Cameron’s Libyan Folly
I have written before on the sheer, towering stupidity of the so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Libya. Who are we helping? Is it extending the suffering of the civil war? Are the Anglo-French forces (how redolent of Suez!) getting drawn deeper?
From a devastating article by Simon Jenkins in The Guardian:
The British government has a better idea of how to deal with Gaddafi. It wants to kill him. The pretence that the RAF is merely “protecting the civilian population” by its bombing of Libya is defied each night as it roams Tripoli with a list of Gaddafi family residences and hideaways to attack. Having presumably run out of defence installations, it has begun bombing police stations and government offices, including in residential areas. How that is “protecting civilians” is not so much unclear as rubbish.
How did all this come about? Simon Jenkins thinks it started with British Prime Minister David Cameron walking through Tahrir Square in Cairo catching the intoxicating whiff of street politics:
Could this, he wondered, be his 9/11 moment, his path to glory on the world stage? Surely it would be easy, as he said, for his government “to give Libyans a chance to shape their own destiny … by all necessary means”?
The only answer to that question is which minder was on duty that day who failed to bang Cameron’s head against the wall? The prime minister had never been there before. He did not know that, at such moments, soldiers lie and diplomats (who were against Libya) tell the truth…
…The addition of “crime against humanity” charges to the bombing campaign clearly ends hope of negotiation and possible exile for the Gaddafis. Britain has done what it said it was going to do – it stopped Gaddafi visiting his wrath on Benghazi. It should then have left, returning only if he did.
If any good has come out of this wrong-headed, amateur-hour intervention, it has escaped me.