The Corner

Italy Breaks with NATO Line, Calls for End of Hostilities in Libya

From the AFP:

“We have seen the effects of the crisis and therefore also of NATO action not only in eastern and southwestern regions but also in Tripoli,” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told a parliamentary committee meeting.

“I believe an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities is required in order to create effective humanitarian corridors,” while negotiations should also continue on a more formal ceasefire and peace talks, he said.

“I think this is the most urgent and dramatic point,” Frattini continued.

“I think it is legitimate to request ever more detailed information on the results” of the NATO mission, he added, condemning “the dramatic errors that hit civilians, which is clearly not an objective of the NATO mission.”

France remains hawkish:

“The coalition and the countries that met as the Abu Dhabi contact group two weeks ago were unanimous on the strategy: we must intensify the pressure on Kadhafi,” French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

“Any pause in operations would risk allowing him to play for time and to reorganise. In the end, it would be the civilian population that would suffer from the smallest sign of weakness on our behalf,” he said.

Here’s what a war with two commands — both of which are comprised of members from a number of different-thinking sovereign states, and one of which doesn’t think sustained air attacks on both maneuvering military formations and civilian population centers rise to the levels of “hostilities” in the first place — looks like. Whatever you think of the wisdom of the intervention itself, this is at least an argument for unilateralism if you must, a Coalition of the Willing if you can. It beats the heck out of an Agglomeration of the Wobbly.


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