Extremist ‘unilateralists’ and ‘multilateralists’ (Or why knives and forks are not mutually exclusive), Part II
: Ah, what the hell. Said at the end of my previous post on this subject
that I’d end the discussion, for now. But then I stumbled across this Charles Krauthammer column
about the U.N., RIP. This isn’t a perfect example of extremist unilateralism. And this article about AIDS ‘activists’
may not be the perfect example of extremist multilateralism. But they’re both close enough to make my point. As for Charles, he’s all over the map, bashing the U.N. and not mentioning how the administration is now playing the U.N. card (quite deftly, I might say, though belatedly, I might add). Charles brings up the subject of NATO and the eight European leaders
who have sided with the U.S. in the Iraq crisis, but doesn’t mention how those leaders constantly referred to the U.N., Security Council, NATO etc. in their collective letter. ...
... The ‘unilateralist’ vs. ‘multilateralist’ debate is becoming more and more like an argument over whether you should just use a knife or fork while eating. Well, personally, I kind of like using both. Don’t you? ‘Unilateralism’ and ‘multilateralism’ have to be used in conjunction with each other. You toggle back and forth, using one for one purpose, the other for another purpose, and sometimes you use both at the same time, sort of like using a knife to push the peas onto the fork, something my mother always railed against but a practice my father did with a wink and great dexterity. Are the U.N. and NATO both flawed? Hell yes. But junk them? Hell no. Bush, if we’re lucky, is finally discovering the naughty delight of using the multilateralist U.N. to push the little peas on our unilateralist fork. And the more peas on the fork, the better. Know what the best part is? We're beating the French at their own knife-and-fork game! ... And, again:
“As Churchill said, the only thing worse than fighting with allies is fighting without them.”