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Divisions Strain ‘Allied’ Attack On Libya

From the UK’s Financial Times:

Rift over command of Libya campaign

By Daniel Dombey in Washington and Peter Spiegel in Brussels
Published: March 21 2011

French attempts to sidestep Nato at the outset of military operations against Libya have divided the international coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over the country, western diplomats said.

The French moves, which western diplomats said included launching the first attack on Libya without fully informing its allies, angered US and UK officials and are hampering efforts to transfer command of the operation to Nato, officials said. Relations grew so tense on Monday that French and German ambassadors to Nato walked out of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s decision-making body, after Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general, criticised Paris for impeding Nato involvement and Germany for not actively participating.

Turkey, a Nato member that has expressed reservations about the military intervention, also blocked a move to give the alliance command and control responsibilities during a Sunday night meeting. The Turkish government was upset that its representatives had not been invited to Paris for a summit on the crisis

Oh, the joys of multi-national forces. Especially forces that are supposed to include the French and the Turks.

“There are major tensions between the US-UK and the French,” said a western official, who added that Nato countries had been working for weeks to have the alliance assume effective command of the mission. “As we got closer and closer to closing the deal at Nato, France suddenly blocked everything, which confused us at first … But then it became clear – [French president Nicolas] Sarkozy wanted to announce strikes just as he was walking out of his meeting in Paris where he was leading the show.”

As Charles De Gaulle once said: "France is only itself when it is being great." Or, at least thinks it’s being great.

French officials denied acting alone in Saturday’s attack, saying the plan had always called for French fighters to kick off the operation followed by British and American missile attacks, French diplomats said…

Unlike the UK, France has always opposed Nato leadership of the operation, arguing it would send the wrong signal to a suspicious Arab world

And here is more good news, from the Associated Press:

Divisions strain NATO push for Libyan airstrikes

By Don Melvin, Associated Press – Mon Mar 21, 2011

BRUSSELS — Discord erupted Monday in Europe over whether the military operation in Libya should be controlled by NATO, after Turkey blocked the alliance’s participation while Italy issued a veiled threat to withdraw the use of its bases unless the alliance was put in charge.

Germany also questioned the wisdom of the operation, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin railed against the UN-backed airstrikes mounted so far against Moammar Gadhafi’s force by Britain, France and the United States outside of their NATO roles.

“The Security Council resolution is flawed, it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade,” Putin said. “In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state.”

A day after Turkey declined to support a military plan for the alliance to enforce a Libya no-fly zone, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could support the NATO effort — but only if it does not turn into an occupation…

Turkey’s envoys had warned that NATO’s participation in the airstrikes could damage the alliance’s standing in the Islamic world at a time when it is heavily engaged in the war in Afghanistan

NATO’s participation in any military action against Libya would require the approval of all 28 NATO members. But Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal denied that his country was grounding NATO

The NATO diplomats said the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s top decision-making body, was unable to reach agreement Monday, and would take up the issue again on Tuesday for the fourth day in a row…

Analysts said Turkey does not completely oppose military action, but wants to promote its role as a broker for peace in Libya.

“Turkey with its Muslim identity is emerging as a peace-builder and prefers reducing of the presence of foreigners and its policies might differ from those of Europe or the United States,” said Ilter Turan, a professor of political science at Istanbul’s Bilgi University.

Turkey has vast business interests in Libya, most notably in the construction sector, and had relatively friendly ties with Gadhafi. More than 30,000 Turks were working in Libya before the uprising against Gadhafi’s 42-year rule began last month.

Both France and Turkey have extensive financial interests in Libya. And they want to make sure they benefit from any eventual outcome. Which is always a problem when dealing with multi-national military undertakings.

And it is also why the US always ends up having to run the show if anything is going to get done.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Divisions Strain ‘Allied’ Attack On Libya”

  1. Astravogel

    Dang! I’d sure hate to
    get hit by a rift missle!
    Is the Eifel Tower still
    OK?

  2. We should look on the bright side. All the Bush haters and America bashers are getting just what they deserve – in large part; a world in chaos. The same people who ripped us a new one for “being the world’s policemen” now beg us to intervene “for humanitarian reasons”. Well, F*** YOU!! You loved Obummer when he said in Berlin,”This is the moment when the planet begins to heal, when the oceans recede!”. Soo. How do you like all the floods, earthquakes and tsunamis? The unemployment and civil war that is your lot? Do you love your man-child god now?

    • canary

      Canada supported the intervention. Europe is greatly concerned at the rate of the muslims running into their countries, yet alone being surrounded by untrustworthy powerful nations.

