At the risk of appearing … er … irresponsible, and being shot down by those with greater knowledge I’m minded to vent my spleen. Right now I’m feeling guilty. If I were Libyan I’d feel betrayed. Downwind of continuing debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq, and dazzled by the speed of events, the international community is transfixed by the headlights of an oncoming disaster.
Determined not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor Barack Obama hides behind righteous UN prevarication, too afraid his legacy may be tarnished by hypocrisy to be decisive. Along with the usual suspects, despots and dimwits to a man, China and Russia, co-authors of ‘Corrupt and Antidemocratic Regimes for Dummies’, are playing their usual mannered game of passive self-interest. And taking advantage of this moral vacuum Saudi Arabia, an oil-rich mediaevalist monarchy, has invaded its neighbour to facilitate the crushing of a popular movement for peaceful political modernisation and liberalisation – not in our backyard…
In the UK, political capital is made by opportunist opposition politicians rubbishing failed attempts by William Hague to do more than just talk to a revolutionary Libyan leadership – I’d call that a cheap shot. The Arabs were betrayed by the French and the British once before, and the Middle East has been paying the price ever since. On this occasion France and Britain, though impotent, appear at least unafraid to promote justice.
The 2011 Arab Spring may have sprung too soon, nipped in the bud by a late frost of violent repression. While the world’s good men do nothing Libya’s stage is being set for an inevitable future conflict – echoes of Iraq and the betrayed uprising following Gulf War 1 are unavoidable.