EU Strategy & Geopolitics

There will always be anti-war protesters. Yet, as long as objectives are clear and backed by UN, masses will buy in. And that is precisely the issue with this new war.

During weeks, the international community was slow to move on a common position. Suddenly, all wrapped up in hours, from resolution to first strikes. But then vote abstainers went from neutrality or disinterest to verbal opposition and political activism. What was seen and awaited as a global move to defend humanity converted to another weird war with mysteries, coalitions and… oil.

What is Sarkozy’s favourite vacation spot: at picturesque Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia, next to age-old Pyramids in Egypt or on an oil well in Libya? The joke works for Obama and others too. The ramping question is to know the real objective of this war, if not oil. Even Belgian Prime Minister is confused from imposing a ceasefire to deposing Gaddafi. The UN resolution accepted the first with its no-fly zone and civilian’s protection agenda. But military operations lead to the second, when serving as an air support while rebels overthrow the regime.

What is different this time is that as western populations feel mislead by their leaders, resolution abstainers, China and Russia not to mention them, may become their spokesperson. Enlarging the debate to global geopolitics, there are various ways to claim supremacy. One is with a gun, which the US has extensively relied upon. Another is the economic power which China is mastering. But the most important at the age of communications is certainly political credibility. And believe it or not, China is now taking ground on this battle too.

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Looking forward, I can see two scenarios. Either rebels quickly defeat regular militaries and thank the coalition for their freedom. That is the rosy scenario Sarkozy dreams about for his re-election. Either status quo forces the coalition to suspend the strikes and face another war of nerves with no ending planned. And news from the front leads me to that second one… Again, the difference with Iraq and Afghanistan is that the group of abstainers, composed of China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India, could play a new political role for peace and economic stability in front of the old superpowers, US, France, UK infused of rules and democracy.

Un nouvel ordre mondial?

David Mekkaoui (23MAR11)

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