Cover

Libération’s front page leads with two headlines spotlighting two predicaments for France: “Libya: France trapped” and “Syria: France targeted.” The debates on continuing the military operations in Libya opens today in the French parliament, the newspaper reports. “Placed at the forefront of the Western coalition,” Libération recalls,“France finds herself mired in a conflict a lot longer than she had bet on.” While the socialist opposition is expected to continue to back the campaign, the debate today at the National Assembly is a welcome one, writes the paper, for “clearly, the war aim of Sarkozy and the allies is to depose Gaddafi – including by force. Today, though, Paris is sending out ambiguous signals about the possibility of negotiating with Gaddafi, who could even stay on in Libya […]. It’s proof that the military option was not the speedy and effective solution to bring democracy to Tripoli that was promised by the armchair strategists.”

In Syria, the French embassy in Damascus has been attacked by “protesters” supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime. “A further sign that the Syrian regime is losing ground, even giving the impression of being at bay,” these ‘protests’, which the U.S. embassy also experienced, seem to be in response to the visit of U.S. and French ambassadors to opponents of the regime in the rebellious city of Hama.