- - Tuesday, September 3, 2013


President Obama’s forthcoming attack on Syria has nothing to do with Syria (“McCain: Rejection of Syria war resolution would be ‘catastrophic,’” Web, Sept. 2). It is a war in defense of internationalism, and the enemy is not a regime in Syria, but rather the very idea that America should consider itself anything other than fully subordinate to international rule. How else to explain Mr. Obama’s attitude, both resigned and enthusiastic, toward the inevitability of this war, as though violations of “international norms” automatically compel America to act, whether we wish it or not? This is why Congress isn’t being consulted. Congress represents the American people and American interests, so to consult Congress is to acknowledge that American interests should control America’s direction. This is untenable for the left, which for some time now has wished to reduce America from its position as an autonomous superpower.

Under President George W. Bush the issue was whether America was justified in acting without the support of the international community. But under Mr. Obama the issue is whether America may withhold support when the international community, international law or internationalism itself demands it. This is not an insignificant difference. The former required permission, but the latter requires submission. That’s much more dangerous, and it represents an enormous leap toward the erosion of American autonomy. This is what you get when you elect a self-described “citizen of the world” as your president.


North Brunswick, N.J.

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