Migration issues will dominate a meeting of Europe’s leaders this weekend in Malta. With spring around the corner, and refugee numbers in the Mediterranean bound to rise once more, they are looking for a way to prevent the drama of 2015 and 2016 — for a way to keep numbers low.
The current Maltese EU Presidency brought forward the latest proposal, which sees the solution in a deal with Libya — or rather what is left of it — oriented on the previous agreement with Turkey. This idea is not only dangerous in itself, however, it is also a symptom of the EU’s general incapability to solve its overarching migration dilemma.
Since Gaddafi’s fall in 2011, Libya has failed to recover, and is still de facto at civil war. Proposing the employment of its conflicting militias as migration controllers, hence takes a special kind of chutzpah — something apparently possessed by Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Whereas critics immediately pointed out the humanitarian price for such a deal, the final verdict came with a report from the German foreign ministry this week. The report stated that conditions in Libyan refugee camps were worse than concentration camps, with execution, rape and torture being common occurrences.
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It was opposite day for Marco Rubio during the foreign policy section of Thursday’s CNN-Telemundo GOP debate.
Addressing the 2011 US and NATO intervention in Libya, Rubio made a startling claim:
“We didn’t topple Gaddafi, the Libyan people toppled Gaddafi.”
Rubio seems afflicted with a bad case of amnesia, because in 2011, he was a leading Republican voice calling for a Libyan intervention. That March, he went so far to say that “when an American president says the guy needs to go, you better make sure that it happens because your credibility and your stature in the world is on the line.”
Rubio’s right in a technical sense–the Libyan rebels, not the US Marines, physically deposed Gaddafi, but the Senator’s answer only makes sense if we’re willing to overlook some pretty glaring facts.
Namely, that as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn in March 2011, we fired approximately 124 Tomahawk cruise missiles and deployed B-2 stealth bombers, F-15 and F-16 fighters, A-10 air-to-ground fighters, and AC-130 gunships and a plethora of support ships and aircraft to to disable Libyan anti-air defenses and enforce a no-fly-zone to neutralize the Libyan air force. By the end of March, the no-fly-zone morphed into active air-strikes on Gaddafi’s ground forces under the next phase of the intervention, Operation Unified Protector, which continued until October 2011.
Read the rest on Rare, here.