EU Denounces Qaddafi: Will This Just Make Things Worse?

Fear of the International Criminal Court are making him dig in, says Berlusconi

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On Friday, European Union leaders announced that they would no longer recognize the leadership of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya and said that he must step down. However, as the Washington Post notes, "they stopped short of formally recognizing the Libyan rebel movement or endorsing military action to support its armed struggle."

At least one European leader, though, thinks the West may have already blown it on the Libya situation by pushing too hard. Buried under the headlines of the Japanese earthquake today was a revealing quote from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last night, offering his thoughts before the European leaders met in Brussels to deliberate on condeming Qaddafi: "once someone put forward the idea of bringing Gaddafi before the International Criminal Court, I think the idea of staying in power became entrenched with him and I don't think anyone can make him change his mind," Reuters reported Berlusconi as saying.

It's worth noting, too, that Berlusconi is something of an authority on this matter, regarded as one of Qaddafi's "closest friends" in Europe. The prime minister's sentiment follows that of James Clapper, President Obama's top intelligence adviser, who on Thursday noted that, "Qaddafi is in this for the long haul" and that the Libyan leader's "superior military force would prevail over the long term."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.