Beinart knows that the consistency argument is weaker, which is why he focuses all of his attention on refuting it. While it is weaker, the consistency argument is perfectly appropriate to use against humanitarian interventionists when they are saying that the Libyan war is supposed to serve as a precedent and a warning for other regimes. Humanitarian interventionists claim that they are enforcing a norm, and so it is a legitimate question why they have chosen to act in one internal conflict and have refused to do so elsewhere.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.