Coffee House

Libya is imploding. Why doesn’t Cameron care?

27 July 2014

4:23 AM

27 July 2014

4:23 AM

The US has said it has temporarily evacuated its staff from the Libyan capital Tripoli over security concerns. Earlier this year Mary Wakefield discussed in The Spectator how David Cameron wasn’t paying due attention to the troubles in Libya:

A few days ago I went to a talk about Syria; one of those events for the concerned layman, in which a panel of experts give a briefing. Everything sounded depressingly familiar until expert number three piped up: I hear people blame Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the Islamists in Syria, he said, but in fact, they more often come from Libya. The crowd shifted in discomfort. Isn’t Libya done and dusted? Oh no, said the expert, it’s full of al-Qa’eda training camps now, especially in Benghazi.

My first thought, unusually, was to feel sorry for David Cameron. Remember how proud he was on his victory visit to Tripoli at the end of the Libyan war? There he stood in the five-star Corinthia hotel, by Sarko’s side, his arms full of flowers, his cheeks pink with pleasure. His friends say that these days Libya has become his ‘happy place’. When times are tough and backbenchers uppity, his mind wanders to Benghazi: well, at least we done good there. Just imagine him discovering that the worst offenders in Syria are those he liberated from Gaddafi. Nothing more infuriating than being hoist by your own petard.

But worse for Cameron, and for the allies of 2011, is that it’s not just Syria (or Mali, say) feeling the fallout. Three years on, unnoticed by most of the world, Libya itself has become a heartbreaking mess. Those same rebels who once formed the allies’ army have fractured into militias — more than 1,000, it’s said — some tribal, some Islamist, all at loggerheads. Assassinations and kidnappings have become routine; last year even the man in charge of investigating assassinations was assassinated.

As a measure of Libya’s descent, take that same Corinthia hotel where once our PM took a bow. In Gaddafi’s day it was impeccably secure, full of top dogs from BP sharing hubble-bubbles with junior members of the ruling family. Last August, the EU ambassador was rammed and robbed at gunpoint outside. Two months later, Libya’s then prime minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped right out of the Corinthia by some antsy militia. Not so many oilmen at the bar there now.

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As of this week, in fact, the oil business, on which modern Libya rests, is being done not by government but by a smooth–looking 33-year-old bandit called Ibrahim Jathran. Jathran was once commander of the ‘Hamza’ brigade, and a bright star in the rebel army. During the Libyan war he and his men took the eastern ports from Gaddafi, and he was rewarded with a top job post-war: head of the Petroleum Security Guard.

A weak, corrupt government 500 miles away can’t keep a lid on the likes of Jathran. Six months ago he took the ports for a second time, and kept ’em. He set up blockades, preventing exports, and has just made his own first sale of Libyan crude — $30 million of it — to a mysterious tanker called Morning Glory. Poor Mr Ali Zeidan, hopping with rage and terror, sent in the navy, but on Tuesday the Morning Glory broke through at least the initial blockade and Zeidan stood down as PM in shame.

Should we now barge in; help the next poor bloke take back the ports? Well, even if we could… it’s complicated. CNN interviewed Jathran over the weekend under the headline ‘Robin Hood or robber?’ And it’s a fair question. Jathran’s a separatist from eastern Libya (which he calls by its ancient name, Cyrenaica) and plans to use the oil money to beef up his neglected region. He’s also said that the government is corrupt and controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and that he’s sick to death of oil money being used to fund al-Qa’eda-style terrorism abroad. ‘I won’t let Libya become like Syria,’ he’s said.

But nor can the government let Jathran be, because oil is, almost literally, Libya’s lifeline: under Gaddafi, during the boom in production and prices, Libyan life expectancy leapt 25 years, from 51 to 75, and from the oil flowed free education and healthcare. Mad Dog was pumping nearly two million barrels a day, and now, what with the trouble both in ports and oilfields, it’s 200,000 and falling. As oil revenues splutter out, so does confidence in government. In the 2012 election 2.8 million registered to vote. This year only a million registered and less than half of them turned up.

