The Strange Death of Corporatist Britain 125


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After the most intense bombardment of Tripoli yet, we are now deploying ground attack helicopters to intensify the fighting in Libya. Whether all this is really going to achieve the illegal objective of regime change is open to question. What is in no doubt is that it is killing people, and it is very expensive. In April 2011, UK net public sector borrowing exceeded £10 billion for the month – compared to £7.2 billion in April 2010 and a forecast of £6.5 billion. We are closing libraries and care for the disabled. Yet we still squander billions on neo-imperial folly.

The problem is that there is no opposition. The British political system has become an uncomplicated instrument of power for a united neo-conservative class. The Liberal Democrats have been neutered by Clegg and New Labour still seeks to attack from the populist right. Our established political system is not fit for purpose – it no longer provides a forum for the airing of views very widely held by disparate groups in society, and for the fair and agreed resolution of courses of action.

It has not always been like this. Even at the height of Britain’s formal Empire, major parts of one of Britain’s two main parties were actively and aggressively anti-Imperialist, and in the later Gladstonian period that included the leadership.

These aggressive wars are the most spectacular instance of the non-representation of important sections of public opinion. Involving less actual explosions and causing slower deaths, the banking bailout is a much deeper and more important example. No significant opposition was given to the lie that every single individual had to give tens of thousands of pounds to the banks to save us all from doom. As the payments are made over a lifetime – and multiplied many times in interest – the pain of realising that everyone was now vicariously paying off a very large mortgage on money somebody else has enjoyed, is only now starting to be felt. The vast mass of people did not realise what is happening, and did not do so because a united political class in the service of those taking the money from the people, conspired to mislead them and offered no alternative.

But the truth is that it will not last. A political system which has become as otiose as this one, which no longer reflects the interests of large masses of economically significant people, will eventually collpase. That process can take decades, and I am not sure how it will be replaced, nor that what replaces it will be better. But the current western liberal democratic model is looking bust. We need now to work on ideas which are both more libertarian and responsive to smaller communities which are closer to their people.

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125 thoughts on “The Strange Death of Corporatist Britain

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  • Herbie

    Angry
    .
    .
    Can you just answer the question please, and less of the waffle.
    .
    Are you claiming that the Palestinian case gets equal treatment on the BBC?

  • mary

    An absolutely wonderful piece from John Pilger (as good as Craig’s)
    .
    Welcome to the violent world of Mr Hopey Changey
    John Pilger
    .
    Published 26 May 2011
    25 comments
    .
    As Barack Obama continues his ludicrously overhyped European tour, media gloss cannot disguise the renewed imperial ambition of Libya’s western aggressors.
    .
    When Britain lost control of Egypt in 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden said he wanted the nationalist president Gamal Abdel Nasser “destroyed . . . murdered . . . I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt.” Those insolent Arabs, Winston Churchill had urged in 1951, should be driven “into the gutter from which they should never have emerged”.
    .
    /….
    http://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/2011/05/pilger-obama-arab-libya
    .
    The photo is of Hopey and Flashman doing their high fives after their ludicrous table tennis interlude.