      Perhaps all have seen the anti-American Obama who is pro-muslim and anti-Christian and anti-Israel’s little big power they have as a back-up.

      Canada sees their southern border North America turning into a country full of illegal terrorists. Canada sees Obama allowing an explosion of illegal radical dangerous thugs entering their southern border, who have already been working their way up North. Obama loves Castro from the East.

      Obama is a blamer. Obama sets his own followers to take the blame. Obama can not possibly know what’s going on, other than what others tell him, so he can blame them.

      Obama is the thug husband of America. He whores around at will with his other wives. I worry what Obama will do if the tides turn against the mighty him. What will he do to a country he has grown up hating. Half the country voting for him didn’t change his heart. He won’t care about his life-long anti-American, muslim, & commie friends. Look how many he threw under the bus. Rev. Wright, Faharakan, and his own white Grandmother that raised him. He has the unions support.

      Why our Leaders aren’t asking for Obama’s impeachment and try to stop the damage is beyond reason. Sarah Palin got it right. There are too many sheep leading our country.

  3. Rusty Shackleford

    I know now why attacking Libya was a bad idea. I knew it was a bad idea before but I just got confirmation.

    McCain and Graham pushed for it weeks ago.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....TopStories

    Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) pushed President Barack Obama to take action in Libya for weeks before he did so.

    Since those two are barometers of bad ideas, just as Obama is a reverse barometer of the truth, it’s academic at this point.

    However, Obama has finally found the thing that pisses everybody off, which I said he would, eventually. The conservatives have their points, the liberals theirs and as the article notes, it has made strange bedfellows. The good thing though is that all are aligned against Obama at this point and there will probably be more to come.

    From the question of congressional approval to a clear game plan and choice of desired outcome. Not to mention the upcoming issue of the US taking orders from NATO or even worse, from Frawwwwnce.

    I will say this though, much criticism can be laid at the feet of FDR for many things but in the 1940′s he let the generals run the war and choose the objectives, with the notable exception of playing kabuki with Russia in the fall of Germany. It is doubtful that Obama would recognize where his responsibilities lay in any military operation, as shown by the new ROE for soldiers in Afghanistan (whatever you do, don’t shoot at anyone) . It is doubtful he would want to do anything about Ka-Daffy except talk a lot. He knows now that he runs the risk of losing not only his base but pretty much everyone who has something to say about Gitmo, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

    I actually am happy that this will be a moment of extreme exposure for mr babbles. Perhaps some democrats may even notice the emperor has no clothes.

  4. TerryAnne

    I can’t share the same opinion on this one. I’m glad Nicky did what he did. This is twice since the 90s that we’ve been out ballsed by France when it comes to gross human rights violations: Bosnia (Srebrenica) and now Libya (and note: both under “Democrat” presidents…hahaha). Somebody had to do something and I’m very glad it’s France, in all honesty. They (rightly, most of the time) get a bad rap, but I really do think Nicky is trying to improve France’s stance…both domestically and abroad.

    You made a valid point yesterday, Steve, asking where everyone is with the smaller human rights violations (the 50 killed for assembling, the stoning here, the stabbing there). I agree; however, that’s their government…it’s how these Muslim countries mete out their laws; if they have it written that x amount of people cannot assemble, then it’s their law. Heck, one of the reasons Christians were persecuted in ancient Rome was because of having more than x amount of people assembled together; it’s one of the reasons churches were held in people’s homes at only-in-the-know times – it kept the police from raiding them. Benevolent dictators love to make paranoid laws, but as long as that person is in his office legally, there isn’t a thing anyone can really say about it.

    Libya is something totally different. The bastage has turned his entire military against his own people simply because he doesn’t want to give up his cushy position as despotic psychopath dictator. He is in his position “legally” (he was voted in, such as that truly means, but we can’t challenge it – especially when we have a potentially illegally voted in ruler ourselves), which is why no one has taken him out; but when he violates his power to do what he’s doing… While we can’t and shouldn’t police the world, when there are disgusting things going on en masse like what is going on in Libya, and the people are begging for help…somebody needs to step up to the plate. And for all of Turkey’s b*tching and moaning, they never would have done a thing except maybe help Qaddaffi; they’re on the fast track to annihilating everything Ataturk did, so it doesn’t take much to think they’d applaud Qaddaffi’s stance.

