Daily Archives: March 18, 2011

The liberal war mongers satisfy their urges

Like all addicts the liberal warmongers cannot resist satisfying their unnatural urges for long. Having had a lull of a year or two,  they have grabbed the opportunity presented by the widespread upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East to sate their thirst for political exhibitionism and the  promotion of liberal internationalism.

The resolution passed by the  UN, an organisation overwhelmingly composed of the vicious and the corrupt, supposedly makes this latest  act of unprovoked liberal aggression legal. It is a strange legality which rests on a self-arrogated authority by those who are guilty of the same or worse than Gadhafi , and a most peculiar system of law which says that the prosecution of offences depends on the strength  a regime or its utility to the main players at the UN. Gross oppression and violence are routinely used by China (Tibet) and India (Kashmir)  and nothing is done because they are too large and powerful; Saudi Arabia and Bahrain escape censure and punishment because they are possessed of oil and useful to the  West; Zimbabwe and the Congo remain ignored because the main UN players do not care.

There is no clear international foreign policy either  in Britain or the wider developed world . Like the perpetual warfare in 1984 the status of international political players is transitory. For much of Gadhafi ’s 42 years in power the West was more than happy to supply him with arms and buy Libya’s oil. Ten years ago Gadhafi  was overtly a pariah to at least Western states, although he still managed to trade and obtain arms.  Since 2003  he has been not merely accepted back into the international fold of respectability following his ending of Libya’s nuclear weapons programme,   but positively feted by the likes of Tony Blair and pandered to in the most repellent fashion by the release of the convicted Lockerby the convicted  bomber Al  Megrahi.  Now he is a pariah again not because he has broken  his agreement to stop his nuclear weapons programme, but because Libya has  been swept up in  the general turmoil in North Africa and the Gulf, a turmoil driven to a significant extent by Western media and politicians who talk fancifully of the “Arab Spring” and the need to support “Islamic democrats” and generally behave as those protesting  throughout the region are (1) all wearing white hats while the rulers wear black and (2)  coherent political entities which could form new governments.   

History tells the same story, the overthrow of an abusive government, whether that be an outright dictatorship or simply an oligarchy which becomes too greedy and self-interested,  rarely if ever produces government which can be said to be unequivocally better than what went before. Often the upheaval  creates  vastly more mayhem while the decision of who is to rule is being decided than would have occurred had the old regime remained, while the new regime is frequently more cruel and abusive than that which it replaced, for example, the Russian Revolution.   Frequently  the result of such upheaval  is not a clear cut winner but interminable civil war.  Moreover,  even where improvement eventually occurs, it is difficult to judge  if  the improvement  compensates for the period of greater turmoil and violence or whether the improvement is more desirable than would have occurred had the old regime continued and become, as commonly happens,  less abusive with time.  

Most of the members of the UN do not have anything we in Britain would recognise as a government.  The majority keep order after a fashion and that is about it. There is a small elite who benefit by embezzling the country’s wealth. If  it happens to be oil rich territory,  some bones of comfort thrown to the  general populace by way of  cheap petrol and the occasional hospital.  In many supposedly independent nation states the “government”   controls the large cities and towns and that is it. Quite a few supposed states are in a condition of endless civil war. Even large and relatively developed states such as Mexico  suffer constant battles with drug barons and the revolt of the landless.  In more developed places such as Russia it is gangster government in a western democratic shell,,  whereby  a pretence of democracy and the rule of law is mocked by the frequent use of the courts to subdue political opponents of those with power and  business deals are  often decided at the point of a gun.  That is the world we live in.

The idea that representative democracy (more correctly called elective oligarchy) can be consciously created is absurd. It is a fantasy which was tested to destruction by the British post-colonial experience when the Westminster –style political systems bequeathed by Britain to her colonies  at the time of independence failed dismally. Representative  government is something which grows organically with the development of a society. It is also a very rare beast having developed from scratch in only one country (England) and been successfully exported only to countries which were either colonies in which the dominant culture was derived from England  or small European countries such as the Scandinavians. All the major countries of western  Europe – France, Germany, Spain, Italy – have in the past century suffered either dictatorship or a change of political power through methods other than the ballot box.

The UN is behaving disingenuously in sanctioning only what it describes as action to protect the civilian population.  The clear intention is regime change, something which is illegal under UN statutes.  The so-called no fly zone is a declaration of war in its own right, but the reality is that it is not merely a no-fly zone but a no-fly plus ground attack from the air zone.  If implemented this will inevitably result in causalities both amongst non-combatants and  those who are fighting Gadhafi . UN REsolution  also raises the question of what  happens if anti-Gadhafi  forces start massacring people in revenge  or various factions amongst the rebels start fighting amongst themselves?. How will the  claimed UN “duty to protect the defenceless” sit in that context?  Where will this all lead?  Either to a humiliating failure  by the West or Western invasion of at least part of the country.

Why is Libya subject  to this action when so many other vicious  regimes are left untouched?  Here is an  unpalatable explanation.   European politicians  got carried away as they saw the long-term rulers of Egypt and Tunisia fall and assumed the same would happen to Gadhafi . This showed a tremendous political naivety because Libya is organised on a very different  basis , being a personal fiefdom of the ruler  in a way which the other two countries were not.   There was no professional Libyan army to hold the ring as happened in Egypt because Gadhafi   ensured there was not one because he feared that such an army might overthrow him. Instead he relies on a kind of Praetorian guard plus mercenaries.  

 The upshot of this miscalculation by the likes of Cameron and Sarkozy was that  they publicly nailed their colours to the mast by calling for Gadhafi ’s overthrow and,  in Sarkozy’s case, giving diplomatic recognition to “the opposition” whoever they might be.  When Gadhafi did not flee, get himself killed by someone close to him and fought back successfully,  these over eager politicians  were left with the prospect of both a tremendous loss of face and Libya still in the hands of an enraged Gadhafi  with nothing to lose by going back to his old terrorist promoting ways.  Left high and dry,  Cameron and Sarkozy pressed for military action to get themselves out of a hole.  

Would Libya be a better  place without Gadhafi ?  Probably not.   Is Gadhafi   a deplorable human being? Indubitably. Does Gadhafi  deserve to survive?  It is not a question of deserve,  but whether he has the will and capacity to do so. Would his survival make things more or less precarious in the Arab world as a whole?  It is difficult to see how as  the likelihood is that the other unsettled  countries will end up with dictatorships, admitted or otherwise, whether through the military taking over in places such as Egypt,  existing regimes continuing  or Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood gaining power.

The questions the British people will be asking themselves is why are our politicians yet again putting British servicemen at risk?  What is our national interest here? How is that when we are being told we are in a dire financial state that money can always be found for projects politicians favour?  Do not hold your breath waiting for answers.

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