Libya letter by Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy: Full text
15-Apr-2011 (one comment)

President Barack Obama of the US, Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France have written a joint letter to The Times of London, the International Herald Tribune and Le Figaro, vowing to keep up the pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and pledging to maintain Nato military pressure on his forces.

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Darius Kadivar

There Can be No Turning Back Now ...

by Darius Kadivar on

This letter is not merely a declaration of principles but is aimed first and foremost at the International community and most probably as a signal to Russia, China and Turkey on who is still "virtually in command of the Operations. Hence the publication simultaneously in  The Times of London, the International Herald Tribune and Le Figaro,

In Practice however whatever the future of Libya ( democratic or not) it marks a turning point in International relations and only aimed at saving appearances.

America's Presence as the "Gendarme of the Free World" is no more but a "virtual" if not a "digital" reality.

If the fall of Berlin Wall put an end to the Soviet Union ... Whatever the Outcome in Libya which we all hope will put this torn and martyred country on a better path ( hopefully and wishfully a 'Democratic' one) than anything it has known under the Libyan Tyrant, the Fall of Gaddafi will nevertheless mark the End of US military might as well as to date what appeared as it's moral, and cultural supremacy as a "Beacon of Freedom and Democracy" in the international arena.

It will take a great deal of time to see America back in it's envied and respected powerful position again. Only the emergence of another major international challenge which could eventually give the United States an opportunity to galvanize and draw respect for it's status amongst the most powerful and important nations of the World can change what appears as a gradual decline of American Global presence.

This is not entirely the result of Obama's failure in addressing the Libyan Crisis with a prompt and appropriate response.

Obama can be excused on grounds of having inherited large than life tasks from the disastrous policies of his predecessors and an unexpected international economic crisis. However he will also be remembered for not having been the providential leader everyone expected him to be.

Yet history may well judge His lack of global vision and lack of leadership in the Libyan crisis harshly. Obviously one will always find excuses and logical arguments to justify his lack of bravado given the circumstances but it will not change the fact that Obama's screwed up and it now trying desperately to catch up for that error of judgment.

Had the US President handled the Libyan Crisis with clairvoyance and bold initiative his actions would have been viewed at worst as one formidable courageous stance by the First Black American Commander in Chief rushing to the rescue of his African brothers and sisters who would have greeted him with enthusiasm  which would have entirely justified the "Obamamania" which crowned his successful presidential campaign "image" with a laurel wreath of optimism and self respect.

All the more that after the failure of the Bush Administration's "reign of Error" triggred by it's disproportionate response in it's "War on Terror",  America's image as a beacon of Democracy and Freedom for the people of the Third World and particulalry the African continent would have not only reinvented itself in more constructive and genuine terms but would have been ironically reinforced as a cold slap in the face of it's disastrous Republican Predecessor's incompetence.

Paradoxically that competent role is now being undertaken not by Obama or his administration but by a Right Wing White French President and his British Sidekick known for their less than altruistic anti immigration policies and flirtations with Far Right radicals ( although not subscribing to the same demagogic and racist viewpoints).

The Flag which could have been hoisted in the Streets of Benghazi and maybe Tripoli tomorrow will not be an American Flag but a French One and to a lesser degree British Union Jack.

As Such the Victory or Failure of the Libyan campaign ( as in the Ivory Coast crisis) will also determine France's image as the only fairly reliable partner in all dialogues involving the North and South Global hemispheres as well as in the Middle East Peace negotiations notably between Israel and it's Arab Neighbours.

France having opposed the US Iraq Invasion in 2003 under President Jacques Chirac for lack of evidence of an involvement of Saddam Hussein in the Tragic events of Sept 11th as well as the lack of evidence in the existence of WMD in Iraq has all the more leverage to appear as trustable in the eyes of the Arab public opinion. Having largely contributed to mobilizing international effort in saving the Libyan's from it's tyrant whilst respecting the UN mandate, it cannot be accused of Neo Con warmongering no more of Neo Colonialism as was the case for the US in what appears as a failure to bring the War on Terror to an End in Afghanistan or Iraq, let alone win it.

As Such France not without it's shares of difficulties and responsabilities will be playing a major part in the decade to come if not as a superpower at best as an Influential voice in the International community and a defensor of the Cause of Freedom in the World.

It won't be an easy task for a reelected Sarkozy let alone an eventual successor in 2012 to live up to this task given that France is Neither China nor the USSR and certainly not as influential as the US has been to date.

But France has proved against all odds that thanks to it's current President it still has a Voice and can be relied upon in times of crisis in the International Arena.

How long can it keep hold of this unique and precious fragile position in a world which is rapidly changing and where alliances are shifting on a daily basis is one of the challenges of the coming decade, not only for France but for all those who see Democracy and Freedom as Universal values which need to be defended.

The best we can Hope for is to see the United States to one day overcome it's internal moral and economic dilemmas in a not so distant future and contribute in it's right to the challenges of the 21st century, no more as an observor but as a major actor and partner of the Free World.

But In the meantime however The Libyan Tyant is Still alive and Kicking ...