Vive la France for recognizing Libyan National Council (TNC) while Gaddafi calls Obama’s bluff

A Point of View, Libya, Middle East & North Africa, Politics | | March 10, 2011 at 18:48

Sarkozy came through in a big way today and recognized the Libyan National Council (known as TNC or PTNC – yes – too confusing) as the legitimate representatives of Free Libya. According to my Twitter sources, France refused to let the Gaddafi delegation enter the country as they had no visas and sent them back to Libya on the same plane. Nice story if true.

That was followed by Germany saying they recognize states and not groups from a state. That was a loss to the TNC.

Berlusconi of Italy went even further by saying that France had acted too quickly in recognizing the TNC. He’s always been on Gaddafi’s side and only spoke out when the horrors became so widely telecast that he was forced to say something. Maybe he’s secretly jealous and wishes he had Gaddafi’s power? He looks and behaves like one would imagine a Fascist who is only constrained by modernity.

Portugal reported that Gaddafi’s delegation was not received and told they didn’t consider Gaddafi the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. Bravo!!!

No word from Egypt about what came of the Gaddafi delegation that flew to Cairo. The word on Twitter is that they went for help with the threat that Tripoli would go hard on the Egyptians there – of which there are many. Twitter also says that the delegation was not received. Egypt is pretty busy with its own problems right now. A snide Tweet today said, “The Egyptian government tortures Egyptians every day. Why would they care what Gaddafi does to Egyptians in Libya?”

All that came from the Obama administration was a statement that Hillary Clinton was planning on meeting with members of the TNC when she visits Egypt. Notice the word “planning.” Not what I would call a real commitment.

The GCC Gulf Cooperation Council called Gaddafi’s regime illegitimate and called for need to initiate contacts with TNC or interim national council as they call it. Would be better if they just recognized the TNC, but have to take what you get. It’s at least a step in the right direction.

The UK and France are still talking No-Fly Zone which can pretty much be ruled out by NATO. They have also talked about the need for surgical air strikes to knock out tanks and planes. Will they have what it takes to do that? It is completely necessary to stop Gaddafi from slaughtering the Free Libya forces who are greatly outgunned.

Head of NATO Rasmussen reiterated today the three points necessary for NATO to enact a NFZ:

1. demonstrable need (that seems to have met a few days back)
2. clear legal basis (UN mandate)
3. strong regional support (both Arab League and GCC have shone support, so that point seems covered.)

What’s left is point 2 which is for the UN to act. Russia has already signaled it will veto any military intervention, so that’s dead in my mind.

In the meantime, Obama dithers. He bluffed Gaddafi with his tough talk about all options on the table. Gaddafi called his bluff.

The head of US intelligence, James Clapper, told the Senate Armed Service Committee that Gaddafi will win because he has superior forces. Now that could be taken as, “Well we better to nothing then” or “Well, we better do something then.”

It looks like Obama is taking the “doing nothing” track. It spells disaster for American foreign policy which will be shown as all bluster. I knew Obama had his weaknesses, but this is too much.

If he doesn’t follow through by joining with the UK and France in strong action, he will end up with as much credibility as Gaddafi. In fact, Gaddafi will have more. At least he follows through on his threats.

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