Hitchens is still itching for intervention:
The Arab League has now itself broken with decades of torpor, declared the Qaddafi regime illegitimate, and called for the imposition of a no-fly zone. This unprecedented resolution, which is not contradicted by any measurable pro-Qaddafi opinion in the legendary "Arab street," seems to draw much of the sting from the realist concern about regional opinion. The Shiite population has not forgotten Qaddafi's role in the disappearance and presumed murder of Imam Musa Sadr; Saudi officials have been targeted by his death squads; many other states have cause to resent his criminal meddling over the years.
Germany has vetoed NATO action urged by Britain and France. Money quote from Merkel:
"What is our plan if we create a no-fly zone and it doesn't work? Do we send in ground troops?" she said. "We have to think this through. Why should we intervene in Libya when we don't intervene elsewhere?"
Turkey is also opposed. Daniel Larison sees even less international support for intervention in Libya than in Iraq in 2003:
Let’s compare support for action in Libya against the “coalition of the willing.” Today, Italy and Poland are opposed, Australia is not going to be involved, Asian, African and Latin American states are going to have nothing to do with this, and militarily speaking there are hardly any Arab governments that would be able to contribute to military action. If there is going to be a coalition of states in support of war with Libya, it will be even narrower and even more reliant on U.S. and British military power than the “coalition of the willing” that was widely and correctly perceived as window-dressing for a U.S.-British expedition. It doesn’t do supporters of war against Libya any favors to dwell on multilateral backing for invading Iraq, since they are proposing to start a war with Libya that with even fewer governments in support.
International assistance doesn’t look to be on the horizon. The Arab League asked the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, but Russia and China are holdouts. And it’s hardly clear that the U.S. is going to forcefully back a resolution calling for a costly, open-ended attack on Gadhafi’s planes and helicopters.
What about a NATO operation? Not as long as Turkey continues to oppose it. On Monday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called intervention “totally counterproductive.” That’s further than retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, has gone. But Clark probably spoke for many in uniform when he argued on Friday that intervention isn’t in the U.S.’s interest.
(Photo: Group of Eight Foreign affairs ministers (from left) Canadian Lawrence Cannon, Japanese Takeaki Matsumoto, Russian Sergei Lavrov, US Hillary Clinton, French Alain Juppe, British William Hague, Germany's Guido Westerwelle and Italian Franco Frattini pose for a family picture on March 14, 2011 at France Foreign Affairs' ministry in Paris. Group of Eight powers gathered in Paris today to thrash out a common line on possible intervention to ground the warplanes pounding Libya's rebels. By Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
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