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March 20, 2011

Smart Diplomacy (By Other Means): Arab League "Ally" Criticizes Attacks In Libya

We've heard how important Arab League support for the operation in Libya was and is. Supposedly its support was pivotal in getting the west moving and its participation would insulate us from charges of "imperialism" and "killing more Muslims".

Arab nation leadership in efforts to stop violence in Libya has played a key role in mobilizing the international coalition, Clinton said. Clinton said that the Arab League with its “pivotal statement” changed the “diplomatic landscape” with regard to the approach toward the United Nations Security Council resolution this week authorizing “all necessary measures,” including a no-fly zone to end violence and protect civilians in that country.

Apparently, the Arab League has a "Reset" button of its own.

The Arab League on Sunday criticized Western military strikes on Libya, a week after urging the United Nations to slap a no-fly zone on the oil-rich North African state.

"What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians," Arab League secretary general Amr Mussa told reporters.

Mussa by the way is an Egyptian and is likely to run for President there. Smacking the US and the West around probably wins a few votes back home.

Watch how quickly people stop talking about the central role and knocking down the Arab League's importance. There's a guy on CNNI doing it already. Amazing.

According to Obama and Clinton we're not leading this thing. That of course is absolute crap and the world can see it.

On the upside, Admiral Mullen says our initial strikes degraded Libya's capabilities enough to start the actual No Fly Zone mission. If one wave of stand off missile attacks were this effective, it really makes me wonder why we didn't do it 3 weeks ago when it would have mattered more.

Mullen also said it would be possible for this to end with Gadaffi staying in power. The ast time we bombed but didn't kill Gadaffi, he responded by blowing up PanAm 103 over Lockerbie. But I'm sure if he survives this time he'll just let these attacks slide with no retaliation against American civilians. Amazingly we might go from a situation where we have an uneasy peace with Gadaffi to the point where he's targeting Americans again...all in the name of saving Libyan civilians. Brilliant!

Despite my manifest reservations of this adventure, I'm hoping it succeeds. And I will just as soon as someone tells me what, beyond no American and coalition casualties, I'm supposed to hoping happens. Perhaps when the President gets back from South America, he'll let us know.

Added: I don't like the idea of playing politics with war but I can't pass up commenting on the liberal reaction or lack thereof. This was Media Matters for America's Eric Boehlert yesterday.

Interesting Obama put together, in 7 days, the type of coalition vs. Libya that Bush spent 7 mos trying and couldn't get vs. Iraq.

Aside from the factual inaccuracy about the Iraq coalition, it should be noted that Bush's "coalition of the willing" held together more than 24 hours.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:50 AM

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