I’m watching the news this morning as I get ready for the day and I realise that it’s incredibly unlikely that many people my age have a clear idea of what’s going on in North Africa. I’m sure you’re all (or at least most of you are) thinking YAWN, this was not what we expected from Fred! However, I think it is a really important matter – the heads of our countries are discussing the actions of millions, and, as I discovered today, when asked whether they know what is going on in Libya, many people will either say no or reply “Who?” So this here is my attempt to bring a little light and maybe a new perspective to the situation in Libya.
For those of you who aren’t aware of what’s going on, to put it in as simple terms as possible, a group of citizens dubbed ‘The Rebels’ have led an uprising against the current Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gadafi. Many thought that the battles would be over in a few weeks with a Rebel victory, following the popular movements in Tunisia and Egypt that overturned their rulers. However, the Libyan rebels were not counting on the fact that Col. Gadafi was prepared to fight them.
In meetings in Brussels today are the heads of Europe, to decide whether to intervene in Libyan affairs. There have been talks of a ‘no-fly zone’ to protect the civilians from air attacks, and saying that it’s time for Col. Gadafi to step down. However, does this feel like déjà vu to anyone else? Although it was for a quite different reason, eight years ago we entered Iraq on the basis that there were rumours that they were stockpiling nuclear weapons. Nearly a decade on, and we are still there, some would say unnecessarily – over 100,000 civilian life lost, without counting the amount of British and American soldiers. When David Cameron of the Conservatives came to power, he said that he would not repeat the mistakes of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and yet only a year after the election, he is faced with the same decision – and he’s choosing wrong! To invade Libya or to even impose a no-fly zone over the country would be to further aggravate Col. Gaddafi; his son has already openly said that if western powers intervene, they will fight and there will be severe repercussions. I know that the situation in Libya is severe and we can’t be expected to act like it’s not happening; however, I don’t think it’s rational to invade and risk – no not even risk: ascertain that many will die for something that we cannot control. In addition to this, what if Col. Gadafi was to return to full power? Are we supposed to say, “Only joking, we thought you were a great leader all along”? I think that to invade now is a rash and badly made decision, especially when the eyes of the world are avidly watching, waiting for the call to arms – the next thing we know we’ll be caught up in WW3 and everyone knows that that truly will be the war to end all wars: a nuclear war.
I hope that the respected and elected leaders of our world will think hard about the impact on their people, rather than their aspirations to be World Peace Keeper before they make a decision.