So what now, oh allies? What does a humanitarian interventionist do when the humans he intervened to help begin to look worse off than they did before? I think at the very least he has a duty to look the situation in the face; to understand and accept the consequences of his war. My fear is that Cameron’s pique over his good guys turning bad will mean he tries not to think about it, mimics Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq and says, ‘Stuff happens.’ It’s not my fault. Move on.

But a reluctance to accept responsibility now is a corollary of a deeper problem: a reluctance to plan properly in the first place. I was against our intervention in Libya, not because I thought Gaddafi was a decent leader, but because even pals of Cameron said there’d be no thinking through the different possible outcomes.

And so much of what’s gone wrong seems predictable. Gaddafi was paranoid, and had no proper police and no real army save his personal guard. So who did we think was going to support a new government? It’s easy to be smart in hindsight, so let’s look forward: rival militias coalesce into regional war lords, which means corruption. And what then? Well, it’s in just this kind of environment that groups like al-Qa’eda thrive — offering an exhausted people security in exchange for sharia law.

On 18 March 2011, three years ago next Tuesday, David Cameron stood in the Commons and argued passionately for UN resolution 1973, which would impose a no fly zone in Libya. There are three tests, and it’s passed them all, he said: we must demonstrate need, we must ensure regional support and we must show that there’s a clear legal basis.

Next time, let’s add a fourth requirement before we go to war: that the government demonstrate that they’ve thought through the consequences as well.

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated  & 


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Show comments
  • NeilMc1

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” F.D. Roosevelt.
    Now you have to work out why they keep making the same “mistakes”!

  • Cyril Sneer

    He bluffed and blundered his way through Libya, his achievement, a failed state and a terrorist haven. He tried to intervene in Syria but was ousted by parliament and by utterly misreading the public feelings, nevertheless his US paymasters proceeded anyway, Syria is now torn apart by war.. His unquestioning, snivelling, obedience to the EU and the US in their idiotic murderous foreign adventures.

    Ask yourselves, can you trust a man who blindly follows the US into foreign incursions abroad that have produced no benefit at all to anyone but the US military complex?

    Our media now complicit, unquestioning of the US led propaganda against Russia and the utter desire by our unwanted leaders to push for conflict and not for peace, to accuse and defame without evidence, to export death and to not report the reality, to destroy sovereign nations and divide people.

    The world is being led by the nose to a very violent and unsettled future by the fascists in Washington and Brussels. The complicit media and its propaganda is akin to 1930’s Germany and this I find to be the most worrying and unsettling, as a media that fabricates reality is one that will keep the public in ignorance until past the point of no return.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Hate to say I told you so, but… The following is from something I wrote in March 2011 in response to a pro-intervention piece. Note Outcome Four…

    Here’s one outcome: we decide at some point that we have done enough bombing, whereupon the tide immediately turns in Gaddafi’s favour. What’s to stop him carrying through all the massacres he had planned in the first place, plus a few extra since the bombing will have given him and his supporters many more scores to settle?

    Outcome two: when we stop bombing we leave a standoff which will be resolved, if at all, only after an indeterminate period of civil war. What are the chances that this will further the protection of civilians?

    Outcome three: we enable the rebels to overthrow Gaddafi and form a government. But Gaddafi’s supporters now turn insurgent. Iraq all over again. Same question as in outcome two.

    Outcome four: the rebels manage to utterly defeat Gaddafi and his forces (though miraculously without killing large numbers of his civilian supporters). However, because the rebels are a hopelessly disparate bunch containing everything from pro-Western liberals to al Qaidists, they turn against each other as soon as Gaddafi has fallen and plunge the country into continued civil war. Same question again.

    Outcome five: Gaddafi utterly defeated, but this time the rebels hold together and form an effective government. But the bad news is that it turns out that the al Qaidists are the predominant force among them. The government is more repressive even than Gaddafi’s. All dissent is met with massacres.

    Outcome six: under the impact of the bombing Gaddafi has a change of heart and sues for peace. A peace conference is held at which all parties agree to forego reprisals and hold free elections. An elected government takes power and duly submits to the verdict of the voters five years later. The people of Libya live happily ever after.

