The discussion after the vote

Published: March 17, 2011 at 11:50pm

I’m just listening to Germany trying to explain itself. It’s French and British cars for me from now on. Are there any British cars left, or has Germany bought the lot?

I hope Germany doesn’t have the nerve to be first in for the spoils.

US envoy Susan Rice is on. And now, India. India is gravely concerned, but not concerned enough to vote in favour. India is worried about the effects of sanctions on trade.

Here’s Brazil. Also deeply concerned, also condemning the violence, also calling on Gaddafi to uphold the rights of protestors. Brazil envoy says that abstention from vote should not be seen as condoning Libyan authorities’ behaviour, which Brazil condemns. Says that the resolution goes beyond what is called for, which is why Brazil opted out. Concerned that the measures will cause more harm than good on the ground, to protestors. Worried that international intervention could change “the spontaneous nature of protest in the Arab world”.

Bosnia-Herzegovina now. Somebody else who is greatly concerned. Human rights must be observed and humanitarian assistance is needed urgently. Calls on Libyan authorities to stop violence against people. Strongly believes that the UN resolution is of benefit to Libyan people.

Columbia now. Voted for the resolution to protect civilians against regime that has lost all legitimacy. Has not voted for indiscriminate use of force or territorial invasion. Laments that there has not been a unanimous vote. The authorities in Libya have had sufficient time to sort themselves out, but their failure to do so has led to this. Columbia shares the opinion of those delegates who believe that the enforcement of a no-fly zone is more important than its implementation, and that is why we have approved language that allows measures for this. Without enforcement, a no-fly zone is useless. We are facing a situation that clearly poses a threat to world peace and security and which has already led to a high cost in human life.

Russia now. Russia abstained on a number of matters of principle. First, attacks on civilian population. Request for a no-fly zone enjoyed Russia’s full attention. But Russia’s concrete and legitimate questions remained unanswered, unfortunately. Questions on how the no-fly zone was to be enforced. Furthermore, the draft morphed before Russia’s eyes. Russia didn’t like what it saw, but out of respect for the Libyan civilian population, it did not obstruct the resolution. The passion of some Security Council members for matters involving the use of force held sway. This is most unfortunate. Russia wanted a peaceful solution. There is a need to avoid destabilising developments.

Portugal is on. Speaking about refugees fleeing the violence. Need for humanitarian aid. Authorities in Tripoli have escalated violence against civilians and ignored the pleas of the international community. Libyan people want to build a democratic, modern state. The regime that has ruled Libya for over 40 years has come to an end, by the will of the Libyan people. Portugal voted for the resolution because it seeks these objectives: ceasefire, humanitarian aid, sovereignity and territorial integrity of Libya. We support the efforts of the Arab League and the African Union.

Nigeria now. Libya authorities have violated principles of international law and have ignored UN resolution, forcing UN to act. Nigeria voted in favour because persistence calls for peace have been ignored. The Arab League and African Union have spoken with one voice on this matter. Nigeria maintains that foreign occupation is not an option to secure peace in Libya. We are guided by an overriding determination to respect the territorial integrity of Libya. Today we have sent an unequivocal message to the Libyan people: their dignity is paramount.

South Africa is on. Deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya, fast becoming a civil war. A political solution must be found that respects human rights and democracy, to ensure long-term peace. Wants to dispatch an ad hoc high level delegation to Libya to sort things out. Had hoped that the Libyan authorities would not defy last resolution, but they did not. Have continued to violate human rights and kill people. UN Security Council could not avoid acting in the face of such grave violations of human rights. We reject any foreign occupation of Libya under pretext of protection of civilians.

China’s view now. The continued worsening of the situation in Libya has been of great concern to China. We want to stabilise the situation as soon as possible and to halt acts of violence against civilians. China wanted resolution by peaceful means. China is always against the use of force in international relations. We asked some specific questions but regrettably many of those questions failed to be clarified or answered. China has serious difficulty with parts of the resolution. We attach great importance to the position of the Arab League and the African Union, and that is why we abstained from the vote. We support the envoy of Libya, the Arab League and the African Union in trying to resolve the crisis in Libya.

