Bush is scorned for being a unilateralist, but this criticism is misleading.
When the U.S. under Nixon aided Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War was it wrong because we acted unilaterally? Would we have been better served to wait for a UN response?
Was it wise to wait for a multilateral response to stop the genocide in Rwanda or Darfur? It never came.
If we had found huge stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq would Bush have still been criticized for unilateral action?
Using the awesome power we have wisely is fraught with risk. If there was a widespread united front against the evils of the past and the present, then there would be no need for unilateral action. Multilateral action in global affairs has usually been contained to appeasement, compromise, and surrender.
Voters expressed resentment at the fact that the rest of the world hates us. But where is the resentment at the European countries that helped Iraq and Iran develop nuclear and WMD capabilities, or the middle eastern countries that have nurtured and spread misogyny, anti Semitism, anti Christianity, terrorism and genocide in Africa?
While economic and diplomatic options are preferable and should be explored more fully, power is ineffective if it is always compromised by the demand for multilateral approval.