    So one scenario out of six in which the criterion for a just cause to which Dr [William] Oddie refers – “prevention of a worse evil” – is met. Is there as much as a one in six chance of it turning out that way?

  • rtj1211

    History is littered with objectionable regimes overthrown with the support of the west leading to far worse ones as a result.

    Try Japan before the second World War. Try Iraq. Try Libya. Try Mossadeq. Try Allende.

    You’d have thought the West would have learned if they meant well.

    You’d be wise to assume that they knew full well what would happen and did it anyway.

    You journalists really should get out from your pot smoking nirvana which inculcates that Western leaders are kind, benevolent and wise.

    If you could understand that they are ruthless, self-serving and callous, you would be closer to the truth.

    And you might like to focus more on the puppet masters rather than their mouthpieces when you determine who ‘Western Leaders’ actually are…….

  • NotYouNotSure

    Add a fifth requirement to go to war, clearly explain what the purpose of going to war is. The no fly zone, transformed into a regime change war, Cameron blatantly lied, in a lawful society such actions would have Cameron in jail.

  • Roger Hudson

    Cameron must realise by now that the rush to ‘do something’, even in the face of horror like the Gaddafi march on Bengazi , is usually a big mistake. Let’s hope he really re-thinks the Ukraine business, read all the history, get reports from all sides and then weighs up the pros and cons of every move.
    The best tactic for dealing with nutters (gadaffi, putin, the bloke down the pub) is to ignore him until he is two arms lengths away, put up your fence stance and if he still moves on you whack him quick and hard.

  • flexdream

    Our Western leaders are too gung ho. Frustrated at being denied a war against Syria. Itching to confront Russia. Why do they never learn?

  • global city

    He’s done Libya…what do you mean?

  • Ordinaryman

    Generally speaking, Islamic societies only seem to be peaceful when there’s a strong dictatorial power controlling them. I have no problem with that, if that’s the way they want to live and it maintains some sort of peace and stability for them. If this is the case, then we should back away from any sort of intervention or interference in the current Middle East disturbances and wait for the strongest of the current batch of antagonists to emerge and re-establish dictatorial control over their Muslim communities.

  • Jenny_Tells

    As much as we may detest despotism, tyrannical dictatorships offer one big advantage: they keep their countries stable. Once the dictator is removed, those factions that have been oppressed go to war with the former ruling factions. Although Saddam and Gaddafi fell out of favour with the West, it was no excuse for “regime change” in Iraq and Libya, since enforced regime change in Islamic countries is never successful.
    The West never seems to learn from history, and the same mistakes are made over again. It would have been so simple to keep these dictators in power, bribed by oil revenues to keep the peace with the West. But no, the West had to exert its military might, which has only succeeded in stirring up hornets’ nests that will last for decades to come. What is more, by creating the conditions for the growth of militant Islam, the West’s homeland security has been put in jeopardy. Even if we cared about “human rights” in Islamic lands (they don’t, so why should we?), there is very little that can be done now, Pandora’s Box has been opened.

  • Mike

    Cameron along with the bleeding heart liberals don’t care about Syria, Libya or Iraq as none of the tens of thousands have died at the hands of the Israelis. They don’t want to talk about Muslims killing Muslims as its not the right thing to do.

    However, at the beginning of the fight against Hamas, just one Palestinian killed in Gaza brought out all the racists and bigots from the left to demand the world intervene against a terrorist group (Hamas) who started this conflict but what has the truth got to do with anything !

  • Chubby Green

    Libya was just Scamerons own liberal interventionist war he must follow his hero Bliar. Anybody who thought we should get involved in Syria is in serious need of medical help!

  • The Masked Marvel

    What a stupid question. He’s not allowed to care anymore. Either the Leftie media are screaming about Bush and Blair and illegal invasions, or the very Right-wing base is screaming, “Nothing to do with us! Nothing to do with us! Close the borders instead!”

    Cameron has an election to think of, with less than a year to go and enemies at the BBC and elsewhere waiting to pounce, and nothing he can do about Libya will help that.

    • Mr Smith

      lol

  • Mr Smith

    The ghosts of Gaddafi will come back to haunt Cameron. God willing.

