Since when does the UN authorize the US to go to war?

Andrew C. McCarthy says Go to Congress first before warring against Libya.

    On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted 10–0 (with five abstentions, including China, Russia, and Germany) to authorize the use of military force (i.e., “all necessary measures”) against Libya. Ostensibly, the resolution is designed to protect the Libyan people. But not to mince words, it is a license for war against the regime of Moammar Qaddafi. It would kick hostilities off with a no-fly zone over Libya. As a practical matter, American armed forces must do the heavy lifting if the strategy is to have a prayer, and indications are that President Obama intends to oblige.
    There is a catch: The Security Council is powerless to “authorize” the U.S. military to do a damned thing. The validity of American combat operations is a matter of American law, and that means Congress must authorize them.

    Our Constitution vests Congress with the power to declare war. That authority cannot be delegated to an international tribunal that lacks political accountability to the American people. The decision to go to war is the most significant one a body politic can make. Thus the Framers designed our system to make certain that the responsible officials are answerable to the people whose lives are at stake and who are expected to foot the bills.

and concludes

    But there should be no debating that absent a hostile invasion of our country, a forcible attack against our interests, or a clear threat against us so imminent that Americans may be harmed unless prompt action is taken, the United States should not launch combat operations without congressional approval.

But James V. Capua in Obama and the Libya decision has a different take.

    Barack Obama finally has a war he can believe in. The intervention in Libya promises to conform just about perfectly to the president’s world view. He hastened to declare in his Friday afternoon statement what it would not entail– no US troops on the ground, and somebody else will lead it.

    Now at first glance it might appear he is merely being cautious – limiting our exposure to minimize any unfortunate foreign or domestic fallout should the television images get unpleasant, but one cannot help but suspect that the motive is less to minimize the US role than it is to exalt that of the UN and other supra-national organizations, such as the Arab League, and all of the NGO camp followers that normally feed off such international coalitions.

    Additionally, this action promises finally to use American military power in the kind of international relief and social service agency capacity Obama’s internationalist foreign policy team would like it to be, its mission unsullied by grubby considerations of national interest. One observer has already compared it to the international intervention in Kosovo, intervention that delivered the Kosovars into the hands of UN and EU caretakers, despite their declaration of independence.


    Even more significantly Obama’s world view requires victims to be serviced, and not winners to be supported. As long as the Libyan rebels had a chance to prevail, they were of little value to a messianic narcissist bent on removing the “Incomplete” from his Nobel Peace Prize citation. Pitiful, battered, pleading Libyans huddled around Benghazi are the prerequisite for making this this intervention work politically. In just the same way Obama and Pelosi needed the image of sick, desperate, hard up Americans to make the case for ObamaCare, the Stimuli, and financial services “reform.”


    War without victory, intervention that produces dependency, Americans shouldering the burdens but obscured in a fog of UN acronyms, a maze of rules of engagement and process that squeezes every last bit of spirit and motivation out of warriors, it may not be a strategy, but it sure as hell explains the motivation.

March 19, 2011 | 19 Comments »

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19 Comments / 19 Comments

  1. For sure Ron ol buddy would be an isolationist, but if the opportunity afforded itself in the UNSC to condemn Israel for defending herself, he would be first in line.

    HAHAHA! You’re an ass. Ron Paul doesn’t even believe the USA should be consorting with the UN. He sure as hell is opposed to the U.S. taxpayer footing 25% of the UN’s budget. Get the U.S. out of the UN and get the UN out of the U.S. Ron Paul is not a globalist. He may not like Israel but he would stay out of your business and everyone else’s business.

  2. Obama has awoken the sleeping giant.

    The U.N. has been wanting a U.N. standing army and has so far been repulsed. To allow the U.N. to invade another country by a vote opens the door for the the world to attack Israel. The U.N. resolution will be that Israel recede to the 1948 borders and accept 5 million plus Arabs. Israel refuses. The U.N. votes to attack a resolution defiant Israel. Countries in the U.N. vote to attack.

    Asking the Arab nations to participate militarily has awoken this collective giant and has given these vicious dictatorships a legitimate possibility of military joint action.

    Asking the Arab dictatorships to participate or even pay opens up the sectarian divide to military advantage via the U.N.

