Blood tastes nice

Posted on December 22, 2012

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If you like the salty taste that is. So, last year as the revolution unfolded in Libya and Benghazi and Misrata was under siege, I spoke in support of protecting the civilians with a  UN enforced No-fly zone and targeting of military units directly engaging in sieges of civilian areas. No mention of sides, and definitely not in favor of giving Nato permission become the Rebel’s air force and get itself involved in  yet another conflict that ended badly with brutal repercussions to people whose views happened to be different to the victors (as in those that happened to support Gaddafi). Just, force Gaddafi’s hand and stop a civil war. But that’s not what happened.

I am no fan of that nut case, and happy to see the back of him. But assisting Libyans kill Libyans does not equal stopping Libyans killing Libyans. Nor can destroying military equipment and installations far away from those areas under siege, not directly threating any such areas justifiable under the UN resolution. This is especially so when those installation themselves were located  in other civilian areas, and civilians were put under threat and killed in those strikes. That was more like trying to destroy any weapons there were so a new government will have to sign some lucrative arms contracts. Oh, and democracy means people are entitled to have their view, not just the one that the favored side agrees with. Hence I find this alliance’s inaction during the reprissals that occured after the post-Gadaffi dawn of democracy inexcusable.

For all his failings Gadaffi did modernize the country, develop the oil industry, create a welfare state where people had free education, healthcare and other previliages Americans and many Europeans don’t get. He also gave much to the developing world. Yes the economy stagnated and there was government corruption. Yes, all those years of sanctions meant that even after they were lifted development was slower than what people liked. And those Sanctions were Gadaffi’s fault. Yes, the dictatorship meant that people’s frustrations had no outlet and they had to put up with meaningless celebrations while their complaints fell on deaf years. But I can understand that some decent people may still support him, or atleast view him as a necassary evil. This is allowed in democray as freedom is not only for someone to like the same things you do. So to punish them for that (especially the collective punishment metted out to the people of Sirte), is completely unjustified. The UN and Nato had leverage with the transitional government and they could have used the UN resolution to stop this, and also the continued anarchy there. But they didn’t. What they should have done (and what was, I think intended till Nato took over) was to create a stalemate to initiate dialog. Unfortunately, as soon as they sense blood, Nato always forgets the big picture. 

I could also go on about Syria, or About Mali and why the UN needs to be more firm in both. I could go on about why they should be more proactive in Mali, but why Nato and Arab league, in my opinion should not get involved in Syria. Neither how they are involved now (by funnelling weapons despite a UN ban) nor how they were involved in Libya (because it went passed the UN limitations of neutrality and turned into support for a bloodbath). Here I would and should say that just as your friendly NRA spokesperson says that guns don’t kill people, people do; I would say that guns don’t solve problems, people do. But then again, what’s the point. So fire away, guys.

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