Coffee House

David Cameron: why bombing Libya wasn’t a mistake

26 December 2015

1:07 PM

26 December 2015

1:07 PM

Libya has been in the news again over Christmas: the UN Security Council has endorsed a new government but as Peter Oborne found out when he visited Benghazi, the city that David Cameron addressed after his 2011 bombing campaign (video above), there isn’t much government to speak of. The World Food Programme says that 2.4m Libyans will need humanitarian assistance; the country’s population is 6.2m. Its economy shrank by 25pc last year alone and private enterprise is collapsing: the state now employs 80pc of Libyans. At the height of the 2011 uprising there were about 17,000 militiamen: today they number in the hundreds of thousands and they’re tearing Libya apart.

So is it fair to say that Libyans were better off under Gaddafi, and that the decision to depose him can now be seen as a mistake? When James and I interviewed the Prime Minister for the Christmas edition of The Spectator, I asked him about his thoughts. As we consider options for Syria, I thought the full extract was worth running here.

FN: Libya is probably your biggest foreign policy intervention. Isn’t it hard to say, now, that Libya is a better place now than it was before that  intervention?

DC: I would say that Libya is better off without Gaddafi. What we were doing was preventing a mass genocide.  Then, as you say, the coalition helped those on the ground to get rid of the Gaddafi regime and it’s very disappointing that there hasn’t been an effective successor regime. We did a lot to try and help it, I remember taking the Libyan Prime Minister—as then was—to the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland, getting lots of support but the Libyan political leadership up until now—although there have been some good developments overnight—haven’t been able to put together a comprehensive government.

FN: It’s more serious than that. Its economy has fallen by 50 per cent and a third of the people are going to be requiring assistance according to the UN.  Personally, I supported the intervention – but now I’m beginning to agree with the pre-2010 David Cameron who said that we can’t drop democracy from the sky.

DC: I think the pre-2010 David Cameron was the same, you can’t drop democracy out of a box at 40,000 feet and …

FN: And Libya has proved you right, hasn’t it?

DC: The point I was making is this: to build these things takes a lot of time. Of course you had the option, in Libya, of doing what was done in Iraq: piling in with western ground troops to try and stabilise the situation. But I think that would have made it worse.

FN: Worse than now, overrun with militiamen and a humanitarian catastrophe about to unfold?

DC: Well, you have to work with the new government, see if it performs, to get rid of the militias. It takes time.  There just aren’t any easy answers with any of these things. Whether you are looking at Libya or Syria or Iraq or Nigeria or Somalia, you have to try and build governance and government.

FN: Knowing what you know now, would you have gone ahead with the Libyan operation?

DC: Yes because Gaddafi was going to massacre his own people.

FN: I mean moving on from stopping the Benghazi massacre, taking it to the next level. 

DC: Well once you stopped that from happening you had a choice of saying okay, we’ve stopped one massacre, let’s look away whilst another massacre takes place. Or to do what we did: ground Gaddafi’s forces by having a no-fly zone while those on the ground dispatched it.


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  • logdon

    I know who I believe

    Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya (The Calamo Press)

    Paperback

    – October 2, 2015

    Pete Hoekstra, the former chairman of the House Permanent Select
    Committee on Intelligence, tells the real story behind the tragic events
    in Benghazi and the Obama Administration’s disastrous foreign policy
    catastrophe in Libya. ARCHITECTS OF DISASTER documents the role played
    by an inexperienced president and a politicized US State Department
    under Hillary Clinton in turning a stable North African country into a
    failed jihadist state spreading terrorism throughout the Middle East and
    releasing a flood of fearful immigrants onto the Mediterranean and into
    Europe.

  • Thanks Tank

    The turning of parts of Libya in to the Islamic State North African base and a transit point for illegal migration.

    A mistake no, an epochal cluster fu89, yes.

  • Tom Jones

    I really cannot believe how the so called socilaists in the west have become the defenders of dicators like Ghadafi, assad, ayatolahs and hezbolah. Marx must have been crying in his grave for the way in which his notion of socilaism is being used to defend dictators. what a shame.

  • Tom Jones

    political chaos and instability is natural after the demise of a dictatorship. He is ight, in the long run people of liba would be better off. anyone who prefers stability through repression to political confrontation under democracy , must have been born as a slave

  • Noa

    The Spectator continues to perpetuate Cameron’s patent untruth, and his excuse for bombing a sovereign state, that Gadaffi intended to commit a massacre in Bengazi.