  • mary

    Substitute Libya for Iraq in this speech by Howell after a few years have gone by and the helicopters, missiles and ‘boots on the ground’ (would not be illegal according to General Mike Jackson on Sky News yesterday) have succeeded in enabling an Occupation to take place. From Medialens.
    .
    A reminder of why ‘we’ invaded Iraq
    Posted by The Editors on May 27, 2011, 9:21 am
    .
    Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell, ‘Trade and commerce with Iraq: A key strand of the bilateral relationship’, address to Iraq-British Business Council on 24 May:
    .
    In addition to Iraq’s developing oil and gas sector, Iraq’s large scale reconstruction effort brings with it huge commercial opportunities, including for UK supply chains.
    .
    As the security situation in Iraq has stabilised, the UK’s business presence has increased.
    […]
    Recent successes for British companies in Iraq include:
    .
    Serco winning a contract in December 2010 worth $65m to provide air traffic control services over two years at Baghdad International Airport (BIAP)
    […]
    BP and Shell winning contracts to develop super-giant oilfields in southern Iraq, worth $39billion.
    .
    These examples highlight the variety of opportunities and potential available in Iraq.
    .
    The scale of the BP and Shell contracts underline the importance of Iraq as an energy provider to the world. Iraq has the world’s fourth largest proven oil reserves. It currently produces 2.7 million barrels per day and the Iraqi government has ambitious plans to increase production over the next decade. Iraq is the only country in the world with the potential for very significant increases in conventional oil production, and could become a major player in world oil markets if it is able to reach its potential. British companies are particularly well qualified to provide the expertise and resources to do just that, which will benefit the Iraq economy and its people, as well benefiting global energy security.
    .
    Iraq also has the 12th largest proven gas reserves in the world.
    […]
    British banks, insurers and universities have already established a presence in Iraq, but there is huge potential for growth in these sectors.
    […]
    The UK government will continue to support and lobby the Iraqi government on improving the investment climate. More needs to be done to develop Iraq’s regulatory and legislative framework to mitigate the risks for private investment.
    .
    Link: http://ukun.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=Speech&id=601273982
    .
    PS Howell is Osborne’s father in law.

  • Ruth

    Most Libyans are very happy with Western interference to get rid of Gaddafi. With the vast security apparatus he’d built up to protect his regime, there was no other way he could be ousted. After such huge sacrifices to achieve their aims, Libyans, particularly the young, will not tolerate enslavement by the West. And remember, the East has a rebellious nature and a history in fighting colonialism.

  • mary

    Ruth please wake up and smell the coffee. Can;t believe you are the same Ruth that used to comment on the old blog. Thought we were in tune.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Craig,

    My morning blog reply:-

    “Our established political system is not fit for purpose – it no longer provides a forum for the airing of views very widely held by disparate groups in society, and for the fair and agreed resolution of courses of action.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Craig,

    My morning blog reply:-

    “Our established political system is not fit for purpose – it no longer provides a forum for the airing of views very widely held by disparate groups in society, and for the fair and agreed resolution of courses of action.”

    Could not agree more. More anon on this aspect.

  • Ruth

    ‘Ruth please wake up and smell the coffee. Can;t believe you are the same Ruth that used to comment on the old blog. Thought we were in tune.’

    Mary. Please explain why I’m not ‘in tune’ with regard to my comment:
    ‘Most Libyans are very happy with Western interference to get rid of Gaddafi. With the vast security apparatus he’d built up to protect his regime, there was no other way he could be ousted. After such huge sacrifices to achieve their aims, Libyans, particularly the young, will not tolerate enslavement by the West. And remember, the East has a rebellious nature and a history in fighting colonialism.’

  • mary

    Because you seem to approve of what NATO are doing and the further escslation into the use of attack Apache helicopters. I don’t. What next? Troops in and another Iraq? We are after the resources. Full stop. Nothing to do with ‘humanitarian’ rescue. If that was the case, why have USUKIsNATO left Bahrain and Syria alone?
    .
    http://www.france24.com/en/20110523-france-reportedly-sending-helicopters-libya-gaddafi-nato-figaro
    .
    Under the guise of ‘exercises’ in the Med this has been a long planned deployment.
    ‘The lead elements of the Royal Navy’s major deployment for 2011 – code named COUGAR 11 – left the UK at the beginning of April.
    .
    This long planned deployment will see the Task Group transit through the Mediterranean where they will take part in multi-national amphibious exercises before moving further east through the Suez Canal for further exercises in the Middle East together with regional visits to build long term defence relationships.
    .
    First to depart was HMS Albion on the morning of April 7, topped to the brim with 360 ship’s company and an Embarked Military Force of 166, many of whom lined the decks for a ‘Procedure Alpha’ departure. An impressive sight for sure – although whether the people of Plymouth and Torpoint could actually see them through the morning fog was somewhat less certain.
    .
    The 18,500-tonne assault ship was carrying 2 Lynx mark 7 helicopters from 847 Naval Air Squadron and 2 Sea King mark 4 helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron. Both squadrons are part of Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) and had joined Albion from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset the previous day.
    .
    Albion was joined by landing ship dock RFA CARDIGAN BAY and between them both ships are carrying the men, vehicles and equipment of 40 Commando Royal Marines. Whilst 42 and 45 Commando lead current efforts in Afghanistan, it’s down to the Taunton based 40 Commando to maintain the Corp’s prized amphibious capability.
    .
    etc etc (www.royalnavy.mod.uk/operations-and-support/operations/auriga/news/cougar_11_vanguard_s.htm)

