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The worlds morality police - lost_aesthete [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Si natura negat, facit indignatio versum

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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?

1) Oil

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...

4) etc...

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.....


[User Picture]From: assassinus
2011-03-22 02:16 am (UTC)

Couldn't of happenned to a nicer guy

Attacking his own people = a bit of an oversimplification here.
IN the current insurrection, while in some circumstances, they did attack govt buildings, there were other circumstances where unarmed protesters were shot at by snipers and police and killed. Snipers seem to be deployed commonly to shoot at civilians, for no good reason simply to spread terror.

He also has a nasty habit of paying and arming untrained Africans, and just sending them into towns to shoot at things.

IN the past, he has publicly executed dissidents, executed dissidents overseas, and is widely thought to be behind the Lockerbie bombing.

In 1971, Gaddafi offered to merge Libya with Sudan...Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry turned down that offer - Nimeiry said of Gaddafi: "He has a split personality—both parts evil".

Apart from that, he's a nutter. If the whole of the Arab League, and Nato both want to get rid of him, he must be pretty bad - They never agree on anything.
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[User Picture]From: assassinus
2011-03-22 02:19 am (UTC)
In terms of us bombing every country just because they have a despot ruling no we shouldn't.
But we aren't - we are bombing him because he is a despot who his own people are trying to get rid of.
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[User Picture]From: lost_aesthete
2011-03-22 09:59 pm (UTC)
Firstly, Im not saying I know exactly what happened during the protests, Im just saying that calling them protestors conjures up images of parents marching for world peace. This was not the case this was in many places an insurrection, not a protest.

As far as arming mercenaries...what you mean like private military contracters we use in Iraq that run around shooting people?

Im not going to argue point for point, yes Gadaffi is a dick, Im not denying that Im just saying, so what, there are alot of dicks in the world, someone doing something in his own country I dont like doesnt seem to be a justification for blowing shit up.

The point you make that we are bombing him because his people dont want him...hmmm....are you sure about that....100% sure. Libya are not a united people, Libya like most African countries is a colonial construct made by drawing lines on a map. In reality it is a confederation of a number of ethnicities and tribes who live in the same geographical area. If everyone had turned against him, he wouldnt be there, (Hosni Mubarak anyone?). He has a base of support or he wouldnt be able to fight. His own people means a certain number of tribes are against him and a certain number of tribes are for him. This is not his people are against him this is some of his people are against him.
Look all I am saying is that yes he's a bad guy, yes Im sure many of his people want him gone, but what has that to do with us? As I said above there are reasons to intervene, but they arent moral, they are national self interest. This is a civil war/armed insurrection. We are taking sides in a countries internal affairs and calling it a moral action to justify our foreign policy objectives. That denies us the ability to really debate this issue, because we are too busy discussing moral phantoms.
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[User Picture]From: assassinus
2011-03-23 01:04 am (UTC)


As for the mercenaries - that is exactly my point. The private contractors we use are ex US/Australian/British military working for a company, with at least some sort of policies and accountability. No one would ever argue that using the private military contractors is an acceptable situation... but way better compared to what Gaddafi has done.

Gaddafi just basically was handing out big wads of cash to individuals who wanted it, from neigbouring African countries. In some cases, he didn't even tell them what they were doing. They arrived in Libya, came off the plane, he gave them guns, and said "Go in and shoot people". Basically, we are talking about what equates to an armed mob.

In a lot of cases, it faired worse for the mercenaries. They had no training, they would drive into rebel territory, and just get slaughtered by the angry locals. In military parlance, they seemed to of have been used as "cannon fodder".
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[User Picture]From: assassinus
2011-03-23 01:11 am (UTC)
I take your point, that not all the people don't want him. But certainly it seems a good proportion don't. All the east rebelled, as well as the third largest city in the west, Misrata, and some western towns near the border.

Whether this is the majority, 50%, 40%, its hard to tell. This is in a police state, which controls the media, so its not easy to start a rebellion, and its not easy to tell what people think. He has suppressed protesters in Tripoli, so its hard to tell what people think there.

Certainly in most of the towns where he has little armed presence, they have thrown away their loyalty to him.

I don't think Gaddafi should necessarily be removed, but certainly he is a human rights abuser, and the half of the country that has managed to escape his human rights abuses though a bloody rebellion should be protected. Rwanda should only happen once.
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[User Picture]From: lost_aesthete
2011-04-17 10:12 pm (UTC)
I know I'm following this up after some time and that consequently I have a little bit of hindsight on my side, but anyway...I think personally the western powers thought they were jumping on a band wagon only to back the side that basically controls some disgruntled tribes and to be completely honest without the total domination of the air the NATO planes are providing and their strikes on actual military targets (that have nothing to do with a no strike zone...such as tanks). The rebels would have been done for...to be completely honest I can't actually understand the rationale behind our actions except that if he (gadaffi) stays in power he will be relentlessly hostile to those nations that went against him and so we now have to get rid of him. I think some of this has to do with why Italy hasnt provided planes...the last thing they need is a pissed off Gadaffi a few miles away.
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