The “no-fly zone” with an associated massive campaign of air strikes is coming into fashion in Paris this spring.
Speaking today after an EU summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned every single Arab ruler, which is to say, a decent chunk of the planet, that they face Libya-style intervention if they crack down on protesters.
Sarkozy insisted that no democracy could ever support a nation whose security forces shoot live ammunition at protesters, and suggested that Libya would be a model for future “intervention” in nations that react that way to protests.
This doesn’t exclusively apply to the Arab world, either, as Sarkozy said that the Ivory Coast was “next” on the list of UN mandated wars. Other officials have also pointed to the violence in Syria, with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman demanding “Libya-style” war there. Though it has been the site of some extremely violent clampdowns on protesters, key US-ally Bahrain does not appear to be on the agenda.
Not everyone is on board for a planetwide series of open-ended French and US-led wars, however. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle insisted that “we do not see it as a solution that we threaten every Arab leader with military intervention.” When it comes to a UN Security Council vote, however, the Libya precedent suggests Westerwelle’s voice may be in the minority.