    I’m also glad to see another country step up when we’re sitting around with our finger up our nose. It’s a bit of a relief to see that all is not lost when we’re under the rule of retards. :) Bizarre that it’s France, but Thank God it’s someone.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      One does truly get sick of being the police force and then a doormat for the rest of the world but the umbrage I take is the lack of condemnation for human rights violations worldwide and the failure of this administration to call a spade a spade. On top of that, allowing other nations to condemn the US on the basis that our human rights are no better than, say, those of China. I’m sure the rest of the (ingorant) world believes that the US executes its blacks and so forth with equal vim and vigor as does China its more-than-one-child. And perhaps it does, but not in the way they think, what with the abortion rate being what it is…but no one talks about that because to do would be racist.

    • tranquil.night

      There are some important details that need to be remembered going forth that are getting lost in the simpler debates. These details are what made the Libyan situation different than any other uprising so far (including Iran 09, and especially Egypt). Obama has blown it on all three already, no matter how it ends up.

      - Much of Daffy’s government had turned on him.
      - Much of the relevant world, including OPEC had already recognized and acted on the principle that he’d lost his legitimacy. It’s debatable whether they did so solely out of a political posturing calculation that Obama wasn’t going to act on Libya. But at least for a brief moment, it looked like Agamemnon understood what it meant not to have their Achilles fighting for them.
      - There was a rebel ruling body which claimed Democratic interests, they had armed themselves, and the Europeans had officially recognized them. Whether they comprised a majority of the national thinking – they were at least organized and fighting.
      - Plus, at the height of the rebellion, they had surrounded Tripoli (that’s when Sarah and McLame were correctly calling for us to at least examine the possibility and make the threat of a NFZ).

      The rule isn’t “well if we intervene here on the sole basis of humanitarian reasons, where else?” No, there was many unique and nuanced circumstances relating to our relationship and interests in addition to the facts on the ground there that made this possible.

      The REASON we now find ourselves questioning legitimately what we’re doing there and the nature of the operation is because of the way Barack Obama has chosen to commit American forces, which is to say not for victory, but a manner in which doesn’t offend the the rest of the world: an absolutely impossible mission.

      Or as David Brooks puts it actually decently well in noting the problems with multilateralism: “The legitimacy of a war is not established by how it is organized but by what it achieves.” http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011.....brooks.xml

      Right fight, wrong leader(s).

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Add to that the rainbow of “reasons” the US is there from Hitlery to Obama to any/all pundits and so on. They cannot solidify a reason. I’m pretty sure Rush was right yesterday that Obama caved to pressure to join the UN in attacking Libya but he “didn’t want to”. It is out of character (limited though it may be) for Obama to join in any fight that doesn’t have a marxist agenda and plods on that furrow. Naturally, this has created a huge mystery to the left as well as the right.

      But as I said yesterday, he isn’t doing it for humanitarian reasons or any reason that would do anything but result in his somehow seeing himself in a grandiose light.

    • tranquil.night

      Absolutely Rusty. He didn’t want in on this whatsoever but backed himself into a corner with said dithering. You can see it reflected in how the Alliance started to crumble right after phase 1 and that they didn’t have NATO secured to take over the operation. Now that we’re here, Barry has no interest in doing it right but in using the effort to redefine the dynamics of American military power abroad and muck up our alliances. Along the lines of Pro’s theory.

      Then, like you think, on the political side, he’s definately stepped in it in Washington but overall has gotten the public on board for now. As long as the mission can be somewhat salvaged and the MSM doesn’t pound the anti-war narratives, he could end up looking like Clinton in the Balkans, which is what he’s probabably looking to present optically.

    • TerryAnne

      Good points, and I now see what y’all mean. :)

    • proreason

      The last reason we are in Libya is to protect human rights. On a scale of 1 to 100, it doesn’t crack 1.

      The real reasons are:
      - the Moron’s polling showed a political advantage to climbing on board
      - Hillary was beginning to make Poopy Pants look like a wimp
      - France was beginning to make Poopy Pants look like a wimp
      - Gaddafi Duck was beginning to make Poopy Pants look like a wimp
      - his youngest daughter was beginning to make Poopy Pants look like a wimp
      - it’s another distraction from the nuclear catastrophe…federal spending

  5. tranquil.night

    Months if not over a year ago now, I saw the Obama Doctrine defined in a manner that hasn’t been topped. I wish I had saved it, for I won’t be able to do it justice paraphrasing the language.

    “The Obama Doctrine is the pursuit of that course of action which is studied and perceived to be of greatest benefit – through political or ideological gain – to he after whom the doctrine is named.”

    The Obama Doctrine is about Obama.

  6. proreason

    Not so fast with that “Attack” word. We’re not into that kind of agressive language now that Sarah Palin has begun inspiring mass murderers from her Facebook bunker.

    Our activities in Libya are simply an Overseas Kinetic Contingency Operation.




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