  3. an important reason why the french were eager to join the u n declaration concerning lybia, is that they can envision hundreds of thousands of lybians flooding france if this civil war continues. and who will form the next lybian government? will it be the muslim brotherhood, al qaida, iran? take your pick.

  4. Whilst a new war is waged in the Middle East, and Japan struggles with the shocking after effects of a 9.0 massive quake; tsunami, and frightening radiation, Obama and his family are enjoying a relaxing vacation in Brazil. They are just not calling it a vacation.

  5. Absolutely disgusting. America, UK, and all other non-Muslim nations should stay out of this conflict. It is for Muslims only to deal with. Let the Muslims use their great oil wealth, their military and their planes, etc. Let Muslims fight this war if that is what they want.

    And who will be the winners? Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood?

  6. 1. The article is incorrect in stating that according to Congress, only Congress can declare war. The Pres, as head of the armed forces and in charge of foreign affairs, can use the military to implement its foreign policy. The War Powers Act is controversial and has never been used. Presidents have circumvented it by ‘consulting’ with Congressional leaders or asking for Congressional resolutions.

    2. Pres Hussain Obama & the US establishment want this war in hopes of removing anti-US Qaddafi & getting a pro-US regime. It’ll never happen. All the US will get is another strongly muslim/nationalist regime.

    3. How does this effect Israel? Pres Hussain Obama will pressure Israel for more concessions to show the arabs that he is indeed their friend.

  7. Does anyone have any respect for Soetoro/Obama?

    About 50% of Americans would vote for Obama today if they had the chance. Another 15% would be total isolationists by voting for Israel hater Ron Paul. For sure Ron ol buddy would be an isolationist, but if the opportunity afforded itself in the UNSC to condemn Israel for defending herself, he would be first in line. So, with the other half of my brain, I add 50% + 15%, and I see that only 35% of Americans want a strong pro-Israel leader in foreign policy. Of that 35% I am sure there are a few weak links. Maybe half of them would follow Glenn Beck to the Mall in Washingto D.C. At this point, even with his black robe regiment, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh together have a following of maybe 25% of the American people. There is no saving America. And the 55% of American Jews who would still vote for Obama, their heads are up their posteriors or something that flushes.

  8. What a silly question: “Since when does the UN authorize the US to go to war?” Since the American people elected a man who is weak, indecisive vacillator, who does not believe the USA leadership role, who is scared of his own shadow and has no clue how to lead. Since the occupant of the White House is totally inappropriate for the job he was elected to do the USA is in regression. Does anyone have any respect for Soetoro/Obama?

  9. This is embarassing!!! Libya has NOT attacked any other country. The problem is an internal issue. Are all these western scavengers just goimg after one-tinpot dictator because he is winning and the so-called “people’ are unorganized? It IS embarrassing!!

    Or is this a pretext to go after ‘another’ country and is a test-run for the future? WHAT a shame. It looks like all the big cats are together going after one little mouse simply because he is showing some balls.


  10. Since when does the UN authorize the US to go to war?

    Since B Hussein Obama started inviting George Soros as a regular advisor to the White House! Dah, I could have answered that with half of my brain.

  11. We’ll see how many of those crazy so-called “anti war protestors” are out there on the streets. They are such hypocrites! WHere is that old crone Cindy SHeehan?

  12. Dr. Aronoff, There are millions of Americans that see Mr. Obama as a traitor, and an ardant globilist. Come 2012 he will be voted into history.

  13. It is clear why we are attacking Libya. Obama supports Islam, and is actively working to dismantle the U.S. legal structure moving towards a one-world government, such as desired by Soros and devout Muslims. Obama is an evil traitor. He should be tried and hanged by the neck until he dies. Scary that so few people see this reality.

  14. I do not understand why we are involved in a civil war in Libya, this is none of our business, and we should stay out of it. There have been so may internal wars in Africa and the middle east, and for the most part we stay out of them and only offer lip service.

    Why are we not involved in stopping the Arab terrorist in Israel, or Jordon, or Lebanon, or Syria, and whay about Iran, they are the builders of terror.

