Now it looks like there may be something else missing from this war: Arab approval.
The Arab League may be considering withdrawing its approval of the bombing strikes in Libya:
The outgoing head of the Arab League and a frontrunner to become president of a democratic Egypt has voiced reservations about Nato's bombing campaign in Libya, calling for a ceasefire and talks on a political settlement while Muammar Gaddafi remains in power.In March I wrote that the unusual step the Arab League took in backing the bombing raids in Libya might be because of the political aspirations of its head, Amr Moussa. Despite the reluctance to back the West in bombing an Arab country, Amr Moussa is in the running to become president of Egypt--and what better way to improve his image than to support the protesters in Libya?
Amr Moussa, the veteran Egyptian diplomat who played a central role in securing Arab support for Nato air strikes, told the Guardian he now had second thoughts about a bombing mission that may not be working. "When I see children being killed, I must have misgivings. That's why I warned about the risk of civilian casualties," he said.
Nato admitted this week that it had blundered when a rogue missile killed nine civilians, including children, in Tripoli, while the Libyan regime has claimed another 15 civilians were killed in an attack on a compound west of Tripoli that Nato has confirmed it targeted.
Arab support, in the form of an endorsement from the Arab League, was essential to the Anglo-French-led bombing campaign launched in March following a UN security council resolution mandating the use of force to protect Libyan civilians.
But by the same token, once he openly backed the war, Moussa can hardly afford to be associated with it if civilians are being killed and the bombings are continuing with no sign that Gaddafi is leaving in the near future.
Of course, over the long haul this war is not going to do much for the image of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama either--especially if the Arab world does an about-face and starts condemning the attacks.
At this point, on the basis of what he has done--and hasn't done in the Middle East--Obama is probably not much more popular in the Arab world than Bush was.
Technorati Tag: Obama and Libya.