Friday, March 04, 2011

Pots & kettles

Just about all of the news outlets I use are suggesting the 'international community' needs to step in to stop more bloodshed in Libya. By 'international community' they mean, and usually name, the USA, the EU and NATO.

The West in other words.

But what about the Arab League and the African Union?

Libya is a member of both organisations so surely they should have been taking the lead in this crisis.

Nothing from them for weeks but now, according to AP, the Arab League have at last spoken out about the situation.

The foreign ministers meeting in Cairo have: ...condemned Gaddafi's crackdown on the Libyan people and said they would consider imposing a no-fly zone over the country if the turmoil continues...The Arab ministers said they will coordinate their discussions about a no-fly zone with the African Union and consult 'about the best ways to protect and ensure the safety and security of Libyan citizens'.

So the two organisations which should have been active from the beginning are gently dipping their toes to test the water.

It must be difficult for the Arab League though, given that some of the member governments condemning Gaddafi's actions are guilty of doing exactly the same.

As for the African Union, they've been conspicuous by their silence. A few gentle comments about governments needing to listen to and negotiate with their people is as critical as they've been.

But then it's difficult for them too isn't it. More than a few of the member countries have governments not dissimilar to the colonel's of course, and it's long been assumed that the colonel bankrolled the AU and paid smaller countries' fees.

The old cliche 'the pot calling the kettle black' comes to mind.

The AP report is  here.


Dave said...

Very true post Seabee, and the USA is "damned if they do" and "damned if they don't"....

Anonymous said...

The American Ships are at 50km out of the coast of Libya, when a country is full of oil they are always ready to export democracy, why they did not go to Darfur or Tibet..............

Gerry said...

anonymous--the u.s. spent a good while in somalia and got crapped on for it. then there's kosovo. which is not to say I was for the war in iraq--I wasn't and still think it is one of the more awful things my country has done. I'm just saying it's not always about oil.

but more on point, I'd say there is virtually no way the u.s. will get militarily involved here. there aren't really any good outcomes and too much opportunity for bad p.r.