Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Cowboy Way

Regardless of my feelings on whether or not we should be engaging in hostilities in Libya, it is wryly amusing to watch the Very Serious Conservatives (as opposed to the Batshit Crazy ones) parse the hell out of President Obama’s tactics. Yesterday, Ross Douthat tried to make the case that building a coalition of like-minded allies before going into war is a terrible idea:

Because liberal wars depend on constant consensus-building within the (so-called) international community, they tend to be fought by committee, at a glacial pace, and with a caution that shades into tactical incompetence….

What Mr. Douthat prefers is the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld approach is to go in guns blazing, not this pussy-footing like Mr. Obama is doing.

Now David Brooks wants to chime in on the same subject.

Yet today, as an impeccably crafted multilateral force intervenes in Libya, certain old feelings are coming back to the surface. These feelings have been buried since the 1990s, when multilateral efforts failed in Kosovo, Rwanda and Iraq. They concern the structural weaknesses that bedevil multilateral efforts. They remind us that unilateralism may be no walk in the park, but multilateralism has its own characteristic problems, which are showing up already in Libya.

In other words, it’s much more fun being a unilateralist; then you get to land on aircraft carriers and stuff a sock in your pants. Yip-ya, bitchez.