  • mary

    They might just as well have said ‘the baton was struck by the 20 year old’.
    .
    27 May 2011
    Jody McIntyre wheelchair complaint: Tuition fees police cleared Jody McIntyre (centre) said he was hit with a baton and dragged across a road in central London
    .
    Police were justified in removing a man from his wheelchair during a violent demonstration against tuition fees in central London, Scotland Yard has said.
    .
    Jody McIntyre said he was tipped out of his chair and dragged across a road on 9 December, as well as being assaulted with a baton by an officer.
    .
    A police probe found officers were right to remove him from the wheelchair based on the “perceived risk” to him.
    .
    It also found the 20-year-old was “inadvertently” struck by the baton.
    .
    Mr McIntyre has four weeks to appeal against the findings, if he wishes to do so.
    /…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13578369
    .
    There is a You Tube of the whole incident.

  • mark_golding

    We remember head of yesterday’s empire, agent Cameron, took the arms dealers with him to Libya last March to close £15 billion of investment for BP, while Obama at that time remained cautious on intervention under pressure by Kristol and ‘back-bench’ neocons exercising their shoulders for ‘humanitarian intervention’ in an oil rich country.

    While the king of Bahrain and the president of Yemen slaughter their own people I hold a board up to Cameron with the words ‘DOUBLE STANDARDS’ in huge black lettering.

    Agent Cameron wants Gaddafi lynched like Saddam or shot by special forces because:

    a) He could threaten our ‘national security’ by talking.
    b) A master of terror himself – he WILL retaliate with more terrorist attacks.

    Cameron has ordered Apache strikes- why? Because we must now move up a gear to the next stage and start destroying the Libyan infrastructure with an aim to take control of certain crucial areas of this country and dominate its vast resources.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Mary
    .
    ‘Under the guise of ‘exercises’ in the Med this has been a long planned deployment…’
    .
    Yes, and did you see the reports about Operation Southern Mistral?
    .
    This was a NATO war game incorporating an attack on a fictitious country called Southland and ruled over by a dictator. The attacks were spear-headed by airstrikes from France and the UK on the back of a UN Security Council resolution number 3003.
    .
    Any of this sound familiar?
    .
    It was scheduled to take place on 21 – 25 March 2011. Does that date ring any bells?
    .
    It was all planned in November 2010.
    .
    But they had to suspend it because two days before it was due to start NATO started bombing Libya and
    the war planes that were to be deployed as part of Operation Southern Mistral, – Mirage 2000s and Tornado GR4A’s – were sent to bomb Southland…er…I mean Libya
    .
    Read all about it here:
    .
    When War Games Go Live: “Staging” a “Humanitarian War” against “SOUTHLAND”
    Under an Imaginary UN Security Council Resolution 3003
    .
    by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
    .
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24351