    “The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially—including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi….Khadafy’s acts were a far cry from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields….Despite ubiquitous cellphones equipped with cameras and video, there is no graphic evidence of deliberate massacre….Nor did Khadafy ever threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The ‘no mercy’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those ‘who throw their weapons away’. Khadafy even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight ‘to the bitter end’”.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/08/31/the-top-ten-myths-in-the-war-against-libya/

    Cameron, like other members of Europe’s political ‘elite’ should remember that in causing and then applauding the myriad of deadly conflagrations that have arisen from the ‘Arab Spring’, they can have no objection, like Ceaucescu, they suffer the same fate as Gadaffi if their policies result in a similar ‘European Spring’ as the fallacious ‘Arab spring’ in which they intervened.

  • WFC

    Shock, horror.

    Politician fails to admit he might have made a mistake.

    Hold the front page!

    (In other news: Dog bites man; McDonalds fails to receive Michelin star; BBC allows climate alarmist to make it up as he goes along.)

  • JohnJ

    Was that really David Cameron or a caricature? Did he honesty say “it’s very disappointing”. Massive number of lives lost, a country in ruins, the new base of the Islamic Caliphate to destroy Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia. And “it’s very disappointing”! He has created a new level to the British Understatement. Why does he talk as though he is discussing issues with 7 year olds?

    • trobrianders

      Oh, politically we’re not quite 7 year olds yet.

  • Sid Falco

    “What we were doing was preventing a mass genocide.”

    That is simply a lie.

  • Mynydd

    “What we were doing was preventing a mass genocide.Why didn’t the Spectator/Nelson challenge Mr Cameron “

    • EeeYepBlowing Whistles

      Telling big fat lies and repeating them often enough with the tacit approval of an unquestioning msm is the old goebbels mantra – Fraser Nelson – is an establishment puppet and a gutless rat.

  • R Fairless

    Cameron’s murderous escapade can be simply judged by the results: how many people were killed or maimed? Is Libya richer or poorer, are its citizens better or worse off, are they safer or more insecure? Is the country’s infrastructure such as local government, education, health etc. better or worse?
    It does not take a genius to give a swift definitive answer yet unsurprisingly Cameron remains firm in denial. Cameron is hiding under a cloak of innocence but he is as morally deficient as Blair is, both of them being without conscience, and erroneously convinced of their rectitude.

    • trobrianders

      You are mad to expect Cameron to be able to save Muslims from themselves.

  • thomasaikenhead

    “So is it fair to say that Libyans were better off under Gaddafi, and that the decision to depose him can now be seen as a mistake?”

    Yes.

    So is it fair to say that Iraqis were better off under Saddam, and that the decision to depose him can now be seen as a mistake?

    Yes.

    “So is it fair to say that Syrians were better off under Assad, and that the decision to oppose him can now be seen as a mistake?

    Yes.

    • sidor

      In summary, all the decisions do depose secular dictators result in the Wahhabi jihadists getting power.

      This is another illustration for the famous principle formulated by Clausewitz: “War is the continuation of policy”. Before starting a war, its political goal must be clearly formulated.

    • EeeYepBlowing Whistles

      If we depose our own leaders – we can save ourselves from the EUSSR.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So you whitewash for dictators?
      Yes.

      • thomasaikenhead

        Not at all, but I certainly think that things would have been better if Saddam, Gadhaffi , the Taliban and Assad had been left in place.

        Iran was contained by the hostile regimes in iraq and Afghanistan in the past but since the US under GW Bush removed them Iran has expanded to become a regional power and the whole region has been engulfed in conflict.

        Libya is now overrun with jihadis and is a major transit point for illegal economic migrants coming to Europe.

        All four states have seen their populations killed and wounded on a massive scale while the refuge problem now involves many millions.

        So yes, there is a good case for saying things are worse not better after Western military interventions.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          So you’d have nasty regimes in full control of their countries and embarking on foreign ventures.
          Etc.

      • trobrianders

        Psychopathic criminals or theocratic lunatics. Take your pick.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          I’ll pick the UK’s government, thanks.

  • Marvin

    The ultimate infallible PR man. That is the narcissism this Cretan was bred to believe. I keep trying to think of one thing that he has done that would make me agree with him. I found one, never vote for this lying conman again. Or the rest of this cowardly bunch.

