Nicholas and Robert in the comments on previous posts complain that Bush was did not get international support for the war with Iraq and that Kerry would be more multilateral. In response to these sorts of claims, Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post notes:
As former Clinton administration official and current Kerry foreign policy adviser Richard Holbrooke put it to the Post, the Bush administration advocated “extremist ideas” that had “never had a voice in the policymaking bodies of the executive branch.” One such idea, the Post paraphrased, was “acting unilaterally.” But what does “acting unilaterally” mean? It does not mean “going it alone.” After all, there are several dozen other countries actively involved in US operations in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan.
Neither does “acting unilaterally” mean that in Iraq the US is acting outside of a clear UN Security Council mandate. Ahead of the US-led operations in Kosovo in 1999, in which Holbrooke played a key role, Russia used the threat of its Security Council veto to prevent the US from taking action under a UN umbrella. Yet no one has ever accused the US of acting unilaterally in Kosovo.
What “acting unilaterally” actually means to Holbrooke and Kerry is that the multilateral coalition Bush assembled in Iraq does not include France. It was France that prevented a UN Security Council resolution backing the US-led invasion, and it was France that led the EU and NATO to reject US requests to forge coalitions under whose aegis the US would lead the war against Saddam’s regime.
The rest of the article goes on to talk about the danger and stupidity of following the wishes of the French. But the main point here is that these unilateral accusations are baseless and repeating them does not make them true. I would further add that absent some claim about the value of including France they also have little content. I challenge critics to explain just what would have been accomplished by including France (and how much it would have cost to do so)..