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mary, just because Ruth has a view different from yours on Libya doesn’t mean she’s “not the same Ruth” as before (I realise you were writing metaphorically, not literally). We all have differeing views on a range of things. I agree with you about the other countries – Bahrain, Saudi, etc. – and the hypocrisy and instrumentalism of Western military interventions. Nonetheless, as with (to some extent) Pakistan, and though one is aware of the underlying causative factors there as well (the USA/ Saudi building-up the Islamists into a military-political force, etc.) the world now is no longer as clear-cut as we anti-imperialists might like it to be. There are many Pushtuns in the NW of Pakistan, eg., who actually want the USA to drone-bomb the Taliban; they wish that their own army (the Pakistan Army) had got rid of the Taliban from Waziristan, etc., but as we know, the Pakistan armed forces/ security are running the Taliban. Then again, it generates big bucks for the MI complexes of the West and Pakistan for war – all war – to continue there. But the Islamist killers were there, doing their killing, before the USA started to drone-bomb them. The secular/Left in Pakistan – such as it is – cannot achieve anything unless the religious fundamentalists are defeated as a military force in Pakistan and taken out of the economic and military structures of power. The USA is in it for the interests of its own elites, of course. So it’s complex, not easy, there are few really good, likely, realistic solutions. And maybe Libya too is complex, albeit in different ways. There is more hope there, I think.

    Now we see Mladic ‘captured’, or rather given up by the elements of the Serbian state which were protecting him. Yes, the West ‘tries’ its enemy psychopaths and rewards its puppet psychopaths (but only so long as they are useful, after which they become enemies) and maybe this deal – Serbia being pressured by the USA, one suspects and maybe with some deal with Russia involved as well – was to say to ‘the Muslim world’, “Look, we killed OBL, but see, we care about you, too!” Or maybe it was because Serbia got twitched by OBL’s killing and wanted to avoid a SEALS operation near Belgrade. Mladic was not in hiding, not really. He was living in a relative’s house under an assumed name. Prior to 2002, he’d been living openly in Serbia. So, one suspects that they knew fine well where he was, all along. Nonetheless, he is a mass murderer, a war criminal. Yet we know about the machinations of the West and Russia wrt the break-up of Yugoslavia. Just as the friends of the USA are not always good people or freedom-fighters, so too the enemies of the USA are not always good people or freedom-fighters. This is something we need to learn. These are the dilemas of not living in a binary world any more. It’s become much more messy and complex. Which is the way it was, before and perhaps, the way it has always been for most of human history.

  • technicolour

    hello Suhayl! Er, when has the bombing/arming of part of a country by the West ever actually proved successful on a humanitarian level, let alone a moral one? I think that might be what Mary is getting at. Whatever, you never seemed Jesuitical (as in ends justifying means) to me, before? I strongly object to my taxes being used to drop bombs on other people, myself.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Hi technicolour. No, I’m not justifying it. Just saying that matters are very complex and don’t always accord with what we anti-imperialists might wish (i.e. ‘good’ freedom-fighters, fighting to libretae their people and ‘bad empires, fighting to oppress other peoples). That dynamic does apply, but the world is much more complicated than that and one cannot apply that maxim to every situation and try to rationalise it backwards, as it were). I also wrote that I agreed with Mary wrt the hypocrisy and instrumentalism of the west wrt the Middle East. Our taxes, sadly, will be used to supply the US MI Complex with whatever it wishes. I don’t agree with it either. Furthermore, I don’t think drones will solve the problem in NW Pakistan. What is reqd is a mass grassroots movement, which isn’t there and in the meantime, samll things here and there is what can be done.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    In Pakistan – sorry for changing the subject – as we know, what needs to happen and what would ultimately end the Islamist and Military madness, is for land and wealth redistribution, mass vaccination and mass literacy programmes, the immediate repeal of all Islamist laws passed from the mid-1970s (actually from the latter part of Bhutto’s reign) onwards and the armed forces to protect the sovereignty of the PEOPLE by defeating the Islamist military (intead of providing them with weapons and money and pretending to fight them while planting bombs that kil lots of civilians, etc.). Then the army needs to go back to barracks forever, be purged from the economy and from all civilain institutions and have its budget drastically reduced and re-chanelled into civil infrastructure. Negotiate away (with India) the nukes. A UN-sponsoerd plebiscite in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir (including the Northern Areas currently under Pakistani Adminstration) with several questions on the referendum ballot paper. The demilitarisation of all parts of Jammu and Kashmir. All of this effectively would end the problem. There.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I would recommend Hasan Abbas’s book, ‘Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism’ (2005) and Ayesha Siddiqa’s ‘Military Inc.’ (published more recently). These two excellent texts give one an idea of just how deeply entrenched Islamism has become within the military/ security services and just how deeply-entrenched the military is in all aspects of civil society and economy in Pakistan and what a deleterious impact this all has on everything in that country.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    However, it is good actually from the point-of-view of the balance of power that Pakistan – at least the (in the face of the military) toothless civilian government – currently is strengthening links with China vis a vis infrastructure, energy, etc. Part of this Af-Pak war could be an energy war – pipelines, etc. – not an original thought, but one which is perhaps reinforced by current moves.

