Of all the nutty arguments made by secretary of state Clinton for the new war in Libya was that the Arab League had signed on. We were told that military forces flying Arab flags would be at the center of the coalition. Now, we find that there are no such military forces. Worse, even the paper tiger of the Arab League has now bolted the mission, ripping the fig leaf of legitimacy off Obama's privates. It took the Arab League less than a day to do this. And yet this was apparently Clinton's trump card in her internal argument.
The head of the Arab League has criticized international strikes on Libya, saying they caused civilian deaths. The Arab League's support for a no-fly zone last week helped overcome reluctance in the West for action in Libya. The U.N. authorized not only a no-fly zone but also "all necessary measures" to protect civilians. Amr Moussa says the military operations have gone beyond what the Arab League backed.
Moussa has told reporters Sunday that "what happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives." He says "what we want is civilians' protection not shelling more civilians." U.S. and European strikes overnight targeted mainly air defenses, the U.S. military said. Libya says 48 people were killed, including civilians.
And so it begins. A western intervention in a Muslim country with no exit plan, inevitable civilian casualties, and no serious backing from the Arab world, and majority opposition among the US public. What could possibly go wrong?