Steyn on Libya

Leave it to Mark Steyn to capture the essence of why the Libyan intervention is a misadventure in foreign policy:

It is tempting and certainly very easy to point out that Obama's war (or Obama's "kinetic military action," or "time-limited, scope-limited military action," or whatever the latest ever more preposterous evasion is) is at odds with everything candidate Obama said about U.S. military action before his election. And certainly every attempt the president makes to explain his Libyan adventure is either cringe-makingly stupid ("I'm accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also somebody who aspires to peace") or alarmingly revealing of a very peculiar worldview:"That's why building this international coalition has been so important," he said the other day. "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."

That's great news. Who doesn't enjoy volunteering other people? The Arab League, for reasons best known to itself, decided that Col. Gadhafi had outlived his sell-by date. Granted that the region's squalid polities haven't had a decent military commander since King Hussein fired General Sir John Glubb half-a-century back, how difficult could it be even for Arab armies to knock off a psychotic transvestite guarded by Austin Powers fembots? But no: Instead, the Arab League decided to volunteer the U.S. military.

Likewise, the French and the British. Libya's special forces are trained by Britain's SAS. Four years ago, President Sarkozy hosted a state visit for Col. Gadhafi, his personal security detail of 30 virgins, his favorite camel and a 400-strong entourage that helped pitch his tent in the heart of Paris. Given that London and Paris have the third- and fourth-biggest military budgets on the planet and that between them they know everything about Gadhafi's elite troops, sleeping arrangements, guard-babes and dromedaries, why couldn't they take him out? But no: They, too, decided to volunteer the U.S. military.

Steyn has hit upon the extraordinary danger of the "Responsibility to protect" movement and how the UN can now "volunteer" the US military to enforce its decisions.

R2P is, in essence, a violation of the UN charter in that it gives the world body carte blanche to ride roughshod over state sovereignty any time it determines that citizens of a country are in danger from their own government.

Worse, it destroys US sovereignty (and with it, the president's role as commander in chief) by having the practical effect of putting the US military at the disposal of the UN. As long as we have presidents like Obama in office, who don't mind internationalizing our national defense, volunteers for the US military will not be defending the United States but rather stepping forward to enforce the will of the Security Council.

Read Steyn's entire essay. It's an eye opener.



Leave it to Mark Steyn to capture the essence of why the Libyan intervention is a misadventure in foreign policy:

It is tempting and certainly very easy to point out that Obama's war (or Obama's "kinetic military action," or "time-limited, scope-limited military action," or whatever the latest ever more preposterous evasion is) is at odds with everything candidate Obama said about U.S. military action before his election. And certainly every attempt the president makes to explain his Libyan adventure is either cringe-makingly stupid ("I'm accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also somebody who aspires to peace") or alarmingly revealing of a very peculiar worldview:

"That's why building this international coalition has been so important," he said the other day. "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."

That's great news. Who doesn't enjoy volunteering other people? The Arab League, for reasons best known to itself, decided that Col. Gadhafi had outlived his sell-by date. Granted that the region's squalid polities haven't had a decent military commander since King Hussein fired General Sir John Glubb half-a-century back, how difficult could it be even for Arab armies to knock off a psychotic transvestite guarded by Austin Powers fembots? But no: Instead, the Arab League decided to volunteer the U.S. military.

Likewise, the French and the British. Libya's special forces are trained by Britain's SAS. Four years ago, President Sarkozy hosted a state visit for Col. Gadhafi, his personal security detail of 30 virgins, his favorite camel and a 400-strong entourage that helped pitch his tent in the heart of Paris. Given that London and Paris have the third- and fourth-biggest military budgets on the planet and that between them they know everything about Gadhafi's elite troops, sleeping arrangements, guard-babes and dromedaries, why couldn't they take him out? But no: They, too, decided to volunteer the U.S. military.

Steyn has hit upon the extraordinary danger of the "Responsibility to protect" movement and how the UN can now "volunteer" the US military to enforce its decisions.

R2P is, in essence, a violation of the UN charter in that it gives the world body carte blanche to ride roughshod over state sovereignty any time it determines that citizens of a country are in danger from their own government.

Worse, it destroys US sovereignty (and with it, the president's role as commander in chief) by having the practical effect of putting the US military at the disposal of the UN. As long as we have presidents like Obama in office, who don't mind internationalizing our national defense, volunteers for the US military will not be defending the United States but rather stepping forward to enforce the will of the Security Council.

Read Steyn's entire essay. It's an eye opener.



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