Δεν έχεις, Όλυμπε, θεούς, μηδέ λεβέντες η Όσσα, ραγιάδες έχεις, μάννα γη, σκυφτούς για το χαράτσι, κούφιοι και οκνοί καταφρονούν τη θεία τραχιά σου γλώσσα, των Ευρωπαίων περίγελα και των αρχαίων παλιάτσοι…
(Κωστής Παλαμάς)

Κυριακή, 11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Τι πρέπει να γίνει με την Λιβύη; (3)


Τι πρέπει να γίνει με την Λιβύη; (3)

Αναρτούμε σήμερα το 3ο και τελευταίο μέρος της ανάλυσης για την Λιβύη, με τον ευρηματικό τίτλο: "Η κατάσταση 6 μήνες μετά και κάποιες ελπιδοφόρα άσχημες προβλέψεις". Προβλέπει παράταση των συγκρούσεων μέχρι το 2016 ή ακόμα και μέχρι το 2020, ακόμα και αν ο Καντάφι συλληφθεί ή εκτελεστεί.
ΔΕΕ 
Part III
Status 6 Months Later and Some - Hopefully Wrong - Predictions

1. Elements of a status of the period March to August 2011

1. According to an urgent appeal on the UNHCR website in August, over 1 million Libyans have fled the continuing violence to seek refuge in Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Algeria. That is 15% of the people! Allegedly, several thousands have died on their journey across the Mediterranean, on small boats not rescued by NATO- and other vessels in the vicinity. 
This is the opposite of the alleged motive for the intervention - the Responsibility to Protect people in danger.
2. Already 6 weeks into NATO bombings, in late April, a U.N. Human Rights delegation to Tripoli and rebel-held areas reported an estimated 10.000-15.000 killed civilians “on both sides”.
3. While NATO insist that all its missions target only military targets, regime palaces, buildings where Khaddafi was supposed to stay, radio and television stations etc. have been turned into ruins. One grandchild, one son and possible another son has been killed. As an example, on August 11, Amnesty called on NATO to investigate allegations that it killed 85 civilians of whom 33 children, in airstrikes on forces loyal to Moammar Khaddafi.
4. One small but very active bomber country, Denmark, has flown 441 missions and thrown 740 bombs by August 10; the Danish defence minister, Ms. Bech, states that she has no reports that any civilians have been killed (by Denmark).
5. Although UN SC resolution 1973 permits a broad variety of military action, except deployment of ground forces, its emphasis is on bringing about a ceasefire and a negotiated solution as well as on protecting civilians with every means except deployment of ground forces. It is clear that many of those who voted in favour of it and those who abstained did not anticipate a drawn-out, full-blown war with the type of ferocity and destruction that it has been rather much from Day One. Few had envisaged that this was the reality behind the seemingly rational and war-limiting concept of No Fly Zone. 
It is therefore highly unlikely that the bombing nations will be able to come back and get another mandate and fig-leaf legitimacy from the UN for continued warfare. The mission “creep” has been far too conspicuous, and the authorized bombing, so far at least, no problem-solver but, rather, a problem accumulator.
6. It is very clear that the assumption that the “Libya problem” would be solved within 3 months or so, has turned out to be wrong. The Khaddafi regime’s power position and military tenacity surprise and annoys everyone whether or not they admit it. While diplomats and officers have defected from the regime, there are no signs that the Libyan masses have revolted against “the mad dog” as Ronald Reagan called Khaddafi.
7. The National Transitional Council that has been recognized as the new government by numerous countries, led by NATO members, and units around it are known to have elements of Al-Queda. The NTC is deeply split on a number of issues and in late July its military leader was liquidated in cold blood. Western countries have increasingly begun to question who they so quickly threw in their support for back then in March 2011.
8. This Council, of course, wasn’t worth the Western support - except if you base yourself on the banal assumption that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In two weeks in February the 300 people making up the Assembly in Banghazi managed to change 180 degrees their two vital, original provisions: 1) they would fight only with non-violent means like their brothers in Tunesia and Egypt and 2) they would make the revolution by themselves and not call upon the international community.
In addition, they chose themselves as the only legitimate representatives of the Libyan people - of course without having consulted the 6-7 million other Libyans they represented. It is indeed a peculiar support for democratization to recognize the NTC as many NATO countries have done.
9. The Council has, very carelessly, been granted access to billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets abroad and thereby given an opportunity to buy modern expensive weaponry. (This is one reason that the Council’s first important decision was to establish a new Libyan national bank). The first oil deals have also been done between these forces and Western powers.
