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‘Can Germany be counted on?’

The Local · 30 Mar 2011, 18:09

Published: 30 Mar 2011 18:09 GMT+02:00

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The debate in Germany over Berlin's decision to abstain from the UN Security Council resolution 1973 for a no-fly zone in Libya is increasing in both intensity and acrimony.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have been put on the defensive by critique coming from both opposition voices in Berlin as well as those even within the coalition government. The accusations that Germany has isolated itself within Europe and the NATO alliance with the abstention are made by some in public but by many more in private.

But as the attacks against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s forces have increased over the past few days, both sides of this debate have strengthened their arguments.

Dissecting Berlin's case

The German government's case that support for the UN resolution would have required sending troops to Libya remains the core of its defence. How could we support the resolution and then not send troops, goes the logic. In addition, the emphasis on using more effective sanctions to contain Qaddafi’s aggression was deemed the more effective course over engaging in military action. Then there is the argument that the rebels in Libya do not represent the same type of opposition seen in Tunisia or Egypt and that Libya is embroiled in civil war in which Germany cannot intervene. The Merkel-Westerwelle administration argues that Germany is not alone in Europe or the world, pointing to others in the UN Security Council – not only Russia and China but particularly India and Brazil – who also abstained in this month’s vote.

While all these arguments appeal to a German public, which is already against Germany's presence in Afghanistan and generally favours the rejection of military force as a viable tool for such conflicts, the counter-arguments underscore a continuing struggle in Germany over its role on the international stage. The attempt to differentiate between the need to stop a dictator from mass-murdering his own people and the unwillingness to use force to achieve that goal is strained, to say the least. Arguing that Qaddafi can be stopped by strengthening sanctions when he is threatening to systematically kill the rebels fighting against him lacks credibility when one looks at the unfolding humanitarian crisis on the ground.

Furthermore, arguing that the UN resolution would have immediately required the engagement of German troops in the Libyan conflict is also jumping to an unnecessary conclusion, as every member of NATO can determine its resources available. The need for ground troops in Libya – particularly from Western nations – is questionable to begin with and is not part of the UN resolution. The struggle in Libya is finally a Libyan challenge to get rid of Qaddafi. The question is how to help that homegrown effort without undermining it, and the overwhelming presence of Western troops could certainly do just that.

Not alone but isolated

The UN resolution was designed to stop a calculating murderer from carrying out his goal. And the ability to assemble a unified political message to Tripoli is a measure of the strength of that resolution. The fact that China and Russia also abstained from the Security Council vote was expected, given their usual attitudes toward interventions. In that light, even the abstention was considered an accomplishment. India and Brazil do not see themselves centrally involved by the Libyan crisis but they also did not vote no.

But it was Germany's argument to abstain on principle which underlines its unique stance – and undermines its credibility when it comes to responding to this immediate crisis. "Germany must not engage everywhere," Westerwelle said. But then what are the criteria for when, where, and why to engage the German military? Several thousand German troops have been carrying out numerous jobs around the world, in Afghanistan and Africa among other theatres, and have done so for many years. The German emphasis on the need for a legitimate mandate from the UN has always been high on the priority list. The UN supplied one last week, but it was not enough for Germany this time.

So that raises a major question: At what point can Berlin’s Western allies count on Germany when it comes to dealing with such cases of interventions as in Libya?

The fact is that there is going to be an increasingly urgent need for Europe – including Germany – to come to grips with this challenge. The United States is entering a phase where not only the old mantra of wanting a more effective and capable pillar in Europe will be heard but there will be a more need for it because America is already facing more constraints on its own capabilities and willingness to intercede. Libya is a current case in point; the squabbling over the NATO command structures, making national resources available for it, reduced defence budgets, and national egos reflect a state of indecisiveness in the alliance.

Story continues below…

Germany's central role

Whatever mix of resources and policies Europe choose to apply to its challenges, Germany is going to play a central role. But Berlin is clearly struggling with how to define that role. When faced with an existential situation such as in Libya, its response to date has been to reject short-term military options, engage in mid- and longer-term measures like sanctions, and to argue that it is being consistent because engaging there would mean having to engage in many other troubled countries around the world. In principle that may be true; in practical terms, that cannot happen. And allowing that argument to get in the way of engaging in immediate crises would be irresponsible.

