What is this "Unilateral" crap?

We (America) have 21 countries that will fight with us, and 20 more that will let us use their air space.
If the UN security council doesn’t vote for force, and America and our 21, or possible 24 allies attack (3 countries are on the fence) how in the hell would that be us acting unilaterally, or, going it alone, as many people allege that we’d be doing?

Ask yourself the question - How many of these allies would be attacking Iraq (or would still attack Iraq) if it were not for the USA’s involvement?

Whichever way you paint this, it is a US inspired, led, driven, manned and initiated exercise, and I think that the accusation of unilateralism has some foundation at least.

Even if the UN does sanction the use of force, this will still be a US dominated exercise - it is part of the burden of being a super power…


Most of them have said, in effect, “We’ll hold your coat.”

Parallels with Desert Storm will show the likelihood of US domination of any UN force:
National composition of Desert Storm forces

Thanks to MEBuckner who found the link for me…


Well yes, the US will be a dominant force, seeing as how we have the dominant military, that’s a given. But the fact remains, that when, and I say when because we all know that it would happen all along, anyway, when it happens, America won’t be going it alone. It won’t be just us against them. 21 countries saying they’ll fight with us, is more than just “We’ll hold your coat.” Although that may describe the other 20 who will just let us use their air space.

In my view “Unilateral” in its political use is merely a euphemism for breaking international law? No?

There is no international law.

Totally inaccurate phrases like unilateral and rush to war show that some anti-war folks are just repeating slogans.

Just so, december. At least the pro-death forces are coining fresh and original lies, half-truths, balderdash and tommyrot.

Unilateral in this case means going to war without the backing of the UN (And because of that, more or less without the backing of the world). Just about anything done that goes under or through the UN would be considered unilateral.

Well, considering that among those 21 countries are such mighty military powers as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia and Albania, coat-holding might be a stretch.

Is the OP bothered that we didn’t get the UN’s blessing before we started picking a fight with Iraq?

unilateral is a euphemism for doing something w/o UN or universal international approval, as far as i can tell.

Is that you George? Time to go to bed, now brush to teeth, and say your prayers.

“Unilateral” merely means the US doing something the speaker disapproves of. It’s a handy pejorative word. Another is referring any movement toward war a “rush,” regardless of the slow pace.

These words apply only to the United States of America. E.g., you don’t hear complaints about France’s “unilateral” military action or their “rush to war” in the Ivory Coast last week, although that military action was decided upon quickly, without UN sanction, and AFAIK without any other countries’ participation.

“Unilateral” is actually a very broad term that’s really not much of an insult. Unilateral simply means “of, on, relating to, involving, or affecting only one side.” so, really, as long as there are some people opposing war, “unilateral” could be used (and could be used in refering to either side).

Canada will probably come on board as well. It’s now moving in that direction.

So let’s see… On one side we have the U.S., the U.K, Australia, Canada, and a whole bunch of smaller countries… That looks like a pretty familiar coalition.

And everyone knows that the U.S. acted unilaterally in WWII.

I tell you, the anti-war gang is getting more ridiculous with each passing day.

That’s all very noble of them and all, but how much of the bill do they intend to pay? Acquiescing to the inevitable in the hopes of staying on Uncle Sam’s good side, or better, material gain, should not be confused with agreement on the issues. That “whole bunch of smaller countries” in particular, seems to revolve around former eastern block nations, that either hope to ease into NATO, or would like US aid. Does anyone actually expect Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia to contribute significantly to the war effort ? If not, this multilateral alliance is a bit of a sham. Where are Suadi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, or even Turkey ? These are the alliances we need to forge.

Actually, Jordan is now allowing U.S. troops to build up there. Saudi Arabia be on board as well. And of course, Turkey has already agreed to allow the U.S. to mobilize there.

And I don’t know if Romania and Estonia will be of much help, but Canada was a HUGE help in Afghanistan, and could be a big help in Iraq. More to the point, Canada has tremendous world respect as peacekeepers, and therefore could be a big help in the post-war occupation and rebuilding.

Christopher Hitchens has said some very interesting things about how the term “unilateral” gets misused as an epithet.