[OPE] Wallerstein on Libya

From: Jurriaan Bendien <jurriaanbendien@online.nl>
Date: Mon Apr 11 2011 - 06:51:47 EDT

(...) The intervention camp had two components: those for whom any and all
military interventions by the West are irresistible, and those who argued
the case for humanitarian intervention. They were opposed very strongly in
the United States by the military, who saw a Libyan war as unwinnable and an
enormous military strain on the United States. The latter group seemed to be
winning out, when suddenly the resolution of the Arab League changed the
balance of forces.
How did this happen? The Saudi government worked very hard and effectively
to get a resolution passed endorsing the institution of a no-fly zone. In
order to get unanimity among the Arab states, the Saudis made two
concessions. The demand was only for a no-fly zone and a second resolution
was adopted opposing the intrusion of any Western land forces.

What led the Saudis to push this through? Did someone from the United States
telephone someone in Saudi Arabia and request this? I think it was quite the
opposite. This was an instance of the Saudis trying to affect US policy
rather than the other way around. And it worked. It tipped the balance.

What the Saudis wanted, and what they got, was a big distraction from what
they thought most urgent, and what they were doing -- a crackdown on the
Arab revolt, as it affected first of all Saudi Arabia itself, then the Gulf
states, then elsewhere in the Arab world. (...)

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Received on Mon Apr 11 06:52:42 2011

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