Saturday, 16 April 2011

Libya war IS about regime change / Britain / Home - Morning Star

Libya war IS about regime change / Britain / Home - Morning Star (click for full M.S. article)

The West has gone far beyond the concept of a protective no-fly zone and is now advocating regime change - even although the rebels are a very uncertain band containing some rather unpleasant passengers. In addition, they have refused to even contemplate any negotiations with Tripoli and gave the recent African peace envoys an incredibly hostile and violent reception when they visited Benghazi to sound out the possibility of peace talks.

Why is such intransigence now being underwritten by an open-ended guarantee to the rebels from Britain, France and the USA for continuing and increasing military support and aid with arms supplies?

What has gone largely unreported is that the revolt against the Gaddafi regime developed from rallies called by religious groups to commemorate the 2006 publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed, which upset Muslims around the world given their faith's injunction not to make representations of any human form, let alone such an important one. Most fundamentalist Muslims see Gaddafi as an enemy of their faith given his closure of Islamist schools, his taunting of the veiling of women and his call for Arabs to "put the Koran away on the bookshelf" as a relic of a former age.

Whilst the Transitional Rebel Council is composed of a rather motley bunch of academics, lawyers and army commanders, many of whom were senior members of the Gaddafi regime until just a few weeks ago, there is much evidence of more radical religious elements running through the revolt. What is for sure is that this is no democratic uprising like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt - where, especially in the latter case, the West were so incredibly hesitant about calling for Mubarak to resign. But, of course, as history has shown time and again, the West's interests and frequently violent intervention in the Arab world has never been about democracy, and indeed as often as not has been to squash the demands of the Arab people for reform.

Gadaffi, of course, is no democrat either. But the West is not concerned about that. His sin, unlike Mubarak and the Saudis, has been to not always toe the line with the West. That makes him no saint, but equally, it begs the question as to why Libya is such a special case as to now require our active intervention, not merely to provide some sort of protective no-fly zone around Benghazi, but to continue every day to bomb large tracts of Libya and say that this will continue until Gaddafi is gone.

Our Masters have decided Gaddafi must go, but sit on their butts in Bahrain as the political opposition is destroyed and people shot on the streets - in the same city as the largest overseas US naval base in the world.

Yet there again, they're Our Bastards, and he isn't.  At least, not one of Ours.

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