And so do I: God bless Libya and the Libyans! It ain’t quite over yet, and it’s easy to be cynical. In fact, I’m too tired to counter the usual stuff in any detail, so here’s a quickie…
The West’s intervention in Libya was all about oil
Countries like Libya have oil, oil they need to sell in order to feed their people. The rest of the world desperately needs oil. What do you want the Libyans to do, drink their oil instead of selling it?
NATO’s involvement in Libya was in order to take over the country (usually linked to some wacko theory about a worldwide conspiracy to do something or other)
NATO got involved to stop large numbers of people in Benghazi from being slaughtered, something that Gaddafi stated publicly that he’d do. Without NATO the rebellion would have been brutally crushed. However, I don’t believe this would have ended the revolution. It might have taken many years (as most revolutions do; not months), with much bloodshed, yet the wave of change sweeping the region would get Gaddafi eventually.
It will turn into another Iraq
Iraq was a total balls-up because the Americans were running the show. The Americans didn’t have any kind of plan for what would happen after they toppled Saddam. Hence, chaos ensued. The Americans killed 1 million people to enforce democracy on Iraq; but it’s not real democracy: the present regime in Baghdad is one of the most vile/corrupt/brutal in the Middle East (see a previous post about it here) – I’d lay even money that sooner or later there’ll be an ‘Arab spring’ in Iraq. The Americans will hang their heads in shame. Good.
If the West intervened in Libya why don’t they do the same in Syria? (implication being that Syria doesn’t have oil)
Libya is right on the doorstep of western Europe (less than 400 miles across the Med from Italy). It was in the interests of the British and the French to help the revolution (it’s better to have a stable democracy on your doorstep than a despotic regime). The massacres going on in Syria are much worse than anything in Libya (the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, likened the protesters to germs). However, Syria is quite a bit further away, and is a close ally of nearby Iran. Any direct involvement in Syria could turn into a major war (much of the post-Saddam mayhem in Iraq was caused by the Iranians).
Anyway, I get bored with all the negativity surrounding the ‘Arab spring’. I’m just pleased that the Libyans now appear to have taken a first step on the road to a civil society.
But where the hell’s Gaddafi..? He called the Libyan protesters ‘rats’. Ironically, Gaddafi is probably hiding in a hole somewhere. You couldn’t make it up.