Yeah, I realize I use 'these' and not "these" sometimes. Habit from my old IRC days in secondary school.
Had I a Ph.D. in English, I would be:
1) Unemployed or working the register at Wal-Mart
2) Default on my mortgage, if I was able to get one in the first place
4) No health insurance
4) Using "these" instead of 'these'
5) Repeating the o-s-t mus-tis-nt mantra in my sleep (anyone at all get that?)
6) Numbering my bullet points correctly
7) Pointing out punctuation errors on forums
Anyway, true governmental legitimacy is rooted in a mandate from the masses (Holy Grail). For the U.N., its legitimacy is rooted in "We've got nothing better." It's legitimacy is therefore, at best, de facto and pretty shakey to begin with. Each time the U.N. fails to actually perform its intended duty and instead just whines via resolutions, it loses more and more legitimacy. And in the case of actually RESISTING efforts to hold it to its charter at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives, it's a Bush-worthy example of hypocrisy.
Now it's just a poor joke, but yet remains as the de facto world authority because "We've got nothing better." So you've got leaders who, when they're trying to play nice, tell you they recognize the U.N.'s legitimacy and laugh their asses off at the U.N. when they don't want to play nice - i.e. Bush/Cheney, Ahmadinejad, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Khartoum government, because they know that nothing will ever be done to stop them if oil isn't at stake.