Despite what European propagandists would enjoy everyone believing, this is not an initiative towards protecting borders and citizens, but rather a very direct power-play against all involved in the situation. The fact of the matter is that protecting European borders from refugees and drug smugglers is so infuriating that it’s practically humorous. For one, the War on Drugs worldwide is axiomatically laughable and an incredible waste of taxpayer money—and anyone perpetuating this faulty fight against helpless addicts is automatically putting power into the hands of any black-market looking to capitalize. Governments propagating this war should not invoke any sort of sympathy within any logical individual’s rationale, and if there is any quantifiable cultural interference from these foreign drug smugglers, then the power of the black-market should be taken out of their hands instead of siccing the Royal Navy on them in open waters, guns a’blazing. Can anyone say “Military Industrial Complex”?
Furthermore, beyond the argument of smuggling is a concept a bit more pressing: the fact that the EU is siccing their Royal Navy on Refugees. Are anonymous drone-strikes not enough? Perhaps bombing civilian towns to “eradicate terrorism” won’t prove creepy enough for western citizens to wake up, but perhaps it’s just in the EU’s best interest to employ military forces to keep innocent easterners from vacating these hellish war-zones! Or perhaps someone needs to bring up the phrase “Military Industrial Complex” again.
Speaking of bureaucratic nonsense, a quote from the document itself:
“The EUMC emphasizes that preservation of human life at sea is a legal obligation in accordance with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)… Rescue operations led during this operation should not be publicized in order to avoid providing an incentive to migrants.”
“The IMD [Initiating Military Directive] should also emphasize the need to calibrate military activity with great care, particularly within Libyan internal waters or ashore, in order to avoid destabilizing the political process by causing collateral damage, disrupting legitimate economic activity or creating a perception of having chosen sides.”
It’s almost as if this document was in fact not choosing sides in some way, and that this isn’t a direct inception of political propaganda. It seems that even the European government acknowledges that getting their citizens to throw their eastern brothers under the bus will take at least some sort of collusion. Actually, the EEAS further acknowledged its proposed propaganda tactics, calling it, “Information Strategy”, saying that:
“The EUMC (European Union Military Commission) identifies a risk to EU reputation linked to any perceived transgressions by the EU force through any public misinterpretation of its tasks and objectives, or the potential negative impact should loss of life be attributed, correctly or incorrectly, to action or inaction by the EU force. Therefore, the EUMC considers that an EU information strategy from the outset, is essential in order to emphasize the purpose of the EU operation and to facilitate expectation management. Military information operations should be an integral part of this EU strategy.”
Then, to wrap up this government doc: “The EUMC stresses the need for uncertain legal issues to be resolved by the EU relevant services and MS as soon as practicable. The EUMC acknowledges the complexities of the legal aspects and considers that due to their importance and intricacy, those specific to the operation should be further developed and set in a single document, summarizing the current situation, what freedom of action exists, the open legal issues and the actions to be taken to solve these issues. This work should be undertaken by the legal services of all EU relevant services and by MS when appropriate.” It would appear that the EU has all its bases covered. They managed to hit all the bureaucratic textual checkpoints, so what follows will ultimately be determined solely by the level of outcry received from European citizens—and seeing as how this is just a single move in a much larger chess game, this journalist remains skeptical that the Libyan-refugee-chess-piece will remain on the board much longer.