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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Emperor Seth and Kinetic Islam

Roger Kimball:
“Kinetic Islam”: that’s Andy McCarthy’s brilliant coinage. Between us, it means “jihad,” as in what excitable Muslims do after yelling “Allahu Akbar.” You know: Muslim major screamed “Allahu Akbar” before slaughtering 13 at Ft. Hood. Air Force shooter shouted “Allahu Akbar” before killing two US airmen in Frankfurt. Just another bomb-plotting jihadist yelling “Allahu Akbar!” in Portland, Oregon, at Christmas time last year. Ditto Sweden: “Jihad In Sweden: Homicide Bomber, Screaming Allahu Akbar, Targets Christmas Shoppers.” So many “isolated extremists,” so little time!

Future historians, looking back on this era, will marvel at its capacity for linguistic evasion: never speak about a “global war on terror” when you can talk instead about “overseas contingency operations.” Don’t mention “Islamic terrorism” when “anti-Islamic activity” sounds so much nicer. And just the other day, struggling to find the right, i.e., the politically acceptable, i.e., the patently mendacious, words to describe the President’s Excellent Adventure in Libya, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes proffered this gem: “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. Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.” Orwell, or at least the guardians of Newspeak about whom Orwell wrote, would have been proud.

A question that is increasingly being asked: whose mandate are we following? Bob Wright claims that taking our marching orders from the UN Security Council is the right and “legal” thing to do. I’m not sure how many Americans agree.

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.

The embarrassing thing is that it is pretty unclear exactly whose resolution was being enforced when the planes took to the skies over Tripoli. The president seems to think that it was some species of voluntary social work instigated by the General Will of the “international community.”

Obama said:
“. . . it is our military that is being volunteered by others . . .”

People are asking:
What others? The others whose resolution we are enforcing. Who are they? The international community, e.g., the United Nations, the Arab League? Are they in command of the United States military?

1 comment:

thisishabitforming said...

So this is what a smart war looks like. OMG