Back for a moment to Libya. (From Letterman, Top Ten Thoughts That Went Through Herman Cain’s Mind During The ‘Libya’ Moment: 10. “Libya? I remember Lydia, but I don’t remember a Libya!”)
As in any revolution, people were called upon to make a serious choice one way or another: revolt or support Qaddafi? If your side did not emerge victorious, you were sure to be in serious trouble. That was most gravely true for Libyan residents, but other parties had a similar dilemma, especially once the tide started to turn against the rebels starting around March and the prospect of civilian massacres started to arise. Much of NATO – including, crucially, the Obama administration, although the lead was taken by France and the UK – then chose to intervene, and managed to get passed UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to justify (somewhat) that intervention. Others held back – and the most prominent of these was Germany, which made no contribution to that NATO military effort and in fact abstained in the Security Council vote on Resolution 1973.
Well, now Qaddafi is dead and gone, and the winners and losers are clear. Germany is a loser (although not as badly as the regime supporters). In that light, @swissbusiness has come up with a fascinating interview in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung: