For the first time, PRESIDENT OBAMA has likened the situuation in Libya to that of Rwanda in 1994. But he didn’t offer any ACTION PLAN to stop it!
The London Daily Telegraph
By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels 6:45PM GMT 11 Mar 2011
During a six hour Brussels summit, an angry Prime Minister fought to persuade other EU leaders to send clear message threatening military action on the same day that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi unleashed air strikes and launched a massive military offensive against Libyan rebels.
“We are witnessing, what can only be called, barbaric acts with Gaddafi brutally suppressing a popular rising led by his own people,” he said.
“Things may be getting worse not better on the ground. The truth is this: Gaddafi is still on the rampage, waging war on this people.”
But Mr Cameron faced strong opposition to a Nato imposed no-fly zone led by Germany, which had the support of Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign minister and British peer.
EU leaders rejected British demands for a clear declaration that supported “continued planning with Nato allies to be ready to provide support for all possible contingencies as the situation evolves, including a no-fly zone”.
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In a serious setback for Mr Cameron, who was the first world leader to raise the prospect of Western military intervention in Libya, the EU agreed vague wording that “in order to protect the civilian population, member states will examine all necessary options”.
Dismissing the traditional Brussels focus on summit communiqués and the subtleties of diplomatic language, the Mr Cameron pledged that Britain would not stand by as the Libyan people were slaughtered.
“Words are not enough what we will be judged on is our actions. Do we need to do more? Yes of course we do. The fact is he is brutalising his own people. We cannot stand by while that happens,” he said.
“The international community must be ready to act if the situation requires. We simply do not know how bad this could get or what horrors already lie hidden in the Libyan Desert.”
The British leader received firm support for Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, the only EU leader that has supported calls for military action, including air strikes to prevent Col. Gaddafi’s forces from carrying operations against Libyan civilians.
“We cannot stand by and watch while civilians are massacred,” he said.
As EU leaders gathered in Brussels, President Sarkozy vowed that “the British and French, are ready, on condition that the UN wishes, that the Arab League accepts and the Libyan opposition agrees, for targeted actions if Gaddafi uses chemical weapons or air power against peaceful citizens”.
In stark contrast, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, rebuffed Mr Cameron and insisted that Germany was “fundamentally sceptical” over calls for military intervention in Libya. “Given the situation today, I don’t see a military engagement,” she said.
European diplomats have played down the prospect of support for no-fly zone in the UN and the Arab League, where Syria and Algeria are said to be opposed.
“There is no appetite at the UN Security Council. There is no appetite at Nato. There is no appetite in the Arab League. There is no appetite in the EU. A no-fly zone is not going to fly,” said a European diplomat.
President Barack Obama stopped short of recognising the Libyan rebel council, but said the State Department would assign a representative to “interact with the opposition and determine ways we can help”.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, will meet members of the opposition when she visits the region next week.
The US president refused to rule out military action, saying he was “very concerned” about Col Gaddafi’s sustained attacks against the opposition.
“That’s why it is important not to stop where we are. Gaddafi has a stash of weapons, some troops that remain loyal and despite sanctions has some assets. We will continue to apply pressure.”
Asked if the US had a moral obligation to intervene, he said the US was mindful that it should not allow a repeat of the international failure in Rwanda and Bosnia to prevent massacres.
The situation was going to entail “some difficult judgment calls” he said, which had to be made in concert with he international community