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Sadurian Mike
795558.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:38 am Reply with quote

Libya's one of those countries where disparate tribal people are held together by a strong leadership. If the leadership goes, we risk a chaotic scramble for power. The West, and the US in particular, have long tried to install liberal democracies on countries around the globe, usually with little thought as to whether that would best suit the people living there. I fully understand and sympathise with the Libyan rebels' call for the West to stay the hell away.

It may happen that Libya has had enough time united as a country for it to work out as a united Libya in the future, or we may see fragmentation. Hopefully we'll not be seeing continued civil war or another military junta.

Whatever happens, I just hope it gets resolved soon.

 
Celebaelin
795607.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:27 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Whatever happens, I just hope it gets resolved soon.

Glad to see you're adopting a clear position on this Mike - I'll put you down as a definite fingers in ears 'La la la I can't hear you' vote.

; )

Quote:
The Arab League has backed the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, as rebels continue to be pushed back by Colonel Gaddafi's forces.

A special meeting in Cairo voted to ask the UN Security Council to impose the policy until the current crisis ended.

The UK and France have pushed for the idea, but have failed so far to win firm backing from the EU or Nato.

Libyan rebel forces have meanwhile suffered fresh setbacks including the loss of the key oil port of Ras Lanuf.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12723554

 
Sadurian Mike
795613.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:49 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Sadurian Mike wrote:
Whatever happens, I just hope it gets resolved soon.

Glad to see you're adopting a clear position on this Mike - I'll put you down as a definite fingers in ears 'La la la I can't hear you' vote.

On the contrary, it is the talk of the seminars and we (both Jan and I, and the chaps at school) are following it with interest.

I am hoping it is resolved soon because the longer it drags on, the more people will be killed and the more damage is being done to the country's infrastructure. Having more deaths and more infrastructure damage means that the eventual peace will take longer to put in place.

If wishing for a fast end to the conflict makes me look to you as if I am adopting a "definite fingers in ears 'La la la I can't hear you'" position, then I would urge you to rethink

 
Celebaelin
795642.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:57 am Reply with quote

You don't resolve conflicts by avoiding them. Well meaning though it may be your generalised humanitarianism counts for exactly nothing in practical terms and the likelihood is that contrary to the wishes of apparently everyone except the Gadaffi faction* the rebels conventional assault will be crushed by dint of not having access to air support (amongst other things IMO). This leaves two choices for them - continue to fight in a guerrilla war becoming essentially terrorists as far as the ruling faction is concerned or flee the country in order to avoid persecution, torture and execution at the hands of the Gadaffi regime. Doubtless some will elect to stay and so the chances of a quick and tidy resolution are, frankly, zero without external involvement.

To what extent the ruling faction would continue to fight after a rebel victory is debatable but in the absence of the status quo I wonder about their dedication.

I too hope for world peace Mike but peace and war alike both have their costs in financial and human terms. Specifically in this case I fear I'm tending towards the attitude of the Mitford sisters - at a house party one weekend a guest was asked if he was a communist or a fascist, on replying that he didn't think he was either the response came "Don't be so wet." In this regard by abdicating responsibility you are favouring the status quo just as surely as if you had elected to, oh I don't know, supply the regime with military hardware say.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/21/uk-firm-defends-libya-military-sales
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365523/Obama-administration-approved-40billion-private-arms-sales-countries-including-Libya-Egypt.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5812829 (Italy)
http://www.xe.com/news/2011-03-10%2004:02:00.0/1756561.htm (Russia)

* and the Russians it seems


Last edited by Celebaelin on Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
samivel
795749.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:34 pm Reply with quote

How did bobwilson get access to Celebaelin's account?

 
Spud McLaren
795757.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:50 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
...Specifically in this case I fear I'm tending towards the attitude of the Mitford sisters...
Steady, Celeb - you know all but one were barking, and the other was eccentric.

 
Posital
795761.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:54 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
How did bobwilson get access to Celebaelin's account?
lol - literally...

EDIT - removed my edit!? And reposted below.


Last edited by Posital on Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:57 pm; edited 3 times in total

 
Celebaelin
795764.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:02 pm Reply with quote

Harumph! I've been thrown out of better places than this you know.

 
Posital
795773.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:56 pm Reply with quote

I think I posted a very similar thing to Mike - and felt uncomfortable and helpless.

It's a bit of a dilemma - oppression or unknown instability. At the moment they're getting a dose of both.

But at the end of the day, I don't have any influence in the matter - no matter what the media would like me to think. It requires finesse of those in the know, not the cudgel of democracy.

I can only look on in horror - and if I had any sense, I'd be going la-lee-laa-lee-laa instead.

 
Sadurian Mike
795781.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:40 pm Reply with quote

Cel,

Your proposed idea of Western powers sorting things out for the poor little Libyan rebels is bad planning for three major reasons;

1. They don't want external help. They have said so and it is a bit patronising to think we know better than they do about what they want.

2. If (say) France intervenes and helps set a new leader in place, how long do you think it will be before this new figurehead is called a puppet of the West? How strong a survival will he then have? Remember Iran?

3. We haven't exactly covered ourselves in glory in previous such interventions. The US would be crazy to intervene in another Arab conflict, and they are the biggest military component to any NATO force. We are almost as bad, but don't have spare forces anyway. Italy is another bad idea, and France or Germany would be almost as intolerable in that region.


No, we should send in humanitarian aid (in the form of the Red Crescent and UN agencies) to lessen the suffering, but we should not intervene militarily unless we are specifically called on by the UN or NATO, and then only after the Libyan rebels have asked for such help.

 
bobwilson
795851.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:31 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
How did bobwilson get access to Celebaelin's account?


