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Old 05-01-2011, 11:59 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 333
Default Re: Humanitarian Nonintervention (Robert Farley & Daniel Larison)

Thanks very much to Robert and Daniel for a very thought provoking discussion. I especially appreciated that they talked about the roles of the other western players.

In terms of motivation for the intervention, misguided or otherwise, perhaps the whole context of the ME/North Africa uprisings was a bit left out. I think it's highly unlikely this intervention would have happened in Libya, were it an isolated incident, unless there was much more evidence to suggest a possible massacre, or some more obvious and immediate western interest than seems apparent.

The whole idea of downtrodden people rising up, apparently with some success, in Egypt and Tunisia, was really heartwarming to most people. And then, along came the Libyan protesters turned rebels, I think mostly in reaction to excessive use of force by the government.

The goal of western countries, including US, seems to have been largely, as was mentioned in the diavlog, to make sure they were seen to be on the side of "the people" as opposed to the "dictator", but not "meddling" in their own selfish interest, as such, rather, responding to the will of "the people". This could be seen as in their long term interest, to reduce hostility. It was a good point, though, that we easily mistake exactly who "the people" are and how much support the dictator really has.

Re, other coutries in the region, and why Libya and not elsewhere, I don't think there has been any sign from anybody inside those countries that they want outside intervention, but I might have missed it.

Also not mentioned much was the importance of the UN approval and what appeared to be support by the regional organizations, which might have meant more outside the US. One way to assess whether R2P goals, or at least reasonably high minded ones, are genuine, or a cover for self interest, is by how many countries, especially influential ones, with really diverging interests, support an intervention, or are not so opposed as to actually veto. Legality means something to some people, also.

Re Euro politics, I think there was some urge on the part of UK and France to assert Euro influence, as well as influence within EU, thus the disappointment at Germany's reluctance. But they actually supported the intervention, just didn't want to participate militarily, and some people still find that understandable.

I think it was a mistake to demonize Gadaffi so much, to refer him to the ICC, as, I think, the Indian representative said, and to create a situation were he has little option but to fight, and negotiation with him is practically unthinkable.
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