A frequent complaint from the Democrats here and anti-war groups worldwide is the issue of American unilateralism and diplomatic failures. It was expressed recently by Sen. John Kerry who said we need "regime change" here as well as in Iraq, because Pres. Bush is unable to work with the UN. The war has crsytallized these complaints, but they arose before war was on the table. The first major issue concerned the so-called Kyoto global warming treaty. This treaty was agreed to by the Clinton administration but never submitted to the Senate for the required ratification. The reason was that it would have been defeated by a huge majority, as the treaty was terribly flawed. Bush basically announced it was dead, prompting a tantrum from the europeans and radical environmentalists. The next issue was missile defense. Remember this was the scheme that couldn't possibly work and was destabilizing. Tell that to people in Kuwait and Israel, who have been saved by the PAC 2 anti-missile system. The issue here was the sacred icon of the arms control movement, the missile defense treaty, which put handcuffs on our ability to developa nd deploy an effective defense system. Bush withdrew from the treaty, again promting howls of outrage from the international left. No doubt it would be better to be vulnerable to N. Korean nuke missiles than to call into question the wisdom of unenforceable arms control. Iraq basically represented the third major falling out between the Bush administration and "world opinion." There have also been a steady drumbeat of trade and tax issues that are important but less amenable to bumper sticker reasoning. When I hear people say "We failed diplomatically", I really wonder what they mean. That we didn't persuade a group of self-interested europeans who would like to see us weak, vulnerable and submissive? That our foreign policy is made by our President, not by the UN or Jacque Chiraq? Even if you assume uncritically that these people are only motivated by the sincerest wishes to do good for the world, why does that somehow make their analysis more valid than our own? Most of the european countries are governed by leftwing socialist parties. Even their "conservative" parties support a level of socialism that would make Hillary Clinton proud. The US does not seek to exploit any country, but we have to be prepared to act in the first instance to protect and preserve our own interests. Huge majorities of Amercian voters agree with the President on all these contentious issues. The fact that huge majorities of europeans disagree is regrettable but ultimately irrelevant.