Thursday, February 24, 2011

Could Gaddafi Win ?

OK, so he's lost 3/4 of the country. But as I understand it, the army units which opposed him have just taken off their uniforms and gone home, rather than staying intact.

No matter how brave the people who've looted the armouries, given that Gaddafi's not fussy about shooting demonstrators, bombing them or turning naval gunfire on them, surely the decision in Libya's going to come down to 'who's got the tanks and aircraft?'. If Gaddafi's troops and mercenaries have a unified command and the hardware, won't they win even if 90% of the country's against them?

Remember the city of Hama in Syria. Lefties will still throw the massacre at Sabra and Shatila at Israel and the Maronite Christians - and it was indeed a grievous crime, condemned by the world. Yet Assad of Syria could bomb a Syrian city, surround it with troops then (after an earlier assault failed) destroy it with artillery and kill tens of thousands with hardly a squeak.

Massacre of opponents and anyone near them is a very effective way of operating, if you don't care about slaughtering your own civilians and neither does the rest of the world. Lenin and Stalin could tell you that. I'd like to see Gaddafi hanged (if only for sending large amounts of arms and explosives to the IRA - the then Labour government tried to bribe him not to do it) but I'm not sure he's anywhere near dead yet.

UPDATE - while we're on the subject of Labour bribes to Gaddafi, at least Harold Wilson's attempts were in a good cause.

“The first thing that must be understood about the Megrahi affair is the vastness of the entanglements among Libya, the oil companies, and the Blair government. This is no ordinary set of relationships, and the economic stakes are high. As the Blair era wound down, and as officials began looking toward wealth and security in the afterlife, the opportunities available in Libya loomed very large. They had everything to gain by a show of cooperation. As a result, what one sees in the final years of Tony Blair’s government is the transformation of New Labour into something that might be called New Libya.”

And Gordon Brown was sending the SAS to train their troops less than two years ago.


JuliaM said...

"... surely the decision in Libya's going to come down to 'who's got the tanks and aircraft?'."

Or more accurately, who can USE the tanks and aircraft...

Sgt Troy 11th Dragoons said...

Gaddafi is apparently offering wage rises of 150%, while all the regime here is offering is the Royal Wedding; piss poor I call it

Incidentally I noticed in Sparkbrook the other day a wedding car parked on a disabled parking spot - which are pretty much contiguous in the road and doubtless the result of first cousin marriage practices(and fraud)

Disability benefit is part of the marriage contract no doubt

Martin said...

Laban, I obviously hope he's on the way out - having been about 5 minutes away from Lockerbie at 103's final airspeed as it went down, I hope that he stands trial at somebody's hands in this world.

However, a quick thought on this business. Let's be positive, and say he's on the way out. Is it likely that the Libyans will forget that British companies were in Gaddafi's big tent? I don't think so. Will they penalise us for having behaved that way? Very possibly.

It all kind of gives the lie to the economic shibboleth that trade is good for peace. The Chinese must be watching all this with great interest, in respect of their own domestic affairs. What conclusions they might be drawing is anyone's guess.

And as a low waged person with a very young family, I do slightly resent being called upon to be the Travel Agent of Last Resort for UK expats who have followed the (big?) money to Libya, and whose tax affairs perhaps might best be described as opaque. It may be uncharitable, but that's what travel insurance should be for. I hope that anyone that's evacuated from there is billed for it. They either knew or should have known the risks before they went. Littlejohn used what I thought was a weasel argument in yesterday's 'Daily Mail', that we've got to look after our people. All well and good, but the British have never learned the knack of looking after each other in Britain, and to my mind that weakens the moral case for putting big money expats at the front of the money queue when Child Benefit's apparently too expensive to keep going without being cut.