Friday, 21 October 2011

Gaddafi Killed & Western Appetite Restored

Since 2006, the West have wiped Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden and now Gaddafi from the face of the Earth. Some are regretting that the former Libyan leader was not taken alive and put on trial but the instigators of the conflict, Britain, France and America, are just relieved that the job has been done without turning into the debacle that is Iraq and Afghanistan.
All three leaders, Sarkozy, Obama and Cameron, were quickly on the television congratulating themselves on a job well done and the worry is that this success will lay to rest the ghost of Iraq and Afghanistan and fuel the perception that such Western intervention operations are the way forward.
The temptation will be for success in Libya to be cited as justification for military interventions elsewhere. In the orgy of back slapping that will surely ensue, the dubious interpretation of the UN resolution on the use of air strikes to protect civilians should not be forgotten and will hamstring any other attempt by anyone to make the same argument in support of a similar UN resolution in future.
For the past eight months since the conflict began, the Western trio of leaders have been at pains to stress the thousands killed by Gaddafi but there is no talk of the thousands, 15,000 at the last count, who have been killed by them during this latest military adventure.
The impression has been created that this was a 'clean' war with no French, British or American fatalities and that this was a revolution to overthrow a brutal dictator who had been oppressing his people for 42 years although for a lot of that time the very countries that would remove him, were arming and supporting him.
Leaving aside, or just not mentioning, the Libyan death toll, the idea has now been sparked that intervention in other people's revolutions or civil wars has a future, to help 'the people' overthrow dictatorial leaders wherever they be or rather in countries where the leadership is not sympathetic to Western interests.
With the fall of Gaddafi, the leadership in Tehran and Damascus will move strongly into the Western eye line and the niggling thought amidst all the celebration is that the West has got its appetite back for invading weaker, mineral rich countries under the guise of humanitarian intervention and introducing Democracy although the reasonable question to be asked is can there ever be Democracy in the Middle East and North Africa unless the West pick those countries leaders?

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