The Security Council finally voted to establish a no fly zone over Libya (and that delay is the mousy part of the announcement. But on the other hand it had a rather free ranging clause to allow any UN member to do whatever it takes to protect civilians (the tiger part of the deal). Even perhaps too late the urgency of the measure was greeted ecstatically by Benghazi as Qaddafi is about to ravage them. Let's react quickly to the late but good news of resolution 1973:
|Tonight in Benghazi. France future reward?|
- Even if delayed, for once things were done properly: we had to wait for an Arab League endorsement until eventually the UN voted on it. On practical terms this means that there is no propagandistic effect that Qaddafi can claim, and even less for collateral creeps like Chavez. As a side bonus for us in Venezuela watching a Chavez salivating at the UN delays while thinking over his possible future repression plans, any word he utters against that resolution is going to put him even faster in the ranks of rogue states, with the painful isolation that will crush his ego. The more so that Colombia voted for the resolution, driving a likely consequential wedge in South American politics and the all but still born UNASUR as Brazil abdicated its leading role by abstaining itself.
- Speaking of abstention. The ones of Russia and China were expected. I am pretty sure that they tried their best to weigh on Qaddafi but realized that the man was quite mad. They did not want to be blamed for a Benghazi blood bath and, well, if France and Britain really want to send their boys, so be it. In other words, an experienced diplomatic game by these two countries even if quite unsavory for most of us. Veto power is usually used with more restraint than what people think it is.
- Which bring us to the other abstainers for which there are only sorry excuses. For Germany, I will say that they simply did not want to pay for it, period. They would have anyway once a million or two Libyans run for their lives across borders, but after Ireland, Greece, and perhaps Portugal, Spain and Italy, well, the mood in Berlin is for closed wallets and fuck them all (praying secretly for the best success of the guys across the Rhine of course).
- India and Brazil on the other hand have really no excuse and can actually be qualified as bitter disappointment. After all, no one was expecting them to chip in, and both are candidates to a permanent seat in the security council. But as far as I am concerned, everyday that goes by Brazil proves more and more that it is unfit for such an honor. After years of supporting Chavez, the Honduras blunder, the failure to dynamize UNASUR, that vote confirms that Lula has indeed wrecked the best judgment of once sophisticated Brazilian career diplomats. Because I am convinced that it was not really a Roussef decision: after supporting the defense of Muslim prosecuted women and she will bail out on Libya? I wonder what happened at Planalto. Let's be frank, from me to you, if Brazil was not going to vote YES it should have voted a more responsible NO rather than a stupid abstention that only China and Russia could manage and be praised for it! Dear Dilma: leadership is built on leading or taking a principled stand when you cannot lead; today you did not even manage to stay out of the way!
- As for India. Well, I do not follow it as I used to, in pre Chavez years when I had time on my hands. But I have a hard time to see where is India's gain in an abstention. Pacifying extremist Hindus? Alienating further radical Muslims? Falling for Qaddafi promises of an exclusive for oil, as if the West would allow such an exclusivity?
- What next? Your guess is as good as mine. The resolution already includes travel prohibition and Libyan assets seizures. It mentions by name those recruiting mercenaries in the Sahel to kill Benghazi people. Clearly there are more than bombs in the objective and the hope is that the mercenary surroundings of Qaddafi might realize that the long term is not in their favor even if they torch Benghazi. That is, what good it is to get all that cash from the crazed tyrant if you are going to have to enjoy it in Libya under his regime of terror, knowing that most Libyan will try to slip arsenic in your tea? The UN is on their game! And The Hague too. That is the real deterrent of that measure, more important than bombing the criminal troops or boosting rebels morale for which both it might be too late. Let's see if it will work.....
PS: special praise for the unambiguous and to the point support of the resolution by Bosnia (they know, they went through that disaster), Colombia and Portugal, a decided support that makes look even more morally bankrupt certain abstentions and grudging supports.