10. In late July, Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, made a turnabout by stating that Khaddafi could stay in Libya - quite a change from the earlier chorus that he has lost legitimacy, must leave and should be brought to the International Criminal Court.
11. French President Sarkozy aired the idea, a few days before Hague, that it was time for negotiations with the regime, but his test ballon was shot down within hours by Mme Clinton: NO negotiations with Khaddafi!
12. The UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was voted through with no representative of Tripoli being present. The Libyan ambassador to the UN had resigned the day before and given a special passport by the Secretary-General. To not hear any functioning representative of a country party to a conflict being debated in the Council is a clear violation of its rules.
13. A number of countries, among them France, have delivered arms to the rebels. Whoever pumps in weapons to either of the sides do only three things - earn money on death and destruction; prolong the fighting and increase the suffering and, three, effectively prevent a cease-fire and, thereby, a negotiated solution. 
In addition, Security Council resolution 1973 strengthens the arms embargo imposed in Resolution 1970 and, so, it ought to be against the resolution to deliver weapons to either side. Of course, the resolution airs nothing but noble pretense; the “merchants of death” knows exactly how to exploit arms embargoes, as was the case in former Yugoslavia. These merchants are never treated like war criminals, only those who use their weapons.
14. It has become impossible to hide to the public how divisive this war has been within NATO and the EU and between them and the United States. This is a war that was predominantly started by European countries and not by the United States. There has been very little enthusiasm among allies to make contributions whether in terms of fighter bombers or funding. 
In the case of Libya, the Lisbon Treaty goal of the Union’s members speaking with one voice in foreign and security policy matters almost appears almost farcical. When it comes to NATO, President Obama seems very aware about the necessity of not involving the U.S. in yet another war; the preceding ones have been more than enough of costly catastrophes contributing substantially to the de facto bankruptcy of the country.
15. By August it is clear that the rebels in Benghazi are increasingly sliding into factionalism and infighting among tribes and various groupings and also showing no signs of a democratic mode of operation or capacity to rule a post-Khaddafi Libya. There is extremely little reason to believe that the Libyans will see the Benghazi rebels as a great improvement compared with Khaddafi. With Khaddafi they know, for good and for bad, what they have - including a very high level of welfare, education, health care system, etc.

2. 
Some predictions by late summer 2011
The following points are based exclusively on the author’s experience from a number of war-zones combined with lessons that-should-be-learnt from places such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.
1. This conflict and its violence is likely to continue for years.

The fighting has drawn out way longer than NATO ever anticipated in its hubris mood in February-March. The war will not be over even if Khaddafi is murdered or gives in somehow. There will be too many competing for filling the power vacuum after him - a full-blown civil war being the most realistic prospect. And that could last for anywhere between 2-3 years and a decade.
2. The logic of war will prevail. There will be no serious human(itarian) concerns
The bombing countries will continue to ignore whatever Responsibility to Protect they profess to have and no matter that the war ay have cost more innocent lives than Khaddafi has ever killed.
It would be naive to believe that increasing human costs over time would compel the governments that participate in the bombing to simply stop. 
Given the experiences from a number of places - former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq to mention some - Western governments are much more focused on “winning” than on sparing or saving human lives - no matter whether the original motivation may have been to protect civilian lives at the firing line or human rights in general. In other words, war have a logic and it is extremely difficult to be the first to stop. And think.
3. An unconditional bomb stop is unlikely
The only factors likely to stop the bombing will be:
a) the economic cost to the main bombing countries, such as France and Denmark;
b) internal political divisions in NATO and the EU and between Europe and the United States - or
c) other countries in the world managing to push a Stop The Bombing Now to the top of the international agenda, including the UN. This is not likely to happen; e.g. the BRIC - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as well as , say, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, will enjoy waiting and seeing the bombing nations break their neck in the Libyan quagmire desserts and mountains as well as waste their money.
4. Ground troops may be deployed somewhat dependent on who will be the next U.S. president.

