Tuesday, November 11, 2003
I'm continuing my dissection of the Resolution that I have been posting to the www.danconley.com blog
"Americans generally do not like to cede authority, especially over issues of war and peace, to international bodies"
I agree, but the internationalists were not ceding US authority here. What they were arguing is the US cannot proceed preemptively without a real immediate threat. However, the US should use international institutions to gain leverage to avoid Iraq reaching the point of having WMDs where they would become an imminent threat. Prevention not preemption, that is legitimized by international authority to contain rogue regimes... Clark and Kerry would both argue prior to the war there was no immediate threat from Iraq, and that if there were an immediate threat the President should not be going to Congress for a Resolution, but immediately removing the threat. The United States has been responsible for creating tens of international institutions and then using them to assist us with world order (World Bank, UN, IMF, and even yes the EU). This is nothing new and most Americans have accepted our position of leading through coalition building.
As an example, Kerry would say on the floor when voting for the Resolution the following:
"The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions."
This is why Clark said on his first day as a candidate that he would have supported the Resolution. He understood the resolution meant inspectors entering Iraq in a containment effort. This is different than being against the war...
The actual Resolution (as opposed to the "pretend" version Dean people prefer), authorizes force on two occasions. 1) If there is an imminent threat 2) to enforce Security Council Resolution.