  • Newcombe

    Because Muslim and lefties in Britain are not bothered and are not marching up and down the streets of Western capitals?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Bingo.

      Dave is concerned about islamofascist opinion, and lefty opinion. Those are his constituents. Those are his allies.

      • Alexsandr

        he will be when we get pogroms like the ones in Paris last week.

    • NotYouNotSure

      Ok, so you get your wish, people will start marching up and down the streets to protest Libya. But what exactly are they protesting, that the country is being torn apart by endless number of ethnic factions ? Are they going to demand that Britain invades and forces everyone to like each other ?

  • HookesLaw

    What can Cameron do? Parliament has voted against interventions.
    This is a preposterous article.
    The blame for the miseries in the world rest solely on the Labour Party and those thick backbenchers who voted with him.

    • pointlesswasteoftime

      “The blame for the miseries in the world rest solely on the Labour Party” – yes, all those miseries in Francophone Africa, The Russians getting mischievous again, the Chinese expansionist agenda, the rise of a less pacifist Japanese government, the drugs cartels of South America… I mean, come on. You hate Labour. Fine. But the blame for the miseries of the world rests on the shoulders of many governments of all political hues.

  • Peter Stroud

    It was pretty clear at the time that Cameron, and Hague, had not thought through the ramifications of attacking Libya. There seems to be a woeful lack of knowledge of the way Middle Eastern /Moslem populations act, when released from the rule of secular dictators.

    • HookesLaw

      No its pretty clear you are making it up as you go along.

      • pointlesswasteoftime

        No, it’s pretty clear they had not paid any heed to what happened in Iraq.

      • Cyril Sneer

        It’s pretty clear to all that you’re as deluded as Cameron.

    • Bonkim

      If you had all the answers when you start you will reverse fast and disappear from the scene.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …and in the case of Libya that would have been preferable to what’s occurred.

        • Alexsandr

          if we are going to have foreign wars we have to plan for victory. not just run away when we have created chaos.

          • Conway

            Better still, don’t get involved in the first place.

  • Bonkim

    Regrettably there are too many humanitarian waste lands across the globe and increasing due to population explosion and fast depleting resources. The 21st century will be seen as the century when the technologically and organisationally advanced world order created in the 20th century finally cracked up and human civilization ended.

    • Jack

      Cheer up, old chap

  • Blindsideflanker

    Because he is a happy clappy metropolitan man who superficially thought he could ‘liuberate’ a country, and didn’t think about, or plan for the the long term consequences of his actions. His thinking didn’t go beyond… Oh lets get rid of a Dictator this week, that will look very good on my poll ratings.

    Cameron’s lack of care of course isn’t limited to Lybia, fortunately, all be it a bit late, Parliament put a stop to his foreign venture blunderings. Cameron is like an incompetent DIYer, who keeps on starting projects to make things better, but makes things worse, and never finishes a project.

    • Chingford Man

      Or “lets get hire a Dave Dolly this week, that will look very good on my poll ratings.”

    • Bonkim

      You can only do something where the situation is in your control – no point Camern wasting time over Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria if all these locations are degenerating into chaos and tribal and sectarian conflict – that was and still is their natural order. Let them go to the dogs.

      • HookesLaw

        The UK cannot act alone and its up to the rest of the western world to act together. Our own parliament voted against interventions and this of course rapidly poisoned the well of determination.

        • Bonkim

          Makes little difference today – intervention is like getting in between a gang fight – unless you are prepared to be ruthless and clobber all comers never mind the humanitarian angle – don’t get in. The Western world has found its limit – every location it touched is now exploding. May be time to go back into the Lager and hatch down.

          • Mike

            Yep, its like trying to seperate two rabid dogs having a fight to the death, you don’t get involved unless you can shoot both of them.

        • global city

          ‘Dave’ could lead them. he’s a leader, is he not? One of the great statesmen of this or any age? We’re so lucky to have his wisdom and guiding hand.

      • Damaris Tighe

        “if all these locations are degenerating into chaos & tribal & sectarian conflict – that was & still is their natural order”. Why have you left Gaza out of this list?

