Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Samantha Power can't really come out and explain the decisions regarding the war in detail. The bosses are doing that (coherently?). She has already laid out her thinking in previous writings. Though "and the Fight to Save the World" sounds a bit presumptuous. On the other side of the Atlantic a pop philosopher named Bernard-Henri LÚvy is making the rounds to drum up support for this 'whatever it is' operation while denouncing the war opposition. Excerpts from an interview with Die Zeit:

DIE ZEIT: The West is now partly responsible for what happens in Libya after the intervention. What if there are acts of revenge after the ouster of Gadhafi?

Bernard-Henri LÚvy: Try to prevent them, naturally. We would have a "responsibility to protect", too. But I don't see that coming. I could be wrong. But I have seen those young fighters, their commanders, their political leaders. I think they are good people. And they know the world is watching them. If there was a wave of repressions political initiatives would be sufficient - and certainly no larger military contingents.

ZEIT: But maybe in Syria where a Libyan scenario is possible?

LÚvy: "We can't be everywhere so we better be nowhere." That's a trap. The operation in Libya has to successful. If we are successful in Libya then other dictators will start thinking. If we don't succeed, the other bastards will be on the upswing. The intervention in Libya is practically an intervention in Syria.

... ZEIT: How could Germany limit the damage?

LÚvy:... But if you think of Libya as an important event at the beginning of this century, if you think that Europe is at a turning point in its relations with Arabia and the Mediterranean, then you'll have to make notice of who is drawing closer to and withdrawing from whom. So why shouldn't the grand inter-party coalition of those who believe in the obligation to intervene and criticize the delay be given a form. I don't know what form but some form. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

... ZEIT: What words?

LÚvy: I told him: if Gadhafi comes to Bengazhi there will be a blood bath and the blood will sully the French flag that was raised on the shores of that city. I reminded him of the beautiful gesture of Mitterand meeting the Bosnian president Izetbegovic and the faintheartedness of Chirac who didn't want to meet Massoud...

... ZEIT: A revolution. In your latest book you wrote it's not about changing the world but

LÚvy: repairing it. Sure! That's what the Arab democrats are doing. But we shouldn't become blind and turn away from our duty as sentinels. There will be setbacks and misdevelopments. The Arab spring can be cause to be enthusiastic and concerned, to be enraptured and perplexed.

Florid language and grand thinking. "Our duty as sentinels", "Turning point", "I think they are good people", "blood will sully the French flag", "The intervention in Libya is practically an intervention in Syria"

What 'grand coalition' is he thinking of? The Internationalists 2.0? History is tragic and most attempts to engineer history will turn it even more tragic. It's weird that I'm defending Westerwelle but the abstention from war is not about some "popular pacifism" that he derides but about realism. We have been running around the Arab world for a long time and almost always it has been in circles and disastrous. Time to let go, Bernard.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 07:29:05 AM EST

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