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  • The EU is weak and clueless on Libya

    If further evidence is needed that the European Union is an emperor with no clothes when it comes to global power, look no further than its handling of the Libya issue. With several hundred Libyans already dead at the brutal hands of Colonel Gaddafi and his murderous thugs, all the EU has been able to muster is a mealy-mouthed statement condemning the violence, but without even identifying the key figure responsible. Here’s the full statement issued earlier this week by Baroness Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy:

    The European Union is extremely concerned by the events unfolding in Libya and the reported deaths of a very high number of demonstrators. We condemn the repression against peaceful demonstrators and deplore the violence and the death of civilians. We express our sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.

    The EU urges the authorities to exercise restraint and calm and to immediately refrain from further use of violence against peaceful demonstrators. Freedom of expression and the right to assemble, as provided for in particular by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are human rights and fundamental freedoms of every human being which must be respected and protected.

    The EU calls on the authorities to immediately cease the blocking of public access to the internet and mobile phone networks. The EU also calls upon the authorities to allow media to work freely throughout the country.

    The legitimate aspirations and demands of the people for reform must be addressed through open and meaningful Libyan-led dialogue.

    I very much doubt that “mad dog” Gaddafi, as Reagan called him, is taking a blind bit of notice of what Catherine Ashton has to say in her weak-kneed statement. In fact he probably hasn’t even heard of her. What he will pay attention to, however, is the prospect of stringent economic, political and military sanctions against his regime, a complete halt on investment from European countries, the freezing of bank accounts, and above all a travel ban against him, his family, and all of his henchmen. After all, the EU as a whole accounts for 70 percent of Libya’s trade, which amounted to 26.4 billion euros in 2009.

    Yet again on a major international crisis, the EU is looking like a deer in the headlights. All of the real action at the moment on Libya is taking place in the major capitals of Europe at a nation state level – London, Paris, Berlin – where there is serious talk of sanctions and concrete action against Gaddafi. Hopefully, the Butcher of Tripoli and Benghazi won’t be in power much longer and will be ultimately removed by his own people. But in the meantime, the free world must do all it can to also help bring his dictatorship to its knees, isolate it on the world stage and apply firm pressure on Gaddafi to go. But Europe should not cling to the illusion that a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels afflicted with delusions of grandeur will actually be leading the way.

    Cross-posted at The Telegraph.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to The EU is weak and clueless on Libya

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      You may be right about how clueless the EU is. But I think the United States federal government is in the same clueless and sinking boat.

    2. jeremy, auckland says:

      think you will find that EU is a mockery of a project and has been for years.. if it were n't for the collective funds and the EURO there is precious little else that appears to be functional – so national levels are the actual European responses.

      Also some European states have direct pipelines to the Libyan oil and gas fields and have been involved with Libya throughout the previous bans in any case .. so words are just hot air here – actions are the definitive thing… so while the US govt and all the others condemn, not much physically is happening – aside from scrambling to get the expats out… though this may change.. practically there is a need to identify who is credible locally to work with..

    3. Switzerland says:

      Friday, 25 February 2011

      LIBYA

      Paper Tigers

      The empty words and "multiple options" considered by the European Union and United States in the face of the unfolding drama we are witnessing in Libya are deplorable. They reflect the paralysis of our political institutions and, more specifically, of their leaders. Furthermore, one may ask: what is the function of the UN, the Security Council and of NATO? Have we merely created onerous Toothless Paper Tigers and idealistic workplaces for tens of thousands of international civil servants? The arab nations in turmoil at the present time represent an unprecedented opportunity for the world to truly unite and show what we can achieve together, highlighting the truest forms of direct democracy ever witnessed and brought in the most amazing way to the forefront of our lives. Libya concerns us all today. Yesterday it was Egypt and Tunisia. Tomorrow ….?

    4. Tritten, Switzerland says:

      The White House press conference I have just witnessed was a desperate attempt to say absolutely nothing in the face of a human (and democratic) disaster. Where is America? Where is the heart of America? It appears to the rest of the world that America continues to think and believe that Gaddhafi is actually still in charge and that your Information Services are thus in total denial. We should all be aware of what lies ahead. God help us all, God help, in particular, America and its integrity. In Europe, we are overrun by North Africans fleeing desperation. How many more before we, in the "WEST", allow these people to live decent lives, worthy of being called such, instead of simply being victims, serving to advance bolster economic strategies of the West.

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