Don't mention the war?

Certainly don't talk about the costs!

A 10, expensive lossA 10, expensive loss
The war, actually it would be churlish not to mention it as so many people have put so much effort onto it! But not in the case of Angela Merkel, her effort has gone into staying out of it. Although she does this for the same reason as Nicholas Sarkozy who is desperate to play Napoleon and lead the willing. Both have a domestic agenda. Both see the Libyan crisis as an opportunity to tip the polls in their favour. So that's a united EU then! By contrast Barack Obama seems to have dithered and then been engulfed by events. Even though US forces are dominant, so far, it still makes him look more foolish than wise. The final big name in this is David Cameron. He does not have elections at home looming, thus so far has fared better than others in the, sadly, all important image stakes as it would seem his motives on trying to establish a NFZ are less complicated. Even so he has made the odd mistake. For example saying that Libya is "not another Iraq", how does he know that?

But back again to Merkel, she's tried all sorts of things, like creative accounting to inflate the German economy. This involved the German government borrowing money from German banks then passing off these transactions as evidence of how well Germany was doing! She has declared that multiculturalism has failed. However, when you consider how long she has been Chancellor and how long she has been in politics this is a criticism of her political generation and class. For she and her kind have either clung to, or at best stood idly by, as this policy has wreaked havoc. She has mouthed off about the Irish, the banks and 'speculators' in a way that shows her as ratty and irrational. Her time is drawing to a close.

Her government's decision last week to abstain in a United Nations' Security Council vote to authorize military force in Libya has been panned in Germany, where critics across the political spectrum have accused the Chancellor of trying to steer clear of risks, rather than taking a clear stand.

For Sarkozy 'stand and fight' may seem attractive now but there will be problems; the first French forces casualty for example, war is dangerous. So too is the approach to diplomatic relations within the group of nations willing to enforce the NFZ. Norway, at first keen to help is now backing away to await 'clarification' on the general 'aims' of the willing. In other words is the NFZ effort to be led by a showman or not? What if this pragmatism spreads? This could threaten a united Europe approach; though not the same as a united EU it would still be damaging. But the real problems will come when the French taxpayer sees the bills for all this grandstanding. A point that Marine Le Pen will make plain in the run-up to elections. Consider too that as France has not exactly handled problems in North Africa too well in the past, the first riot by Muslim youth in a major French city will also cost Sarkozy a lot of votes.

For Obama his problems have already begun. One of his aircraft, thought to be an A10 Warthog (wonderful name!) has had the misfortune to be the first aircraft lost, possibly to mechanical failure. Furthermore the rescue of the pilot is thought to have resulted in civilian deaths.

Thus so far Cameron comes out as the least worse off. Mind you over on EU Referendum the costs to the UK taxpayer are being totted up, it's eye-watering stuff, HERE and HERE..And all this in the age of cut-backs, Budget day too!.