Nothing to do with me samivel ;) I know next to nothing about Libya beyond what's reported in the newspapers. My only first hand knowledge comes from meeting half a dozen Libyans over the past 30 years which is hardly a sensible starting point to form any opinions.

 
bobwilson
795852.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:47 pm Reply with quote

I'm sure the "powers that be" are taking note of Mike's opinion that the intervention of Western Powers would be bad planning - I wonder, can we have a bit of clarity (I, for one, would welcome the expert knowledge that Mike can bring to the table, assuming it doesn't breach any confidentiality agreements he's signed with the MOD).

1. They don't want external help.

Who don't want external help? Is there a single homogenous mass opposition that is identifiable? That'd be in stark contrast to every other putative revolution where factionalism has always been a factor, but it'd certainly make things simpler.

2. If (say) France intervenes and helps set a new leader in place, how long do you think it will be before this new figurehead is called a puppet of the West? How strong a survival will he then have? Remember Iran?

I presume this is a reference to the imposition of the Shah in Iran. Isn't that a slightly(!) different situation? I suppose it could be a reference to Khomeini but that seems unlikely since I don't recall him being called a "puppet of the West".

 
Celebaelin
795853.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:52 pm Reply with quote

I'm not suggesting any kind of action prior to a UN resolution Mike, much less a unilateral UK effort, what I was saying was that abdication of military responsibility in this area automatically condemns the rebel cause to failure and in that sense inaction can be seen as equivalent to supporting Gadaffi. The Arab League recognise this (or appear to) and the rebels have not in fact said they don't want help, they've said they don't want US or NATO help although their ejection of the British 'diplomatic' group sent into Libya seems to suggest that the help they really want is from other Arab states. If the UN were to adopt a resolution in this regard then perhaps those states could act without Western help, I'm unsure how probable that is however and would suggest that assistance (material or otherwise) in maintaining a no-fly zone offered by EU countries might not be entirely unwelcome.

Any rebel figure who might step in to replace Gadaffi will inevitably be a compromise candidate and should be seen as such; the point being that eventually the Libyans will have their own popularist leader, assuming that what results from the debacle becomes some kind of democracy. My idea of our being involved was constructed as a method of justifying, in these straightened times, the financial costs of any deployment. I was in fact proposing that the lack of interest in involvement on the part of other nations was a result of the economic situation and I was musing on the possibility of finding a solution which would allow, say, the EU, to act.

You and I differ in that I think Libya is a problem which the EU, as the dominant local economic (and arguably military if you accept that the EU is seeking to rationalise its joint military) power, should necessarily concern itself with. Surely only those nations which have never had any say on the world stage would suggest that this nearby oil producer is 'none of our business' since 'business' is ultimately exactly what this is about. Empires are largely about trade and markets, certainly the British Empire was very much in that form, as was the Roman Empire. Other approaches are possible but the resulting patchwork of vassal states tends to be short-lived as the cohesive bonds of economic interdependence are trampled under the booted foot of military authority. I'm not suggesting we occupy Libya (and was not in fact in favour of remaining in Iraq as long as we did although I'm told it was necessary to ensure the 'peaceful' transition of power) but I genuinely do think that a failure to act in some way to aid the rebels would be a mistake, not only because of the likely turn of events that would befall the democratic movement in Libya but also because in co-operating with the Arab League diplomatic ties between them and Western nations could only be strengthened. Or at least the opportunity to strengthen them would exist; we could explore the exact nature of any differences in outlook or opinion that may be present in any event.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:58 pm; edited 3 times in total

 
bobwilson
795854.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:07 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
what I was saying was that abdication of military responsibility in this area ......... can be seen as equivalent to supporting Gadaffi.


That seems to be correct.

But the underlying problem (purely from reading background news reports - as I said, my knowledge of Libya is extremely limited) is the assumption that there is such a place as Libya.

Many accounts emphasise that Libya is a conglomeration of tribes held together by the iron grip of the Gaddafi regime - I seem to recall there used to be a country called Czechoslovakia in Europe?

Quote:
Any rebel figure who might step in to replace Gadaffi will inevitably be a compromise candidate and should be seen as such


So there isn't a clear candidate?

Quote:
the point being that eventually the Libyans will have the leader they ultimately deserve assuming that what results from the debacle becomes some kind of democracy.


Why the assumption? Despite Churchill's aphorism, there's no reason to draw the conclusion that democracy (in whatever form) is always the best method of Government. It's simply the Catholicism of our time.

 
Celebaelin
795856.  Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:22 pm Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
...my knowledge of Libya is extremely limited) is the assumption that there is such a place as Libya.

You are far from alone in that bob.

bobwilson wrote:
Quote:
Any rebel figure who might step in to replace Gadaffi will inevitably be a compromise candidate and should be seen as such

So there isn't a clear candidate?

I assume there is some debate on the matter in the rebel camp; the point is currently moot however.

bobwilson wrote:
Quote:
the point being that eventually the Libyans will have the leader they ultimately deserve assuming that what results from the debacle becomes some kind of democracy.

Why the assumption? Despite Churchill's aphorism, there's no reason to draw the conclusion that democracy (in whatever form) is always the best method of Government. It's simply the Catholicism of our time.

See the above edit which amongst other tweaks altered this sentence. Also please note that I have made no comment about the desirability or otherwise of democracy on this or any other thread - the notion does seem to appeal to the rebels for some reason however.

 

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