  • Ruth

    Mary,
    Because I have a relatively good knowledge of Libya, I’ve been quite surprised that the well being of the majority of Libyans hasn’t really been into account by many writers, commentators, etc.

    For over forty years most Libyans have lived a life of hell. Some left their country owing to repression, and even abroad they lived in fear and some were killed. When a gentle and humorous student of mine returned to Libya, he was hanged in public; I heard for shaking hands abroad with a dissident. In 1996, 1,200 inmates of Abu Salim, Tripoli’s main political prison were massacred.

    When it rains in Benghazi, there’s danger of the water being contaminated with sewage. Four hundred and thirty-eight children in Benghazi hospital contracted HIV in 1998. Some of the world’s foremost HIV experts blamed the epidemic on poor hygiene practices in the hospital. And yet how many billions has Gaddafi got stashed away? How many billions has he given to other countries particularly in Africa?

    There are many other issues such as unemployment, corruption, the taking away of people’s land and property, the necessity to know somebody in government to get anywhere and so on.

    I agree there’s blatant hypocrisy in the West’s dealings with Libya and a prime example is Blair’s rapprochement with the Libyan regime in 2004 only 8 years after the Abu Salim massacre. This was followed by a gradual arming of Gaddafi with the Foreign Office approving in 2007 the sale of water cannon and armoured cars, used against the protestors. Again, Britain approved the export of sniper rifles to Libya just months before Gaddafi’s troops began killing protesters. British police officers secretly trained members of Libya’s force and UK Special Forces trained the Libyan army.

    Of course the West wants Libya’s resources. Why else would they be making such an effort?

    And I have little doubt that the protests were triggered by France, the US and the UK but the Eastern region was ready to blow and I’d say ninety per cent of Libyans welcome the help of the West in removing of Gaddafi. Had the West not interfered in the bombardment of Benghazi, there is very little doubt there would have been a massacre of huge proportions with Gaddafi taking his revenge on the ‘rats and cockroaches’ who defied him. The city would’ve been flattened with thousands dead.

    Here are some tweets I copied the other night when Tripoli was being bombed. I can’t say a hundred per cent if they’re genuine but I do know they reflect the views of many Libyans I have met.

    “Everyone is cheering and saying Allah Akbar on roofs, We want more and more”

    “I hate that my country is being bombed. I hate that it HAS to be bombed. If you think otherwise, you live in a fairtytale.”

    “Please don’t stop bombing Gaddafi. The ppl of Tripoli are on the rooftops praying for more jets.”

    “Bomb the daylights out of the Gaddafi forces”

    “People in Tripoli are on the roofs cheering NATO strikes. Give the Gaddafi’s more…Get him”

    “can’t describe ecstatic happiness of ppl in Tripoli when they hear these explosions. whistling all over….”