73 Comments Comment

  1. ciccio2011 says:

    Oh come on Daphne, the Germans should stick to what they do best: cars. They are not good at winning wars.
    And besides, who would want to take orders from a German commander: Hung gang dung funk krank yank tank. Shnell!

  2. ciccio2011 says:

    Isn’t Germany busy preparing for the Eurovision? The last thing they have on their mind is Libya.

  3. Hot Mama says:

    F*** off Muammar. Does anyone know the expression in German? For the Germans of course.

  4. Luigi says:

    BRIC and Germany

  5. C Falzon says:

    Thankfully commentaries I am seeing on TV are confirming what I thought I had understood from the resolution, that is that it will not be limited to a no fly zone.

    The only reference to that is a vague ‘all actions that may be necessary’, which I doubted could be taken as an authorisation of direct strikes. However the opinion of various analysts seems to be that such strikes are indeed authorised and will actually happen. Let’s hope they are right.

  6. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Germany’s position is understandable. You cannot expect a country that was neutered after the Second World War to have any appetite for military intervention. This is why I emphasised that pacifism in the mind takes precedence over laws and constitutions on paper.

    • La Redoute says:

      So what’s Malta’s excuse?

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        None. No one forced us to become pacifists. We chose it ourselves.

      • K.P.Smith says:

        On a peanut sized outcrop with a population less than the size of a small city, I don’t think excuse or choice have much say.

        Maybe Germany has found the answer to domination through economic and legal subjugation, read EU, of which we are part.
        Having your cake and eating it…priceless, now send out the minions to kick butt.

    • Joseph A Borg says:

      Germany’s biggest problem is the coming elections. Merkel already did a very expensive about face on nuclear energy this week.

      I assume Germany wants finally leave the burden of WWII behind, at least the political class does.

    • il-Ginger says:

      I too am of the same opinion. I think Germany’s response was the best that they could do. Also I think they get weird when the French and the English collaborate, just my observations.

    • Andrea says:


    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      It serves to put things in perspective. The British and French never really stopped fighting wars after World War II.

      German soldiers first engaged in combat in 1997 in Albania, during OPERATION LIBELLE. That’s 1997. Fifty years after the end of the Second World War. That’s three generations.

      Change doesn’t come overnight. Germany is changing and will change. Right now there’s a huge national debate about military service, and Germany seems to be moving towards a professional army.

  7. Frank says:

    ITALY ready to make military bases available for enforcement of no-fly zone (according to Al Jazeera).

  8. U Le! says:

    So Germany did a Neville Chamberlain. Pity. Shameful. Merkel is no Thatcher.

  9. Hot Mama says:

    Here’s the US stealing somebody else’s thunder

  10. Marie Mifsud says:

    And where does Italy stand in all this?


  11. Anthony says:

    The Germans always get very jumpy and lose their nerve whenever the British are in cahoots with the French.

    The USA joining in the fray at the eleventh hour plus fifty nine minutes (Pearl Harbour) must have given Angela the creeps.

    What a nightmare it must have been for her.

    A deja vu of seventy years ago with her half of that divided great nation ending up on the wrong side of the wall just to make life more difficult.

    It is very hard for Germany to be on the side of Britain, France and the USA in matters military.

    Old habits die hard.

  12. David Buttigieg says:

    I watched the vote live too, and they are now celebrating in Tobruk.

    Malta can also allow use of her territory without breaching the constitution, but don’t hold your breath on that one.

    • La Redoute says:

      Tonio Borg has already said, clearly and unequivocally, that Malta need not do anything, even with a UN security council resolution in place.

  13. Frank says:

    French flags are being waved by the jubilant demonstrators in Benghazi.

