Friday, March 18, 2011
A whole number of issues coalesce on this, both of principle and practical ones.
1- this is an entirely illegal act by the UN. The UN Charter states it has no authority whatsoever for aggression against sovereign states "The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members"; "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state"; "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter",,,,, The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.. Thus the Security Council simply does not possess the legal authority to to intervene in a civil war and any attempt to do so is a war crime. The only threat to international peace and security here is from the attacking states.
2 - If international law can be overturned at will against Libya it can, some day, be overturned against anybody. We are thus all made less secure.
3 - This erosion of national sovereignty can only lead towards a one world state. I am with Professor John McCarthy here that "You say the only alternative to nuclear war is world government. There is only one possibility worse than nuclear war for the survival of modern civilization, and that is world government. Civilization might recover from the damage of a nuclear war, but judging by past static empires in Egypt and China, it might never recover from world government, there being no chance of external intervention. As it is, present governments are only prevented from becoming dominated by crazy ideas that will suppress all opposition by the existence of other governments. The only way a people can be sure that their government is substandard is that it does worse than those of other countries".
If a one world government can ignore its own constitution to capriciously enforce whatever it wants it can use military methods to enforce CO2 restriction; peak oil alarmism; cartelisation of world commodity trading for the purpose of raising prices; or any other cartel; enforcement of nuclear "no lower threshold" fear stories; the destruction of new technologies like GM; the imprisonment of anybody who asserts the existence of racial differences; the imprisonment of anybody who disputes catastrophic warming (or cooling); the imprisonment of anybody who asserts the right to disagree with the policies of the one world government; the imprisonment of anybody who shows "disrespect" to Christianity, or Islam, or Chinese "communism".
"What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well-intentioned men, granting to government power to do something that appears to need doing. Please remember always that the Lunar Authority was created for the noblest of purposes by just such sober and well-intentioned men, all popularly elected." Robert Heinlein
This is a major step on that road and we should all fear it not for Gaddafi's sake but for our own.
4 - This is, as I said, capricious. Gaddafi may have been a thorn in the side of western states but he is not, by any rational definition, among the worst of national leaders. In the Arab world Syria's Hama Massacre was orders of magnitude worse than anything he has done (I also think Syria not Libya was responsible for the Pan Am bombing - the direction all the investigation was pointing to until Syria became our ally in the Gulf War). Saudi is also a far worse despotism and by sending troops into Bahrain to kill people on behalf of that country's government, has done something which the UN really is allowed to oppose.
Indeed Gaddafi cannot credibly be accused of being 100th as vicious as "President" Thaci of Kosovo, who has been involved, under NATO command authority, in real genocide and the dissection of living people to sell their body organs. Thaci was, of course, put in power as our policeman by NATO's last bombing offensive.
Once again we see that whenever those in power start talking about humanitarianism it is because they want to prepare us to start bombing somebody. While the obscene NATO occupation of Kosovo and consequent organlegging continues nobody can honestly suggest that any part of this is motivated by humanitarianism.
5 - It won't save lives. Gaddafi has just announced, probably wisely, that he is imposing a one sided cease fire. However that doesn't solve the problem. Even if both sides keep it that simply divides the country into 2 until something, probably another war, resumes. If not all the rebels keep it and since they are not a united organisation it seems impossible that they will, another and much nastier war resumes. There are things much worse than a civil war in which one side quickly triumphs and the worst of them is a civil war which drags on for generations.
6 - It will destabilise the region One of the things that have been erased from the media is the recent history of Algeria. In June 1990 Algeria had a democratic election "Among the scores of parties that sprang up under the new constitution, the militant Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was the most successful, winning more than 50% of all votes cast in municipal elections in June 1990 as well as in first stage of national legislative elections held in December 1991.
The surprising first round of success for the fundamentalist FIS party in the December 1991 balloting caused the army to intervene, crack down on the FIS, and postpone subsequent elections. The fundamentalist response has resulted in a continuous low-grade civil conflict with the secular state apparatus".
The western powers largely supported this military coup because the Islamic winning party was voted in on a platform of introducing a one party, Islamic state, which was seen as not entirely democratic and not likely to support western interests.
We don't know exactly what the Libyan rebels stand for, indeed there barely seems to be anything they are united on except replacing Gaddafi. On the other hand what signs there are suggest they are not any more likely than him to be intrinsically either pro-western or democratic.
By enforcing an Islamic or largely Islamic revolution in Libya we have made it almost impossible for the military in Algeria or Turkey or Egypt or Tunisia to resist the same pressure.
7 - If there really is a thought out and intelligent desire to establish democracy in these countries, whatever the cost to our interests then well and good. However I suspect this has not been thought through and we are being led more by anti-Gaddafiism than anything else. Though "liberal democracy" is the generally agreed aim there is a contradiction between liberalism and democracy. Liberalism is the support of the maximum of individual freedom. Democracy is the rule, if desired absolute rule, of the majority's wishes. It is normally assumed that the majority want freedom and that where they appear not to it is because of government propaganda and as soon as enlightened western psy-ops operatives take over their media they will all decide they want what we want them to. Adolf Hitler and Hamas, winning on a platform that everybody got to blame the Jews for all their problems proved that is not so.
Recent events, largely unreported in British media, such as the gang "sexual assault" by the "democratic" mob in Cairo of US reporter Lora Logan, while chanting "Jew, Jew" or the subsequent burning down of Coptic Christian churches, with the priests inside suggest that while we may be on the side of democracy we are not thus on the side of liberty.
Forced to choose I will go for liberty every time. Liberty is a principle, democracy is merely, usually, a means to that end. This is something the American Founding Fathers understood when they set up the country as "a Republic not a Democracy" and it is a sign of moral decline that public discourse dare not even mention that there is such a contradiction.
8 - Showing the world we cannot be trusted - A few years ago Gaddafi was ceremonially removed from the list of rogue states because he reached an agreement with our leaders. Since then they have eagerly solicited
8 - China and Russia's decision not to veto this suggests they realise that as rising powers and shortly, in \China's case, to be the dominant part of the "international community" they are likely to be not the victims of action authorised by the UN but the ones doing it. The day may not be far off when they can get the US suspended from the UN, followed by sanctions to liberate the Mexican majority in southern California, as NATO failed to get it over Kosovo. These actions certainly bring that day nearer.
9 - We will spend money and probably blood in regime change here. More locals will die in a protracted war than a short one (the BBC are editing Gaddafi as promising no mercy when in fact if they read out his full statement it would be clear he was offering amnesty to anybody who wants it). There is no likelihood that the new regime, even if Gaddafi and all his family are murdered as we seem to want, will be more democratic or pro-western and almost a certainty it will ultimately be less liberal.
Daniel Hannan eurosceptic Tory MEP has his 6 shorter reasons for opposing this war. There is some but not total overlap.