    To my mind the greatest shame is that the people of a country with so much potential have had to resort to the help of the countries that assisted their leader in enslaving and brutalising them.

  • Anon

    Ruth, one thing is for sure the Libyans are “between the devil and the deep blue sea” “a rock and a hard place”, whatever happens they will lose. That I think equality applies to the vast majority of people in this world.

  • mark_golding

    Just to reasonably get back on topic, I’m thinking of Craig’s heading which again is, ‘The Strange Death of Corporatist Britain.’ That title prompted some lateral thinking on my part, so please bear with me on this.

    I have expanded a bit on the heading to read, ‘The Strange Death of Civilisation since September 11 2001’ – That heading or title became clear in my mind when I started to evaluate the consequences of a government body tasked by the elected leader of a Western, civilised and proclaimed democratic country, that has attempted not only to deceive its citizens but did so with lies and intimidation. When that government body was addressed, with courtesy, by a qualified person through normal channels, to provide the data input to a computer model, it was denied stating, “might jeopardize public safety…”

    “..might jeopardize public safety…” – In my mind that is intimidation when the data refers to building collapse and that collapse had caused concern for public safety in future building design.

    Then there is the lies, blatant criminal lies; in fact the sort of lies one expects from a murderer or child molester or terrorist trying to deceive justice and synonymously – ‘get away with murder.’

    So, in the face of overwhelming evidence uncovered by separate qualified scientists and engineers possessing a multitude of disciplines relating to the ‘crime,’ a government body, lies! Lies that have escalated through a popular media willing to commit to ‘official’ government information, quite rightly without question to a receptive public.

    Lies, dishonesty and deceit in these circumstances have to be perpetuated, sustained and supported. Yes, supported, supported by a government(s) entrusted with power, resources and enforcement.

    I ask myself, what does this mean to me, my children, their children, my friends, the people I love. Without any doubt in my mind it means we are all unsafe, we are all contained, we are all monitored, we are all subdued, we are all intimidated and we are all stripped of privacy and freedom. In the extreme we will be micro-chipped, integrated and put into a permanent state of fear, a complex, multifarious and sustained fear.

    I believe with all my heart those who agree with me, trust me, those willing to contemplate, acknowledge, concede and reason and those willing to listen to those scientists and those engineers speaking out at great risk of reputation at best and death at worst should act now.

    The landscape *has* changed socially as well as politically. I believe it is time to come together, join hands, because safety is in numbers. It is time to become a family, a family of truth.

  • anno

    Craig, your honesty when it clicks into gear is invincible, although I suspect that it costs you personally in the form of depression.
    Every council house, every missile, and every heartbeat of corporate enterprise pays its toll in doubled and redoubled compound interest to the financiers, who in turn use this vast forgotten tax to buy stuff and buy people. It doesn't have to be like that. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, states in the Qur'an that he puts loss into interest, and increase into charity. There's no need to be depressed because the crisis is coming at which point countries like Greece, Ireland and ourselves will have to bite the hand that feeds them this incredibly bum deal, and turn to the merciful generosity of the Creator who has created every aspect of this world, from nuts from India that you chew to clean your teeth, to vast smelting furnaces making Victorian scale steam engines, radiantly gleaming with fascinating and beautiful science. In order to test the inhabitants of this world, whether they will live in submission to His laws, or whether they will drive the whole world to madness in order to obtain profit and power. The world cannot cope with the excessive burden of interest. Nor can it flourish when the interest-takers use their influence to ravage the only witnesses to commonsense and truth – the Muslims.

  • angrysoba

    I've taken the advice of certain people here and started reading Press TV a bit more. It is indeed very informative:

    "The foreign ministers of Iran and North Korea have held a meeting in which they emphasized the importance of strengthening ties between the two states in various spheres.
    Political affinities and principles shared by Tehran and Pyongyang can be used to help efforts to expand relations between the two countries in the economic, trade, educational, and scientific spheres, IRNA quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying on Thursday. "
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/182058.html

    Hooray! I wonder what kind of political affinities these two states have and what kind of scientific knowledge the two would like to share.