    [Daphne – Where do they get all these flags? Like the Old Libya flags? Is there a flag factory or distributor we should be told about?]

  14. David says:

    The German view against military action is explained in and,1518,750852,00.html

    Germany does not want to be involved in military and armed conflict in other countries.

    [Daphne – As distinct from….what? Military and armed conflict in Germany? Please.]

  15. Farrugia says:

    Germany has its oil company RWE Dea operating in Libya. It is smaller than BP or TOTAL. Perhaps with their abstention, the Germans were hoping to expand their company in Libya. Well, they will not be doing so now.

    By the way, let’s not forget that the Italian oil company ENI has got Libyan shares apart from the golden share of the Italian government (i.e. Berlusconi). Let us also not forget that nearly half the wells drilled on Malta’s continental shelf have ENI full or partial involvement. No wonder Malta does not strike oil.

    Time to rethink which companies will get our oil exploration licence.

  16. Sharone mhux Sharon says:

    For the latest news go to

    Headline News

    GWU calls for an inquiry into Enemalta industrial dispute.

    I too weep. I’m off to bed with much comfort knowing that in two years’ time the ”par idejn sodi” will be Joey’s.

    • Neil Dent says:

      Hey don’t knock it! Thanks to Joey (Made in Brussels – arani Ma!) Muscat, we are now, he kindly informs us, a step closer to becoming a ‘truly European country’.

      Lanqas jaf jisthi.

      • Edward Caruana Galizia says:

        I got some e-mail about that too. They seem to have me on some sort of mailing list…don’t know how they got it, but it s always a good laugh.

        He really thinks he’s saving us from something, but I don’t quite know what that something is.

        Make Malta a European country? The PL? Really? I thought they didn’t want us to be. I thought they wanted us to be like Libya.

      • Zorro says:

        Forget about human rights and defending the innocent. It is divorce that will save us all and make us truly European. Hallina Joey, X’ghandu x’jaqsam, kemm int vera injorant ?

  17. Dingo says:

    Al Jazeera just said that Malta was a UK military base! Someone should check on KMB, he probably got a coronary if he saw that.

  18. JustAnotherVisitor says:

    Germany stunned me. Makes me wonder if they were not blackmailed/pressured by China’s economic might. It’s their loss anyway. Big loss of face (since the vote passed) and it makes them look very bad.

    This will translate in strained relationships with European partners, North America, the Arab League, and even to some extent the African Union (which surprised me by not only condemning Gaddafi, but starting an inquiry about the mercenaries. They seemed to want to show disapproval to those involved.

    Likewise the Arab League action was very surprising and utterly amazing considering what’s going on in their own countries.

    I also think Germany will pay a cost in term of incresed unrest and disatisfaction among their Muslim immigrants (they have quite a few, don’t they ?).

    I don’t know what they were thinking. Were they miscalculating to the point of thinking China and/or Russia would veto?

    Just looking at Russia last week showed they were less and less happy about Gaddafi. I guess in a way, they probably got angry at Gaddafi about their losses (in contracts). I was really not expecting a veto from Russia after they banned arms dealing with Gaddafi last week.

    As for China, in their time-honoured tradition, they are not going to lose face, so they might have vetoed if they knew in advance the answer would be no. Not otherwise, not unless they had a full fleet and army ready to back Gaddafi.

  19. Riya says:

    Who knows how Mintoff, KMB, AST, Reno Calleja, and John Dalli the EU Comissioner are feeling today?

  20. Matt says:

    Iraqis hanged Saddam. Romania’s Ceausescu was shot dead along with his wife at his home by his own angry people. Another butcher, Serbian Milosevic was arrested and found dead in prison. We were told the stress brought about by the criminal litigation gave him a heart attack.

    Does any one know what’s in store for Gaddafi? Is the MLP inviting him again to speak at their mass meeting?

  21. El Topo says:

    Wish I was there.

