On a strategic plane, remaining a “deft neutral” would have been a far sounder decision, especially since Papandreou cannot even begin to realize the murderous intra-Arab conflicts that are fuelling in large part the Libyan conflagration.
We realize of course that Papandreou figures himself an outstanding international statesman without whose contribution this world would have been a poorer, angrier, more desolate place.
Back on Mother Earth though, the Greek prime minister’s career as a diplomat so far has produced some of the gravest setbacks in this country’s modern history -- from the Greek-Turkish “rapprochement” to Greece’s “realistic” stance in the Balkans to the enormous national threat of illegal immigration, not to mention his towering disaster of bringing Greece under the IMF/EU “bailout” yoke via personal secret manipulation.
If the past is any yardstick therefore, Papandreou’s wearing his duster and goggles to join the long range desert group against Qaddafi is a certain opportunity for yet another Greek catapulting into the depths.
With NATO hesitant in deciding whether it wants to be the leader of the expedition, and with France, in particular, creating a mini havoc under President Sarkosy’s increasingly haphazard leadership, Papandreou, already under the tremendous strain of Greece’s economic foundering, is really out of his depth.
He and his defense minister, Vangelis Venizelos, for example, have failed to notice that NATO’s involvement in Libya is in contravention of its own treaty rules: Qaddafi, as of last count, hasn’t threatened or attacked any of NATO’s members nor has he undertaken action that could be deemed, even by the severest stretch of a diplomat’s cloak, as offering the legal grounds for the Alliance moving against him.
The “humanitarian reasons,” invoked by the notables of Europe and the United States, could presumably exist if we were to completely forget Libya’s long (and blood-drenched) tradition of inter-tribal mayhem.
Since this history is very real, but conveniently set aside for the moment, the Alliance arriving with the big guns is obviously motivated by reasons different than “humanitarian concerns” (“oil” one would dare think?) and in support of one tribal group against another (any resemblances to Serbia/Kosovo 1999 are purely coincidental).
Papandreou, by choosing this lame jump into a fight that is none of Greece’s concern, has again exposed this country’s flanks to possible future threats that she won’t be able to contain. Instead of hunkering down and getting seriously organized to oppose yet another illegal immigrant invasion from North Africa, Papandreou takes another shot in the dark lest his reputation as a tin-horned grand international statesman (and willing helper on call) tarnishes.
As for that obscure part called “national interest…” well… we don’t really know what happened to it: for all we understand, it could be lying somewhere in the devastation the Papandreou regime’s onslaught, on orders from the IMF/EU, has already inflicted upon Hellas.
(Note: Papandreou was not/not invited to the Paris meeting that triggered the Libya fracas; he applied to be admitted and the ever suave and civil French obliged since GAP, at the moment, leaves no opportunity unused to declare that he will honestly and swear-to-God look after the interests of French banks holding Greek debt, the Greek mob back “home” be damned. That’s the real measure of the man).