Sunday, March 20, 2011

Iraq to Libya, from tragedy to farce?

MARCH 19, 2011
OBAMA: 'Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world'...

MARCH 19, 2003
BUSH: 'American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger'...(ht-Drudge)
David Seaton's News Links
Is anyone else as bored with this movie as I am?

The leader who has been making all the running in this fine little war is Nicholas Sarkozy and if there is one leader in the "international community" that I am more skeptical of than I was of George W. Bush it is Nicholas Sarkozy... Oh yes, and he is accompanied by British prime minister David Cameron, who is such a political dwarf that Tony Blair takes on Churchillian proportions when compared to him.

Compared to Iraq, this is like a remake of "Gone with the Wind" with Justin Bieber in the role of Rhett Butler.

Here is how Martin Rowson draws it in The Guardian:

All this is happening while demonstrators are being shot down in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen, but why go on? We have seen this movie so many times by now that pointing out all this stone faced hypocrisy over and over again is a waste of breath.

And what few commentators seem to realize is that the possibility of this turning into yet another fiasco are enormous. I don't think many people understand Qaddafi's most elementary mechanisms

He is enjoying all this. He is having fun. 

He has been waiting and preparing for this moment his entire life.

He is as nutty as a fruitcake, but he is a tough old bird and without boots on the ground, which nobody seems to want to put, certainly not the French, he will not simply cave in and disappear.

And they better be quick because if you enjoyed Wikileaks, they'll be nothing compared to Qaddafileaks. This character knows where all the bodies are buried (literally).

And if he holds out defiantly against a combination of the classic imperialists: the US, French and British, for even a few weeks, he'll have the whole third world on his side.

We may end up making him the most popular leader in Africa.

Like I said at the top, I don't know if anybody else is bored by this movie, but I sure am. DS


Harry Haller said...

...and Libya is run through tribal agreements, much like Iraq and Afghanistan in their day. And we have promised to provide a centralized, democratic government:

The whole approach is so repetitive one wonders what did the West learn from 2001 or 2003.

oldfatherwilliam said...

Boredom's not my response. How about boredom + nausea? Imperial overreach + bankruptcy are another beguiling combination. And I think you're right abt Gaddafi.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a difference, though.

Iraq had been an integral part of the Ottoman empire, and had a long history of being a reasonably prosperous country, and millenia of having agriculture along the banks of its rivers and elsewhere. In the mid 70s its standard of living surpassed that of Greece. Except for his penchant of starting wars, Saddam Hussein was reasonably sane, and as long as you left him in peace, he left you in peace. Nor were the Americans and British particularly welcome after the stringent embargo they'd placed on Iraq.

Libya, on the other hand, was little more than a sandbox with barely any population until oil and the hydrological projects, and Gaddafi's crackpot political theories which included large scale confiscations of wealth affected every citizen. Unlike in Iraq, people were arrested, and often murdered simply for speaking badly about Muammar.

Unlike in Iraq, where the institutions had a reasonable amount of legitimacy (the Baath party predated Saddam Hussein's rule by decades) I think many Libyans don't feel much connection to their government, and would much rather live in a Kuwait / Qatar / UAE type country than in Libya as it now is.

Looking at Qatar and the UAE, one could argue that Libya's curse is that it fell under Italy and not Britain's influence in the years it was a colony.

This is an intervention that I think is the West's to mess up.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Good comment Anonymous.