Libya: Deeper and Deeper

As the Daily Mail editorial cogently put it at the start of the UK’s activities, this Government was elected in order to set the UK economy to rights, not to engage in costly Blairite military adventures abroad. No one with whom I have discussed this matter, young or old, disputes this.  All three parties in Parliament approved UK intervention by a massive majority, but I suggest that this simply demonstrates the degree to which our ruling elite are out of touch with the views of the people who are forced to bear the brunt of the austerity measures required by our economic situation.

We are told of the probable fate of the rebels in Benghazi and elsewhere in Cyrenaica if Gaddaffi is allowed to carry out his manic threats, and are assured that the UN, backed by the Arab League, wants intervention.  But why is it our particular responsibility to carry out the UN’s wishes?  The Egyptian army receives over $1 billion per annum in US military aid and the Saudi airforce has been equipped and trained for years with the most advanced aircraft we can supply.  Turkey, as the major military power in the area, could also have played a key role.

Instead Messrs Hague and Cameron have thrust themselves forward.  Have we not shed enough Arab and Muslim blood in Iraq and elsewhere in the last two decades?  Why not let the Arab League and the Organisation for African Unity take the lead in resolving this conflict?  If it results in an independent Cyrenaica, whilst Gaddaffi remains in power in Tripolitania (where he appears to retain considerable support) why should that be an insuperable objection for us?

We are already overstretching our resources.  If, as Cameron apparently envisages in his discussions with Obama, we are now on collision course with every undemocratic country in the Middle East (including our main oil suppliers), one can only despair of our country’s economic future.

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