But the endgame is now inevitableby Wrinkled Weasel
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.