President Obama's decision to intervene in Libya was based on a "multilateralist fantasy" rather than on any humanitarian impulse, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) said Wednesday on the Senate floor.
“The president’s address made it clear to me that our military action in Libya is less about humanitarianism and more about realizing a multilateralist fantasy,” Ensign said.
Multilateralism is a term applied in international relations to describe missions undertaken by multiple nations.
Ensign said Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton mislead the American people by suggesting the Senate had approved President Obama’s decision to attack forces controlled by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
“The United States Senate called for a no-fly zone in a resolution that it passed, I think, on March the 1st, and that mission is on the brink of having been accomplished,” said Clinton on March 27 on ABC’s This Week. “There was a lot of congressional support to do something.”
Clinton was referring to Senate Resolution 85 “strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya.” Ensign, however, said Clinton exaggerated the significance of that resolution.
“While secretary Clinton has continued to refer to Senate Resolution 85 as a Senate endorsement of the president’s establishment of a no-fly zone, I would like point out to the American people that her talking point is very misleading,” Ensign said.
“This issue was hot-lined and there was no debate allowed on the issue,” continued Ensign. “Senate Resolution 85 describe a no-fly zone as a possible action for the United Nations’s Security Counsel to consider, but it did not instruct he U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to take action or let alone authorize military operations.”
Ensign pointed out that the resolution had passed the Senate by the same procedure used to name a post office building.