Inevitably, it had to happen.
Despite amazing diplomatic efforts to first secure Arab League support for a No-Fly Zone, always a false hook because a no-fly zone would not have affected the military equation significantly, and then getting a UN resolution through, the head of the Arab League is now saying the organization never signed off on what the US, French and allies are now doing — meaning, bombing military sites inside Libya.
There is no doubt that Arab League members knew that what was really being debated was something that might become more intrusive than the language of an NFZ, but politically, they are feeling heat domestically for having supported large scale Western intervention against an Arab neighbor.
Hopefully — and I’m one who tends to be cynical about hope and best-case scenarios — President Obama’s intention to be involved in the Libya conflict will really just be days rather than weeks. We’ll see.
But what is enormously important is that we quickly weave Arab participants into every aspect of this military action.
Qatar and the UAE are not enough. Frankly, Qatar has already been involved well beyond its weight in the support and spread of Al Jazeera. That’s far more effective than any bombs Qatar can drop.
– Steve Clemons