In a column for the Washington Times last week, Kim Holmes of The Heritage Foundation set out his view of the choice America must make about her role in the world:
"In America, there are basically two competing visions. One -- based on our history and the ideas and founding principles embodied in our Constitution -- is of a nation that safeguards and advances the cause of liberty. The other is of an America whose leadership always defers to international bodies, including the whims of the United Nations and the European Union.
"All Americans should reflect on this: If we do not take up the burden of leadership, who will? And, who would we rather have make decisions over our lives?
"If we allow our actions to be determined by other nations that aspire to some evolving idea of 'international law' and 'international consensus,' we should not be surprised by their indifference to our security.
"In such a world, the UN could block a raid we want to conduct to destroy a terrorist camp that launched another brutal attack on America. Or our Secretary of State could be hauled up before a European court to answer charges of 'war crimes' in Iraq.
"The UN or other international body even could decide how Texas, Florida or any other state in the union convicts criminals or manages prisons."