  • Joe Dalton

    A few questions that come to mind:
    What is the evidence that a massacre was about to take place in Benghazi as David Cameron claims?
    Is there anyone in Benghazi now who is thankful for David Cameron preventing this massacre?
    Why did David Cameron not push for a peaceful transfer of power after Gaddafi contacted Tony Blair looking to do a deal with the British?

  • MrBishi

    Bombing Libya was not a mistake. Leaving the wreckage to its own devices was a tragedy equal in every way to the lack of post-war planning that Bush and Blair committed in Iraq.
    FN: Do you find it difficult to be treated like a living God?
    DC: Not really, my time at Eton and Oxford prepared me well for the experience.

  • frank davidson

    The first line in his answer to the first question was pathetic. Forty years or so, of Gadaffi and no mass genocide so one conveniently comes along to justify Cameron’s intervention. Could not read more. Mind you Middle Eastern dictators historically have “kept the peace”

  • gkchesterton

    The PM:s justification for intervention is straightforward: It was either Intervention of “Genocide”.

    Which leaves us with a simple question: What evidence is there that Gaddafi was set on genocidal violence?

    His famous TV broadcast (http://uk.reuters.com/article/libya-gaddafi-address-idUKLDE72G2E920110317) threatening the Benghazi rebels certainly promised that he would show no mercy to rebels who resisted.

    But it also instructed his army not to pursue those who fled or laid down their arms. No mercy to rebels who resist is standard operating procedure for a government fighting a rebellion – not a call to “Genocide”.

    Now, I would not trust the word of Gadaffi, and it is certainly possible that the Prime Minister was in posession of evidence that genocide was indeed in the cards. But this evidence has not been presented. Nor is there to my knowledge evidence of genocidal violence in those areas that had already been recaptured by the regime by May 17 2011.

    Such evidence would have been easy to come by (mobile cameras were plentiful) and it would have been eagerly presented by the Coalition if genocidal violence had indeed occurred.

    But that reveal never happened. If there is opportunity, this question should be asked of the PM. His answer would likely be highly illuminating.

    • Mr B J Mann

      That link should be:

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/libya-gaddafi-address-idUKLDE72G2E920110317

      Which, interstingly, ends with:

      “Tripoli has been trying to put psychological pressure on the rebel capital by warning residents to avoid rebel installations and reporting pro-Gaddafi rallies there that residents say never took place.”

      “Rebels have scoffed at the reports, saying they proved the Libyan army was not strong enough to attack.”

  • sidor

    The Libya story cannot be regarded as a mistake. A political mistake implies a miscalculation in implementing a political strategy. Britain (and, for that matter, the West) doesn’t have any consistent strategy with respect to the currently unfolding global religious war within Islam. What we have seen after 9/11 (and much before it) was as sequence of uncorrelated steps, a random walk (Markov chain). Each next step is explained by immediate considerations, but it has nothing to do with the previous step. Moreover, correlation is limited not only in time but in space. Indeed, in Libya the Western intervention has brought to power the exactly same Wahhabi jihadists whom the NATO forces have been fighting the last 15 years in Afghanistan.

    This lack of consistent strategy is nothing new in the history of the British foreign policy. The well-known “Britain has no permanent friends” was arguably the most idiotic political statement of the 19th century.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      I don’t see why we should have a strategy, unless we start from the supposition that everything in the World is about Us, and must be influenced and decided upon by Us (in the “West”). Sadly, such a messianic, utopistic world view seems to be held by the prophets of endless war currently at the helm. For the life of me I can’t see why we can’t have a simple commercial deal with them for oil, have a robust, but not all knowing and all seeing system of security, and leave them to their own devices politically.

      • sidor

        Seneca: “For a navigator who doesn’t know his port of destination no wind is favourable”.

    • JohnJ

      Excellent – but Sidor, just a point of clarrification as you use the term “Wahhabi Jihadist”. The Islamic State are not Wahhaby-ists. Señor Wahhab (Al Sheikh – the original as in awaal alwahhab) had a deal with the Saudi tribe that is completely at odds with Dr Baghdadi PhD. Wahhabies have a flaw of working with royalty. Hence Saudi Wahhabies are definitely not the same as IS – except for the beheading and a few things. They are not Wahabibies ( little arab joke there)

      • sidor

        Trying to discern the difference between Saudi-trained Taliban and Saudi-organised ISIS is absolutely useless. The pattern is very simple and clear if looked at in an appropriate scale of time and space. This war has been run for centuries. There are only two sides, and everyone there knows perfectly well on which side one is. The problem is that nobody in the Dept. of State understands what the war is about. Do you?

