“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.
Many people have, and have rightly, made fun of “kinetic military action” — it’s what rubes like you, me, and General Patton would call “war”—but in a way the more disturbing thing about Ben Rhodes’s smarmy little evasion is the phrase “enforcing a resolution.” 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.” (Who?) Relaxing recently in El Salvador after the rigors of his swing through Rio De Janeiro and other hardship spots in South and Central America, President Holiday answered — or at least responded to — questions about what was unfolding in Libya. Ed Driscoll quotes this amazing statement:
And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost. It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and 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.
“. . . it is our military that is being volunteered by others . . .” 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?