to mitigate aggression. In this manner, we are not shown as an aggressive nation. But recently from those same US citizens' groups, there are calls for action by our own public policy on humanitarian defense.
Here we are face to face with that dilemma in Syria.
"A morally obscene act" has our Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to the policies of George Washington on sovereignty.
There is no lack of understanding that we live in a global community, and our economies now evaluated on a ratio system that has an effect on us all, our health linked from Africa to Ohio with the Ebola virus to AIDS that have crossed borders world-wide. We fight that humanitarian threat all together, so why not go boots on the ground over other humanitarian-defense emergencies.
If we as a sovereign nation and defenders of sovereignty stand back while aggressive leaders kill their own citizens, that in itself is a tragedy but not enough to break the bonds of their sovereign right. Not so nice, but equal opportunity is not a privilege to apply to the global community.
On the other side of the greasy nickel stands the question of chemical warfare.
If we as a powerful sovereign nation let the rules of war slip within the boundaries of another nation, what can we expect to seep into our boundaries in a moment when we least expect it?
(Steve Shapiro is an author of history with his book "Carmel - A Timeless Place" and historical fiction "Pawns" has also written US policy positions as a regular US citizen and for the US Navy as a journalist.)