A reader writes:
Just a quick note on context, and why France would take such an active role in this operation:Sarko has a lot to make up for, especially after his government's unseemly support for Ben Ali up until the very end (France's then foreign minister spent her winter break with members of Ben Ali's clan, who generously provided luxury accommodations, private jet etc... she was dismissed in shame a couple of weeks ago). Sarko is in a very tough spot, electorally speaking: he trails both the infamous Marine Le Pen and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (the socialist who heads of the IMF) in the most recent presidential polls. So I think he's taking a calculating risk here, hoping to regain some popularity. I'm not saying he's using the Libyan tragedy as a way to bolster his flagging presidential hopes, but that has to be part of the calculation. Contrary to a lot of my countrymen I don't doubt his intentions - his heart is probably in the right place, which is not necessarily a recipe for success - I just think he's very flighty and unfocused. In two weeks, Libya might not hold his interest any more.
That's reassuring, isn't it? I wonder what the Liberal Democrats in Britain are thinking.