The chance to redeem ourselves

Published: March 22, 2011 at 4:22pm

The foreign ministers of all 27 EU member states met in Brussels yesterday morning. EU Commissioner Catherine Ashton said afterwards that these foreign ministers were informed of the European Commission’s contingency plan for a massive humanitarian mission should there have to be mass evacuations from Libya if there is an escalation of conflict.

Lady Ashton said that the European Commission is looking at which of using “military assets, even from the sea” to this end.

I hope Malta will now use this opportunity to redeem itself, and not tell the European Commission that we have only one Grand Harbour or that we are too tiny and insigificant to deal with refugees as opposed to evacuees in 24-hour transit who pay for hotels, and will everyone else please come to our assistance immediately or we will withdraw permission for fighter jets to fly overhead, so there.

42 Comments Comment

  1. Sour Krauts says:

    At the same meeting, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle rejected suggestions that his country’s stance, not to join the Nato mission and abstaining at the UN Security Council, was a sign of weakness. He said Germany, the largest EU member state, fully agreed with the need of a no-fly zone.

    They agreed with it, but they didn’t vote for it.

    Ghandi aptit nghidilhom ‘Heil Hitler’.

    • ciccio2011 says:

      That Gaddafi called the coalition “Nazis” is offensive to them because the Germans are not taking part. Then again, it is also offensive to the Germans. For this reason alone, they should have changed their mind and joined the coalition.

      Daphne hopes that the project humanitarian exercise will give Malta “the chance to redeem ourselves.” I think at this point, especially after KMB’s outburst, we are beyond redemption.

      • La Redoute says:

        One of the disadvantages of freedom of speech is that we have to suffer people like Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici. Much as I find him embarrassing and irritating, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • gaddafi says:

      I disagree with La Redoute. Without chaps like Kev & KMB our freedom of speech would be very boring.

  2. ciccio2011 says:

    Daphne, we will lend them the Freeport. For trans-shipment, of course.

  3. Stacey says:

    Shouldn’t we be prudent?

    If too many military vessels come to Malta, this might effect the fish farms.

    And the cruise liner industry.

    And what about the marinas?

    And so on.

  4. Dr Francis Saliba says:

    Or that we are neutral and non-aligned!

  5. Interested Bystander says:

    If Gaddafi had a few Bergen Belsens then maybe they would take notice.

  6. Steve says:

    It’s not about the chance to redeem ourselves or to look good in the eyes of the world. This is about doing the right thing. Choosing the moral high ground rather than sitting on the fence. A severe case of international ‘nimbyism’!

    Let’s be honest though, Malta is not the only weak-spined country in all of this. Now that the coalition has started implementing an NFZ (and then some), how many countries and individuals are coming out of the wood work and saying the action is disproportionate?

    How did they think a no-fly zone would be implemented? Ask Gaddafi nicely not to fly? And even if the planes didn’t fly, what about the tanks and the artillery?

    • kev says:

      Steve, ‘taking the moral high ground’ does not necessarily entail favouring military force. As rightly pointed out in a recent guest post on this blog, it is all about perception.

      For me and many others, flinging missiles is as low as it can get. And one does not have to be a sandal-wearing peacenik to agree. This gung-ho attitude will aggravate matters to disastrous extents.

      First they propped him up, now they bomb his country. Jew nejja jew mahruqa.

      • Stefan Vella says:


        What is your solution? How would you have stopped Gaddafi suppressing the revolt without flinging missiles at him?

      • Steve says:

        Actually I am a sandal-wearing peacenik, but what other solution is there? Forget perception. Gaddafi was on the verge of entering Benghazi. No mercy (his words). What do you suggest? Ask him nicely?

      • Antoine Vella says:

        Kev, “gung-ho attitude” must be one of the most abused cliches in the past few days in Maltese media.

        [Daphne – I think ‘prudence’ and ‘prudent’ are now giving ‘gung-ho’ a run for its money, even though they’re both mistranslations of ‘prudenti’. Cautious, or at a push, circumspect, is the word they’re looking for here. Prudent would more accurately be used for thrifty housewives managing the family budget.]
        All those who, for one reason or other, would not like to see the end of the tyrant or do not want to admit that the Maltese anti-Gaddafi lobby is based on moral principles, denigrate it by using the same monotonous ‘gung-ho’ phrase. Just as you are doing, predictably.

      • Grezz says:

        Kevin Ellul Bonici, watch this to take a break from Daphne’s blog.

        I assure you that you won’t sleep easily, especially after seeing the children – probably not yet age 7 or so – screaming and writhing in pain from gunshot wounds.

        Once you’re done, maybe you’d care to share the link with those who are so much against Malta doing the right thing, as in doing its part in helping to rid the world of Gaddafi and his regime.

      • Harry Purdie says:

        Ever been a war Kevvy? I mean a REAL war? Let me hazard a guess–no. Try it. Your mealy mouth meanderings, philosophical platitudes, and silly thoughts are not much use when you have no alternative but to ‘get it done’! Your sad, sorry attitude and stance makes Neville Chamberlain look like Ghengis Khan.

      • Albert Farrugia says:

        @Stefan Vella
        More than 72 hours after hundreds of missiles were fired into Libya, Gaddafi’s forward march continues, albeit slower.

      • La Redoute says:

        Kev doesn’t have an answer to that question. He prefers to fire missiles and then see what happens.

