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Britain’s defence secretary, Liam Fox, sounded a little scripted in Misrata at the weekend when I asked him whether NATO’s airstrikes in Muammar Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte were staying within its remit to protect civilians in Libya.
“NATO has been extraordinarily careful in target selection.”
“NATO has been very careful to minimize civilian casualties.”
“NATO has stayed within its mandate throughout.”
It’s a mantra that NATO, and the countries that have contributed to its Libyan adventure, have had to learn well. They’ve been accused of stretching the legality of the mission “to protect civilians by all necessary measures” before.
But the problem with sticking to a script, is that the Libyan conflict hasn’t really progressed with any sort of predictable narrative since the fall of Tripoli on the night of August 23rd.
If the then rebels of the now ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) expected that internal insurrections would help them and they’d race into Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte and the other remaining holdout, Bani Walid, to a hero’s welcome, they were mistaken.
In the realm of long-term economic things to worry about, there is not much that can rival youth unemployment in the greater Middle East and North Africa. Some years ago, for example, the World Bank estimated that the region's population rise was such that jobs needed to grow by some 3.5 percent per year if unemployment along the lines of one-in-four was to be avoided over the next couple of decades. There has been nothing of great note to change this forecast.
from Global News Journal:
U.S. President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world's stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.
The committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."