The West is in disarray over Libya

But the endgame is now inevitable
by Wrinkled Weasel

The United Nations vote says it all. The Security Council has voted to authorize military action and the imposition of a no-fly zone. There was no opposition, but several abstentions. The usual suspects of course abstained, but the fact that Russia and China did not object says a lot. Germany also abstained, which is probably down to two things; one is the utter confusion about what is going on in Libya, and the second is impending domestic elections that are by no means a foregone conclusion for Angel Merkel. She has already appeased the anti-nuclear lobby in the wake of the Japanese disaster.

People who are in a position to know about these things admit to me that they do not know what is going on either. The escalation of the situation in Libya has been almost without parallel.

Philip Stephens, writing in the FT (£) had this to say before the UN Resolution:

The west is left in disarray. Once familiar positions on the merits or otherwise of intervention have been upended. Barack Obama has considered the legacy of Iraq and insisted that nothing could be done without the sanction of the UN Security Council. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy has argued for shooting first and checking the legal fine print later. Britain has leaned more towards Paris than Washington.

Divisions within the European Union have been mirrored by temporising in Washington. Just about everywhere, collisions between the realism that prizes short-term stability and the enlightened self-interest that supports Arab democracy have been excruciatingly painful. Has the west got it right? Probably not. Were there any easy choices? Certainly not. 

Stephens's commentary over the last few weeks has probably been more enlightening than the plethora of babble and squeak, but he has to acknowledge that there are no easy answers.

All I can do is to re-state my opinion that the British have a different attitude to waging war than almost any other country. Cameron is following in the footsteps of Thatcher, in that he has acted decisively and quickly, whereas the USA prefers a slow burn, and the use of black propaganda and behind-the-scenes pursuasion.

Obviously Cameron has done a bit of behind-the-scenes pursuasion, but the speed at which he has done this is astonishing.It is worth remembering that he has managed some kind of consensus at the UN in a matter of days; a watertight legal mandate. This contrasts starkly with Tony Blair who spent months conniving with Bush to get a resolution over Iraq.

What happens over the weekend will be decisive however. At this moment the British military machine will be moving troops and equipment. As always, the Yanks have come in too late, but of course, the role they play will be a game changer. Colonel Gadaffi is playing the Hitler scenario. He will not live this out. Nobody can give him sanctuary and nobody wants to, except for somewhere like Somalia or North Korea. Gadaffi will fight to the death and he will take as many of the Libyan people with him as he can.

The genii is now well and truly out of the bottle and the endgame is now a world issue.


Anonymous said...

Yea but the sneaky bugger's declared a ceasefire in line with the UN resolution.
What now ?

Smoking Hot said...

Where is the help from the Arab/Muslim states? Maybe they will increase oil output so the price doesn't go through the roof? <<< hahaha, yeah, right.

So the West will pay for the NFZ, pay for more expensive oil that will effect any recovery, will also pay for anything that goes tits up.

ln the meantime the Arab/Muslim states sit back and get richer and don't get their hands dirty ... and 2 of them (Saudi, Bahrain) continue to oppress it's people with little, if any, condemnation from the West.

This is a good deal for the West?

What a bloody farce!

strapworld said...


As he proved during the IRA's 'campaign' of violence. Gadaffi will supply arms to the terrorists-and we certainly have many living amongst us- so we can look forward to more terrorist attacks on our streets now.

I am sorry. I just cannot understand this at all. We are broke, France is broke the only common denominator is that both Cameron and Sarkosy are unpopular.

My son goes to Afghanistan again shortly. I can tell you it is no fun for six months for him, his colleagues and his wife and family back home.

Cameron just wants a war.