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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rule Britannia in the Age of the G-zero


Watching David Cameron on Libya is like watching a very desperate man. It is no coincidence that in the shadow of the Davos meeting we have Britain chomping at the bit for military intervention in Libya, a meeting where the words of American economists were finally heard by the west. There was no longer a G20 led by the US as global policeman, it was argued, there was a G-zero, where heads of state sat divided in their aspirations, as the oil and food prices fluctuate - a movement that was underscored by the protests over food, unemployment, human rights and democracy in the Arab world. While China stood its ground on not wanting to appreciate the yuan fast enough, the global economic recession had demonstrated the fragility of an economy that has been led by the west in a post-war economic boom. In the face of economists predicting a rise in the Chinese and Indian economies due to the west outsourcing their production, eagle-eyed Cameron saw an opportunity to tussle for the US' role.

The rednecks are getting used to being massaged by Cameron's right hand. This is, after all, a Prime Minister who declared only a week ago that multiculturalism has failed in Britain, and would be replaced by a "more active, muscular liberalism" that only the Iron Man himself could provide. This movement mirrors a rise in racist nationalisms that is occurring across many western and European nations. In the US, we clearly have a rise of racist nationalism occurring. Take Glenn Beck's march on Washington claiming racism against whites for example, the Klu Klux Klan-type rallies that have been lead by Republicans in Orange County calling for the removal of all Muslim/terrorists (as if the two can be conflated) and the Congressional hearings into whether all Muslims have done enough to prevent terrorism. (One might ask the question conversely - have all whites done enough to stop the rise of xenophobic nationalism?.) In Germany we have Chancellor Angela Merkel's claim that multiculturalism is no longer working. Similarly in France, an internet poll this week found Marine Le Pen would lead in an election, the face of the National Front. In this environment, Cameron has clearly identified a loophole for boosting his popularity by acting like a candidate for the BNP.

Such moves spell imminent danger for the people of Libya, as Cameron sees the country as a strategic target in quelling dissent across the region and helping to uphold a skewed oil economy where the only people that benefit are the buyers. It is no coincidence that we are beginning to see the events in Libya increasingly positioned as a civil war. It is clear from journalists' reports that the military hardware between the two groups is unequal, and the protesters are facing immense odds. Such discourses of civil war should be noted with concern: in shifting the focus to the protesters as violent, they effectively pave the way for intervention in a way that does not contribute to the stability or good of Libyans, but the stability of oil trade for the west.

As Seumas Milne highlights, Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa, making it a strategic jewel for securing the flow of the black gold to the west. The list of academics, institutions (including the London School of Economics), companies and politicians that have been sent scrambling over the revelation of their close economic relationships with the narcissistic psychopath Gaddafi over the last couple of weeks should come as no surprise. We should be extremely concerned that in the face of international UN pressure, somehow there are 100 of Gaddafi's secret police being trained in Britain in 'advanced techniques'. Also that they have their SAS being caught out by protesters engaging in what was termed a secret 'diplomatic mission', with the reason for the absence of diplomacy covered with the flimsy excuse of getting their 'communication kit' stolen. While many commentators have positioned Cameron's stance on Libya as so insane that it must be all talk and no substance, it is clear that behind the scenes there are movements we need to be watching. In the post-Egyptian world, Cameron is positioning himself as the new Bush.

9 Comments:

At 9/3/11 2:22 pm, Blogger dave said...

Yeah, Libya is the closest to a revolution that the clapped out EU and US powers have faced yet. They will intervene to put the lid on it, and no doubt install the Interim National Council as their vehicle for the 'democratic transition'. It is reported to have already guaranteed Gaddafi's contracts to the oil companies. I await the response of the armed youth to this as the price of 1000s of their martyrs.

 
At 9/3/11 2:49 pm, Blogger Gosman said...

While their actions might be distasteful the rallies in Orange county can hardly be called racists. Dislike of people of a particular Religious persuassion is not Racist. It might be prejudiced but then again disliking people because of their political beliefs is also prejudiced and even the most liberal lefty is guilty of that at times.

 
At 9/3/11 3:45 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Only a racist islamaphobe like you would defend the orange county racists Gosy

 
At 9/3/11 3:46 pm, Blogger Gosman said...

Please explain how dislike of a Religion is racist exactly?

 
At 9/3/11 6:54 pm, Blogger dcrown said...

Bomber mate, how can you use the word islamaphobe against someone who has a problem Islam, it is purposely designed to shut down debate.
Many people including Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Pat Condell have aired reasonable problems with the "religion of peace".
There is nothing phobic about opposing any bronze age religion, or for that fact any new age religion.
If you are going to preach to people in public through a desert religion you should be opposed at every turn, be it any of the 3 monotheistic religions You would be the first to agree on the damage caused by the pope's ridiculous pronouncements.
I know you have also been outraged at the behavior of some "god fearing" folk following the CHCH EQ.
However there is a line which should not be crossed and that is hate speech.
What is Islam, a race or a religion make up your mind.

 
At 9/3/11 8:28 pm, Blogger Armchair Warrior said...

'Such discourses of civil war should be noted with concern: in shifting the focus to the protesters as violent, they effectively pave the way for intervention in a way that does not contribute to the stability or good of Libyans, but the stability of oil trade for the west'
So Phoebe what acts of intervention should be taken?, because without something soon Gaddafi has a good chance of retaking the country. Or should we wait for th UN security council (which includes such shining examples of concern for freedom and democracy as Putin's Russia), to do something while a fledgling provisional government which has asked for the west's help is crushed. Obama needs to grow some balls send the sixth fleet into libya's waters, enforce a no fly zone and arm the rebels. No U.S troops need touch the ground. Only lefties such as yourself will carp 'its all for oil' while libyans will get rid of a madman dictator.

 
At 11/3/11 10:13 am, Blogger Gosman said...

So no explanation why disliking a religion is racist Mr Bradbury.

I must admit dcrown certainly put you in your place on that matter.

 
At 11/3/11 2:30 pm, Blogger Chris Prudence said...

However there is a line which should not be crossed and that is 'hate speech'...it is purposely designed to shut down debate.

 
At 11/3/11 3:14 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

So no explanation why disliking a religion is racist Mr Bradbury.
Oh Mr Gosman, you are tiresome, if you need to rationalize your Islamaphobia in some way to convince yourself that you are not a bigot, could I suggest you do it in the privacy of a personal session with your life coach?

The hatred on display from the Orange County Fun Club was racist because they attach to a culture a racial hatred of the 'other'. No one is suggesting a dislike for woman stoning, homosexual hanging, free speech denying Muslim fanatics is 'racist', I'm describing the hatred spewed at those Muslims walking to an event as racist because that is the attached racial hatred the Orange County Fun Club are promoting.

You know the kind of fear tinged hatred you often use when talking about Islam Mr Gosman.

I must admit dcrown certainly put you in your place on that matter.
Ouch, how embarrassing for you to stoop to that as your final point scoring effort. Chin up champ.

 

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