As the conflict unfolds in Libya, UN resolution 1973 can be seen as a benchmark for measuring the capacity of Europe and the alliance to speak with a firm and committed voice. During the past four decades, there have been many steps forward and backward. Today's challenge in Libya and indeed in the entire region is an opportunity to again speak and act with a common purpose, in both the short- and long-run. The changes in the Middle East have made the need for both quite evident. After all, it is Europe's – and by extension Germany’s – own neighbourhood.

This essay has been published with the kind permission of American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and it first appeared in the AICGS Advisor.

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Your comments about this article

21:04 March 30, 2011 by Beachrider
To start, I am an American and don't agree with the USA taking such a large role in Libya. As far as I am concerned, it is no-different than Cuba or North Korea and isolation of the country has been a long-standing policy. It would have been fine with me to continue that.

That being said...

This effort was borne from European dependency on Libyan oil (NOT AMERICAN DEPENDENCY, WE DON'T BUY LIBYAN OIL). We care about Libyan citizens, but don't assert responsibility for their political problems. Europeans have much-more of a role in the cementing of Qaddafi in his job. The outrageous expense to the American taxpayer for the USA's disproportionate expenditures in Libya is a key problem for the American president. I don't give him a free-pass on it, either.

That being said...

This article shows the conundrum for many of the German position. Germany seems reluctantly propelled to the center of the world-politik. It seems reluctant to resolve any leadership in this role. This role is key to the continuing success of the Euro-centric economies and agenda for free-world perspectives.

I am all about adapting the free-world perspective to meet the world-need. I just don't like people to abstain from it.

22:43 March 30, 2011 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
What has become of the European standard began in Germany with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648? It's gone to hell, I say! Germany has one more chance to do the right thing which is in their power to do.

There is a stalemate arising and short of a screw the U.N (which of course isn't pass the U.S.), there will be a vote to obtain the Mandate to put boots on the ground officially despite the fact that special ops has already been caught or spotted. So Germany will have the last opportunity to veto the resolution for boots on the ground.

Though I'm not a fan of Col. Mummar Ghadaffi, his actions in Africa remain benign relatively speaking in comparison to those of the West. In his four decades in power since deposing Kind Idriss, he has killed less people globally in aggregate than Bush/Chenney did in Afghanistan/Iraq in only eight. Even Uncle Zion Obama has killed more civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq then the Col. has killed in putting down a conflict internal to the nation which he has governed for the past forty years.

The fact remains that the people of Libya have enjoyed the highest standard of living on the entire African Continent, including the democratic nation of South Africa which just hosted the World Cup. Libya enjoys a higher standard of living than Venezuela or Russia.

The so called international community is nothing more than a bunch of self serving barbarians. Lybia is not a member of the Arab League having long left and rightly so to participate in the African Union. There is no loss of bad blood between the Col. and the Saudi King who leads the rest of the Arab states.

While one may myopically argue this war isn't about Oil, tribal warfare and imperialism, such persons remain sheeple who voluntarily get caught in the Matrix. Russian abstained from vetoing the vote to gain market share, China needs to get along with the West while they remain fearful of ripple effects, externalities and other such little nasties which may threaten their ambitions and force China to become more outspoken against this crime.

The only leadership role which Germany can take is to veto the next U.N. Vote to put boots on the ground. Anything less relegates Schland to the status of coward who goes along in order to get along.

