|The worlds morality police
||[Mar. 21st, 2011|11:49 pm]
Ok just a warning, if you have never considered the fundamental reasons for any of your actions this may offend you, oh and if you are left wing, I hope I offened you, you weak minded, weak willed, bleeding heart, i like to fly in the face of reality pussy.|
Anyyywaaayyy now that that's out of the way I would like to ask a very simple question. I'm going to put it on its own line so we can all absorb its magnitude and import...
'Why the fuck are we dropping bombs in the middle of the desert in North Africa?'
Anyone? Can someone please explain this to me. So western powers have just spent the better part of a decade dropping bombs in deserts all over the world and obviously we cant get enough heat stroke and decided we needed to bomb some other waterless hole in the middle of nowhere. Really? What exactly did Gadaffi do that got so much sand in the west's vagina?
Ok so rather than my random vitriol shall we examine this logically. I'm going to address the main points that I have picked up from the media.
1) He attacked his own people
To this I have several answers...the ''protesters' were not going for a lesiurely stroll followed by some nice speeches in the park. They were burning down the police stations, the traffic police headquaters, houses owned by government officials they did not like. Now of course firing on protestors is not something I support, but raging mobs intent on storming government buildings and burning them down...well I think a police chief in a middle eastern country would have to consider what would be the appropriate course of action in those circumstances. Lets also not forget that people under intense pressure during violent riots occasionally react with panic, western governments have shot protestors that were alot more peaceful than the ones in Libya (the infamous shootings on Berkley campus come to mind) and no one decided to bomb them.
Secondly what would our government do in the same circumstances. Say the people of cardiff, or newcastle, or miami just decided they'd had enough, stormed the local government buildings, burned them to the ground and declared themselves free. Should the legitimate government of that country just shut up shop and go home? Whether we like Gaddafis government or not is not the point, he is representative of the recognised government of that country that all our countries have relations with, that we sign treaties with, that has a seat on the united nations. As a soveriegn nation he has the right to deal with his own insurgency in his own way. To say that a soveriegn nation does not have that right means that the USA could have bombed the UK if it didnt like the way the UK was dealing with the irish problems during the 70s or Russia, China and Iran could legitimately bomb Israel for dealing with the palestinians. The fact is this is an internal problem and we are taking sides.
Taking sides is the problem here. Clausewitz's maxim that war is the continuation of politics by other means comes to mind. The Libyians are involved in an internal political struggle between those who favour change vs those who want to maintain the status quo. You may argue 'but the status quo has tanks and planes' to which i will answer 'well that didnt mean shit in Tunisia and Egypt'. If the people are really behind the revolution than all the tanks and planes in the world wont make a difference. The fact is that the countries loyalties are divided and they are going to fight it out. This isnt the first time in history that people within one country have taken up arms to decide which course to take for the future, the English civil war, the Russian revolution, the Greek civil war, the French revolution and so on and so forth. When great change comes people die, but in dying they establish legends that give the future its mythologies, Garibaldi in Italy for example. Why is it our job to pick a side, who gave us the right to decide the Libyians future?
What gets me is that we seem to have decided that the best way to live is the way we live. If you live differently that is inherently wrong, regardless of circumstances. Now we have always believed that and that was fine, but it is only in the last 60 years that we decided to go around bombing everyone who disagreed with us and what is the track record on those intereventions (Korea, Vietnam, The Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan) Not fucking great really, so why oh why are we doing it again? Do we want to curry favour with the arab masses. The ones that hate us and think that we are servants of the great satan, but who call on us at the first sign of trouble?
2) He heads a brutal regime
This is so ridiculous that I almost cant be bothered addressing it. He's a butcher, a psycho, a nutjob, blah, blah, blah...him and just about half of all the other heads of government on the league of crappiest countries table. Im not joking, shall we go and bomb Zimbabwe? How about the Kosovans that burn Serbians out of there homes? Shall we bomb those evil people in Iran, Pakistan, DRC, Yemen, Bharain, etc blah blah...come on seriously if we could bomb every country with a bad regime, but what does it accomplish except blowing up alot of peoples houses...why did Gaddafi get put at the top of the list?
3) We have a moral duty
Last but by no means least, why do I care what happens in Libya...(actually my father was born in Tripoli, so maybe I should care) but why should we care. Really think about it, why? What does it matter to us if they kill each other for the next 100 years? Why do I have a moral duty to help someone who lives far away and who I dont know and care about even less? To which the lip wristed leftie replies, but we are all human and we all live on the same earth and we have a responsibility, blah fucking blah fucking blah, well if you really believe that rubbish, sell the house you bought with the money you inhereted from your loaded grandmother, donate it all to straving people somewhere and go work for free for an NGO...dont want to do that, then shut the fuck up. This brings me to my next point...
Self interest and alturism
People in everyday life like to think that there is such a thing as alturism. That you can do things that are good, just because they are good, but this is actually a misconception. There are no alturisic acts (acts without an element of self interest). Even dropping a 50p coin (only fifty you cheap bastard) into a homeless persons filthy paw is a selfish act, how so you ask, because the positive feeling that you get (nice brain chemicals mmm) is your pay off for being generous. You are nice, because it makes you feel nice, fair play, everyone wins, but its still selfish. So if we accept that there are no selfless acts (and when it comes to government I want them to be selfish anyway) There is only one actual reason for getting involved in the internal politics of another country, raw, naked, wobbling your bits about self interest. So what could possibly motivate us?
Libya produces about 1.8 million barrels a day, the worlds production is around 80-90 million barrels a day and we are running almost at capacity, continued instability will lead to an increase in fuel costs, increasing inflation, eroding earnings and consumption all when the world is just coming out of the great recession. If there were to be a civil war that produciton would be gone until it was resolved as the facilities were fought over, damaged or destroyed, etc, etc Poof worlds spare capacity gone overnight for who knows how long.
2) Regional stability
This is complicated, long conflicts evolve unintended consequences. What if the revolution attracts or is taken over by islamists and they win? A radical islamic country on the doorstep of Europe? Not that unlikely, long civil conflicts in islamic countries have a history of radicalising the revolutionary side. Look at Afghanistan, Chechyna, Iraq, Palestine, all these conflicts started with secular groups who became more and more orientated towards fundamentalist religion as the conflicts wore on. All of them are still going. Want that a couple of miles from the Italian mainland?
3) Have a seat at the table
Imagine the west being the heroes in an Arab nation? Want to redefine your reputation from hated aggressors to heroic saviour? Good press is hard to come by in the arab world and having a new government that owes you one really could be a huge game changer. This means alot when there are fifty million of them living literally next to you and another 100 million a short boat ride away...
There are plenty more reasons for intervention in Libya that can be argued from a position of self interest and could still be argued against. What bothers me is not our interventions, but the hypocrisy of them. If you want to be the world police, that means applying the law to everyone, not just to the criminals you have a particular interest in. If you want to be a nation making foreign policy decisions in the interests of your own people great, but dont treat us like a bunch of dicks and feed us bull about why we are doing things. You cant have a real debate about the pros and cons of something when you dress it up in the language of a morality that you actually dont subscribe to. Its the emporers new clothes, I just wish there were a few more people dancing around saying hey Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron I can see your balls.....