When the bombing has drawn out ad absurdum, the voices in favour of a troop invasion will increasingly be heard. Since it can not be taken for granted that Obama will be elected for another term, a new President in the U.S. may be much less hesitant to engage the U.S. in this war - and argue that “we have for all practical purposes left both Iraq and Afghanistan; here is a chance to resurrect NATO and show who the real master of the West is - and it is not the Europeans and their Union, as we have seen since March 2011.”
5. It is highly likely that the country will be split in two or three.

The contours of a split Libya are already there - a replica of what European states did one hundred years ago. We only have to imagine the scenario that the rebels will not be able to win over and oust Khaddafi and that the Khaddafi regime will not be able to control all of the country again. Western powers have always had a propensity to “solve” conflict by divide and rule, drawing lines in the sand etc. Former Yugoslavia and Kosovo in particular are the most recent examples (or keeping North and South Korea split at all costs to the Koreans).
6. There will more attempts to kill Khaddafi
The - naive - assumption is of course that the Libyan problem is embodied in one personality, unable as the West seems to be in terms of intellectually comprehending complex conflicts. The death of Khaddafi will not bring peace and stability; more likely is that it will open a new chapter to a full-blown civil war - with numerous tribes and factions and individuals fighting each other to fill the vacuum and control the country’s wealth in terms of oil and gold.
7. One country after the other will drop off from NATO’s Operation Unified Protector
The longer this war goes on with none of the original political goals being reached, it will become increasingly difficult for parliaments to extend their participation and get the necessary funding in place. Operation Unified Protector was always small, the initial coalition consisted of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Qatar, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Norway ended its military participation at the end of July. Belgium has an ongoing political crisis. Denmark presumably holds elections in autumn. France carries a major burden of the Operation and its economy is crisis-ridden. Italy is deep in economic and political crisis, so is Spain. And the UK - another major carrier of the military and financial burden - was hit by serious rioting in early August 2011. The United States is virtually bankrupt and President Obama fighting for his political life against an increasingly strong Republican/Tea Party.
To get new countries on board with air and navy forces and thereby make a decisive difference in Libya amounts to little but wishful thinking.
8. The day it is all over - say, 2016-2020 - there will be a bill to pay
The bill will include the re-building of an almost completely destroyed Libya (provided a miracle does not happen in the meantime). NATO countries would hardly feel morally obliged to provide that aid. But they are likely to build mega-bases like the Bondsteel Base in Kosovo and the dozen of bases in “liberated” Iraq. They will have done their utmost to secure control over the main oil fields and ports in Libya, i.e. siding with the local parties that may eventually control them. IMF, the World Bank and others will get access to Libya which was virtually impossible in Khaddafi’s Libya where there was only one national banking system controlled by the regime.
9. Western mainstream media will continue to under-report the human costs of NATO’s bombings and systematically ignore the views of the Khaddafi regime
The war as such will receive less and less coverage. In Danish and Swedish media, for instance, the fact that these countries are at war - Denmark for the 4th time, Sweden for the first, in about 50 years - is hardly mentioned anymore. Media that stage-set the black-and-white image of “the dictator” and more or less explicitly urged and pushed for the “No Fly Zone” will see it in their own interest to not highlight how deficient and lacking in basic conflict understanding their own trade is - again.
10. The majority of Libyans will be caught in the middle, neither wanting Khaddafi forever nor trusting for a moment the foreign-aided, money-making “freedom” fighters of the NTC.
No one will ask what they - perhaps 75% of the people - would want. Their hatred of the West will be significant. In the worst of cases, the West is now creating yet another terrorist producer. For generations ahead, there will be animosity between “Christian” and “Muslim” cultures - the contrary of what we need, namely mutual understanding, dialogue and respect.