A final word on the so called Rebel Insurgents whom the White House feigns to know nothing about. This Eastern Area of Lybia which is their base has produced an alarming amount of fighters who willingly went to fight against the great Satan in Iraq. The Col. isn't exaggerating to call them Al' Qaida. They practice a different branch of Islam and to that extent have deep religious animosity towards the Col. Further these so called freedom fighters are racist who have actively sought to kill on sight any dark skinned Africans in Libya including those from the Tribe indigenous to the South the Fezzan.
23:08 March 30, 2011 by peter douglas
its all about the cheque book and German knows it but Little Britain and egoistik France don,t get it they don,t have resources to sustain a long war and police over libya.Germany has resources thats why it can stand firm and unshakable keep it up.
23:22 March 30, 2011 by Chupaki
Same all over again, arming the mujahedines in Afghanistan in the 80s, who later bacame the talibans. People seem to forget. Or maybe the war business is too profitable. Germany is doing the right thing with oil embargo instead of arming militias knowing that Al-Qaeda might get the hand on those weapons.
00:22 March 31, 2011 by Redwing
I am just old enough to remember that the same people who now call for German participation in armed conflicts decided around 60 years ago that Germany should NEVER be armed again.
01:56 March 31, 2011 by DOZ
Germany is considered nothing but a Pawn to the West. If wasn't for Germany's strategic place in Europe, Germany would have been totally ignored by the West. In all the years I have lived in Canada, I have not heard one word ever spoken that was positive of Germany or German-Canadians. Not one word and our lives were always being screwed with by Canadians with "Anti-German Intentions". Also, I have never heard one word coming from USA programming that ever said anything good about Germany either. Germany was just a Pawn used by the Capitalist West in its Cold War with Russia. Germany, for once stand up and quit being a pawn in USA, Canada, Britian and France's little power struggles. Tell the West where to get off and start building German Pride again.
05:05 March 31, 2011 by Major B
Wanted to stay out of this one but am disappointed no one has stepped forward to STRONGLY counter DOZ's inaccurate (lies really) comments above. So Two points:

1) Nice short analysis by the Director of the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies of the issues facing Germany over decisions over military involvement.

Nuff said

2) @DOZ. Your comments are so slanted that you write as if you are representing a foreign government. Don't like poking contributors but you don't know what you are talking about.

a) The organization this editorial represents is but one of dozens, if not hundreds of German-American organizations of one kind or another, at both the university and private levels. There are parades, events, and stuff all over USA.

b) Americans never saying anything positive about Germany? As much as we love our BMW's, other tech products and German cultural events? Ever heard of Busch Gardens?

Or Busch Beer. Or Milwaukee, New Braunfels(Tx), or scores of other states, regions and towns with still strong German heritages?

c) Did you know that 60% of the European-American population is of direct German heritage? (not me)

I don't know about Canada.

Will somebody else please get on here and add to this? Sickening comments above.
09:30 March 31, 2011 by Angry Ami
Well this is all about domestic politics, the CDU is getting wiped out in local election all across the country, so Guido figure if he pander to the pacifists the CDU will regain some votes, NOT, most voters will see through this scam and trash the CDU even more, and poor Angie had to except this dweeb as her foreign minister, she should have chosen Steinmeyer, but because of the traditional rivalry between the CDU and the SPD that wasn't going to happen, well "dumm gelaufen" so now she has a guy who is steadily alienating Germany's historical allies, I can imagine that Adenauer is rolling over in his grave.
11:10 March 31, 2011 by Slimtots
I second Hannibal-Barca
11:55 March 31, 2011 by lwexcel
1 in 5 is roughly the amount of German men that survived the battles of WWII. Add to that the discrase of having your country divided and the fate of your citizens decided not by themselves, but by 4 other countries. If you take this into consideration you will begin to see the reasons that Germany is no longer interested in fighting wars. This may have been one of the only true times that government has acted in unison with thier citizens. Only a very minor fraction of Germany would have been willing to enter this conflict. Yes the events in Libya are horrible and Qaddafi needs to be stopped but the type of democracy that people are fighting for in this region can only be earned, and not given.
12:43 March 31, 2011 by Sastry.M
How can Germany be empowered to combat against a foreign dictator Col. Quaddafi while the horrors perpetrated by her own erstwhile dictator Corporal Adolf Hitler still haunt her memories with Holocaust Memorials and Historical Museums?

What are the provisions in Bundes Grundgesetz drafted in the aftermath of WW2 under the most horrible conditions of German history allowing Germany to raise and own an army as well its authoritative role of play?

Now under the present status among European nations and international relations I for one as an impartial Indian feel prompted to advise Germany as the western nation of dedicated Sanskrit Studies to first perform Atma Vichar (Soul Searching) and arrive at a consensus of cleat conscience by all of her people. Relentless dismantling of industries under the so called "Morgenthau Plan" in the country of "Karma Yogis",as my forefathers used to say, could hardly achieve 1% before the disasters of such a stupid enterprise could strike the allied minds to bring them back to sane senses in the face of Iron Curtain.