  22. Antoine Vella says:

    The decision to abstain was taken by Germany’s government and is not necessarily supported by all Germans. We know something about this in Malta.

  23. Maria says:

    Let’s all praise the lord that we have Lawrence Gonzi as prime minister. God really knows what he’s doing.

    [Daphne – Sadly, I don’t think so. If you think God hands out leaders, then you have to admit that he gave the Libyans Gaddafi.]

  24. Joe Micallef says:

    I followed the press conference of the Libyan under-secretary for foreign affairs. It was hilarious if it weren’t so immoral.

  25. Albert Farrugia says:

    Whatever happened to the “Common Foreign and Security Policy”. It was some form of policy of something called the “European Union”. I am not sure on the details any more. But I am pretty sure I had heard about it in the news. Anyone has an idea what happened to that?

  26. Anthony Farrugia says:

    Joseph Stafrace(4 hours, 15 minutes ago)
    “In circumstances such as this, the Maltese Constitutional provisions on neutrality do not apply since the use of force is authorised by the Security Council” Although the resolution was passed by the Security Council any decision on Malta’s part has to be approved by two thirds of our Parliament. Look up the Consitution please.

    F. Salerno(58 minutes ago)
    @ dr Stafrace

    If may I ask.Are you sure that the Gov of Malta needs 2/3 of parliament according to constitution?

    S Azzopardi(35 minutes ago)
    How can we be so self-centred? As if the UN Security Council resolution determines our fate and future! Wake up for heaven’s sake. Whether we like it or not Malta is NOT the centre of the universe. The UN Security Council resolution is BINDING on all member states. Re our neutrality, the Constitution is very clear: NEUTRALITY DOES NOT HOLD “in pursuance of measures oractions decided by the Security Council of the United Nations”. And if you think that we should clean shelters and/or not be cowards etc just DREAM ON and continue to think that we are the centre of things to be!!!!

    This is not a constitutional amendment but applying the provision of the constitution as is.

  27. Anthony Farrugia says:

    Not a peep yet from our prime minister, foreign minister and leader of the Opposition.

    • .Angus Black says:

      What for?

      No comments are necessary – the UN Security Council took the right decision, however late, and the rest of the world has to abide by the resolution.

      Germany’s ‘explanation’ for abstaining was totally unnecessary and only helped critics dump on the country.

      Sometimes, the less said is best.

      [Daphne – Your answer reminds me of why Britain is considered the world’s standard-setter for democracy. I hope you bothered to watch proceedings in the House of Commons this morning. How refreshing for somebody driven nuts by the village bandclub administration attitude of our own politicians.]

  28. Dee says:

    I was listening to Sky and BBC this morning. Malta figures prominently in the list of “assets ” (their quote) that can be utilized to bring stability back in the region. Malta was mentioned together with Cyprus, Sigonella, the bases from where French planes can attack, the US Sixth Fleet etc.

    Maltese politicians are now expected to rise to the occasion and take the honourable road. We can’t shirk our international responsibilities.

  29. Albert Farrugia says:

    Protestors being shot and killed in Bahrain. The main hospital in Manama (capital city of Bahrain) under siege by tropps. Demostrations forbidden, curfew in place. The Saudi army invades Bahrain (after “being invited” by the King).

    I hope France and the UK take similar decisive action as they are taking in Libya.

    Sarkozy has his fingers itching for action in Libya. Short man syndrome, perhaps?

    [Daphne – Short man syndrome? Height is relative – in Malta he would be tall. I’m not a short man, and I share his sentiments. So does David Cameron, who is tall by any standards. And Maltese politicians, who are short by any standards including those of the southern Mediterranean, have manifested the opposite inclinations. As for Bahrain, I can’t help thinking that the authorities only acted that way because they saw Gaddafi getting away with it while the world dithered. The analysts who said that dithering and doing nothing would send the wrong message to other repressive states were correct. Things are going to be different now. And what’s the problem you Mintoffjani have with taking action against Gaddafi, anyway? So much for your socialist principles, watching an oppressor violate his own people and trying to find reasons why he should be allowed to carry on doing so. Why can’t you just admit that the Labour Party f**ked up on this one?]

