And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost. It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.
Wait, aren’t the American people singularly empowered to“volunteer” our men and women under arms for dangerous action in hostile territory, acting through their representatives?
Many people have, and have rightly, made fun of “kinetic military action” — it’s what rubes like you, me, and General Patton would call “war”—but in a way the more disturbing thing about Ben Rhodes’s smarmy little evasion is the phrase “enforcing a resolution.” Just whose resolution are we talking about here? We know what he meant by “enforce”: he meant bombing various targets in Libya. But the question remains: whose resolution, whose will was being enforced?Was it the will of the American people, expressed through its duly elected representatives, the folks in whom the authority to declare war actually rests? No. Was it the resolution of the UN Security Council, which (with the abstention of Russia, China, and Germany) had voted to authorize the use of military force against Libya? Possibly, but what is the connection between a UN resolution and the use of the American military? Or maybe it was the Arab League, who liked the idea of establishing a “no-fly” zone in Libya but, to judge by their sudden about-face when the bombs actually started dropping, had not yet taken on board the Marxist precept that he who wills a certain end also wills the means to that end.
Usually I don’t get upset over bad word choice, or even very bad word choice. Often that’s a gotcha answered by the reply, “Oh, you know what he meant.”
I have to make an exception here, because this does seem to be a telling choice of words, one that comports perfectly with Obama’s worldview.
Obama seems to be such a believer in the extra-constitutional, or, more accurately, anti-constitutional view that it is the “international community,” whatever that is, that confers constitutional legality in matters of war rather than the body ofAmericans actually granted such power in the great national charter that he feels no need to pay even token, false lip service to the contrary position.
If Obama merely meant “We seek no empire, and come to this fight reluctantly, only at the request of foreign allies,” well, he could have said that.
Implicit in the words this rara avis literary genius actually chose is the idea that foreign citizens have a more important role in determining America’s status of “at peace” or “at war” than American citizens.