Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Choosing sides

In another restatement of conservative isolationism, Simon Jenkins writes,
It is a mystery why Cameron chose Libya for his exercise in neocon "destiny shaping". There are a dozen other candidates that might have succumbed sooner to his aggression.
There is no mystery at all. There is one reason and one reason alone. It is simply because the people who made the popular revolution against Gaddafi asked for it. Once it became clear that the response to anti-regime protests in Libya was to be a massacre of the demonstrators, they asked for western intervention, without troops on the ground or an occupation, to support and protect them. After they had taken up arms as the dictatorship declared war on its people, faced with certain defeat by superior fire-power and only too aware of Gaddafi's promise not to be merciful, they begged for it.

There were only two possible responses that could have been given. Yes, we will offer support on precisely the terms you have requested, with all the uncertainties and difficulties that may follow. Or no, you are on your own, with all the terrible certainties about the consequences for the people.

Cameron, Sarkozy, Obama and the United Nations did not choose Libya, the Libyan people chose them. There are people I know, like and respect (this does not include Simon Jenkins by the way) who think we should have said no. But I, for one, was overwhelmingly relieved that we said yes.

Read Faud Ajami here
The warrant came from the Libyan people who pleaded for help and made a case for that help by their own bravery. These were not people sitting on the sidelines, or idling their time away in exile. They were men and women in a long captivity anxious to reclaim their tormented country.


Will said...

regarding that thick Guardian-writing-in Tory prick's shit that you have pasted... see here -

It specifically deals with the R2P doctrine and the silly argument made by dipshits that the international 'community' can’t legitimately go after Qaddafi if it won’t/can’t also go after every other dictator.

DorsetDipper said...

If we can't go after a dictator who funded and armed an organisation trying (and succeeding) to kill our elected politicians, who's representatives in our country shot and killed on of our policewomen, who organised the blowing up of an airliner over our country with our own countrymen on it, and who is on the verge of killing half a million of his own countrymen, then we stand for nothing.

Anton Deque said...

Well said Peter. I find it impossible to reason with those who say the western powers ought to have 'let' the Libyan people sort out theeir own affairs. Jenkins is litmus test: If he opposes it what is there to dislike?

This is the second time in twenty years I think that the right and far left have come together to disparage intervention to save life; Kosovo, and Bosnia, now Libya.

As for the selectivity, I would reply "One down several more to follow". But how wondeful to see these dictator's being given the bum's rush. Yet, will we soon forget the young student or the middle aged shopkeeper who gave their lives to get their hands on something we take for granted?