Must Read

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

FT: It is Time for Europe to Back a No-Fly Zone in Libya

Author: Paddy Ashdown
March 13, 2011

Share

Paddy Ashdown writes in support of Europe imposing a no-fly zone on Libya.

Commenting on Libya the other day, former British prime minister John Major said “Events alter opinions.” He was right and he should know.

At the start of the Bosnian war, very few were calling for military intervention (and the Major government was strenuously resisting it). By the end of the war, almost no one wasn’t. What changed the situation was events – and specifically Srebrenica and the infamous mortar bomb massacre in Sarajevo’s Markale market.

The problem is that between the two, about a quarter of a million people were killed, 2m driven from their homes, the United Nations was humiliated and international rhetoric was shown to be sham. There is a second parallel with today. In 1991, we were told that the Yugoslav crises would prove “the hour of Europe” had arrived. It hadn’t. Europe proved itself divided and impotent, even though the Balkan wars were in our backyard.

It is difficult not to feel a wearisome sense of déjà vu watching European leaders on Friday saying something needed to be done in Libya, but failing completely to say what.

More on This Topic

Must Read

NYT: Fiddling While Libya Burns

Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter

In this Op-Ed, Anne-Marie Slaughter analyzes the flawed reasoning of opponents who reject the implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya.