||24 EDWIN B. FIRMAGE Fidelity to our own process is a compromise that humans who lead make with each other and with those they lead as an institutional reflection of our common fallibility. Government itself is a recognition of such fallibility. Those who break this bond demonstrate an arrogance that makes them unsuitable for governmental responsibility. Powers of government separated and in balance are part of this check upon individual zealousness or wrongheadedness. A recognition by the president that Congress alone possesses the power to decide for war or peace, absent a sudden attack on the United States, is part of this. So also is presidential recognition of the collegial relationship between Congress and the president in shaping our foreign policy. Scrupulous adherence to the law is part of the presidential oath. This includes the law of the Constitution, statutory laws of Congress and international law. We are obliged by international law to respect the sovereignty of other states, to protect life, especially the lives of innocent noncom-batants, and to resolve our disputes by peaceful means of negotiation, conciliation, mediation, arbitration and judicial resolution, for example, through our diplomatic organs of government in the Department of State and within the United Nations system and the International Court of Justice.45 No power exists in the office of the president to wage private war against states with whom we are at peace by hiring modern mercenaries, pirates or privateers without express authorization of the Congress of the United States. Nor does the president or the National Security Council have the authority to privatize the conduct of American foreign policy in the sale of arms or the transfer of money. This is a form of coup against our constitutional government. The disastrous record of our intelligence operations from Watergate through the Iran-Contra crisis calls into question whether clandestine and illegal operations are not completely antithetical to 45 On April 9, 1984, Nicaragua brought an action against the United States in the International Court of Justice, alleging that the United States had violated established principles of international law in using military force against it and intervening in its internal affairs. Nicaragua v. United States, 21 U.N. Cron. No. 10-11, 85 (1984). Although the United States denied recognition of the authority of a 1947 declaration accepting the court's compulsory jurisdiction, the court ruled that it did have compulsory jurisdiction of both the United States and Nicaragua. On June 27, 1986, the court ruled on the merits of Nicaragua's action, holding against the United States on fourteen counts.