Quotes: In a way we are in a Catch 22.

Ezzedine Choukri Fishere on the no-fly zone (Al Jazeera, March 18):

The Arab League couldn’t reach itself consensus on a resolution about the Libyan question. In a way what the Arab League did, when it passed the ball to the Security Council, is to hide behind the Security Council. In a way that will then enable those that oppose an intervention to come back later and criticize this intervention. Even if the Arab League as a whole has asked the Security Council to impose a no-fly zone. So this is a game in which you shift the blame on someone else.

[…] But yes the more Arab participation in this process, the less criticism this process is likely to get in the Arab world. However a no-fly zone includes also air strikes. Imposing a no-fly zone means, that you go in, in a preemptive way, and you take out air defense, and take out a number of military installations. There will be people dead and with this happening, there will be outcry in the region. Even by those who criticize Gaddafi. In a way we are in a Catch-22.

Anyway, I do understand very well why most Arabs have mixed feelings when it comes to the International air strikes in Libya. Me too. I am very much aware (at least I think I am) of the terrible involvement of our governments in this region. Our past actually doesn’t even give us the legitimacy to intervene. And this is also why I am changing my opinion on the no-fly zone almost every day, if not several times a day. Our countries, I am talking about the European Union in general, have been delivering weapons and supporting dictatorial regimes throughout all these years. And that is unacceptable. It should really, as Chomsky also says, outrage us.

But on the other hand, with the Arab League too divided and the African Union more so, this argumentation doesn’t help us to solve the Libyan crisis now, on the short-term. However in any case I do hope that the International Community is also looking for the possibility of exile for the Gaddafi family.

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