The Night Before Blix
From among the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Belgium, Iraq, the United Nations and Al Qaeda, the one which is most contemporary, most avant garde is Al Qaeda. The second is the United Nations. It is possible that the US is the highest minded from among the group listed, but unfortunately there are enough inconsistencies in the overall collection of US positions internationally, to create at least to some eyes "the appearance of impropriety." The case of the US sadly is NOT "cut and dried," "beyond a shadow of a doubt." This is most unfortunate, and it is in fact the preeminent matter about which the US should be concerned. More concerned in fact than the rise and fall of terror alerts. If anything should happen to cement suspicion of the America's goodness (to the neutral observer), the future of the world will be badly damaged. This is what the US risks with its currents threats of unilateralism.
At least as problematic as the risk of the US squandering its reputation as good, is the fact that the US has shown itself to be dull-witted, flat-footed, uninspired, and behind the times in its wasteful floundering about since 9-11. The age of the big army is obsolete. With the rules re-defined by the 9-11 attacks, and the incessant terror of the intifada, the lesson to be learned is that brute power is a waste of human and material resources. Martyrs and Tyrants are unthreatenable. Once they don't mind themselves and their people dying you might as well put your army away. The billions of dollars spent in fireworks over Afghanistan, and the billions more hovering around the Gulf should be spent on intelligence (for the sake of security), improving the societies of allies and neutral countries in need, and in dissolving the hatred of our enemies.
Of the powers listed above, only the United Nations and Al Qaeda intuit the nature of the world to come. The remaining powers including the United States (in its current behavior) are stuck in a dated and outmoded concept of international relations. The powers which intuit a future world transcending the passe dynamics of the nation state are the one's defining the war, and ultimately pointing to a new future.