  15. I am viewing all this from rural Communist China. So much sheer madness has been going on in world politics lately, that nothing really surprizes me. As for consulting Congress, this is a nicety that has only been used when the warmongering President was assured of overwhelming support. Otherwise, US Presidents have used their authority as Commander in Chief without consulting anyone.

    The really sick part of this episode, is that Conservative Americans such as Sarah Palin are fully behind this instance of “Barbary Pirates in Reverse”. I checked Fox News and Pajamas Media, and found them all beating drums in support of Barry-O. talks about “Nazis” and the “Luftwaffe”, but says the “Zionists” are behind the attacks. With “friends” like Pravda, we don’t need enemies. This does not look good. It seems that the world is linking arms against reason, against decency, and against anything holy; and right up there, leading the charge, are so-called “friends of Israel” such as Palin. Oddly, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations had advised AGAINST the attack. Obama no longer seems like a CFR puppet: More and more, it looks as though all the nations of the world are Obama’s puppets.

    Jesus said, “Your enemies shall be those of your own household”. He was right.

  16. What’s the difference between Libya and Yemen or Bahrain?

    All three states have been using violence to crush pro-democracy protests.

    But only against Libya are the US and its Western allies planning a military response.

    Yemen and Bahrain’s crackdowns have so far been met only with words, not action.

    On one level the answer is obvious.

    Bahrain and Yemen are US allies – especially Bahrain with its large US naval base. Libya is not.

    The US response to Bahrain is further complicated by neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Washington’s number one Arab ally.

    Sunni ‘red line’

    The Saudis were not happy to see Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak go.

    Having watched Tunisia and Egypt go, other Arab leaders are following Libya’s lead in drawing a line in the sand and opting for force rather than dialogue”
    End Quote Losing the Sunni monarchy in its neighbour is a red line – that’s why it took the unprecedented step of sending 1,000 troops over the border into Bahrain, after which the crackdown began.

    But what happened to the “universal values” US President Barack Obama cited when he eventually backed protesters in Egypt?

    His decision to abandon an old US ally there – Mr Mubarak – gave some the impression he was preparing to apply those values universally and to break with the past US policy of cosying up to other Middle Eastern regimes.

    Critics say it was a dangerous impression, raising protesters’ expectations as well as Gulf monarchs’ blood pressure.

    ‘Interests come first’

    “The US always preaches values that it cannot live up to,” says Marina Ottaway, director of the Middle East programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

    “In the end, its interests come first.”

    As the uprisings have spread out of North Africa to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, those interests have come to the fore again, with Washington taking a more cautious, country-by-country approach.

    For the US, stability in those oil-rich states now appears to trump the hopes of their protest movements.

    Yemen is crucial to Washington for its battle with al-Qaeda – which makes the Obama administration cautious in how hard it pushes Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    “The US is very afraid that if Saleh goes, Yemen will fall apart,” Ms Ottaway says.

    Mr Obama condemned the latest violence in Yemen, in which at least 30 protesters were killed.


    But he would only call for “those responsible… to be held accountable”, without directly laying it at Mr Saleh’s door.

    Washington has had a low-key response as well to violence used by Iraqi security forces against protesters there.

    Even with Libya, the new caution is on display. The administration was reluctant for some time to back a no-fly zone, fearing it could lead to a third US war on a Muslim country, after Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It only did so only after it got support from Arab states and European allies.

    And it is still not clear how much the US will contribute militarily to the UN-backed no-fly zone or what will happen if Col Gaddafi succeeds in hanging onto power.

    With recent history in mind and the tide of protest still sweeping through the region, caution arguably looks a sensible policy from a US point of view.

    But it also risks giving conservative Arab leaders the breathing space they need to stall the push for reform and hang on.

    Having watched Tunisia and Egypt go, other Arab leaders are following Libya’s lead in drawing a line in the sand and opting for force rather than dialogue.

    It’s not clear if Mr Obama can do anything about it.

  17. You are correct. I am still searching for others expressing this alarm. So far, I have found:
    A Real Cost/Benefit Analysis of Libyan Intervention

    By contrast, the major American media (and especially the fake conservative Fox News Channel) have been promoting the views of warmongers.

    For millions of Americans who do not understand what is happening, I recommend that they watch the film Idiocracy: