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Media roundup: Libya after Qaddafi
Photo: DPA

Media roundup: Libya after Qaddafi

Published: 23 Aug 2011 12:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Aug 2011 12:45 GMT+02:00

As the end of Libyan despot Muammar Qaddafi reign nears, commentators in The Local’s media roundup examine what’s next for the North African country and the impact of Germany’s decision to break with its NATO allies.

Time appeared to be running out for Qaddafi on Tuesday, even if parts of his regime appeared prepared to fight to the bitter end.

But with the rebels controlling large parts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, discussion in Germany had already turned to what will come after the quixotic dictator.

The decision by the United States, Britain and France to use air strikes and a no-fly zone to protect civilians and help the rebels fighting Qaddafi’s forces would now appear to be vindicated.

German foreign policy, however, has been left in tatters following the country’s controversial decision last March not to support a UN resolution authorizing force against Qaddafi and refusing to take part in the ensuing military intervention coordinated by NATO.

After causing consternation among Berlin’s closest allies, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have been attempting to repair the damage ever since. But both expressed unease this week about Germany's potential role in a post-Qaddafi Libya.

Many newspapers in The Local’s media roundup on Tuesday said Germany’s refusal to get involved looked even worse now in hindsight, even if Libya’s immediate future remained far from certain.

The conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that Germany’s diplomatic disaster will not simply disappear with Qaddafi.

“Berlin’s credibility on security issues has suffered long-term damage. Without a doubt, Qaddafi would have bloodily crushed the uprising … had NATO not intervened. The intervention was only possible because the UN Security Council took decisive action – a rare exception. That German diplomacy failed at just this moment, abandoning European partners Britain and France and breaking Western unity by abstaining, will have repercussions.”

The right-wing daily Die Welt hailed Qaddafi’s ousting even as it cautioned Libya’s fate was far from secure.

“But not even the blackest future that one can now imagine for Libya could justify another day of Qaddafi’s terror regime. The triumph of the Libyan revolution leaves Germany’s foreign policy disgraced to its core. Only the NATO air war – that Germany with national-pacifistic hubris boycotted – ensured the victory of the rebels.”

Münster's regional daily the Westfälische Nachrichten said Germany now had little choice but to become involved in Libya’s reconstruction.

“After caving at the beginning of the Libyan mission in March, Berlin now apparently wants to use an opportune moment to rehabilitate its reputation. If the Germans want to skim some of the economic cream from the new order in Libya, Defence Minister (Thomas de Maizière) will hardly be able to avoid joining an international peacekeeping force.”

Berlin's Der Tagesspiegel said even opponents of the NATO mission had to be glad it was successful in the end. But the centrist daily warned the West not to abandon Libya.

“In light of the less-than-encouraging developments in Afghanistan, it’s astonishing how carefree the West allowed itself to become involved in Libya. Libya, however, is on Europe’s doorstep. And it has oil. Strategically it’s more important for us to ensure stability around Tripoli and Benghazi than in Kandahar. At the very least, it shouldn’t be less important to us.”

The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:40 August 23, 2011 by derExDeutsche
good thing Sadam Hussain wasn't a 'quixotic' despot, that 'bloodily crushed' any uprising.

otherwise Germans would have been in the streets in the millions to protest.

oh wait, its a Democrat in the White House. 'Ick bin ein Berliner.'

.
15:37 August 23, 2011 by Sastry.M
Did options of mercantile advantage ever dictate terms for decisions of German foreign policy in earlier decades? How could 'der Alte' Chancellor Adenauer manage his CDU/CSU coalition Govt,against all odds of criticism even accusing him of employing erstwhile Nazis in many key posts and commissioning Reinhard Gehlen to constitute the BND, who was also invited to the U.S to set up the CIA under Allen Dulles? Does German govt. use the services of BND for home safety alone or extend it also internationally in managing autocratic rulers and bring about their down fall in appreciation of rebellions for freedom?

If the German people feel let down by their govt's. disastrous foreign policies and forfeited business advantages let them prove their mettle in these testing times by walking erect fighting for Truth as they did during the Reformation against corrupt Papal authority. Having failed twice in war with munition let them do so now by peaceful means appealing to rationality and justice. The whole world is watching them and more so by nations of the East whether they falter bending low for immediate self serving benefits or "stay erect without fear even if the shadow falls crooked on ground" as a Chinese proverb says in support of lasting wisdom.
15:44 August 23, 2011 by catjones
Sastry.M.....please use more periods.
22:04 August 23, 2011 by Whipmanager
Well, it mus tbe said that the decision to use General Gehlen was a smart one, and paid off. We (the allies) gained a great deal from using his assets and knowledge he had of the RUssian/soviet world. He was a professional officer, and intelligence asset. He helped in ways that wont be revealed fro years to come.

