On the same day in the summer of 2007, we heard U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a spokesman for the Israeli government claiming to speak for “the international community” when they hurled warnings against Iran and the Palestinians, respectively. “The international community,” said Rice, “expects Iran to comply with U.N. directives to stop the enrichment of uranium.” “The international community,” echoed the Israeli spokesman on CNN, “expects the Palestinians to live up to their previous commitments.” In fact, hardly a day went by during the final years of the Bush presidency that we didn’t hear Administration figures and other American politicians talk about the “international community.” Since then, Europeans and others have picked up the cue, as even the usually circumspect Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary, commented during the latest crisis in Lebanon: “The international community must make its position clear regarding the need for restraint.” In the United States, the phrase was so common in reference to certain regional conflicts that it became for all purposes a gloss for the Bush administration’s reaction to strife involving nations (Iran, North Korea) or groups (Hamas, Hezbollah) it disliked and wished to ostracize.