Italy called today for a ceasefire in NATO's Libya mission.
"We have seen the effects of the crisis and therefore also of NATO action not only in eastern and southwestern regions but also in Tripoli," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told the Italian Parliament.
"I believe an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities is required in order to create effective humanitarian corridors," while negotiations should also continue on a more formal ceasefire and peace talks" , he said.
"I think this is the most urgent and dramatic point," Frattini continued.
"I think it is legitimate to request ever more detailed information on the results" of the NATO mission, he added, condemning "the dramatic errors that hit civilians, which is clearly not an objective of the NATO mission."
What's actually going on is that the Italians have been hit by two problems they didn't quite anticipate.
Khaddaffi has held on far longer than NATO anticipated, and the rebels have been unable to make headway against his forces even with NATO assistance. As the war has continued to drag on, costs have mounted and a swarm of Libyan refugees has inundated Italy, both of which are putting a strain on a country that already has a significant amount of major economic problems. The Italian Northern League Party, a conservative member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition has come out strongly against continuing the war.
The French and the British continue to be the main backers of the war, which is easily understandable since they have the most to lose if Khaddaffi prevails and the lucrative oil contracts they struck with the rebels become worthless.
France immediately ruled out any ceasefire.
"The coalition and the countries that met as the Abu Dhabi contact group two weeks ago were unanimous on the strategy: we must intensify the pressure on Kadhafi," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was reportedly warned by senior army figures that the Libya operation was extremely unpopular with the military personnel involved, the costs were unsustainable and that continuing beyond the summer would make it difficult for Britain to respond to other conflicts in the future.
Cameron rebuffed them and said Britain would continue the operation "as long as is necessary."
They really, really want that oil.