    • Macduff says:

      In Bahrain there’s a Shia insurgency aiming to destabilize the Sunni rulers. So no, it’s not the same as in Libya.

      Is Labour rooting for Ahmadinejad, now?

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Sarkozy is even shorter than me. By a hair’s breadth, true, and he was probably wearing his usual platform shoes. Even in Malta, that’s short.

    • Joseph A Borg says:

      Short man or not he pulled this through. Most probably he hijacked his ‘security council’ by going public without even telling his foreign minister.

      Now’s the time to break things. Let’s hope Libya doesn’t shatter into pieces. A conjecture here: I hope Algeria doesn’t create havoc on the ground after Gaddafi gets offed. I’m sure they’re feeling the heat.

  30. Dr Francis Saliba says:

    The situation has now crystallized. Malta’s invocation of the “neutrality” requirement under the present circumstances could only be interpreted as a pusillanimous failure to act in concert with others in support of our suffering Libyan neighbours.

    That translates into a negligent support for their oppressors. Predictably, we would have to pay a heavy price for that cowardice in the near future. Selfish commercial considerations are no longer applicable.

  31. Albert Farrugia says:

    Regarding Sarkozy, I was only quoting from your own post of last August…
    “What an insufferable little man”, you had said of Sarkozy at that time. You have a seach facility which I used (not Google this time).

    [Daphne – I have changed my mind about him. He has won my respect, and that of very many others too no doubt. ]

    So now, given the UN Resolution, we will see Bahrain, or rather Saudi Arabia (the real power), back down and have the Kings and Sultans of that regions abdicate. I long to see that happen.

    Today there are funerals being held in Bahrain for victims of government troops killed yesterday.

    Regarding the Labour Party, what has this got to do with anything? The PN won the last election, it formed the government, it’s up to it to lead.

    [Daphne – No, Albert. The future prime minister is obliged to speak too. How can he expect us to vote for him if he won’t disclose his opinions on something as fundamental as the Libyan crisis? Idiots vote for an unknown quantity, as prime minister, who refuses to accord them the respect of telling them what he thinks. Perhaps he’s counting on the fact that there are rather a lot of idiots in Malta, and he’s probably right.]

  32. La Redoute says:

    The leader of the opposition is an idiot himself.

  33. Vanni says:

    Look, it’s easy to condemn Germany, but you have to understand the German psyche. Germany is afraid of showing agression against any country, race or people.

    They are still carrying a hell of a lot of baggage from the Second World War, and will never do anything that could be percieved as flexing their military muscles. If Merkel would have pushed for a more active role, she would have been accused of warmongering and probably lynched. Germans are seriously sensitive about how they are perceived.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Absolutely. During the World Cup in 2006, there were condemnations from some commentators about the ostentatious display of German flags by supporters.

      Would you believe it? Germany only got its army back in 1955.

      Ten years after the end of World War II and only 61 years ago. And technically – get this – the Bundeswehr does not belong to Germany, but to NATO.

      So first you geld the eagle (poetic licence here) and then you expect it to stand proud and fight?

  34. Andrea says:

    @Vanni, Baxxter

    Well said. Also Mutti Merkel has to deal with the Afghanistan disaster.

    I was following German blogs all day. Germany’s current decision (which is actually more of a rotten compromise since everyone clearly knows that Gaddafi is a dangerous despot) is being discussed extremely emotional and controversial which just shows how torn Germans still are.

    That is not meant to be an excuse but more of an approach. Germany’s current actions (or non-actions) can’t be seen out of it’s specific historical context.

    And seeing someone waving a German flag still gives me the creeps although I was born 1966 (born and socialised in Germany in a multicultural and multinational family).

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