Libya Fight Is War on Dictionary
Apparently it's not 'war' if Americans aren't killed: Jonathan Schell
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 21, 2011 1:56 PM CDT
President Obama speaks at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., in March.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – The Obama administration says the Libya conflict isn’t war because it doesn’t “involve the presence of US ground troops, US casualties, or a serious threat thereof.” So “war is only war, it seems, when Americans are dying,” writes Jonathan Schell in the Los Angeles Times. “When only they—the Libyans—die, it is something else for which there is as yet apparently no name.” Once, “an attack on a country was an act of war, no matter what.”

“Now the Obama administration claims that if the adversary cannot fight back, there is no war.” Sounds a lot like when the Bush administration redefined torture, allowing waterboarding, for example, as an “enhanced interrogation technique.” Obama didn’t want to undermine the requirement that Congress must declare war, but he went into Libya without Congress’ approval. “For the administration to go ahead with a war lacking any form of congressional authorization, it had to challenge either law or language,” notes Schell. And “it chose language.”