Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cracker Christ: It's Not a War

In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war? From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no


In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer. "I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone," Rhodes said. "Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end."

  Washington Examiner

Kinetic military action. That's a new one on me. "Today in the non-kinetic military action in Libya...." Expect it in the nooze.

"As we are successful in suppressing the [Libyan] air defenses, the level of kinetic activity should decline," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a meeting with reporters in Moscow Tuesday. In a briefing with reporters the same day from on board the USS Mount Whitney, Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, said, "The coalition brings together a wide array of capabilities that allow us to minimize the collateral damage when we have to take kinetic operations." [...] And unnamed sources use it too. "In terms of the heavy kinetic portion of this military action, the president envisions it as lasting days, not weeks," an unnamed senior official told CNN Saturday.


Rhodes' words echoed a description by national security adviser Tom Donilon in a briefing with reporters two weeks ago as the administration contemplated action in Libya. "Military steps -- and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range -- are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi," Donilon said.

Okay, I guess for a while we’re all going to call it kinetic military action. But just what is non-kinetic military action – I mean steps?

Harold Koh, the State Department’s lawyer-in-chief, explained to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that since there was no back-and-forth firing between American and Libyan forces, the Libyan intervention isn’t a real war – and therefore the President is not in violation of the War Powers Act.

  Justin Raimondo

So, by that measure, we could drop a nuclear bomb on Libya and it still wouldn’t be war, because there would be no “back-and-forth firing between American and Libyan forces.”

This, by the way, is the same Harold Hongju Koh who once authored a legal brief [...] challenging George Herbert Walker Bush’s authority to fight the first Iraq war, on the grounds that “the Constitution requires the president to consult with Congress and receive its affirmative authorization – not merely present it with faits accomplis – before engaging in war.”

That makes it very clear that the man is indeed a lawyer. He’ll argue either side, just tell him which side he’s on today.

As Koh explained to the befuddled solons in his opening statement: the word “hostilities,” which “triggers” the 60-day time line imposed by the War Powers Act, is “an ambiguous term of art.”

No, no it’s not. Have a look at Merriam-Webster:

This obviously isn’t just an idea, since there have been actual drone attacks by US military, so that leaves definition number 1 - and in particular, 1b2 which defines the plural of the word, which is exactly the case of it used in the War Powers Act: hostilities.

After all, Koh argued, the word wasn’t defined in the legislation, and there is no legislative precedent that would define it for us.

So now the legislation has to have every word defined? I really did think that was the job of a dictionary. Herman Cain’s three-page limit to new laws would put a crimp on things for sure if each term requires a written definition.

[A]fter all, this administration is all about “change” – and yet they didn’t tell us they were changing the language and the clear meaning of words.

There’s a whole lot they didn’t tell us.

According to Koh, there are four factors that qualify the Libyan adventure as a “kinetic action” rather than a war, the first being that the action has “international support,” and – due to its multilateral character – transcends the need for congressional approval. That is the view taken by his boss, Hillary Clinton, who stated that the only authorization needed came from the United Nations.

Now that is the first I’ve heard that the Constitution and US Congress can be superceded by the United Nations. In fact, I’m pretty sure she would reverse that if the United Nations declared the US should get the hell out of Libya. And Koh! It doesn’t meet the standards for being called a war because it has “international support.” Do we really need to hear any more from this man?

You know, in an awful sordid way, this argument that if the Libyans don’t strike back, it’s not a war, actually has some merit. That would make it not so much a war as a slaughter. Perhaps we need to amend the Consitution to limit the president’s power to slaughter without Congressional authorization. (He’d still get it. He’s not really looking for authorization, he’s looking to solidify executive absolute power.)

This administration, armed with an ideology so far removed from American traditions and sheer common sense, is far more dangerous than its war-maddened predecessor. At least Bush spared us the verbal gymnastics and never denied he intended to take us to war. The current occupant of the Oval Office wants us to consider him a modern Gandhi while besting Bush at his own game. The pretentious doubletalk engaged in by this White House is an insult to the American people, and yet another measure of Obama’s monumental arrogance.

After all, he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. There may be some delay before your comment is published. It all depends on how much time M has in the day. But please comment!