        • Bonkim

          Good point – Gaza included.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Peace is breaking out all over the speccie today! Maybe there’s hope yet for the middle east.

            • Bonkim

              Famous last words!

              • global city

                Right, I’m sick of you two and your love-in, I’m off to invade Costa Rica.

                • Bonkim

                  The 5th Cavalry will be waiting for you at San Jose. See you soon.

    • HookesLaw

      Just another example of thick prejudice.

      • southerner

        For “thick prejudice” read “anybody who questions a single decision of my beloved Dave”,

  • Chingford Man

    Another brilliant success for the failed PR man.

  • telemachus

    ..

    • Alexsandr

      far more arabs are killed every day in the ISIS insurgency. And ISIS are performing ethnic cleansing. And of course planning to mutilate the gentials of every woman of child bearing age.

      why is everybody jumping up and down about Gaza when there is a veritable bloodbath next door?
      ir is it just ignorant anti-semitism?

      • telemachus

        Because the Israeli state is purportedly civilised

        • Emulous

          You would do better telling us why the Hamas butchers keep firing rockets from hospitals schools and family homes.

          • ilPugliese

            Is it something to do with Halal?

        • Alexsandr

          yes and its under attack from an uncivilised culture that is vowed to destroy it.. Are you going to say the UK is uncivilised because of what we did in WW2?
          You need to get real on how wars work.

          • telemachus

            Now just who do you think represents who in this verse from Samuel?
            49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

            • Damaris Tighe

              Since when, to use an analogy, does being in possession of a knife rather than a gun render self-defence immoral?

            • lookout

              40, 5 stones, represent the 5 books of the torah

        • Damaris Tighe

          Since when has being civilised entailed no right to self-defence?

          • Jack

            Since when does bombing UN schools equal self-defence?

            • Alexsandr

              depends on whether it was a) deliberate or a miss and b) whether there was ordnance in said school.

            • Damaris Tighe

              Since the UN started allowing Hamas to hide & remove ordnance at its schools.

              • global city

                “to dispose of in the manner in which they deem fit” which basically means to fire them off into Israel.

            • Mike

              It has everything to do with self defence, since the UK & USA flattened Dresden during WWII becuase Germany was doing EXACTLY the same thing as Hamas by firing rockets with war heads indiscrimately at civilians.

              You get fired upon and you retaliate but we didn’t warn the civilians in Dresden to protect our planes whilst Israel did warn the Palestinians to desist or face the consequences.

              Its a war, don’t you get it, its not some computer game that the tree hugging liberals seem to think it is.

        • Mike

          They are civilised by western standards. They have free elections, they exercised restraint for a long time before fighting back against Hamas and they warned people beforehand what they would do and where they would destroy Hamas buildings.

          It is Hamas, just like ISIS that commit atrocities like using a human shield rather than standing up like men and fighting their own corner. They are cowards, bullies and lower on the evolutionary ladder than pond life. As such, they should be flushed down the toilet like the s*** they are !

          • ilPugliese

            Perhaps civilised by Middle Eastern standards. We don’t bomb criminals’ houses in Britain.

            • Mike

              Yes we do and have retaliated in a similar fashion to Israel many times.

              During WWII when the ‘criminals’ in Germany dropped bombs on us and sent V1 & V2 rockets over to hit London we retaliated big time to try and send a message.
              Whilst a single rocket might have killed 20-100 Londoners we eventually hit back and had the ‘thousand’ bomber raid on Dresden which dropped nearly 4000 tons of high explosive & incendiary devfices and killed between 22,000 to 25,000 people over the two days of bombing. Gaza is a minor action by contrast as the bombing of Dresden created a firestorm and the city was completely destroyed to all intent and purpose.

              There is no moral stand on Gaza or Dresden to take as
              war is war and the objective is to stop the terror bombing or rockets being dropped on you. Whilst the warring parties (UK & Germany) kept to targets such as airfields or munitions factories, the civilian population were by and large left alone from any bombing. Once Germany found it couldn’t make Britain submit or sue for peace, they started bombing London which had no military significance but obviously a propaganda one to try and demoralize the British people. Hamas never even tried phase I of their war by engaging their ‘enemy’ face to face but went straight to phase II and has been firing V1s and V2’s at Israel for years. In comparison to the UK & US airforce’s bombing of Dresden, Israel has been very restrained in their response.

