Bush and the UN: Crocodile Cheers

· long story short

The Bush administration came into office with a grievance in foreign affairs: We’re not getting “ours.” We are acknowledged to be the world’s only superpower. So where are the fruits of arrogance, avarice, and venality to which we are now so abundantly entitled?
Hence, unilateralism and preemption–and a new style of swift, lean, cost-effective, technologized, high-altitude warfare.
Given this strategic vision, there were two alternative lines of development that would be considered catastrophic:
1. Effective international non-military interventions, such as United Nations’ sanctions and inspections. Those might obviate American muscle.
2. Effective international military interventions, such as United Nations’ controlled multilateral armed forces. Those might reduce American muscle from a power-base to mere grunt-work at the service of an international consensus.
Well, both of those developments have now begun to eclipse the original Bushian vision. Problems with Libya, Iran, and North Korea seem to be skipping the war-phase in their resolution. And no one is asking any more which intervention will be next on America’s ebullient military wish-list.
In a way, Bush has already lost the big one. Even if he wins the election, it will only be by recklessly spending down his ideological patrimony. The Bushies’ public eagerness for a United Nations’ solution in Iraq is no more than desperate Crocodile Cheers. They are certainly crying inside.