Oil And War

So, there I am, enjoying riding a bike around English country lanes on a decent Spring day, while military personnel are going to war in Libya, in deed if not in name, and in theory in my name. Of course this isn’t on the same scale and there are no parallels that I can think of, but all the same I’m reminded about those lovely English summer days at the start of World War Two. That must have felt even more incongruous, surely.

My grandfather fought in North Africa in the Second World War. That was a clear-cut war. Today, the British (and coalition) action against Libya doesn’t ‘feel’ right to me, doesn’t ring true. After all, the Libyan regime’s been in place for over 40 years. It might not be a model of democracy but it’s not known for its atrocities. And let’s face it, the West has been pretty happy to cosy up to it in recent years. No, it would seem to be more the case that –

  • ‘we’ had convinced ourselves that we were happy enough with Qadhafi but he’s not perceived to be the most reliable of individuals;
  • on the back of the Egyptian experience, some kind of popular revolt started;
  • ‘we’ looked at what happened in Egypt and backed the Libyan rebels;
  • the Libyan rebels started losing;
  • if they lose completely, that would leave ‘us’ with a lot of impossible-to-clean-off egg on ‘our’ faces;
  • ‘we’ end up concluding we’ve no choice but to try and help the rebels.

Qadhafi’s repression of the revolt is a pretty flimsy excuse. And no other regimes have harshly suppressed their own people? Come on – don’t insult our collective intelligence. What would a government in London do if faced with an armed mass uprising in, say, Scotland, Wales or Cornwall? Just let it happen? Civil wars can happen very, very easily. Former Yugoslavia anyone?

And of course none of this would have happened / be happening if Libya didn’t have oil. ‘We’ wouldn’t have been keen to ‘rehabilitate’ Qadhafi and cosy up to him; ‘we’ wouldn’t have been so keen on regime change as soon as there was the first whiff of it being a possibility; ‘we’ wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

Military Communications

Military Communications