Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Fly With Me

How David Cameron must have secretly rejoiced when civil war erupted in Libya, undoubtedly hoping that it would dominate the news headlines and divert attention away from his government's dismal domestic performance. Unfortunately for him, his William Hague was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they could be just as incompetent abroad as they are at home. How David Cameron must have rejoiced then, when the earthquake a tsunami hit Japan, doubtless hoping that it would dominate the headlines and divert attention away from his government's dismal international performance. But Libya just won't go away. This is, at least partly, Cameron's own fault - if he hadn't been such an enthusiastic proponent of a 'no fly zone' in the early stages of the crisis, then the issue wouldn't keep dogging him. The biggest problem is, of course, entirely practical. Thanks to Cameron's defence cuts, we don't really have the capacity to participate in a 'no fly zone', making all his rhetoric about it seem hollow. Without any aircraft carriers, any UK contribution would be forced to operate from bases in Malta, or even Italy. Even if these countries agreed to allow such operations, it would still represent quite a stretch.

But then there's a question of whether we should even be considering a 'no fly zone'. Bearing in mind that 'no fly zone' is, in practical terms, a euphemism for 'military intervention', which itself is a euphemism for 'war', I'm amazed at some of the people who have been supporting the idea. The self same people, in fact, who opposed the war in Iraq. Apparently whilst military intervention there was wrong, it's OK in Libya. Mind you, bearing in mind that a lot of these people abandoned Labour - ostensibly over the issue of Iraq - and endorsed the Lib Dems during the last election. Perhaps what they really mean to say is that military intervention is wrong when done by a Labour government, but good when it's done by the Tories (with their bleeding heart Lib Dem friends). Personally, I thought that military intervention in Iraq was wrong, and I think it would be wrong in Libya. At least I'm consistent. Which isn't something you could accuse these neo Lib Dem turncoats of being. One of the reasons I'm quite suspicious of a lot of these anti-cuts movements is that they seem to be packed full of people who voted Lib Dem, and are now looking for a way to assuage their consciences by pretending that they're now left-wing. Gits.



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