April 12th, 2011
08:31 AM ET

Tuesday World Roundup: Libyan rebels reject AU plan and Japan raises crisis level

Overview

– Libyan rebels reject the African Union ceasefire proposal out of hand. Les Gelb tells the world to consider the proposal more seriously.
– Pakistan demands the U.S. curb C.I.A. activities in the country. Ahmed Rashid gives the backstory.
– Japan raises its nuclear crisis level.
– Selig S. Harrison says North Korea has drawn a lesson from the world's intervention in Libya: not to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Reports

CNN reports that Libyan rebels reject African Union proposal and Moussa Koussa speaks out:

After a diplomatic effort to end the war in Libya hit a road block in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the most significant official to defect from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime spoke out about the conflict in his country.

In an interview Monday with the BBC, former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa expressed concern that Libya "will be a new Somalia."

NYT and WSJ report that Pakistan has told the U.S. to sharply curb C.I.A. activities in the country.

Some U.S. officials say the breakdown in relations can be linked, in addition to the Davis case, to a civil court case brought in New York in November in which Lt. Gen. Pasha was named as a defendant. The case accuses the ISI of complicity in the assault on Mumbai. The ISI denies any involvement.

For more, see Ahmed Rashid discuss fraying U.S.-Pakistan ties in the Global Public Square.

Japan Broadcasting Corporation and The Daily Beast report Japan raises its nuclear crisis level:

Japan's nuclear-safety agency decided Tuesday morning to increase the crisis level at the country's troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant from 5 to 7, the highest disaster ranking recognized internationally. The scary 7 has only been used once in history—in 1986, during the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union. Officials said they would increase Fukushima's ranking because it is releasing a massive amount of radioactive material that continues to be a threat to humans and wildlife across a wide area.

Analyses

What lessons have North Korea learned from the world’s intervention in Libya? Selig S. Harrison says it’s not to give up its nuclear program:

The United States pressed Pyongyang to give up its entire nuclear weapons capability at the outset of denuclearization negotiations, but it is precisely because Pyongyang recognized its deterrent value that it insists on a phased denuclearization process and criticizes Qaddafi for giving up his nuclear ambitions.

David Sanger lays out the scenarios confronting the Obama Administration in Libya:

The longer Mr. Qaddafi remains in power, others note, the greater the chance that he will lash out with some attempt at retaliation, perhaps a terrorist attack outside the country that would have echoes of Libya’s bombing of Pan Am 103 more than 22 years ago.  One senior counterterrorism official said that “this is a scenario that clearly has us concerned.”

Les Gelb tells the world to give the African Union-brokered ceasefire a chance, even though it allows Gadhafi to stay in power:

Obviously, NATO shouldn't simply accept the African plan as is. But it should respond with a beefed-up counterproposal, one with inspectors in place and other reasonable requirements that can't be dismissed as ploys to make the cease-fire idea fail. And if the colonel says no to that, most Westerners—including myself—would feel less strained about the ongoing and costly battle.

Why do strongmen like Gadhafi, Gbagbo, Saleh and others hang onto power so relentelessly? Robert Kaplan offers an explanation:

…[T]hese men are not horse-trading politicians as such; they have been fighting for something far more age-old, basic, and less susceptible to compromise: territory and honor, at least as they define it. Their world is not one of institutions and bureaucracies through which they rule; it is a world of dominating scraps of ground through dependence on relatives and tribal and regional alliances.

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Topics: Africa • Ivory Coast • Libya • Middle East

soundoff (One Response)
  1. kapt

    crap journalism!!!propaganda,
    you are talking about Gadhafi, Gbagbo why never about saudi -arabian leaders? what was muburak in egypt ? until recently he was a dictator according to Mr Biden!
    why not also protecting in yemen and else where ?
    propaganda ,twisted information are different from information!!!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:06 am | Reply

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