April 11th, 2011
08:18 AM ET

Monday Roundup: Dealing with Libya and France's burqa ban

Overview

- Gadhafi reportedly accepts an African Union deal to end the fighting in Libya; Benghazi protestors refuse any plan that leaves a Gadhafi in power
– Japan evacuates more towns around the crippled nuclear reactor
– The UN and France launch reprisal attacks against Gbagbo in Ivory Coast
– The French face veil ban comes into force
– James Baker and Henry Kissinger define “pragmatic idealism” as a frame for U.S. intervention abroad
– David Ignatius warns of the power of the weak to embroil the strong in war

Reports

CNN reports that Gadhafi has agreed to an African Union deal to end the fighting in Libya:

Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has agreed in principle to stop all hostilities in his North African nation and allow outside forces to help keep the peace, his government and African Union mediators said Monday in a joint statement.

AP reports that in Benghazi Libyan opposition supporters protested against the African Union delegation:

Libyan opposition supporters protested Monday against a delegation of African leaders who arrived in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi to try to broker a cease-fire with Moammar Gadhafi's regime, saying there can be no peace until the longtime leader gives up power.

CNN reports Japan evacuating more towns around the crippled nuclear reactor:

Japan's government Monday called for evacuations for several towns beyond the danger zone already declared around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, warning that residents could receive high doses of radiation over the coming months.

The Guardian reports the UN and France launch reprisal attacks on Gbagbo in Ivory Coast:

United Nations and French helicopters have fired rockets on Laurent Gbagbo's residence in an attack the UN said was in retaliation for assaults by his forces on UN headquarters and civilians.

Al Jazeera reports the French face veil ban comes into force

A controversial ban on face veils has come into force in France, meaning anyone wearing the Muslim niqab or burqa in public will face a fine of up to $216 and a citizenship course.

Analyses

Henry A. Kissinger and James A. Baker III detail when the U.S. should use military force:

Our values impel us to alleviate human suffering. But as a general principle, our country should do so militarily only when a national interest is also at stake. Such an approach could properly be labeled “pragmatic idealism”….[O]ur idealistic goals cannot be the sole motivation for the use of force in U.S. foreign policy.

David Ignatius warns that the weak may launch premature campaigns against power, hoping for international intevention:

The weak have a new power in the modern media age: Their suffering is visible to millions of well-intentioned people around the world who are likely to support humanitarian intervention to rescue them from their plight. But there’s a dangerous corollary to this new power of the weak: It can lead disorganized groups to start fights with established authorities that they can’t finish — unless they are rescued by larger powers. In this sense, the media attention emboldens the very actions that can lead to slaughter and repression.

Niall Ferguson argues that while online social networks promote democracy, they also empower the enemies of freedom.

In short, Google’s pro-democracy Wael Ghonim is probably a less significant figure than Fouad X, the head of IT for Hizbullah in Lebanon, who tells Joshua Ramo (at the beginning of his superb book The Age of the Unthinkable) that “our email is flooded with CVs” from Islamist geeks wanting to “serve a sacred cause.”

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Topics: Islam • Ivory Coast • Japan

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. willard Head

    BRAVO France ! ! ! If they dont obey the law, just send them packing. It should be banned everywhere, if they want to wear them let them go somewhere that it is allowed. We are much too tolerant of those people and the terror they inflict on decent people.

    April 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Beta

      Totally agree

      April 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Hassan Adeel

      IDIOT U MAKE NO SENSE

      April 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  2. glen c

    bravo france on everything. you don't know how good it feels to hear someone else taking the initiative in world
    affairs. as an american i'm sick and tired of hearing the us this and the us that. to see someone with the balls to
    step up and assert themselves in a military or domestic policy. it feels ffffnnnnnn good to know you guys are
    making an effort in libya and there are other nations out there who will stand up.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      I don't mind you praise France but I can't stand the idea, that Sarkozy takes the credit. He is seeking for a secon term and does anything, absolutely anything to secure it. I hope he leaves the Elysee Palace next year.

      April 12, 2011 at 8:03 am | Reply
      • Onesmallvoice

        Well said,j. von hettlingen. Thank you.

        April 12, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  3. Dayv B.

    Most muslims are decent people. It is wrong that a few extremists earns a bad reputation for them all. While they are enforcing the law, they are also repressing people because of religion. What if they were instead arresting people for wearing crucifixes? You people would be screaming in outrage. Im not islamic but i dont hate those who are. Any Americans who applaudes what France is doing should be ashamed of themselves. This country was founded on religious freedom and tolerance. Support of bigotry like this embarrasses me as an American.

    April 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  4. glen c

    i'm speaking primarily about the Libyan issue, but the veil thing is a very hard issue because dress codes are
    implemented for a variety of reasons. in schools they don't want gang members wearing trench coats and so
    forth. i believe in freedom of religion. i don't know what the issues are for France banning that. If it's security or
    whatever. But on that note if someone wants to burn a Koran , then who cares. No one is up in arms if someone
    disrespects a bible. As far as i'm concerned the book is only a book and it's what you live that's important. So i
    don't support fanaticism on the opposite end either because someone burned a Koran. In the 60's people burned
    the american flag in protest to Vietnam. Should they be shot and killed because they burned the american flag.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  5. glen c

    also, if the KKK calls itself a religion as they have in the past then are they free to assemble and preach the
    hatred of another race, creed or color because their religion says so. are people allowed to drive with tinted
    windows in most states ? The cops have to deal with the threat of terrorism and many laws have been passed
    on the premise of being able to identify someone quickly and easily. While i also am a huge advocate of privacy
    and freedoms for the individual , i also acknowledge the cops have a job to do and an easily visible face is much
    easier in public to identify than a crowd of people with coverings keeping the police from being able to do their
    job with speed and efficiency. But once again as i said i am assuming this is why France is doing this. But again
    i am speaking mostly to the Libya issue.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  6. Sanika

    Are the poiells and pundits celebrating the death of Gaddafi be the same one's who would consider the execution of the Romanov's as one of the great crimes of the 20th century?

    February 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply

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