I don’t think Presidents should be able to start wars on their own — Obama didn’t invent this problem.
Obama didn’t start or invent a damn thing. The war in Libya was going on for a few weeks before the Arab League voted, which was before the UN Security Council invoked Article VII of the UN Charter, which was before the President ordered the first American action in Libya. Plus, there’s this whole War Powers Act that’s part of a long and sordid saga about the rise of the American empire since 1945…but this is not that.
This is Greenwald complaining that the international apparatus of collective security takes more work and skill to direct than Congress. If Obama didn’t take the time to stop and explain things to Congress first and let Kucinich speechify, it’s because the window of intervention was already slamming shut. This week Obama will talk to Congress, and we shall see how it shakes out; maybe he will remind them that Congress made the United States part of the United Nations in 1946.
But this is not that. This is Greenwald, who wanted more discussion. The President of France is strutting like the cock-of-the-walk, Britain actually pleaded for intervention, and neither Russia or China used their veto power in the UN Security Council — but Obama “starts wars on his own.” See how that works?
Which brings me to my next point: this was on its way to pound the shit out of Benghazi when the President ordered American forces to intervene. It was stopped at about the limit of its range:
That is a self-propelled howitzer. It is designed to deliver many, many high-explosive shells in a rapid fashion. Indirect fire is the number one killer in modern wars. Firing on civilian areas, these weapons create unimaginable death and destruction; shelter is nearly impossible. Overpressure blows out lungs and concusses brains to jelly. Shrapnel rips apart bones and flesh. Buildings turn to powder.
This is what artillery of that caliber looks like when it’s used on the Gaza Strip. If it’s not okay to shoot them at civilians in the Gaza Strip, then it shouldn’t be okay in Benghazi either. I’m just saying: