The failure of the USA to obtain the approval of the United Nations Security Council is, of course, not going to impede an imminent attack on Iraq. Dodging the UN has effectively cleared the deck of excuses and accelerated the scheduled transition toward what has been termed the Pax Americana. The USA, as the only superpower, believes that the international institutional framework – which was built on bipolarism – does not correspond to the balance of power today. But its aim is not to impose new international laws which are more favorable to it; rather, it is to destroy this framework altogether. With faith in its power to enforce, the USA refuses to commit to anything, preferring a fluidity which allows it total freedom of action. It was on this basis that Washington declared it its «right» not only to take unilateral «preventative» military action at will, but to overthrow regimes and «reform» countries! In other words, to cast itself as international judge and police officer. France and Germany acknowledge the USA’s leading role but are not prepared to accept its total hegemony. This is why they have offered such resolute resistance. They know the real concern is whether the EU will be relegated from its role as partner (of a one-sided alliance) to that of the USA’s privileged satellite. This is more than a disagreement that has got out of hand. The political gamble entailed in this war affects not only Iraq and the Middle East but Euro-US ties and the consolidation of a united Europe.