Post-script: The Left and Right now together behind war
The wars in former Yugoslavia split many otherwise cohesive groupings. Traditionally pacifist Green parties and human rights advocates urged bombings - so did intellectuals such as Habermas; women groups and even peace movement people - “humanitarian intervention” and ”we can’t stand idly by when a new Hitler (Milosevic) ravages a part of Europe” being the slogans of those days. On the famous other hand, you would find high-level militaries, political hawks and right-wingers who were adamantly against the roles of US/NATO in Croatia, Bosnia and in the Kosovo-Serbia conflict in particular.
Thus, one may say that Yugoslavia turned about much of the classical configurations along right/left and hardline/softline and Realpolitik/Idealism/ and, finally, between war as destructive and war as constructive in some sense.
A major factor in a series of European states seems to have been that the Social Democracies basically went with hardline Reapolitik and gave up every commitment to international solidarity, the UN, international law - not to speak of its historical anti-militarism. It was, for instance, a government lead by Social Democrats in coalition with small liberal (historically pacifist) party that made Denmark go to war in former Yugoslavia. In Sweden it was Social Democracy that gave its unreserved political support to NATO’s bombing of Serbia, to the war on Afghanistan and Iraq and to the war on terror.
For those who may still think that Sweden still is what it was in the 1970s and up to the 1990s in the era of Olof Palme with a strong emphasis on solidarity with the small countries, high profile on disarmament, international law and the UN, and seeking to be a mediator, etc - it is indeed time for a reality check. Today, for instance, Sweden is militarily present in Libya with 6 JAS Gripen aircraft albeit not in bombing rôles and while its troops are under NATO command in Afghanistan, there is not a single Swede in the UN Blue Helmets anymore.
Much of these changes can also be explained by increasing EU foreign policy integration. There is no need for original, independent or “alternative” inputs from each member - the reason being that foreign policy has become much more of a positioning game within the Union which pretends to be working under the Lisbon Treaty provision of speaking with one voice in foreign and security policy matters. (The only time it ever did was when it recognized Slovenia and Croatia as independent out of Yugsolavia, which was the main reason for the war breaking out in Bosnia 5 months later).
In comes the Libyan crisis and what happens? For the first time in their histories, the Left and the Right converge on warfare being the solution to the problem, i.e. on a pro-war stance. From the far left to the far right in Denmark, all members of parliament, Folketinget, voted for the Danish F-16s to be deployed to Libya. In Sweden, only the tiny new right-wing xenophobic Sweden Democrats voted against; all social democrats, greens and socialist party members voted pro-intervention/war with the right-wing coalition government. In Norway, like in Denmark, all MPs from right to left voted pro-war.
This is something fundamentally new in the mentioned countries. We are witnessing European parliamentarians with no personal experience from the Second World War or the Vietnam War and a limited sense of the Cold War. We have seen the Nobel Peace prize being awarded people who are responsible for war in indisputable violation of the will of Alfred Nobel. War is peace?
The new trends raise the question about the rôle of war and interventions in contemporary society. Overall, warfare seems to have become more acceptable, pressing anti-militarist and non-violent options and ethics further into the background. It can indeed be seen as mind-boggling that these parties in these countries choose the options they do with three failed war projects fresh in mind or ongoing - former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Perhaps each generation believes that this war will be different, that this time they get it right. In the case of Libya they haven’t and they won’t - either. One can only hope that this fourth war failure in-the-making will make some think next time. But will they?

Lund, Sweden, August 15, 2011

http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profiles/blogs/libya-what-should-have-been-done-part-iii

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