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March 19, 2011


Strahler 70

Schon seit langem ist es die Absicht Frankreichs, mittels der Europäischen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik, insbesondere der EU-Streitkräfte, die Rolle des offiziellen Weltpolizisten für Afrika einzunehmen. Frankreich sieht sich selbst als die militärische Führungsmacht in der EU, mit Deutschland und Belgien als Juniorpartner.

Voraussetzungen für den Einsatz: UN Mandat, EU-Beschluß. Die aktive Teilnahme an Militäroperationen ist zwar für jedes EU-Mitglied freiwillig, aber genau das könnte die Bevölkerung in den Staaten, die keine Truppen entsenden, zu dem Irrtum verleiten, ihr Land hätte damit praktisch nichts zu tun.
Wie jetzt in Deutschland.

Der militärische Gegner hingegen dürfte derlei feinsinnige Unterscheidungen als müßig abtun und die gesamte EU pauschal als feindlich und kriegführend betrachten. Manch ein Staat, der sich für unbeteiligt hält, könnte eine böse Überraschung erleben.

Frankreich steht vor der Renaissance als bedeutender militärischer Global Player und zieht ganz Europa mit in die Verantwortung. Anders gesagt: In militärischen Dingen liegt die Autorität bei Frankreich, während die Verantwortung auf alle EU-
Staaten verteilt wird.

Libyen ist für Frankreich der willkommene Anlaß, die unverhofft frühe Premiere, endlich zur Tat zu schreiten.

Im Prinzip habe ich ja nichts dagegen, wenn Ghaddafi das Handwerk gelegt wird. So wie ich auch nichts dagegen hatte, daß Saddam Hussein das Handwerk gelegt wird. Im Prinzip.

Aber ich befürchte ein Fiasko in Libyen, bei den Luftangriffen wird es "Kollateralschäden" geben und nun, wo man angefangen hat, wird der Druck, doch auch Bodentruppen einzusetzen, dramatisch zunehmen. Das Tor ist ja schon offen, man muß nur noch durchmaschieren...

Unvermeidlich gilt nun auch die Parole: "Erst der Irak, nun Libyen!" Ein weiterer Krieg um Öl und Gas, was denn sonst?

Am liebsten würde ich morgen folgende Schlagzeile sehen:

Ägyptische Armee befreit Libyen!


Ägyptische Armee befreit Libyen!

Ja, gute Frage. Wo bleiben die Ägypter? Wo ist die saudi-arabische Luftwaffe - eine der besten, die es gibt??

Strahler 70

Rußland und China bekommen für ihre Stimmenthaltung übrigens je eine Gutschrift über "Robustes UN-Mandat Menge: 1" zur freien Verwendung.

Guido Westerwelle hat sich als idealer UN-Generalsekretär geoutet.






"Germany on wrong side of history with Libya abstention"

Let's talk about that in a few years again, shall we?


Gaddafi has made it clear through his actions that he is more than willing to massacre his own citizens to hold on to power. If he somehow survives as leader, Guido Westerwelle and Vladimir Putin can celebrate in Tripoli with their BFF. Maybe Libya will award Germany a huge new contract for a nuclear power plant.


The idealists among you won't like it, but for Gerany there is now a third way, next to supporting or not supporting the airstrikes:

Now that the coalition of the willing has stopped all armored forces against the rebels, Gaddafi is in need of good ideas.

IF the German government believes that the rebels will not prevail against Gaddafi, it might as well be the right time to secretly support the dictator so that we gain exclusive energy trading opportunities after the struggle ended.

Delivering weapons to him after his recent actions would of course create too much of a diplomatic fallout.

But isn't Bouteflika worried about his future, too? If we supplied Lybia's neighbour, Algeria, with a significant amount of modern firearms while also making Bouteflika aware of the fact that he stabilizes his own position most effectively by sending half of these weapons across the border to Gaddafis minions, so that they can deal with the uprisings quickly...

Wouldn't that make sense for everyone involved? :-)


Zyme, Hugo Chavez is looking for a strategic partner in Europe. Cheap oil for German tanks and weapon systems. Sounds like a better option than Westerwelle's pal Gaddafi.


Unfortunately I know too little about Venezuela.

But Libya is just around the corner.

You must not take these things personal David. I just like to set free my creativity :-)

Strahler 70

Instead of bashing Germany we could also have a look at the side show in that sailors' dive called Bahrein, where the US have engaged a dwarf king for dancing cha-cha-cha on the piano.

In Bahrein, brutal force against protesters, especially by their strategic ally Saudi-Arabia, is acceptable for the USA?




And David - what do you think of the interesting turn in Obama's stance regarding Guantanmo Bay? Aren't you happy that America's security is given top priority? :-)

John in Michigan, USA

Obama the neo-con...who knew?

The US is now involved in 3 1/2 wars.

Still waiting for Obama to be labelled a flip-flopper here on DI...how long will David continue to toe the Party Line?

The people of Libya are long oppressed, but the tribal forces that have been unleashed are not necessarily democratic in nature. Proclaiming the German position to be "the wrong side of history" is a bit *de trop*, at least at this point. David the neo-con?

It is a diplomatic coup for the US-French-British coalition to have gotten the 2nd UN resolution. On the other hand, the UN process managed to delay things long enough that it will be much, much harder to end things quickly. The right time would have been weeks ago, when the opposition looked strong and Gaddafi looked weak.

Under US law, Obama's actions are legal under the Vietnam-inspired War Powers Resolution of 1973. Obama informed Congress by written letter, which is the bare minimum requirement of the law.

