The 'war on terror' has become the public leitmotif of the country that has long been regarded, and continues to regard itself, as the world's leading democracy, the United States. In this context the use of the term 'rogue state' by the US to designate, and often attack, other countries is made to justify violations of the very international law to which the term seems to appeal. In other words, the use of the term to designate and condemn an enemy actually describes the user. The user of the term rogue state (the US) seeks by negation and by demarcation, to invest in itself (the non-rogue 'superpower') with meaning and legitimacy. But in its own tendency (and that of its proxy Israel) to ignore established international and domestic legal traditions - whether in its endorsement of pre-emptive warfare as a principle of foreign policy or in its suspension of habeas corpus with respect to the 'terrorists' imprisoned at Guantanamo as a principle of domestic policy (of 'homeland security') - the sole superpower increasingly resembles that which it seeks to oppose as its mortal enemy, the 'terrorists' and 'rogue states.' By acting in the (violent) manner that it has against Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, and threatens to do so against Iran, the US as the world's most robust democracy infuses indetermination and indecisiveness in the very concept of democracy. In other words, it gives itself and democracy a bad name. But to be fair to the Bush Administration: the use of the term rogue state in US political discourse predates Bush (the booted one); analogous terms such as 'outlaw' or 'renegade' regimes were used during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations to designate states that were not servile to it. As for the word 'rogue' its use has an old genealogy and its meaning can include: 'a dishonest, unprincipled person'. The word rogue can include humans, animals and plants whose behaviour seems deviant or perverse. Any wild animal can be called a rogue but especially those, such as 'rogue elephants', that behave like ravaging outlaws, violating the customs and conventions, the customary practices, of their own community, let alone those of venerable and deep structured societies of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, among others. Does the world's self-proclaimed most robust democracy and sole superpower behave in the manner of lesser beings, the countries it designates, or is on the verge of designating as rogue states? This might be due to two interrelated factors. First as mentioned it is the sole superpower that no one, at least on paper, can restrain its destructive activity. Second, the fact that in the contemporary world the international institution founded after the Second World War to adjudicate conflicts between nations, the United Nations, no longer provides the United States with a systematic and reliable majority, neither in its General Assembly nor in its Security Council, both of which are required to legitimate the use of force between member nations. Without this majority, the US is no longer entirely sovereign in its ability to use force to regulate international conflicts. So it goes it alone, often times aided and abetted by sly former 'have beens' of Europe who would like to revert to being 'somebody' again. Together with the US and Israel they comprise the world League of Rogues. This coterie is being augmented of course by an emerging desperado - in fact a desperate 'wannabe' - India, who is already a member of the League of Rogues (with one of the lowest per capita incomes, and highest number of diseases, in the world); but wishes to become its leading light through a shrill and hysterical conation of what the West wishes to do. What a joy ride this would be if only it did not meet resistance from virtuous forces. However, the United Nations Charter does allow for one significant exception to the authority invested in the Security Council, and through it the United Nations, to adjudicate conflicts and prohibit the use of force: the right of individual states to self-defence, a right preserved in Article 51 of the UN Charter. This article constitutes the only exception to the recommendation made to all states not to resort to force in the settling of international conflicts. This exception allows the US to unleash itself and wage unilateral, pre-emptive war, and if need be by circumventing the UN system. The right to pre-emptive self-defence articulated by the US is couched in general and universal terms - and is theoretically equally available as an enabling piece of legislation for all member countries of the UN, but political realities would suggest that it is a right, in effect, that can be exercised by only extremely powerful states, who tend to act as judge, jury and executioner in world politics: in other words the law of the jungle prevails for the sake of maintaining global power. This means destructive and oppressive power. And power can only be resisted by power. This requires unity and solidarity within and outside of Pakistan. The latter can be secured by forming regional blocks of determined and principled though less powerful countries united around the best rather than basest human values, to countervail the world's most powerful rogue state. But this needs people of principle, character, courage and commitment. Virtues that are woefully short in supply in relation to a massive need for these in Pakistan. The country does not need politicians who like chameleons change their principles to be in the running for power for its own sake and under all circumstances. Remember the one who supported the recent military dictator and who (to paraphrase him) wanted Musharraf with or without his uniform to remain in power? He's still around, alive and fibbing: an obstacle, like many of his ilk, to internal unity and better future.