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Arab League Says Military Efforts Go Too Far

GUY RAZ, Host:

Shadi Hamid, thank you so much for being with us.

SHADI HAMID: Thanks for having me.

RAZ: First to the response from the secretary-general of the Arab League. He has essentially said, this operation has now gone too far. This after the Arab League had called on the international community to enforce a no-fly zone.

HAMID: But now he's saying that it's gone too far, and that instead of protecting civilians, the Western operation is bombarding civilians. And for this turnaround to come so soon after the mission started is really quite surprising. And this suggests that there's going to be more Arab opposition in the coming days as this military operation intensifies.

RAZ: Why do you think Moussa said this?

HAMID: So I think what we're seeing here is Amr Moussa positioning himself - and perhaps he's anticipating that while Arab public opinion is still largely supportive of the intervention that that support might shift to something more neutral or perhaps oppositional in the coming weeks.

RAZ: So do you anticipate that what Amr Moussa said could resonate more widely in the Arab world? In other words, could the tide turn? Where right now, you do have broad Arab support for this international action, to the point where that could change?

HAMID: So I think from that standpoint, it's understandable that there's going to be this distrust and suspicion even when what the Western nations here are doing is essentially preventing the mass slaughter of Libyan pro-democracy forces.

RAZ: Shadi Hamid, thank you so much.

HAMID: Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.