The hypocrisy of Libya
Now we've bombed all Libya's air defenses in 24 hours, the West are now considering attacking ground forces. Here comes the mission creep. Why don't we move on other UN resolutions like 242 that demands Israel leaves occupied Palestinian land with as much speed? This will end in a stalemate and at $569 000 per Tomahawk missile it's a shame we aren't as quick with that type of cash for aid and development.
I would suggest that we drop the bullshit excuses and admit that this is about oil and not delude ourselves that it is about 'justice'. When are we bombing Yemen and Bahrain? They killed pro democracy protesters last week, I don't hear any justification for UN bombs for them?
The reason we aren't bombing Yemen and Bahrain is 1: 20% of Bahrain is a US military base and 2: Yemen is a US ally in their war of terror. The double standards we are applying here goes well beyond 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' simplicity used by those justifying action against a criminal like Gaddafi.
Libya should have been actioned in bloody 1969 when Gaddafi took power, we will never bomb Bahrain and Yemen because the US is propping those dictatorships up. If we were so concerned with the monsters of today, why are we building the monsters of tomorrow in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and Tajikistan?
Fisk makes the point about how weak the forethought in this mess will be - what happens if no fly zones don't work?
Suppose Gaddafi clings on in Tripoli and the British and French and Americans shoot down all his aircraft, blow up all his airfields, assault his armour and missile batteries and he simply doesn't fade away. I noticed on Thursday how, just before the UN vote, the Pentagon started briefing journalists on the dangers of the whole affair; that it could take "days" just to set up a no-fly zone.
Then there is the trickery and knavery of Gaddafi himself. We saw it yesterday when his Foreign Minister announced a ceasefire and an end to "military operations" knowing full well, of course, that a Nato force committed to regime-change would not accept it, thus allowing Gaddafi to present himself as a peace-loving Arab leader who is the victim of Western aggression: Omar Mukhtar Lives Again.
And what if we are simply not in time, if Gaddafi's tanks keep on rolling? Do we then send in our mercenaries to help the "rebels". Do we set up temporary shop in Benghazi, with advisers and NGOs and the usual diplomatic flummery? Note how, at this most critical moment, we are no longer talking about the tribes of Libya, those hardy warrior people whom we invoked with such enthusiasm a couple of weeks ago. We talk now about the need to protect "the Libyan people", no longer registering the Senoussi, the most powerful group of tribal families in Benghazi, whose men have been doing much of the fighting. King Idris, overthrown by Gaddafi in 1969, was a Senoussi. The red, black and green "rebel" flag – the old flag of pre-revolutionary Libya – is in fact the Idris flag, a Senoussi flag. Now let's suppose they get to Tripoli (the point of the whole exercise, is it not?), are they going to be welcomed there? Yes, there were protests in the capital. But many of those brave demonstrators themselves originally came from Benghazi. What will Gaddafi's supporters do? "Melt away"? Suddenly find that they hated Gaddafi after all and join the revolution? Or continue the civil war?
And what if the "rebels" enter Tripoli and decide Gaddafi and his crazed son Saif al-Islam should meet their just rewards, along with their henchmen? Are we going to close our eyes to revenge killings, public hangings, the kind of treatment Gaddafi's criminals have meted out for many a long year? I wonder.
I'm sick of the delusional excuses we in the West use to justify our violence. Seeing as our war in Afghanistan is supposedly for 'feminism', our war in Iraq is supposedly for 'democracy' let's make our war in Libya for cyclist rights, that way we can acknowledge this farce for what it is.