Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 11, 2011

In Libya, France Is Suing For Peace

Sarkoleon thought he could to do a quick job grabbing Libya's riches. That turned out to not be possible. War is expensive. Fighting a stalemate in the desert is neither fun nor does it make for good headlines. Time to give up:

France's defense minister said it was time for Libya's rebels to negotiate with Muammar Gaddafi's government, signaling growing impatience with progress in the conflict.
"We have ... asked them to speak to each other," Longuet, whose government has until now been among the most hawkish on Libya, said on French television station BFM TV.

"The position of the TNC (rebel Transitional National Council) is very far from other positions. Now, there will be a need to sit around a table," he said.

Asked if it was possible to hold talks if Gaddafi had not stepped down, Longuet said: "He will be in another room in his palace with another title."

The French plan now: Gaddhafi will stay and the rebels will be pressed into a ceasefire.

But the French made the mistake to earlier invite the U.S. in on this war. The "liberal interventionists" in Washington, who have little to lose in this game but their reputation, will want to keep the war going:

Soon after, the State Department in Washington issued a message that gave no hint of compromise.

"The Libyan people will be the ones to decide how this transition takes place, but we stand firm in our belief that Gaddafi cannot remain in power," it said in a written reply to a query.

The Libyan people will of course not be allowed to decide. The chance of them deciding that Gaddhafi should stay is too high. Washington will prevent that.

I expect the war to continue for another few month with no decisive victory for either side. Only when the British and French together withhold their troops from continuing the war will Washington agree to negotiations. Even after that it will try everything to spoil any decent compromise.

Troops on the ground? That would change the picture. But I doubt that Congress will agree to allow for such. It seems as this war, like man other before it, will end with a whimper instead of a glorious bang.

Posted by b on July 11, 2011 at 07:53 AM | Permalink


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