Surrounded by highly developed nations and central as a meeting point of all European cultures Germany faces the heaviest responsibility in making decisions which not only effect her people but the whole European Community as well which was proved by disasters of the earlier two world wars.
14:26 March 31, 2011 by derExDeutsche
'Has Germany¦#39;s decision to abstain from the UN resolution on Libya seriously damaged transatlantic ties and NATO?'

1. Not a chance. The current US administration is extremely short sighted and couldn't care much less about the American people let alone what is happening 7000 kilometers away. This is purely on the their Strategic to do list.

Obama and team have been behind the scenes Organizing these Revolutions from the beginning. He wrote the speech he gave about Libya weeks ago.

2. This is a (mostly) European Oil war. and also a little bit of Dictator ousting. Big Whooop. This is a 1 term President. The whole thing is a bit of an unpopular joke everywhere. Basically EVERYTHING the Left was Protesting about for 8 years, is everything Obama is doing now, Oil War, Crusade, American Imperialism.

3. Lets find out what else is on the pre 2012 Strategy Checklist. Then see if you really Have the desire to fulfill HIS List.
14:39 March 31, 2011 by Beachrider
Another point, please.

I would have been all right with a NO vote out of Germany (or a YES, it is your choice), so long as German saw the urgency to persuade and motivate their foreign 'friends' with their position. Abstention doesn't do that.

Abstention means "I won't get in your way, but I don't support your position".

Instead, we get all this passive-aggressive bullcrap. That is what makes people think that Germany doesn't have any idea how to perform at the center of the world stage.

Maybe Konrad Adenauer was wrong. Maybe Germany should have been a 'big Hungary'. It sounds like so-many of the writers here believe that to be a superior position. Too bad.
14:50 March 31, 2011 by uhrick596
I am from the US and I am so glad that Germany has the guts to stand up against what is going on Libya. It seems as though we have forgot our history books, does the UN really believe they can change things in a country such as Libya, this country will remain at war for the rest of my lifetime simply because this is what they do best. Why spend all our money and lifes for something that will go back to the way it was after we leave. Does anyone really know how the rebel government would be set up and would it be any better than what they have now. I have not heard one word of what the rebels stand for, therefore I would have a very hard time sending my son to this conflict. Germany is the only country in the UN that has the ability to think long term on situations like this and I am so glad that someone gets it, please don't move from your stance on this Germany and maybe someday people will catch up to what you are saying today.
15:36 March 31, 2011 by derExDeutsche

I agree with you. This Libyan mission appears, at least outwardly, to be leaderless. Far from it, in reality. This war is for Obama and his non-disclosed vision for the Middle East. And the spineless Euro Kooks with a willingness to, at least in voice, support anything that will fill their gas tanks. The economy is in le proverbial Mierde, and 'What have you done for ME lately' Gadaffi just got the bad end of the stick.

Now, For the Left, to suggest that NATO should be a Dictator Ousting Machine, It has shown the world, that it is a Hypocrite of the highest order.

Well, I guess at least now we know... starting WARs... Abu Graihb - Iraq - 125+ hours on the Golf Course

Its all A.OK just as Long as 'THE ONE' is in office.... 'The ONE'.. hmm. where have I heard that before in Germany?
15:59 March 31, 2011 by Beachrider
There other interpretations are either OT or misreading Germany's vote as NO.

They didn't vote NO.

They abstained. They went up on the world stage and stared at their own navel.
20:12 March 31, 2011 by maxbrando
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:36 March 31, 2011 by Chicago1996
@ Beachrider: Get over it. You are completely throwing this abstention thing out of perspective. Why don¦#39;t you research the abstention rates of the remaining UN members on previous important UN votes for once? It might shock you to see that the U.S. has abstained from many important UN resolutions before as well.
01:37 April 1, 2011 by Beachrider
Germany's allies voted YES, but Germany didn't want to. It was an important vote. This is a military intervention that could have been argued against. Almost never do you see China and Russia stepping aside like this. It was almost like they agreed that something should be done, but didn't want to go on the record.

Germany is a key economy and government in the western alliance. It was OK for Brazil and India to step out of the spotlight, they are new to this.

