Many people have complained about a new policy of “American Exceptionalism” in our wars and foreign policy. It appears however that we may have to call it a policy of “American Incoherence” after reading the latest remarks of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — policies that are understandable only to our leaders. Clinton (who supported the armed intervention in Libya because of the threat of citizen deaths) has announced that no troops can be sent to Syria without the consent of the regime. I happen to oppose military intervention in Syria, but we continue to convey to the world that the only guiding principle in our foreign policy is opportunism.
In the lawsuit by the members of Congress challenging the Libyan war (where I served as lead counsel), the Administration insisted that it did not need any consent of either Congress or the Libyan government to start bombing military and infrastructure sites.
Of course, these are “peacekeeping forces,” but the contrast to Syria is striking. In the lawsuit, Syria had already killed more civilians than Libya, but the Administration claimed that it had unilateral authority to enter Libya. Clinton insists that she is trying to “convince the Assad regime that they are leading Syria into the outcome that we all deplore. We do not want to see a civil war in Syria.” Presumably that does not include drone attacks where the consent is neither required nor often expected.
In the meantime, Libyan forces are now being accused of many of the same atrocities committed by the prior regime.
What is even more worrisome is the steady number of leaks and comments about an expected war with Iran — a war that we could easily be pulled into with a preemptive strike by Israel. That would move Syria further back in the line for U.S. intervention.
Source: Foreign Policy