Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, December 02, 2004
How to be unilateral, in a multilateral kind of way.

This lesson comes to us from the European Union, which has bribed the Iranian regime to pretend to respect European influence, just for a little while.

The Europeans have done this by promising to prevent the UN acting on its non-proliferation policies.

As they can, since two of the Europeans on the delegation have Security Council vetoes.

You can see that if the Great Satan could be persuaded to behave in the same way the world would be a safer place, at least for despots with murderous ambitions.

The moral: if one country ignores a UN corrupted by self-seeking staff and veto-wielding members, that's unilateralism. The left hates that.

If a few countries trade the UN's reputation for their own purposes, frustrate its puny capacity for action, or direct it in support of murderous regimes, that's multilateralism. The left endorses that.

I hope that helps you understand where Auntie's commentariat is coming from.