Saturday, 19 March 2011

"EU-led coalition strikes first Gaddafi target"

The pro-EU EUobserver is trying to give the false impression that the coalition against Gaddafi is "EU-led":

EU-led coalition strikes first Gaddafi target
"A French jet fired on one of Colonel Gaddafi's tanks at 18.45 Libyan time on Saturday (19 March) in the first strike by an EU-US-Arab coalition put together to protect Libyan civilians."

It is true that there are 10 EU countries in the "alliance" - including even Germany, which did not support the UN Security Council resolution! - but in no way is it "EU-led".

Here is some background to the Paris summit on Saturday:

The original invitation from the French and British leaders snubbed Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, after Berlin stunned other Western powers by siding with Russian and China during the UN Security Council vote on Thursday night.
Last week at a summit in Brussels, Germany had refused to heed calls from the Prime Minister and French President for EU backing for a no-fly zone, delaying the measure until the United States swung behind Britain and France on Thursday.
President Sarkozy extended his initial Friday morning invitation to Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Qatar, the Arab League, UN and African Union, only passing the invitation to the EU via Herman Van Rompuy during telephone calls that pointedly neglected Baroness Ashton, Europe's foreign minister.
In desperate bid to avoid being completely pushed out of the new Anglo-French military alliance, Chancellor Merkel was forced to pledge extra German military support in Afghanistan to free up Nato aerial surveillance forces for operations in Libya before inviting herself.

EU "president" Herman Van Rompuy and "foreign minister", Baroness Ashton - both unelected - were allowed to participate in the Paris summit, but it is quite clear that their presence was in essence symbolic - they certainly did not have any common EU position on the no-fly zone operations to convey to the other participants. Maybe the duo was there to project the famous EU "soft power"? Or maybe Van Rompuy, also known as Haiku Herman, read his latest haiku:
Winter fades away
Spring not yet alive
A time in between.

However, Van Rompuy´s PR-department is to be congratulated for the quickness in letting us share his and the Baroness´s arrival - and even the "president´s" departure - on YouTube:

 Video by user HermanVanRompuy

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