Monday, August 8, 2011

War by Committee

We haven’t been hearing very much about our military excursion into Libya these days. Could it be that the operation is not going very well?

Given the option of presenting the multilateral mess in Libya or the awe-inspiring picture of Barack the Dragon Slayer, the media has chosen to bury the former and emphasize the latter.

In case you missed it, some enterprising filmmakers are planning an October, 2012 release date for their film about how Obama brought down Osama bin Laden.

The liberal media is still pitching for its guy. Really, for itself, but let’s not be too punctilious.

This morning Elise Jordan brings us up to date on the Libya operation. It is not a pretty picture. If you were staunchly supporting the principles on which the intervention was founded, you wouldn’t want too many people to be looking too closely either.

In truth, the Libyan operation corresponds exactly to that liberal politicians and pundits have be saying is the right way to conduct a war. It is perfectly multilateral. But more importantly, it lacks American leadership.

In old days, liberals were complaining bitterly about Bush’s unilateralism. They drove themselves into high dudgeon over the fact that France did not support our military actions.

To some extent it was political expediency. As soon as Barack Obama became commander in chief the Iraq and Afghanistan wars became heroic fights for freedom. Our soldiers were great heroes.

Before Barack Obama became commander in chief, the operations were akin to war crimes. The liberal media was obsessed with torture, and seemed almost to fear American success.

If it’s not expedience, its ideology. Jordan argues cogently that the dogma of multilateral (leaderless) wars derives from multiculturalism.

Most people think that multiculturalism is yet another form of mental drool that academics indulge in their dens and lairs.

Yet, when you put multiculturalist true believers in the administration, all of a sudden, you discover that this dogma has an application to military affairs.

Multiculturalism wants you to be a citizen of the world, a member of the human species or the human race. It does not want you identifying yourself as an American or taking pride in your citizenship.

Multiculturalists call it cosmopolitanism, but that is just a smoke screen. They are attacking American exceptionalism and American leadership.

Jordan describes the way the Obama administration led us into Libya: “This isn’t Iraq, Obama said, desperately trying to distance himself from the dreaded unilateralism of the Bush administration. The U.N. agrees. NATO agrees. The Arab League agrees. Obama and his liberal brain trust declared: We don’t even need to check with Congress, or, for that matter, the American public. We’re multilateral, and proud of it.”

If Obama had gone to Congress to ask for approval he probably would have gotten it. I suspect that he didn't because his brain has been addled by the dogmas of multiculturalism. Obama did not want to rally the nation because he did not want the operation to become identifiably American. Because that would have made him the American leader.

Obama preferred to "lead from behind."

In today’s world, if America does not step forward to lead, thus to shoulder the responsibility for the mission’s success, then there is no leader. Then, a so-called coalition will splinter.

This is what has happened in Libya.

Jordan explains: “Where has all that multilateralism gotten us? Probably where multiculturalism got England and Germany — nowhere. Six months in, the war has reached a stalemate. France, once the gung-ho supporter leading the charge for intervention, is signaling it would like Qaddafi to stay. Italy is also making moves to quietly back away, if they were ever even on board in the first place. John Rosenthal makes a strong case that Italy never supported intervention in Libya, contrary to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claim otherwise. England is following suit. The Arab League quickly returned to criticizing the West. The U.N. vote authorizing action had five major abstentions — Brazil, India, China, Russia, Germany — a suggestion that it wasn’t as multilateral as advertised. The stress of the war has revealed how fragile NATO has become. Congress openly revolted against Obama’s Libya ‘intervention’ — we mustn’t, after all, call it war, Obama says. It’s still not popular among voters. We’ve repeatedly stated Qaddafi must go, but that’s far from certain at this point.”

Obviously, the nation is not going to rally behind a military effort about which it has had no say. And it is certainly not going to support an operation that looks like a failure.

As I said, expect to hear a lot more about how Obama slew Osama bin Laden, and a lot less about how Obama did not know how to conduct a war or direct a policy.

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