Meditation on Laws
In a way, the whole notion of international law seems like a game of musical chairs. For as long as we can go back, nations would grab land or lose land through force. Then all of a sudden, we get these laws that say you can't do that anymore. Or perhaps, you can't do that unless you have a 'good reason' :) So the music was playing, and this country took over that country, and this kingdom built these colonies, and then all of a sudden, the music stopped. Except it's like the guys that were standing in front of the chairs got to decide when to stop the music.
It's like this with nuclear non-proliferation - the US and Russia and the West get to build a bunch of A-bombs, but then after they get a nice stockpile, they decide it's a bad idea and really no other nations should have the Bomb.
Or pollution - first the industrialized nations get to poison the world and get rich from spoiling everything, and then they decide - oops, this whole pollution thing is bad for the Earth. So China and India and whoever else is trying to get a leg up is shackled by these regulations that conveniently weren't there while the first world powers had their opportunities...