"No man or nation is wise or good enough to hold the power which the great nations..hold without being tempted to both pride and injustice. Pride is the religious dimension of the sin which flows from absolute power; and injustice is it's social dimension.
The great nations speak so glibly of their passion for justice and peace; and so obviously betray interests which contradict justice and peace. This is precisely the kind of spiritual pride which the prophets had in mind when they pronounced divine judgments upon the nations which said, "I am god, I sit in the seat of God."
Consider how blandly the nations draw plans for the life of defeated nations in the hope of rebuilding them as democracies. This lack of consideration for the organic aspects of the social existence of nations, this confidence in our ability to create something better by our fiat, is a perfect illustration of the pride of power.
It is not made any more sufferable by the idea that we are doing all this for the sake of "purging" these nations of their evil and bestowing our "democracy" upon them. The very absurdity of bestowing democracy by the will of the conqueror contains the pretension against which the prophets inveighed."
Reinhold Neibuhr from his work Discerning the Signs of the Times, 1946. Apparently people and situations don't change much. And Bush has twice this week said he will not be bound by law or limitation, whether it's with the issue of domestic spying or with the Patriot Act. Censure is needed now.