Back on September 11, 1990, George HW Bush made famous the term "new world order" in a speech in front of Congress (full version--interesting comments on the deficit btw) discussing our coming entrance into the Gulf War to eradicate "Sodom" Hussein from Kuwait.
Over the years that phrase has been warped and twisted by a lot of fruitcakes like Alex Jones, but at the time it generally represented following the rule of law and coming together under the UN banner to 'fulfill its mission".
To radical Islamists or Arab thugs it also apparently signaled something else--a coming infidel US hegemony. Master-terrorist Ramzi Yousef entered the US in late 1992 on a forged Iraqi passport with an issue date of September 11, 1990. He was on his way to attack the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993, the day Kuwaitis chose to celebrate freedom from the invasion. The Trade Center would eventually get leveled (as promised) 11 years later on September 11th. We could pretend those things were wild coincidences but knowing how important dates are to terrorists, why would anyone?
The rest is history--Clinton came along and privately declared terrorism a law enforcement issue, built a higher wall between the spooks and the feds, and responded erratically to several attacks without using all the forces at his command, emboldening our primitive adversaries. Then 9/11 occurred. The old new world order was pretty much a failure.
Post 9/11 HW's son came along and changed the world order to "with us or with the terrorists" and finished the job on Baghdad's number one terrorist and declared a global war on terror using all the assets he could muster, to the point of dunking the primitives under water to get needed intelligence. This was not in his daddy's original plan.
Not surprisingly his congressional mandate, yet another UN resolution and international coalition followed by eradication of bad guys around the world were roundly painted as the actions of a dangerous unilateralist cowboy wrecking America's kinder and gentler image. Obama was one of his biggest critics, perhaps even winning the White House by running against that very strawman and certainly receiving the Nobel Prize simply for not being Bush.
Some tried to warn that his high and mighty hopey changy polemics were only a ruse to enact a more sinister vision but the country was so exhausted by the unilateralist cowboy they chose a unicorn of hope and change anyway. For instance, he promised to meet our adversaries face-to-face and without preconditions--does anyone remember his face-to-face with Gaddafi before ordering in the B2's and Tomahawks?
Evidently Obama's problem with Bush wasn't that he attacked other countries but that he did so after going to the Congress and American people instead of just the UN. It was only a few weeks ago he was quoted as saying "in China they don't have this problem [rulers dealing with democracy]".
But back to history. Under the first new world order HW Bush followed the UN mandate to the tee and let Saddam escape back to Baghdad where he immediately commenced using helicopter gunships to mow down the rebellious Iraqi Marsh Arabs, exactly the situation we now face in Libya. Clinton then took the world order all over the map--he saved the Kosovar Muslims and other Balkan groups partially without a UN mandate but let hundreds of thousands of Rwandans die and did nothing to slow down the gathering storm of al Qaeda for fear of using the full force of a military he once loathed. At the same time he bombed Iraq twice and warned everyone of the threat Saddam posed to the world but did little to permanently stop him either.
Dubya came along and announced to Condi he was tired of 'swatting at flies'. At the time the UN consensus was that Saddam had WMDs so Bush went in; later the consensus became that he had no WMDs and Bush was a war criminal. But there are no WMDs, and not even a Saddam anymore. Gaddafi also had WMDs and harbored terrorists but wisely cashed that out for favors after a bedraggled Butcher was pulled from his spider hole; good, but we never got total access so there's always the chance he left some hidden somewhere, such as mustard gas.
What happens if the rebels win and this stuff falls into the hands of AQ? Is that serving our interests? Obama is saying there will be no US boots on the ground but that doesn't rule out African Union or UN peacekeeping troops left to protect the WMDs from al Qaeda. Sound like a winner to you?
But here we are, another new world order. Obama attacked Libya from Rio, not bothering with the Congress or the American people to pretend America wasn't leading, and now we're depending on a rag tag bunch of civilians to defeat the dictator because the UN's mandate doesn't allow targeting the leader who's causing all the problem. This new, new world order seems to establish the use of American military force whenever internationalist bureaucrats agree on something. Kerry's global test, in other words.
Well, hopefully operation Odyssey Dawn doesn't reflect more on its first name and remains "days, not weeks". It may turn into the mother of all mission creep or a quagmire but if it's successful--or spun as successful--the precedent set will be much worse than the failing precedent first set back in late 1990 or anything done by the cowboy to turn it around. What will they say during the next revolt when the tinpot opens fire and we turn the other cheek?
America's president is first and foremost bound to the people and our constitution, not an international body. We can and should work with international military coalitions to the extent it's in our national interest in defending the country, but nothing more. It's a pretty simple concept, one that even a Harvard trained constitutional law professor should easily grasp. If the president believes our national security is at stake by having a rogue and empowered Q'daffy chest-thumping in the region then take him out, quick and dirty. If not, then stay in the background and help those who are at risk if we can, as we always have.
US POLICY? 3/23/11
Obama has been saying it's "US policy that Gaddafi needs to go". I realize the president is in charge of foreign policy but was there some kind of resolution, such as with Iraq, that clarified the policy or did Obama wake up one day and deem it so? And if Obama says Gaddafi can stay in power doesn't that violate US policy? Maybe it's time to quote Gaddafi's stooge.