In The New York Times, Bill Keller says Colin Powell should resign. I do find it amazing that Colin Powell’s basically internationalist views have been completely subsumed to the unilateralist bent of the neocons that seem to be running the circus at the White House.

And on a related topic, is it just me or is the word unilateral being completely misunderstood or at least misused by the Bush administration? Just because you have other people on your side doesn’t mean that you’re not acting unilaterally. When you make a decision that suits only your own interest and team up with whoever is willing to toe the line, you’re acting unilaterally, regardless of how many people end up joining the so-called coalition of the willing. Multilateral means coming together with other parties and deciding on an approach that serves the common good. Claiming that the United States has taken a multilateral approach is roughly equivalent to Saddam Hussein’s claims that he was elected leader of Iraq.

Update: a friend sent me the definitions from the dictionary, and pointed out that unilateral really does mean that an action is undertaken by only one country, and multilateral means more than one country. In that case, though, we’ll never see the US undertake a unilateral action. We’re the most powerful country in the world, I can guarantee that we will always find somebody to go along with us. In this case I think it’s the terminology that fails us, as it often does.