      • kev says:

        Terribly sorry I wasn’t in, but you’ll have your answers by tomorrow.

        Hang on there. The good wind blows. This is our noblest crusade.

      • Stefan Vella says:

        @Albert Farrugia

        “More than 72 hours after hundreds of missiles were fired into Libya, Gaddafi’s forward march continues, albeit slower.”

        Missiles and a a strict no-fly zone do not take out a land army’s capability to act. Targeting armor assets which the French did reduces the conflict to a small arms and heavy machine gun urban war zone. It is not an ideal solution.

        From a purely body count cynical perspective, it is better to put enough professional boots on the ground and wipe out Ghaddafi and his forces.

        However, I am interested in Kev’s solution on how to stop and ultimately remove Ghaddafi effectively without military force. Feel free to add your solution as well.

      • kev says:

        I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you.

        I’ll quote Daphne on this: “I cannot allow this website to be turned into the equivalent of a bar-room brawl between two people. If you want to carry on arguing, take it elsewhere. It gets boring for everyone else.”

        So there you have it. And all I did was figure out who was hiding behind ‘willywonka’. Wonka, of course, hurled lots of abuse at me – hence the ‘brawl’. That is something I never did.

        Au revoir, people. Time to let you play your war games in peace.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Get your numbers right, Kev. Around 150 missiles were fired, not “hundreds”. And a grand total of five armoured vehicles were destroyed.

      • willywonka says:

        The abuse was hurled at you, kev, because you deserve it due to your insensitivity to innocent people getting brutally murdered. Nothing else. And no abuse before that either.

      • yor says:

        What perception? Sit in the middle of the road, sing a song and throw flowers, whilst life sails by. Sorry it is not as easy as that. There is such a thing as collective guilt. And if you’re into Biblical references, as so many people in Malta seem to be, Jesus Christ threw the traders out of the temple and flung their stalls after them. He did not ask them nicely to please leave.

    • Stefan Vella says:

      @kev & Albert Farrugia

      No solutions in lieu of flinging missiles? I’m disappointed though not entirely surprised.

  7. Etil says:

    I know that my reasoning could sound simplistic and is by no means meant to belittle the seriousness of the situation in Libya, but I honestly feel that the anti-Gaddafi protestors should have first organised themselves well before attempting to wage war against him.

    A year or two of getting organised would have meant that they could tackle such a crisis better. If one has to fight dictator/aggressor, one has to be well prepared otherwise he will make mincemeat out of you (which Gddafi has done). I must admit though that waiting for 42 years is a very long time to finally protest but that is the way I look at it.

    • Steve says:

      I think your reasoning is a little simplistic. For 42 years Gaddafi has ruthlessly stamped out any dissent. He did this by instilling fear into the population.

      If you so much as said half a bad word against the regime, you’d be picked up and interrogated, perhaps tortured or worse. To organise a revolution, as you suggest, means to speak to others about your intentions.

      How do you know the person you’re speaking to is not a government spy? Or just someone with a grudge? You’re thinking like someone who has always lived in a free country, where you don’t risk internment for thinking the wrong thoughts.

      This was never going to be the result of an organised revolution, but something spontaneous. Gaddafi was (still is) paranoid about being the victim of a coup or revolution which is why he kept the army relatively weak, and surrounded himself with family and tribal friends.

    • C Falzon says:

      In a dictatorship such as Gaddafi’s it is not possible to organise anything without being picked up in the silent hours of the night never to be seen again. You can be sure that many tried, and died as a result.

    • Anthony says:

      The anti Gaddafi protestors organising themselves ?

      It is like turkeys organising themselves in the weeks before Christmas.

      By the 26th of December there would be none of them left organised or not.

      Can we please agree once and for all that our blood brother neighbour to the South has been a serial mass murderer for decades ?

      It is not easy because we,as a country, have befriended him.

      All our politicians sucked up to him. The red, the blue and the yellow. Hardly anyone ever objected to this sad association with an international criminal for the sake of some of his blood-stained dinars.

      Now, we have to accept the harsh reality, make amends and change our ways.


  8. Harry Purdie says:

    I read the pig farm on Comino is being abandoned. Bet Joey and his motley crew will recommend they are put there, so as not to disrupt the tourism trade.

  9. yor says:

    Etil, there was very little organisation because the regime has a secret police very much like the Stasi – see all know all.

    These are terrible circumstances to exist under. It all erupted following the arrest of a human rights lawyer in Benghazi. Anger had been simmering at a higher level following the murder of some 1500 political prisoners after a jail uprising due to barbaric conditions there. The real need is for defected army units to organise and bolster the ragtag rebels (no disrespect intended).

  10. yor says:

    I have just seen a news video from Zawija. F**k you KMB, Dalli and the rest.

  11. yor says:

    Is KMB on a full former prime minister’s pension complete with increases and extras?

    • Grezz says:

      If the extras you are referring to include such trivialities as skipping the queue for the Gozo ferry (even if that queue is a rather long one), then I would say “yes”.

    • Harry Purdie says:

      Extra’s for him include free residence (and food) in an asylum. Dental fees are not included

  12. gaddafi says:

    This is a chance to redeem ourselves. At least we can accept immigrants. That would be a deed that respects neutrality. But I seriously doubt Malta would do anything. I feel so embarrassed to be Maltese.

  13. H.P. Baxxter says:

    That’s Irsen Kucuk, prime minister of NORTHERN CYPRUS, not The Republic of Cyprus.


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