Everyone who ever accused George W. Bush of running an “illegal war” should take note: He didn’t, but Barack Obama may be planning to.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power appeared on NPR this morning to sell the Syria war. The show host asked her “Let me ask a central question for you, because you’re representing the U.S. at the United Nations, which has not authorized a strike. Would an American strike on Syria be legal?”
Power responded that “If we take military action in this context, it will be a legitimate, necessary, and proportionate response to this large scale and indiscriminate use of chemical weapons by the regime.” She then went on to whine that “nobody has tried harder” than the Obama administration to work with Russia to get UN Security Council action. She omits that Hillary Clinton’s “overcharge” and Barack Obama’s “flexibility” presented the US as weak and apologetic for years, leading to the point where now Putin knows who and what he is dealing with. Putin can bully Obama, and he knows it.
The Obama administration, Hillary Clinton included, also cast Assad as a “reformer” without any evidence that he had reformed anything other than upgrading his country’s Russian-built air defense system. That signaled magical thinking: The Obama team just wishes bad things away!
The real world doesn’t work that way.
The NPR host restated the first question to Power: “So let me make sure that I’m clear on this: You’re saying that something needs to be done and it is time to go outside the legal system, outside the legal framework. You believe it is right to do something that is just simply not legal.”
Power evaded again: “In the cases of–we’ve seen in the past–there are times when there is a patron like Syria backed by Russia, we saw this in Kosovo as well, where it was just structurally impossible to get meaningful international action through the security council, and yet in this case you have the grave breach of such a critical international norm in terms of the ban on chemical weapons use, it is very important that the international community act so as to prevent further use.”
Striking Syria would be an illegal action, and Obama’s cabal knows it.
Bill Clinton won NATO support for the Kosovo air war. Barack Obama has lost even David Cameron’s UK for the proposed strike on Syria.
There’s your “smart power” on full display.