Europeans also have reason to be wary of an imbalance that allows one superpower to determine when the world goes to war.
France and Germany made the mistake, however, of objecting when the cause is just and the president of the United States is out on a limb, not to increase America's power, but to restore a sense of order and consequence in a world where rogues threaten the powerless and powerful alike.
That same limb also holds 225,000 precious American troops, as well as soldiers from the Great Britain and Australia. Delaying the inevitable, as Chirac would like to do, only makes war more dangerous for these brave men and women.
Chirac told French television that he is convinced that Franco-American relations won't suffer. It's true that France has been a much valued ally in American history. Still, Chirac is dreaming if he thinks Americans will forget that France and its friends on the U.N. Security Council made war more inevitable by signaling early on that Hussein could fail to disarm, and they would stand up for him.