  • Suhaylsaadi

    Great post, Craig! I agree entirely. I see the intensedebate, etc. is back up. And all the old comments, gone? A pity – but such is siliconia, I guess.

  • Ruth

    This appears out of context because the 100 plus comments have evaporated but it's a response to Mary's comments concerning my views on Libya.

    Mary,
    Because I have a relatively good knowledge of Libya, I've been quite surprised that the well being of the majority of Libyans hasn't really been into account by many writers, commentators, etc.

    For over forty years most Libyans have lived a life of hell. Some left their country owing to repression, and even abroad they lived in fear and some were killed. When a gentle and humorous student of mine returned to Libya, he was hanged in public; I heard for shaking hands abroad with a dissident. In 1996 1,200 inmates of Abu Salim, Tripoli’s main political prison were massacred.

    When it rains in Benghazi, there's danger of the water being contaminated with sewage. Four hundred and thirty-eight children in Benghazi hospital contracted HIV in 1998. Some of the world's foremost HIV experts blamed the epidemic on poor hygiene practices in the hospital. And yet how many billions has Gaddafi got stashed away? How many billions has he given to other countries particularly in Africa?

    There are many other issues such as unemployment, corruption, the taking away of people's land and property, the necessity to know somebody in government to get anywhere and so on.

    I agree there’s blatant hypocrisy in the West's dealings with Libya and a prime example is Blair's rapprochement with the Libyan regime in 2004 only 8 years after the Abu Salim massacre. This was followed by a gradual arming of Gaddafi with the Foreign Office approving in 2007 the sale of water cannon and armoured cars, used against the protestors. Again, Britain approved the export of sniper rifles to Libya just months before Gaddafi’s troops began killing protesters. British police officers secretly trained members of Libya's force and UK Special Forces trained the Libyan army.

    Of course the West wants Libya’s resources. Why else would they be making such an effort?

    And I have little doubt that the protests were triggered by France, the US and the UK but the Eastern region was ready to blow and I’d say ninety per cent of Libyans welcome the help of the West in removing of Gaddafi. Had the West not interfered in the bombardment of Benghazi, there is very little doubt there would have been a massacre of huge proportions with Gaddafi taking his revenge on the ‘rats and cockroaches’ who defied him. The city would’ve been flattened with thousands dead.

    Here are some tweets I copied the other night when Tripoli was being bombed. I can’t say a hundred per cent if they’re genuine but I do know they reflect the views of many Libyans I have met.

    "Everyone is cheering and saying Allah Akbar on roofs, We want more and more"

    “I hate that my country is being bombed. I hate that it HAS to be bombed. If you think otherwise, you live in a fairtytale.”

    “Please don't stop bombing Gaddafi. The ppl of Tripoli are on the rooftops praying for more jets.”

    “Bomb the daylights out of the Gaddafi forces”

    “People in Tripoli are on the roofs cheering NATO strikes. Give the Gaddafi’s more…Get him”

    “can't describe ecstatic happiness of ppl in Tripoli when they hear these explosions. whistling all over….”

    To my mind the greatest shame is that the people of a country with so much potential have had to resort to the help of the countries that assisted their leader in enslaving and brutalising them.

  • ingo

    The bonding exercise over, with the joint strategy board established, as if it never existed beforehand, thanks for that Mary, we are now being preped for the last big flagration against Syria and Iran. Damn Ahmadinedjad better stands his grounds against the mullahs, otherwise we might have no tree to bark up at anymore. Whatever would happen if a moderate candidate gets the support of the religious fraternity in Iran? all the geostrategic planning for chaos would stall, or would it?
    Like bloodhounds on a trail of an injured prisoners, we are scorching oil rich countries with our greed avarice and dependency on this junk, despite having the knowledge to 'do different'.

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