Defining multilateral
Posted by aogMonday, 24 March 2003 at 08:22 TrackBack Ping URL
Andrew Sullivan got in to a bit of a tiff with Tom Friedman about the unilateralism of the invasion of Iraq. Here's the key quote from Friedman:
It seems to me that conservatives want it both ways. They want to praise Bush for deciding not to be shackled by the U.N. and France in the end, and, at the sametime, want to insist that this is still a multilateral war.
Sullivan doesn't reply to this directly at all. But to me the problem is that Friedman is conflating “multilateral” with “UN approved”. These are not at all the same thing, but apparently Friedman believes that the UN alone is the sole legitimate multilateral organization on the planet. That's just not so and the US can easily be multilateral while still ignoring the UN and particularly France.