Saturday, 19 March 2011

Libya what can we do?

If you were walking down the street and saw a man beating his wife you might consider the following options.

  1. Consider it a domestic dispute and whilst regrettable, unfortunately there's nothing you can do about it and carry on.
  2. Call the police and hope they arrive in time but realise it will probably be to late and carry on..
  3. Recognize the man is a friend of yours so do nothing except shake your head in despair.
  4. Recognize the man is someone you dislike but has a number of bigger friends so do nothing. 
  5. Recognize the man is some one you dislike and has few friends intensely and
  6. Call out "stop you bastard and "hope he will
  7. Realise you are bigger and him and therefore intervene by hitting him .
  8. Realise he's bigger than you and therefore it would be wise not to intervene.
  9. Call on passer by to help intervene, even if some of them you know beat their wives but choose to ignore and even include them as friends.
It seems to me that similar options have been faced with Western Governments over what is effectively  the Civil war in Libya and its a dilemma which we all should face up to.

Few I think would disagree with the argument that Gaddafi is a ruthless despot whose sanity can be called into question, and that he will (if he is victorious) if not invoke genocide on the rebels, kill many of them including civilians. But should we try and stop him.

Reluctantly I say Yes.
Even if it means we are effectively choosing sides in a civil war
Even if we would not intervene if Libya was bigger and more powerful,
Even if we are being hypocritical and allow so call allies to oppress their citizens.
Even if we fail to intervene in other civil wars in Africa which are as bloody as Libya has the potential to be.

The simple answer is we just can't walk by but our response must be to prevent the attack in civilians and  this will not be easy. But we do this then the attitude of democracies to oppressive regimes must change we can no longer turn a blind eye as we do to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and other State like Uzbekistan.

We are entering a course of action that is despite the propaganda's of the Western Governments and media is still humanitarian but it may well make matters worse if the West particularly the USA and the old colonial powers of France and Britain think they can intervene because Gaddafi is some one they don't like and is a small enough  for you to be successful whilst ignoring other "Wife Beaters" in the rest of the world..

1 comment:

  1. Agree. Added to that is that the over throw of Gadaffi will be a very strong message for other Arab despots and my guess is quite a few of them will start making some democratic moves. The defeat of Gadaffi will also give confidence to those democrats in Syria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia etc.

    I'm 100% behind Sarkozy and Camaron on this - and I'm a Welsh nationalist. Were Wales and independent country then I would like to think that we would, like Denmark in this case, be offering our services.

    Gadaffi is a bully. It's good that we're standing by the people of Libya who are to weak and cowered to fight the bully by themselves.