Germany stepped away from the expectations. You can vote Yes or No. You just cannot abstain and bitch about the vote.
04:28 April 1, 2011 by Chicago1996
You sound like a broken record.
04:46 April 1, 2011 by ronasch
The USA, Little Britain, and France have never been allies of the Germans. It is in Germany's interests to stay out of the conflicts that these dying colonial powers become entangled in. Gaddafi will remain but Obama will be gome in a few months
11:14 April 1, 2011 by Enkida
Agree completely with Beachrider, the real issue is the abstain on the vote. Also somewhat agree with Hannibal Barca, it might be an ugly truth but there it is - Ghadaffi might have been a crazy dictator, but he certainly wasn't the worst of them, supporting things like education programs for the youth. Pure self deception on the US media's part to assume that the rebel forces are also pro-western forces. Even greater error is the one to assume pro-democracy movements are also intrinsically pro-western. People everywhere will long for freedom from tyrants. That doesn't automatically make their long term goals, visions or desires match with Western culture; in fact in the long run displacing Ghadaffi will probably be detrimental to US security unless replaced by another pro-western dictator. If it comes to that I wonder where everyone's high minded political rhetoric will go.
17:07 April 1, 2011 by Heinrich-Hammler
Sounds to me as if Ms Merkel and Mr Westerwelle have enough sense to know a bad deal when they see it.

Good for them, stay strong!
17:59 April 1, 2011 by bad_tolz
I have been studing Germany and its history and politics for 30 years. I have always taken to the side of backing the government in power and the lately the Merkel government until now. The decision to abstain in the UN will ghost Merkel, her government, and Germany for some time to come. Now in an attempt to bolster its poor decision, Germany has decided to call for a "ceasefire" in Libya with its new ally, China? The common agenda for the US and Germany is fading fast. Germany is acting the coward and then while sniveling jumps to a podium to shout injustice! Please. I used to think the French were to only "Free riders". Now we have a reversal of fortune.
13:24 April 2, 2011 by Ich
Eschewing involvement because of Germany's past is ridiculous-that was 50 yars ago and there was a lot more to it than most people: a LOT more. However, I would have abstained simply because the plan and goals in this do not exist, so it may spiral out of control, and the calcualtion is simple. Gadhafi has nothing to lose and a history of brinkmanship-he'll fight to the end, and hold his own people hostage. His resonse to the no fly zone was predictable-he embedded and hugged rebel forces to defeat them. I'd bet the current riots in Afgahnistan are part Gadahfi supporters. We may even see sleeper cells in America activate. Already, the mission is creeping to arming the rebels. Nobaody ever won a war from the air, alone. The cause wasn't bad and it's prospects for success were good, had it been done right, from the strat, in which case, it could have been over, by now. But now, it may not ever be over. I wouldn't want any part of that.
21:43 April 2, 2011 by JAMessersmith
As an American, I applaud Germany for staying out of it. Given that we had more of a justification for going into Iraq (i.e. supposed WMDs, AND human rights violations), I doubt this debacle in Libya will turn out to be any more popular.

Libya, for one, poses absolutely no threat whatsoever to the US or the EU. Secondly, the opposition movement is made up of 1,000 or fewer people. Over 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur, to give you an idea of what a real humanitarian crisis looks like (and one which the US and EU did nothing about). So to claim that we're coming to save the day and prevent another humanitarian crisis seems disingenuous to me. What's going on in Libya is relatively minor, and our intervention there sets an impossible precedent to meet in the future. What about Bahrain? What about Syria? What about Yemen? What about the Ivory Coast? Etc..

And lastly, the strategy is totally backwards. In my opinion, the rebels are likely to lose no matter if we provide air support for them or not. They are heavily outnumbered and outgunned by Gadhafi's forces (which might tell you, perhaps the Libyan people prefer Gadhafi to the rebels?), and even if we armed them with weapons, they would have no idea how to use them. Sure, we can give them machine guns and grenades, but operating tanks and gunships isn't just something you pick up off hand. Gadhafi has figured out, slowly, but nonetheless, that armored divisions are useless under a no-fly zone. So instead he has been sending small infantry units into cities, which NATO warplanes cannot target so easily. So basically, the clock is ticking on the rebels, and once they are vanquished by Gadhafi's forces, then what? Do we go back to being buddy-buddy with the "mad dog", or do we put "boots on the ground" and take him out? In other words, we've basically opened up a giant can of worms we had no business opening.
08:45 April 3, 2011 by Sastry.M
How could the western democracies tolerate Gaddafi's dictatorship over Libya for forty years and leave her people to suffer but suddenly woke in sympathy to a few thousand rebels against his tyranny? What was an internal affair of a sovereign nation has now become a benevolent concern of democracy. Everybody has watched how an old man of over 70y,Dr.Hans Blix with a heavy hand bag and suit case running from pillar to post seeking 6 months to complete his assigned job but over rided in the run up to Iraq.
23:32 April 3, 2011 by Beachrider
If I wanted to demagogue this issue, I would advise that Germany is propping up Qaddafi (by buying his oil) and refusing to protect Libyan citizens from the teeth of his army.

