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Debate on ‘Who Started the Libyan War’ Rages in Italy

April 22, 2015 (EIRNS)— While a decision is expected by the emergency meeting of EU government leaders on April 23 (the first one since 9/11), the recent refugee tragedy is spurring a debate in Italy on:

  1. What to do immediately?
  2. What to do in the long-term?
  3. Who is responsible for the mess in Africa?

Hardly anyone objects to the assertion that a standard of rescue operations must be re-established, which should at least be equal to the Mare Nostrum operation. Mare Nostrum allowed Italian ships to save human lives regardless of whether they were in international, Italian, or Libyan territorial waters. Mare Nostrum cost EU9 million per month, entirely financed by Italy. Triton has been funded with EU3 million per month.

The Renzi government is also pushing the "go and destroy" policy, i.e., sink the smugglers’ boats, which on one side won’t prevent smugglers from getting vessels elsewhere, and at the same time runs the risk of producing collateral damage to innocent people.

The real issue is how to eliminate the two roots of African emigration: war and poverty. On one hand, the Libyan state must be rebuilt, and on the other side, capital must be invested to develop those countries. Nothing on this can be expected from the EU, as it would mean getting rid of British geopolitics, challenging London and Obama and the financial markets.

However, there is a lot of resentment in Italy against the Anglo-French coalition that initiated the Libyan war, and the Obama administration which has backed it. Everybody knows that Washington is currently backing the pro-terrorist factions in Tripoli and thereby making any political solution impossible.

A preferred target of attacks is former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, "who had the gall to inform his allies that he had given the order to attack, after his bombers had taken off," as the weekly Panorama writes.

"Does anyone remember Sarkozy, Cameron and Erdogan’s triumphant speeches in 2011 in Benghazi?" asks Il Sole 24 Ore strategist Alberto Negri.

And the conservative daily Il Foglio even calls for "Bringing Sarko la Racaille to the UN Court," using the term "racaille"—vermin, riffraff—that then Interior Minister Sarkozy used to characterize the immigrants who rioted in the French suburban slums, the banlieues.

In Great Britain, UKIP MEP Nigel Farage issued a scathing attack on Cameron and Sarkozy, as reported by the Daily Telegraph, which asked whether a "stronger Europe" wouldn’t help solve the problem. He shot back,

"It was the European response that caused this problem in the first place. The fanaticism of Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya. They have completely destabilized Libya, to turn it into a country with much savagery, to turn it into a place where for Christians the place is now virtually impossible. We ought to be honest and say we have directly caused this problem."