Joshua Keating and David Bosco at Passport report:
“The fissure in the UN between a Western-led interventionist group and a “sovereignty bloc” led by Moscow and Beijing, but with real appeal to key emerging powers like Brazil, South Africa and India… may be one of the most critical dynamics at the UN. For the moment, the West still has the pull to carry the day. Whether that will be true a decade from now is anyone’s guess.”
Which brings up some real questions about the future.
One reader asks:
Why precisely is India abstaining. Yeah, they’re part of the sovereignity block, but Indian troops have gone in under UN auspices before. Surely there is something else going on…
It’s as if the bloc of Non-aligned Nations was re-emerging, yet the fact of the matter is, it never went away.
The Non-Aligned Movement is a Movement of 115 members representing the interests and priorities of developing countries. The Movement has its origin in the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The meeting was convened upon the invitation of the Prime Ministers of Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia and Pakistan and brought together leaders of 29 states, mostly former colonies, from the two continents of Africa and Asia, to discuss common concerns and to develop joint policies in international relations. Prime Minister Nehru, the acknowledged senior statesman, along with Prime Ministers Soekarno and Nasser, led the conference. At the meeting Third World leaders shared their similar problems of resisting the pressures of the major powers, maintaining their independence and opposing colonialism and neo-colonialism, specially western domination.
It is also highly reminiscent of the negotiations over nuclear power between the Bush administration and India which went on for so long and in which ultimately, India got all it wanted. But only after some ugly charges of racism and colonialism were bandied about. The kindest thing we were called was “paternalistic.”
Yet the 123 Agreements being discussed are a cornerstone of US non-proliferation legislation and policy.
You can go different ways with this. One can take the Clash of Civilizations route, just chalk it up to another chunk of post-colonial fallout dropping on your head, or point out that in terms of political and economic powers, the emerging economies of these nations refuse to consider measures which they regard as attempts to hold them back or down, but which we feel are those undertaken by responsible nations. Frame it anyway you like, but none of those three are mutually exclusive.
Another copy of the draft resolution has popped up on the Foreign Policy website. It differs from the CBS News copy.
the sky over Benghazi was ablaze with celebratory fireworks as news of the U.N. vote spread. And in the seaside eastern city of Tobruk, rebels fired rifles, boys climbed to rooftops, families danced and young men sped through streets with flags flapping out of windows to celebrate the vote.
However, in Tripoli:
“Civilians holding guns, and you want to protect them? It’s a joke,” said Mohammad Salah, a 32-year-old dentist who has been serving as a volunteer translator for Western reporters in the capital. “We are the civilians. What about us?”
“This decision is not good,” said a consultant who asked that his name not be used. “It means more blood and more war. It will be like Iraq again. Many people will be killed on both sides. You have to have dialogue and discussions.”
And is this the level of political expression we can expect in a post-Gaddafi regime:
“We will go to Benghazi and then march to Tripoli,” said Abdullah Uma, holding a shotgun while driving a car loaded with young, cheering men. “Kadafi is done.”
If the revolution has an element able to articulate that the aims of the revolution, the wish to free Libya from tyranny, promote the well being of Libyans, form a government where the rights and opportunities of individuals are guaranteed by the national government they intend to create, and how they hope to accomplish all this, then they’ve managed to shield that remarkably well from the world’s press.
UPDATE: Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa declares a cease fire.