But MY point is simpler. Germany is in a HUGE economic tie with France, yet it doesn't have a mechanism to keep its policies aligned in a reasonable way with them.

Germany is in a HUGE military tie with Britain and the US, yet it doesn't have a mechanism to work-out issues of importance.

It is a bad thing for Germany to become a 'big Hungary'. It is looking like the isolationist side of German policy is making Germany policy ineffective with its current key partners.

Maybe we both need to develop new partners for the new century. Brazil and India are clearly more strategic for the USA in the next 90 years. It might just be easier to convince THEM that abstentions are bad for partnerships.
04:23 April 4, 2011 by Curmudgeon
Why would anyone be interested in this man's opinion. Check out who is on the board of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, and who its financial contributors are, and you will easily understand this "unbiased" point of view. The US is full of these types of institutes, and the main purpose is propaganda. A better mane for this organization might be the American Institute for Determining Contemporary German Foreign Policy.

No amount of media spin will change the fact that the UN resolution denies Libya its sovereignty under Article 2 of the UN Charter. There is no genocide here, the sovereign Libyan government was reacting to an armed uprising as is its right. If you don't think the US, UK, or Germany wouldn't do the same, you are dreaming in Technicolour. If you have a short memory search the words "Ruby Ridge" and "Waco".
14:53 April 4, 2011 by Beachrider
Look, I didn't want the USA to go into Libya with missile, planes or bombs.

However, read the resolution that the UN Security Council PASSED. Read the statement from the usually-culture-oriented Arab League.

The comparisons to Ruby or Waco are tortured comparisons, if anyone is torturing anything.
20:52 April 6, 2011 by Curmudgeon
Beachrider, you are missing the point.

The people at Ruby Ridge and Waco were not in an armed insurrection. They hadn't killed, threatened to kill, or pronounced that anyone in any political office had to step down. They were pursuing what they understood to be life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as guaranteed under the US Constitution. They were non-conformists, who were attacked by the US Government for not conforming. If these events had happened in a Middle Eastern country, the usual suspects would have been advocating regime change.

By belittling the violence perpetrated in these two incidents, you imply that this level of violence against citizens is OK.

Whether the resolution passed or not, doesn't wake it legal under international law, which the US and UK ignore on a regular basis.
16:33 April 7, 2011 by Beachrider
@curmudgeon, the whole Ruby/Waco issue is waaaay OT for this discussion.

Your two 'victims' resisted legal warrants in both cases. They both denied the legitimacy of the warrants. You cannot do that in a society of laws.

Qaddafi isn't about warrants or society of laws.

The fact that they are both violent isn't enough to establish a firm connection.

The ad-hominem stuff about UK and USA just indicates that you had your mind made up before the resolutions passed. It may not be practical to change your mind when it has been made up so hard.
20:51 April 7, 2011 by Curmudgeon

You have confirmed my point. The US and UK (and NATO) are lawless. In the case of Ruby Ridge and Waco, the US Government acted without consulting the local sheriff, who, under the US Constitution has ultimate authority in his jurisdiction.

The US and UK created their No Fly Zones in Iraq, Illegal, because: 1) it was unilateral; and 2) it violated the Article 2 of the UN Charter guaranteeing each member state's sovereignty. April Glasbie has had a gag order since 1991.

NATO became the KLA's air force. Illegal as it breached Article 2 of the UN Charter. There was no genocide in Bosnia or Kosovo. Milosovic was poisoned because a guilty verdict was impossible. Former Canadian Ambassador Bisset testified for Milosovic. The "hated" Milosovic reportedly had 500,000 people attend his funeral. His replacement, Kostunica showed himself to be compliant to the wishes of the usual suspects.

