NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen and EU "General" van Rompuy
The Telegraph´s columnist Nile Gardiner has an good piece on the EU´s futile efforts to convince the public that the it has played a pivotal role in the Allied operations againsta Libya:
The European Union will try to claim credit for almost anything these days, even going so far as recently declaring the Oscar success of The King’s Speech to be an EU victory. But its latest foray in the world of make-believe surely takes the biscuit. The apparatchiks in Brussels are currently in overdrive trying to demonstrate that the European Union has played a pivotal role in the Allied campaign in Libya. This, despite the fact that Brussels did all it could to appease Gaddafi’s monstrous regime for decades. Witness EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy’s speech of staggering audacity to the European Parliament in Brussels earlier today where he declared:
Two weeks previously, in an extraordinary European Council on 11 March, we had adopted a clear line on Libya. Without that clear European position, the subsequent actions would not have been possible. We decided that, to safeguard the safety of the civilian population, Member States could: “examine all necessary options, provided that there is a demonstrable need, a clear legal basis and support from the region”.
… A massive bloodbath has been avoided, thousands of lives have been saved. This is the most important result and deserves the highest attention, more so than the decision-making process. The wood is more important than the trees!
Of course, we all know that the decision to take military action was not easy. There are, quite naturally, questions and hesitations. That is perfectly normal in issues of war and peace. But any difficulties that we have experienced over that aspect of the Libyan crisis should not mask for one moment the full track record of the European Union. From the beginning of the crisis, the European Union was at the forefront.
Needless to say, there was no mention in President Van Rompuy’s victory address of the role played by David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in mobilising the international coalition that intervened to halt Colonel Gaddafi’s advance on Benghazi, or the fact that it was US, British and French airpower that saved large numbers of lives. The European Union has been a massive irrelevance throughout the whole Libya crisis, with its key representatives Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton overwhelmingly sidelined.
Read the whole article here.