Thursday, March 03, 2011

Choosing the loosing side in a revolution

The moment appears with great excitement. People around you are making their decisions and urging you to join them. In a moment of euphoria you do something you would never do if you were sober and resign your position to join the revolutionaries on the barricade.

Its a familiar story.

A friend of mine in our joint first year at University was chosen to kick of a food fight. Everyone went in in their old clothes, ready to re-enact that scene from Animal House. Up stood (insert now senior manager at blue chip company name here) a shouted the immortal lines "Food Fight" just as the chief cook, a formidable West Indian Lady known as Lucy turned the corner.

Everyone saw Lucy, except my friend who started distributing food. Everyone else staid quiet and seated. Everyone else knew Lucy was not to be messed with.

Lucy's retribution was a swift as it was sure - a bottle of tomato ketchup was emptied over my somewhat sheepish looking friend, and the legend of Lucy had a new chapter to add. ( Like the time that I still can't explain when she chased a bunch of guys dressed a Vikings out on the last day of Summer term. )

But what's some harmless fun is now looking deadly serious in Libya.

Many foreign diplomats resigned, believing the BBC's euphoria and disgusted with the violence of the Gaddafi regime. But they must now consider the possibility that Gaddafi might hold on, and if he does his revenge (whatever is spoken of amnesties and forgiveness) will be sure and terrible.

The UK has now turned from Labour's policy of appeasement to one of almost open hostility. Our colours are now nailed to the mast also.

Everything now hangs int he balance. Delay favours the Mad Dog - which is why Venezuela's Chavez is busy trying to create one with the old kicking the ball into the diplomatic long grass ploy ( after all it has worked so well for Iran and North Korea over their nuclear weapons programs ).

Add into the mix that fact that the UK was planning on taking a break from wars for a decade or two, and we have a very real and painful dilemma that will impact all our lives.

It all hangs in the balance - the west must decide if it will kill off the dictator whom it has dared to wound, or let him recover and find ways of extracting revenge when he is strong again.

Remember the Marsh Arabs and the rebellion in Basra after the first Gulf war, or the initial ineffectiveness in the Balkans. But also remember the protection of the Kurds with the no-fly zone & UK Marines on the ground ( a friend of mine was a volunteer Doctor on that exercise - she asked her husband if something shouldn't been done and the next day got a letter through the door asking for volunteers and was at the end of the week in Northern Iraq - moral be careful what you wish for .)

The BBC and its cheerleader friend would do well to remember this is far from over and the stakes are frighteningly high for many.


Michael Fowke said...

Yes, if he stays in power, he'll start funding terrorism again.

Just stop it!... said...

Never fear the brave camoron has a plan....Errrr he does, doesn't he? He would surely not resort to bluffing, would he?

Let loose the squadrons of imaginary midrange bombers with their imaginary arsenal of smart bombs, deploy the imaginary regiments of infantry to secure the ports, send in the imaginary transport jets with imaginary supplies, fast-track the software installation for those precious chinook transport helicopters.

He's the man with a plan-delusional, but it is a plan. Just the kind of steady hand you need in a crisis.