              However, If you fire rockets at civilian targets with the explicit intention to kill and maim you deserve what ever response you get and if civilians are caught in the cross fire then Hamas carries their blood on their hands. Dresden was a deliberate, calculated and appropiate
              response to a war monger. The Gaza action is no different other than the action is NOT a deliberate or calculated response to kill civilians.

              I suggest you read some history for a change instead of following the racist Jew haters that post here !!!

              • Damaris Tighe

                “War is war”. Indeed it is, & never has a nation (Israel) fought a war under such self-imposed handicaps. An Israeli rabbi recently said, “We are fighting with one hand behind our backs & that is how it should be”.

                People, dare I say it, under a certain age want to fight wars without casualties. Just too pampered & squeamish for their own good. They should get real & stop emoting.

                • Mike

                  Its almost as though the younger generation as well as our ‘esteemed’ politicians in the west believe that war is some play staion game where no one really dies.

                  Perhaps if they were on the front line as Israel is daily they would have a different attitude but sadly thats not the case.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Perhaps if they were called on to defend their own homes & families they’d have a different attitude – but they’re so far gone I’m not holding my breath.

                • ilPugliese

                  We’re trying to avoid being called on to defend our homes and families here, but the Israeli action (which is never to any avail) continues to jeopardise us. We have enough direct problems with our own developing situation which our glorious leaders continue to play down. Let’s deal with that and not get involved, even as cheerleaders, in other conflicts.

                • ilPugliese

                  It is precisely for the reason that war is horrendous that I argue against involvement and that war should be avoided. Israel could have avoided it, but chose to go its own sweet way.

                • Mike

                  How can you ignore rockets raining down on your civilian population ? Don’t be so daft !!!

                • ilPugliese

                  It’s extraordinary how you Israeli apologists (or however you see yourselves) and Israelis cannot or won’t look at the big picture during a debate. Israel could have avoided it by not setting up Israel in the teeth of opposition from the Arab states, then extending that by building on the captured territories of 1967. They can’t avoid it now obviously. It’s a doomed region and why people are still living there is quite beyond me.

                • Mike

                  You really should check out your history before blaming Israel as it was Britain that handed the land over to Israel. As far as extending it, that was down to the ‘fortunes’ of war as Israel since its creation (by Britain) had to fight off Egypt, Jordan and Syria at various times to avoid a 2nd holocaust as those countries wanted to destroy Israel.

                  When your surrounded by enemies, get attacked repeatedly, beat them back, you then you set about protecting yourself by hanging on to captured land. Again, if you bothered to read any history, you would understand this. Thats why Israel hangs on to the Golan heights after Syria tried to kill all jews some years back.

                  Now of course, Egypt wants nothing to do with Hamas and has an workable relationship with Israel, Syria has imploded without any help frpom Israel and Hamas is Hamas. The pattern of agression within and outside of Islamic states is very clear and its all self created through their religious bigotry.

                • ilPugliese

                  Britain certainly planned to establish the Jewish homeland, but the UN took it over in terms of dividing up the territory. I don’t argue with the hanging on to the buffer zones, it’s the settlements that cause the problems.

                • Mike

                  You get attacked, you fight back, gain some land and the rest is history until the next time. Britain knows this very well after many centuries of fighting in Europe.

                  On a similar subject, what about Argentinas claims on the Falklands or Spains claims over Gibraltar. When we laid claim to the Falklands, Argentina didn’t even exist as a state at that latitude and there were no permanent settlers but still the Argies insist its theirs.

                  Then Spain, despite a permanent and perfectly legal agreement with the government of Spain to cede Gibraltar to the UK, these EU parasites are now demanding it back. I’d love to see what the USA would do if France demanded Louisiana back from France or Alaska from Russia when there was a legal agreement like ours over Gibraltar.

