It almost seems as if every failed leader in the world wants a piece of the war in Libya. Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy...and now the European Union is using it to brush up its plans for intervention – as if being the world capital of banking debt were not enough.
On 6 April, Zsolt Nemeth, speaking in the name of EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, warned of more military interventions to come. He said, “Over the past three weeks both the European and the international community have shaped a very clear philosophy under the motto of ‘the responsibility to protect’ … and that should be a warning sign to Yemen, Bahrain and indeed to all of those countries which maintain authoritarian regimes.”
Whereas this is Britain’s 46th post-1945 military intervention in the Middle East, the European Union has a fair bit of catching up to do. But it has in Ashton an ideal puppet, completely wooden and completely controlled by others.
The notion of an EU Foreign Minister would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. Ashton is said to have offered “two battle groups” to “support aid”, provided the UN gives the go-ahead.
The intentions of the EU are aggressive. This organisation, born in the guise of an economic alliance of European nations, is now strutting its stuff as a military power to rival the US on the world stage. Except that it obeys the commands of the US. And that the EU member states can’t agree among themselves.
So instead we have Sarkozy and Cameron posing with Obama as standing up for “the Libyan people” while bombing them, and not mentioning their oil.
By its charter the UN Security Council is allowed to intervene only if there is “a threat to international peace and security”. The Libyan government has not attacked another nation, so it poses no such threat. Russia, China, India and the 53 countries of the African Union are calling for an immediate ceasefire and oppose any military intervention.
How is the intervention to be managed? NATO is proving to be a troublesome beast, with members such as Turkey not as gung-ho as others would like. So don’t be surprised if the European Union uses the Libyan crisis to dust off its idea of a European Defence Force, an EU army ready to intervene anywhere – and particularly inside the EU – where the interests of Brussels are threatened. ■