Friday, March 18, 2011

No Rush Over Libya

As Qaddafi's noose draws tighter around the civil uprising, the West's response has been pathetic. It's done little more than evacuate its own people, and then just talk...
"Don't worry, buddy,
we'll cover your back!"
For years, it's wanted to topple the Libyan leader. At the start of this month, USA's Obama announced Qaddafi "must go"! Now, more than a month after the uprising began, the tide of war is very much in Qaddafi's favour and still every proposal (from aid to rebels, to recognition of a provisional government) has been stymied. And it seems to be USA that's put the brakes on.
At least the Brits sent government men into Libya with some SAS to make contact with the rebels... even if they did get arrested by shepherds! Still, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says Britain is prepared to impose a no-fly zone without UN authority...while the UK, France and Lebanon press for a fresh UN security council resolution. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton still maintains there're "other ways" to help the opposition...without saying what.
Could it be a case of "the devil you know..."? Yes, Qaddafi is a bad guy, a bit of a nutter in fact. But he quit the terrorism business a decade ago and paid compensation to the families of victims of the Lockerbie bombing. He surrendered his nuclear programme in 2003. He co-operates with the EU in stopping illegal migration into Italy. He's a good customer for Western companies and a reliable oil supplier. Ahhhh yes, with USA involvement there's always oil in the equation somewhere, isn't there!
citizens fight to the end...
So what we're seeing is a brutal suppression of the uprising, no doubt to be followed by summary executions of the leaders. Then the West can deplore the loss of life, offer humanitarian assistance and impose some sanctions on Qaddafi – at least until the fuss dies down.
After all, we can't have an Islamist takeover of Libya, can we: that just wouldn't fit with the ideal global picture as painted by the Pentagon.
So the end is nigh for the citizens' uprising. And the West is still talking. Too little, too late...

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