As for Adenaur using old Nazis to run Germany after the war, Patton did that too, and it worked. Who else knew how to run government? Is teh Country not better off now for it? If you ahd left teh socialsts/communists run things, Germany would be like East Germany was, and we would have lost her to the soviets- Only God knows what the development and economic status of the German world today would be like?

Germany had its reasons for not participating in the Libyan action. Right or wrong, she did what she felt was in her best interests, and so hindsight may reveal a very different view, but Merkel and Westerwelle acted in what they viewed as the best interests of their country, and stood by their decision after a great amount of pressure was put upon them. Only Guttenberg could have done better....
16:01 August 24, 2011 by storymann
Germany's reasons were more politically motivated, not participating in the beginning was a disappointment to the NATO members involved.

Berlin abstained from voting in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya ,a move that surprised some, and angered others. Berlin did back out of it's decision by supplying bombs after the first 100 days when the allies who by then had dropped over 2000 were running out of shells.
19:21 August 24, 2011 by IYWMTS
"Münster's regional daily the Westfälische Nachrichten said Germany now had little choice but to become involved in Libya¦#39;s reconstruction."

"If the Germans want to skim some of the economic cream from the new order in Libya, Defence Minister (Thomas de Maizière) will hardly be able to avoid joining an international peacekeeping force.¦quot;

"Libya, however, is on Europe¦#39;s doorstep."

First of all a few facts:

1. Germany is the largest economy in Europe.

2. Germany is by far the largest export nation in Europe.

3. Germany is by far the largest import nation in Europe.

4. According to the "Global Competitiveness Report" Germany is the third most competitive economy in Europe right after Switzerland and Sweden, the second most competitive economy in the European Union right after Sweden and the most competitive ecnonomy in the Euro zone.

Ecnonomically it is doing much better than France and Britain.

As Libya is on Europe's doorstep, its economic future will most like be dependend on a profitable trade with European countries/Europe as an entitiy. As far as Europe is concerned you can't avoid Germany, because Germany is THE ECOMONIC POWER in Europe. Thus not the Germans have to knock on the Libyans' door, but the Libyans have to knock on the Germans' door.

Especially because if the Libyans really want to establish a solid democracy, they have to assure wealth not only to a particular group, but to all people in Libya.

In the next few months or years we will see if the "rebels" are really interested in establishing a solid democracy or if one despotic system is just replaced by another despotic system under the "cloak of democracy".

Furthermore as soon as the Germans let their money float, the Libyans will have forgotten the abstention in the security council.

Nevertheless one question still remains: Why just Libya and not also Syria.

But I fear the anwser can be found in one article mentioned above:

"AND IT HAS OIL" ...
14:47 August 29, 2011 by Stephen Goodson
The German media appears to be very biased towards Colonel Gaddafi. Anyone who had read his Green Book will realize that he is a highly intelligent and enlightened leader. He is the only man in the history of Libya to have united the more than 150 tribes of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica into one nation - something, which the Romans, Turks and Italians were unable to achieve. Gaddafi has created a socialist paradise by retaining and sharing all the oil wealth amongst the people. For example health services and education, including university fees, are free. Married couples receive a free house,

unemployed persons are paid a full salary as if employed, cars are sold at factory cost free of taxes and loans are provided at NO interest. As Gadaffi recently said on BBC television "My people love me". Germany can feel relieved that she has not participated in what has turned out to be a colonial massacre by NATO. Libyans must now brace themselves for decades of exploitation by the West, debt enslavement, impoverishment and anarchy.
18:44 September 1, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
I agree whipmanager, Germany has its reasons not to pursue military intervention. Who cares if they don't intervene in a small conflict in a nation that should be handling it themselves? Yes, Germany has a responsiblity to her allies. However, I respect that the Germans refuse to be pushed and coaxed into yet another conflict that the "world police" feel is their prerogative to resolve. Bascially, foreign policy for the U.S., England, and others is: destroy any government in any country that does not comply with our standards and does not serve our interests. You cannot force people into a democracy. It's an oxymoron and a contridiction.
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