Saturday, March 19, 2011


It is like the first cuckoo in spring. Any action by the west, NATO or the UN is inevitably heralded by a batty column from Robert Fisk. Today's is a pearler.

As far as I can follow the tortuous logic and weird non-sequiturs, he asserts that the intervention is all about regime change (hmm... I thought that is what revolutions were usually about), oil and western hypocrisy. Then ... oh yes ... these are only "rebels" in scare quotes, it is really all about tribalism, Gaddafi has support in Tripoli, it could all fail as well, something worse could follow and, finally, he asks why don't we deal with other tyrants (when, if we did, we would see an identical column from him condemning it in the same terms) etc., etc., etc.

This is lazy blogging, fish in a barrel stuff, but he isn't alone and it seems to me that he is typical of the critics of the UN decision on Libya. They abdicate judgement in favour of cynicism.

Non-intervention in any conflict is not an act of neutrality, it ensures the victory of the strongest. Though there have been unsuccessful and only partially successful interventions in the past, there have also been some catastrophic non-interventions. Every situation involves risks and requires judgements to be made. There is the utilitarian calculation as to both the possible effectiveness and feasibility of intervention. However, the most important one is not merely a calculation of self-interest, though that always plays a part, but a moral, political and humanitarian one - the need to stand with those who demand liberty and democracy in the face of fascism and to oppose the mass murder of citizens by their own governments. The judgement made by the UN was undoubtedly, if belatedly, the right one. Let us hope it works.


James Bloodworth said...

"Non-intervention in any conflict is not an act of neutrality, it ensures the victory of the strongest."

YES. Excellent post. The knee-jerk "anti-imperialism" we are seeing from much of the left is hugely depressing but entirely unsurprising.

Terry Glavin said...

Good one, buddy. Didn't even need to Fisk him. Succinct. He gives no credit to the revolutionaries, either. The fecker.

Terry Glavin said...

Bob-B said...

Presumably Fisk thinks that the organizers of International Brigade were wrong to just fight Franco and that they should have taken on Hitler and Mussolini as well. Presumably he also thinks that the US and Britain were wrong to just take on Hitler and Mussolini and that they should have taken on Stalin too. History could have been a bit different if Fisk had been in charge.

stephen Berghoff said...

An excellent fisk of cretin Fisk