The UN intervention in a country's internal affairs is on narrow grounds, but not in internal conflicts involving 2 opposing forces. The situation in Libya meets none of the criteria for intervention, and therefore breaches Libya's right to sovereignty. There was no attempt to use other strategies. The resolution went straight to a No Fly Zone, which NATO command interprets as military intervention.

Did I have my mind made up beforehand? Probably. The reason is simple, the UN and its SC ignore its own guarantees. Under the NPT, signators are not only guaranteed the right to pursue nuclear power for peaceful purposes, member states are required to assist those seeking it, and come to the defence of member states attacked.

What has the SC? In spite of Iran having voluntarily agreed to having a more rigourous inspection regimen than any other NPT signator, and despite of the inspectors finding no evidence of a weapons program, the SC imposed sanctions illegally. Don't take my word for it, nuclear physicist Gordon Prather, a Reagan advisor has written extensively about this. How about Syria? The US a NPT signator, and Israel a non-signator have attacked Syria, which is a NPT signator. The UN is supposed to defend Syria. Using the Libyan logic, No Fly Zones should have been established and Washington and Tel Aviv should have been bombed.

NATO became an attack dog since its reason for existence ended 20 years ago. I knew what to expect when I heard the words "Libya" and "No Fly Zone" in the same sentence. The same pattern of "spontaneous" uprisings that started in Romania in 1989 and gone through Yugoslavia, Lebanon, etc. has been evident. There are people legitimately opposed to Gaddaffi, but are they the majority? I have my doubts.. The ones legitimately opposed do not set up "liberation organizations" in Washington (primarily) or London. These organizations are puppets who hi-jack legitimate dissent for their own purposes. If Gaddaffi truly had little or no supportt internally, he would have been overthrown by now.
21:39 April 7, 2011 by Beachrider
What I said had nothing to do with your conclusions.

Your conclusions show you don't agree how far OT you are.

You are making it about you. I guess you can do that. It just doesn't help change someone to your viewpoint. People that already agree with you might cheer you on, though.

Have fun...
14:54 April 8, 2011 by Curmudgeon
By OT, am I to assume you mean out of touch?

After 47 years in the work force, and having worked in 4 countries on 2 continents, I recognize there is a gap between someone of my age and younger people. That doesn't make me out of touch with reality, only current trends.

Facts are facts. How people view facts depends on life experiences. The fact remains that the US and UK governments have broken or ignored international law for decades, including time in WWI when the US, despite declared neutrality, was shipping munitions to the UK, and the UK maintaining an illegal blockade on Germany post WWI that caused millions to starve to death.

When it comes to war, at least the Nazi's were honest by stating that the average person doesn't want war, but the political leaders can easily manipulate them.
16:20 April 8, 2011 by Beachrider
OT is off-topic. When someone says that you are OT, they advise that your point, however valid-or-invalid, is not on the subject of the discussion.

The subject here is whether Germany's partnerships believe that Germany can be counted upon.
13:48 April 14, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
Germany can absolutely be counted on - to follow its own self interest as the ruling clique sees it. At the moment for commercial and political considerations Germany is hiding behind its post world war II pacifist face. This stance saves the germans money and keeps them from annoying Africian trading partners. A good decisioon for business and a vote getter. Of course this attitude leaves the heavy lifting to its "allies" which is not very nice, Angela should be careful.
20:44 April 16, 2011 by karldehm
It is very easy to get sucked into such a nonsensical discussion. Germany must decide what is best for Germany, not get involved in another war which has no end.

Take for example Iran and Afghanistan where things have got worse not better since the so called allies have been counted on.

We support our allies in conflicts where they are threatened or attacked. I don't remember Libya attacking France or the UK or any other member of NATO. However despicable Qaddafi might be, things need to be left to Libyans to determine. Why aren't the Moslem brothers not lining up to support their brothers in Libya with men and weapons.

Someone once said, "what if they called a war and no one came." I think we should follow these wise words, not go blindly over the cliff like lemmings.

Manfred Dehm
02:26 April 17, 2011 by Beachrider
Just tell me which city we are going to rename to budapest. We have a lot of city renaming to get this done...
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