                  History is littered with land acquisition whether through war or aggreements but you can’t keep going back and saying its mine because someone stole it or conned it from us centuries ago. You either acquire it through war whoever started it or you buy it and then hang onto it.

                  The problem with looking at recent history and trying to make a claim is we can equally go back to ancient history and make the opposite claim. It is what it is and you have to get on with it but sadly too many people have that enormous chip on their shoulder blaming others but its their chip and no one elses. Just like the race card we see everyday in the UK right now.

                • ilPugliese

                  I pretty much agree with you. I think that, after the devastation of WW1 and 2, a view was created that we should try to avoid war, not at all costs, but where the costs were likely to be significantly higher than the benefits. (We were not invaded, so we were more fortunate than mainland Europe and the Far East, but the military certainly learned from it.) So, if we had greatly superior power and could achieve a swift and clean cut victory, then there was a case for using force against some aggressor. Terrorism proved harder to handle because the enemy was not in uniform and embedded in the country. Our experiences in Asia and Africa (and also in Palestine) should perhaps have forewarned us about this.

              • ilPugliese

                I’m not a “racist Jew hater” and I don’t follow them. However I have no time for religions. A more appropriate analogy would be with our response to the IRA terror campaign, where we did not bomb their houses. If you consider the action in Gaza to be a war, then you should treat it as such. However, depending on your point of view, you have been at war for from 66 years up to forever, so you might consider dumping the history that you and others always refer me to, and start living today.

                • Mike

                  Equally I have no time for any religion but Islam is like no other and has been hijacked by terrorists & psychos for their own end (Hamas, ISIS) whilst the 95% of Muslims that are so called moderates become irrelevant because they wont stand up to the militants.

                  The IRA analogy is totally flawed because (a) they did not fire rockets into civilian targets and (b) only the only time they attempted a propelled grenade attack was at the government of the day that had protection against them.

                  Whilst not condoning terrorism of any sort, their methods were generally designed to minimise/eliminate civilian deaths but cause major disruption. Islamic terrorism is designed to maximise indescriminate civilian deaths and put fear into the population. The IRA gave warnings of an impending bomb attack and they generally targetted military installations rather than civilian targets.

                  As Northern Ireland is part of the UK quite obviously we wouldn’t bomb their homes but instead we had the ability to round up suspects whereas Israel doesn’t without invading Gaza. Additionally, the IRA stated goal was not the destruction of the UK but the unification of Ireland.

                  Clearly, the IRA situation and Israel in Gaza are totally different whether its the cause, stated objectives by both sides or the appropiate response by the combatants. As I said before, during WWII he had every right to use extreme force against a war monger who was sending rockets over to kill civilians and Israel has every similar right to do the same.

                  The IRA terrorist campaign was for totally different reasons and is not analogous to Gaza in any shape of form.

                • ilPugliese

                  It is analogous in the sense that it was terrorist actions which aimed to kill people. If Israel thinks it is a war, then they should invade Gaza and bring it under control. But they won’t because they know it will never be resolved. That is beyond my concern, but it does keep overspilling into civilisation. Also, I don’t believe being in a war gives carte blanche to kill anyone as a punishment or as an inducement to desist. It MIGHT be justified, but only under extreme circumstances. For example, if the other side was prepared to fight till their country was completely destroyed AND the action was expected to have the effect of stopping the war.

                • Mike

                  You really don’t get it do you ?

                  The IRA’s aims were to get reunification of Ireland or so they claimed. To try and achieve this they attacked military installations or government for the most part. Hamas aims are the total destruction of the Jewish state and they specifically target civilians to try and achieve this. There really is no comparisons between the two as the reasons very different and the methodology is different.

                  Unlike Hamas, Israel has not gone out of its way to kill anyone as a punishment but rather warned Palestinian residents that it was targetting Hamas and they should move out of the way. That they chose not to or Hamas used them as a human shield just highlights a civilised country like Israel compared to the barbaric behaviour we’ve seen from Islamic militants everywhere.

                  America warned Japan that they would be crushed by new weapons but it took two goes before Japan woke up and smelled the coffee. Islam wont wake up until they’ve killed many more of their own even without Israel getting involved.

