A Horror We Made 589

We are directly responsible for the disasters in the Mediterranean. The bombing of Libya into failed state status is now coming back to haunt us. The ludicrous idea, propounded by Blair, Robert Cooper and the Henry Jackson Society, that you could improve dictatorial states by massive bombing campaigns that targeted their basic infrastructure, is now a total bust. Sadly so are Iraq and Libya, to the permanent detriment of many millions of people. We caused both the Islamic State and the Mediterranean boat disasters, and we caused them with bombs.

But the lack of any effective policing is only part of the problem. What makes people so desperate that they are prepared to give all of the small amount they own, to ruthless gangs, in exchange for a dreadful sea crossing with a one in ten chance of drowning? Most of the refugees are sub-Saharan African. We only see the European end of the saga, not the terrible conditions on the cross Saharan journeys that they start with.

There will be no security anywhere if the world does not address the terrible scourge of African poverty and under-development. That is a huge subject on which I have written extensively and worked much of my life, and I do not wish to open it here. But what it does show is the utter stupidity – inhumanity yes, but also stupidity – of UKIP in thinking that cutting development aid will increase the economic security of the UK.

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589 thoughts on “A Horror We Made

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  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    @ all fans of Putin’s Russia

    Don’t forget to tune in to the second episode of Reggie Yeats’s “Extreme Russia” this evening on BBC3!

    This week’s episode is about how LGBTs fare in that paradise on earth.

  • Luke

    I’ve seen it argued that North Korea wouldn’t exist today if we hadn’t subsidised the state during Kim Jong Il’s reign. In the absence of Western subsidies, North Korea would have collapsed like the Soviet Union. So surely foreign aid can’t always be a good thing?

  • Daniel

    I thought I was the only one who picked up on the link between the “humanitarian interventionism/R2P justifications of the main parties, Farage’s anti-immigration/foreign aid rhetoric and the tragedy in the Med unfolding before our eyes. As far as I am aware, the media have not once highlighted the linkages.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    So let’s get this clear before the comments arrive.

    As regards the Afghani, Iraki and Libyan refugees, it was the Western bombings; as foe the sub-Saharan refugees, it is poverty and lack of development (also, presumably, all the West’s fault)?

    Have I got that right?

  • Anon1

    As you ought to know, Craig, most often foreign aid is really nothing of the sort. It is merely payment of baksheesh so that we can do business with corrupt governments. Take foreign aid to countries with space programmes for example.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just part of the story.

    What about Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran?

    And then there is nothing about the Mediterranean Dialogue which triggered the Libyan disaster, and is now pitting NATO against the EU for the benefit of Israel, and now Egypt, thanks to the Germanwings hijacking crash.

    The West is just mass terrorism

  • Abe Rene

    “Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” Sir Winston Churchill

  • Anon1

    Habbabkuk @6:57 pm

    You’re spot on there. It’s always the fault of the West, never mind those who take extortionate amounts of money from refugees from Sudan and Eritrea and send them out on dangerous, overcrowded boats with half the fuel required for the journey.

  • Andy

    You’ll not hear a word about the Nato’s destruction of Libya in 2011. Nobody asks how Libya became a lawless failed state ruled by 1000s of little dictators and jihadis, it’s like it’s always been that way.

  • Andy

    @Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    The jihadi rebels, backed by Qatar and Nato threw about a million foreign workers out of Libya, another 1000,000 Libyans fled to Tunisia.

  • Andy

    @Trowbridge H. Ford

    Sorry, I meant to say in the media. Not here on these comments.

    But Gaddafi was killed because he’d set up an African development bank, it was a threat to the World Bank and the IMF, no more African countries in debt to the west. Trade in gold backed dinar.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “@Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    The jihadi rebels, backed by Qatar and Nato threw about a million foreign workers out of Libya, another 1000,000 Libyans fled to Tunisia.”

    Gosh, your post gave me a bad shock for a moment when I thought I saw you actually blaming the jihadis for something.

    But then I read the “backed by Qatar and NATO” bit and breathed a sigh of relief…it WAS the West after all!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Lysias, good to see you’ve taken up my suggestion to start posting about things American( about which you might know something) rather than things British (about which you obviously know much less). Thanks also for not starting your post with “I wonder..”.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Gaddafi’s ouster and murder divided Europe, especially Germany and Spain from the other states, and now Nato’s Mediterranean Dialogue is exploiting it for America’s and Israel’s benefit.

    This is why France hijacked and crashed the Germanwings plane which contained Spanish spooks investigating the dialogue, and why Madrid is doing nothing about investigating the killing of its 51 citizens. It has only identified 35 of them.

    Germany and Spain were the biggest objectors to the attacks on Libya, and now they are bearing the brunt of the sabotaged airliner while the French prosecutor rushes to judgment with all his lies about the crash, especially the most burned black FDR confirming what the most orange CVR allegedly recorded. Then there was the hijacking of its transponder which is so easy to do that security expert Chris Roberts was banned from getting on a United Flight for merely suggesting he could do it.

    Looks like a mystery attack on one of Nato’s small states is next.

  • Andy

    Hillary on Gaddafi’s death: “We came. We saw. He died. (HYSTERICAL LAUGH)”

    Gaddafi was sodomized with a bayonet before being shot in the head.

  • Andy


    What are you on about? ”the west’s fault”? Nato bombed Libya. A few thousand jihadis would have been stamped out if Ntao hadn’t become their air-force.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    From The Guardian:

    “The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, is expected to sign a package of laws on “decommunisation”, recently passed by parliament, which will lay down an official version of Ukrainian 20th century history. The laws ban Nazi and Communist symbols and the “public denial of the criminal nature of the Communist totalitarian regime 1917–1991”; they open former KGB archives; replace the Soviet term “great patriotic war” with the European second world war, and provide public recognition to anyone who fought for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century.”

    A good sign that free, independent Ukraine is not letting itself be intimidated by its former colonial master!

    Note (you as wekk, Mr Goss!)that both Nazi and Communist symbols will be banned.

    No sane person can dispute that Soviet rule was both totalitarian and criminal.

    Former KBG archives, once opened, will reveal the extent of the depravity of the former Soviet régime beyond all reasonable doubt. It will stand convicted through it own records.

    Standard terminilogy will henceforth be employed for WW2 and not that Soviet parody of a title.

    And finally, it is fitting – and normal – that a country should be able to celebrate its freedom fighters.

    All in all, an excellent set of laws, they have reason to be proud.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    And you, Macky, are a pimple on the arse of this blog’s insanity.

    And now, away with you – you’ve had all the attention you crave from me and all the attention you’re going to get! 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Gaddafi was sodomized with a bayonet before being shot in the head.”

    Perhaps a crude if understandable pay back for what went on in Ghadaffi’s torture chambers.

    You shameless imbecile!

  • Monteverdi


    Charities are sticking plaster on problems created by geo-political politics , but we give because we still have a conscience unlike so many in the political elite .
    Such a charity is the Migrant Offshore Aid Station set up to save lives in the Mediterranean as our political class looked on unmoved .

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Do the Vociferous Posters on here believe that the Libyan refugee traffickers/people smugglers bear any responsibility at all for the deaths in the Mediterranean?

  • lysias

    Note that she didn’t say — as the Caesar parallel suggested — “We conquered.” And that’s just as well, because, as the event showed, we did not conquer. I wonder if she was aware of that possibility at the time, as events like the Iraq war might have suggested to her.

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