In a transcript from the Hugh Hewitt radio show, my favorite columnist Mark Steyn explains how working through September 10th institutions has hindered the West. Regarding Iran, the host begins:
Hugh Hewitt: So it will be a coalition of the willing again, but watching the Bush-Blair press conference of last week, the recognition is...the Bush administration has thirty months to go, Blair is almost visibly worn down, John Howard's still strong and in the saddle...
Mark Steyn: Yes.
HH: But how strong is a coalition of the willing?
MS: Well, I think it is weaker, because I think they were politically damaged. But I think it's important to understand just why Tony Blair was damaged. He was damaged because Bush listened to him. Tony Blair said we can't just invade Iraq ten minutes notice. You've got to go through the motions of getting a U.N. Security Council resolution. So they spent six, eight months tap dancing through the United Nations, and the only difference it made was that they went to war in March, 2003, with exactly the same people that would have gone to war six or eight months earlier. And the only person to be damaged by that whole long delay was Tony Blair. And I think you have to learn the lessons of that, that we waste far too much time, and devote far too much energy, into basically trying to work through institutions that are not September 11th institutions. I include in that the United Nations, the IAEA, NATO, and the European Union. We either have to accept that these institutions are never going to look at the September 11th world the same way the U.S. and a few other countries do, and not waste all this energy, this terrible, sapping energy, in going through them.
Exactly right. And this is a transcript? I know Mr. Steyn is a great writer, but if he can speak thusly extemporaneously then I am doubly impressed.