Courtesy Reuters

A DIPLOMATIC POSTMORTEM

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States put together a historic, worldwide coalition to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan and destroy al Qaeda. China, India, Japan, Pakistan, and Russia all supported the enterprise, as did Europe. The subsequent war may have scattered al Qaeda rather than destroyed it -- key operatives remain at large today -- but the mission was widely seen as a success.

Eighteen months later, the Bush administration went to war again, this time to overthrow Saddam Hussein. On this occasion, however, most of the same countries that had backed the United States

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