Friday, March 18, 2011

Fearing A Slap On The Face, UN Sanctions A No-Fly Zone

Faced with the prospects of a victorious comeback by Libya’s 42 year dictatorship under Muammar Gaddafi, the UN approves a No-Fly zone over Libya.

The Marketwatch reports,

The United Nations Security Council voted 10 to 0 supporting the use of "all necessary measures" including the use of a no-fly zone to protect civilians and rebel forces in Libya from forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Russia and China, which held veto powers, abstained from the vote, along with three other council members. The passing of the measure is expected to lead to U.N.-backed military strikes in Libya within hours, according to media reports.

UN’s action represents a response to a potential slap on the face if Gaddafi forces wins.

Writes Lew Rockwell's Eric Margolis,

In a huge embarrassment for President Barack Obama, who has been demanding Gadaffi resign, the gutsy new US national intelligence director, Gen. James Clapper, told Congress that Gadaffi’s forces were winning. Fortunately, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates put the brakes, at least for now, on Republican hawks and the-only-good-Arab-is-a-dead-Arab neocons who were urging the US impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

There will also be many red faces in Europe. Libya is a major oil supplier. If Gadaffi survives and reconsolidates his rule, Europe will have to continue buying oil from him. Germany’s Angela Merkel and her pal Sarko will look very foolish.

That means the leaders of France, Germany, and Britain, who have been calling for the overthrow of Gadaffi, may have to make nice to him again, and even, horror of horrors, go to Tripoli and be filmed holding hands with the smirking Libyan dictator, decked out in one of his Marx Brothers military outfits. Revenge, Libyan-style, will be oh so sweet.

To save face means to intervene militarily which is what the No-fly zone is all about. Libya’s civil war will now evolve into an international war.

So the UN’s foreign policy appears designed to boost the self esteem needs of political authorities by getting their soldier’s hands bloodied and also by shifting away of resources from productive activities. In short, the self interest of politicians matter more than the public.

Also, reputational needs of political heads translates to benefits for the military industrial complex. So if it isn’t the banking elites, it is the military industrial elites that mostly benefits from government interventionism. Of course the banking elite is also tied to the military industrial complex indirectly since the banking elites has been the chief financers of government expenditures.

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