                • ilPugliese

                  I’m quite aware of both situations and the techniques used. I wasn’t very happy with our outcome, but there you go. I do agree with you on Japan. I cannot see that we could justify continuing a war which would we would eventually have won, but at a cost of our own soldiers’ lives. The difference between that and the ME is that by that stage in WW2, Japan had no supporters. The same cannot be said for Gaza.

                • Mike

                  The IRA had many supporters but that didn’t make them right or justified in carrying out terrorism so why should it be any different with Hamas who have supporters. Now that’s an analogy of the IRA and Hamas that does gel unlike the previous one you raised !

            • Damaris Tighe

              Extraordinary comment.

        • global city

          not purportedly telemachus.

          In comparison to their neighbours they are a haven of peace and love and equanimity….would you not agree?

      • Bonkim

        Behind closed doors and foreign media fear to tread on ISISland.

      • Kennie

        Quite so. We haven’t heard much about this from Cameron and his team. I think O’Barmy has told him to concentrate on the Ukraine.
        The man who recently claimed that the UK is a Christian country, is strangely quiet about Christians being murdered and driven from their homes in Iraq, Syria and most Islam countries.

        • Alexsandr

          christians are persecuted in Pakistan too…

          • Conway

            Let’s face it, Christians are persecuted in every islamic country. It’s what the koran tells them to do.

        • ilPugliese

          That’s because we’re Britain and not tribal. There are people being murdered everywhere and it’s all wrong.

      • Mike

        Its the latter as the left is full of bigots and racists that wont say a word against Islamic barbarism but bash Judaism at every opportunity.

      • ilPugliese

        No. It is quite well informed criticism. And we’ve been jumping up and down about the other lot for a long time. You can be against both.

      • Arnie Saccnuson

        “and of course planning to mutilate the gentials of every woman of child bearing age” … That is not true, it’s just unverified propaganda for the ignorant masses, its all about OIL, always has been and always will be, the religion is just a diversion

    • fundamentallyflawed

      I partially agree – why care specifically about Syria? What about Iraq? Gaza? Ukraine? Brazil’s poor? US Drone strikes in Pakistan (Surely just as bad as Hamas and Israel) and any number of ongoing local conflicts across Africa. Its fine to care, to give counsel and aid where appropriate (proper aid not funding) but you cannot police the world.

    • Ron Todd

      He would do better to stop the Arabs using their own people as human shields and get them to move their rocket launch sites into the parts of Gaza that are far less densely populated.

      • Kennie

        He would do even better by giving up trying to out-do Blair’s ‘triumphs’ of Iraq etc and to put some thought into problems in the UK.
        No, on second thoughts, he would do better by staying on Holiday till the general election, or perhaps he could spend some time in Kiev to give the Ukrainian people the benefit of his ‘statesmanship’.

    • saffrin

      “I suspect he cares deeply.”
      I don’t suppose he does for a minute. He doesn’t see himself responsible for the outcome either. Just like Blair, Brown, Obama and Bush, liars, hypocrites, and deniers the lot of them.

      • telemachus

        Funnily I think Cameron does care
        He is firstly weak
        And secondly guilty in his culpability on this

    • chudsmania

      Of course you refuse to mention the 2500+ rockets that Hamas have fired into Israel so far this year. I have you down as many things , but i didnt put you down as an anti-semite. Which is racism. I hope your proud of that tag ?

    • lookout

      Zephaniah chapter 2: verses 4-7, this is what happens to Gaza

      • Alexsandr

        let us not forget the Israeli government forcibly evacuated 8000 jews from Gaza. Whose land was stolen?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Just tell you Islamofascist friends at Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel and then using Palestinian citizens as human shields.

    • global city

      Isn’t it incredible, the amount of hospitals there are in Gaza? The Israelis must have destroyed hundreds down the years.

      I also find it amazing how they always target schools and disability centres. Are the Jews just cruel, or is there something a little more sinister going on?

      • Damaris Tighe

        The one hospital that nobody seems to mention is the field hospital that Israel has set up for Gazan civilians.

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