One of the most repeated (and most annoying) refrains from the anti-war left and the Eunichs is the nonsense about American unilateralism. Daniel Drezner has a wonderful post defending the Bush administration today in The New Republic. A relevant piece:
The problem is that when you separate actions from rhetoric, this administration has doggedly pursued a multilateralist foreign policy since September 11. The reaction to the terrorist attacks themselves has been besotted with multilateral institutions. U.S. military operations in Afghanistan took place with the full blessing of both NATO and the United Nations Security Council. And the administration’s approach to combating terrorist financing was to strengthen the relevant international bodies–the Financial Action Task Force, the Egmont Group, and the International Monetary Fund.
We are not behaving in a unilateralist manner- quite the contrary. The eurocrats are merely used to the Clintonesque approach to foreign policy, best described by Porphyrogenitus yesterday:
For all that people like to claim that this is a “Bush problem” and “we didn’t have this when Clinton was in office”, that’s not quite true. Sure, everyone was more jovial. But (again as I’ve mentioned before) while there was more good cheer and bonhomie on the surface when Clinton was in office, that didn’t stop them from designing treaties (rather deliberately) stacked against the United States. Clinton would say “hey, buddies. You know, if we could just get a clause in that treaty on land mines allowing us to have them along the Korean DMZ, I could get the Senate to pass it” and they would refuse to compromise. Clinton would say “you know I want a good Green record. I’d love to have this Kyoto pact ratified. Any chance we could negotiate for America some of the cozy deals you stuck in for yourselves?” and they would say “no”. They liked Clinton just fine as a person. But they weren’t about to do America any favors, and even during that period were (openly among themselves, reported in the European press if not given much notice in the American press) talking about building the EU so as to oppose the United States. So this isn’t really out of the blue, all the sudden.