I am baffled by Obama's failure to follow the tradition that goes with that law. That tradition calls for some type of face-to-face consultations with Congress (or at least, the bi-partisan leadership) in advance of major military actions. There are exceptions for self-defense of US forces or citizens, but everyone was evacuated on a rented ferry boat, so this exception does not apply. These consultations do not have to be open sessions with journalists present, and do not require a formal vote, but by tradition they are supposed to at least occur.

I wonder, was Obama's break with tradition for some purpose, or was the whole thing a rush job?

Already the US left and right wings (Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders; Ron Paul and Rand Paul) are unified against this decision. Because of Obama's break with tradition, the controversy over that 1973 law will be revisited.

Still: Gaddafi is bathed in blood, with the promise of more to come, so for that and other reasons I am very cautiously in favor of the Libyan no-fly zone, and related operations such as stopping the armored advance that seemed likely to implement Gaddafi's public calls for mass murder, perhaps even to the point of genocide of rival tribes.

These Gaddafi statements and actions should come as a surprise to no-one. Will there be accountability for the academics and others that attempted to whitewash the Gaddafi heir? LSE, that means you. **This seems a little more serious than plagiarism.** Shouldn't some careers be ended?


No, this has nothing to do with a unilateral neo-con adventure based on lies. The true comparison is Srebrenica, not Baghdad. This is the international community acting under international law in a humanitarian intervention.

I agree the outcome is uncertain. What is certain is that a bloodbath in Benghazi was averted (for now). Can you imagine the outcry if the world stood by and had just allowed that to happen? President Obama can live with the criticism of Taul senior and junior and their Tea Party supporters.


"President Obama can live with the criticism of Taul senior and junior and their Tea Party supporters."

Ron Paul himself has largely disavowed the Tea Party.

And read MichaelMoore.com

And Medea Benjamin

Funny how you have a ticker showing the civilian casualty count of the Iraqi invasion but chastise Germany for abstaining from voting for the UN resolution.

Strahler 70

I'm afraid Gaddafis forces are stronger than the rebell forces even without airplanes and tanks. The rebells won't win if left on their own, they will be finally defeated by Gaddafis militias in a long and bloody civil war. Without an invasion, by which country or coalition ever, time is on Gaddafis side. The French Foreign Legion could finish the job, or a US dock landing ship, but that would turn the UN mandate into a farce. The Egypt Army would be my favorite to liberate Libya, but that could also be the end of Libya as a sovereign state and the birth of a new superpower in Europe's region of strategic interest.

In the last years Gaddafi has done the dirty job for Europe by preventing African refugees from entering Europe. Maybe Europe, especially France and Italy, have enough reasons to be afraid that some inconveniant truths might be discovered, truths known all too well, about concentration camps for refugees, the role of Frontex, etc, etc...


Have you ever considered that Germany, mindful of her militarist past, does not want to go willy-nilly around the world wreaking havoc?



Spare me the moralizing.

If international forces had not intervened when they did, rivers of blood would be flowing in Benghazi today and you and everyone else would be excoriating President Obama for not having acted.

John in Michigan, USA

"The true comparison is Srebrenica, not Baghdad"

I didn't mean to suggest a direct analogy between Iraq and Libya. I wrote neo-con because your phrase "wrong side of history" has a very neo-con feel to it. Of course, the neo-cons themselves borrowed that rhetoric from their own ex-socialist heritage.

Srebrenica is a fair comparison. Have you perhaps been reading Fouad Ajami "Obama's Holbrooke Moment"? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703858404576214611827641054.html or if you don't subscribe, try http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052748703858404576214611827641054.html


"Spare me the moralizing."

Never. War is war, despite Obama's calling it a "kinetic military action" (nice Orwellian touch).

"If international forces had not intervened when they did, rivers of blood would be flowing in Benghazi today and you and everyone else would be excoriating President Obama for not having acted."
What makes you so sure if blood would flow? How do you know if I would excoriate Obama for standing by? Which reminds me, why did Clinton get involved in Bosnia but not Rwanda?


"why did Clinton get involved in Bosnia but not Rwanda?"

Fair criticism. Clinton himself has written that this is his greatest regret of his presidency.

John - thanks for the link. I do not subscribe to the WSJ.

John in Michigan, USA


David's little Iraq casualty gadget massively exaggerates the casualties. Who in their right mind would estimate casualties according to an opinion survey, when actual, meticulous, peer reviewed casualty counts are available from anti-war, non-government sources?

This article debunks the Lancet-inspired, million(s) dead myth, and gives links to one of the best available counts:


Interestingly, yearly casualty rates during the period 2003-present compare quite favorably with UN estimates of yearly excess casualties produced by the Saddam-era sanctions regime.



Was the invasion worth it, in your eyes? Was it worth the 4,000 American lives lost, the $1 trillion in cost, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqi lives (if you believe the conservative figures)?

No doubt you stood by cheering and waiving the flag. A true patriot!

John in Michigan, USA


For the Iraqis, probably yes.

The true mortality rate under Saddam can only be guessed at, since enemies of the state weren't killed but rather 'disappeared'. It became a crime to count them, bury them, or even mention them. In addition, sanctions were allegedly killing 600,000 Iraqis a year (although this UN figure seems inflated). The death rate almost certainly declined in 2008-11 as compared to a typical 3 year period during 1992-2003. Also no oil field environmental holocaust, no more Kurdish, Shiite, or non-conforming Arab genocide attempts, etc. so, uh, that's a plus...

For the coalition, it is hard to say. Iraq per se was borderline, but what was I think worth the horrible cost was the attempt to change the larger region from an expectation of stability to an expectation of change. Without that, the Arab Spring of today might just be a footnote. If in the end the region permanently changes towards democracy, it will ease the pain greatly; if it reverts back to petro-dictators, history will harshly judge Bush & Co. We will see.

Dominic Caraccilo

The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

Jack Morales

Hah, Italien Demonstranten Kundgebung gegen Berlusconi

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