        • JohnJ

          There is a point to understand the differences in the enemy. Quite a lot of the early training of the current Jihadi imams was done by the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi , not the Wahhabis. To defeat each of them requires quite different approach. Wahhabis, are more likely to negotiate. Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) are more likely just to lie ( taqiya) and gain power through influencing institutions of the state ( as in FBI, Al Jazeera or Dept of Education). There is a strong case that the Ikhwan assisted the ‘Arab Spring’, for example, to gain power through the chaos.
          IS, on the other hand, being strictly Takfiris have no negotiating position – except death. The Muslim Brotherhood – who are not Wahhabi – are the most dangerous and have infiltrated many levels of Western society.

          I know why they (the Islamists) want war – they tell us very clearly. But I am not too sure why we are bombing them.

          • sidor

            I don’t think you answered the question: what is the war about? It was going on for centuries without any Western interferences. A specific test question: why does Taliban (Pakistan with Saudi behind it) fight in Afghanistan? What is the strategic point of that war which costs the Saudis billions a year? Afghanistan itself is a desert. Why do they need it?

  • PierrePendre

    Cameron’s air attack on Libya was a monumental blunder committed in haste and ignorance and without thought for what would happen afterwards in the absence of ground forces to try to keep order.

    – Whatever the West’s quarrels with Ghaddafi, he was the essential anchor of Libya’s domestic stability, holding the balance for 40 years betweens its rival tribes and factions.

    – His power was challenged by one of these factions based in Benghazi and against which he threatened punitive action.

    -The Benghazi rebels attracted the attention of the self-publicising French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy with claims that they were at risk of “genocide” from the Libyan army. Lévy went to Sarkozy who went to Cameron who went to Obama and Clinton and this crew of incompetents tricked themselves into believing they had a humanitarian mission to save the anti-Western Islamist extremists in Benghazi.

    – Later the same grateful extremists would murder the US ambassador and three other Americans but before that allied air strikes weakened Ghaddafi’s army and provided cover for a general uprising by the unleashed Libyan warlords. Ghaddafi was driven from power and killed.

    – Libya, an authoritarian but functioning country was turned into an ungovernable basket case, riddled with Isil jihadists, where thousands have died unnecessarily and which sees no imminent way out of the chaos engulfing it until a new Ghaddafi emerges and restores order at gun point.

    – It also became a springboard for start of the migration crisis that has overwhelmed Europe with a hundreds of thousands of unemployable young Muslims including terrorists and criminals.

    – You can bet your damn life that Cameron and the other Western actors in this catastrophe will spin and lie until the end of time rather than admit their culpability. Hillary Clinton still boasts of it as a successful exercise of smart power and is protected in her lie by the American media who are desperate to secure the Obama succession.

    – Cameron refusing to apologise is like Hitler shrugging off his decision to invade Russia; stuff happens.

    – The indictment of Cameron is not just that the venture failed but that it was undertaken in apparently total ignorance of the geopolitical realities, thereby demonstrating his unfitness to be in charge of British war policy or indeed to hold high political office.

    • Noa

      An excellent summary and indictment of Cameron and Obama.

  • victor67

    Libya follows the pattern of our other catastrophic interventions in the Islamic world since the dawn of the war on terror.

    Politicians distort reality and over simplify complex realities to support their own narratives.And when it goes wrong they continue to lie and deny their mistakes.

  • Gilbert White

    Notice over the years how deals are struck to let terror merchants go? Arafat and now in Iraq. You need to cull these things dead?

  • taylor

    There is so much wrong with this interview!
    Basically, it was OK to bomb Libya, so we drop bombs, facilitate the removal of Gaddafi and then leave them to get on with it?
    They now have two competing Governments, porous borders and the jihadists have left Syria to set up their little caliphate in Libya, because life is so much easier there. Oh yes, it was certainly the fine and decent thing to do.
    We went into Iraq and backed out; Afghanistan and backed out; Libya and backed out and now we are throwing a few bombs around in Syria. Iraq is a mess, we have had to return to Afghanistan and Libya is a tinder box of jihads!
    Our FP has followed the US and US foreign policy is muddled to say the least. And, of course, Saudi Arabia sits in the middle orchestrating it all.

    • Mary Ann

      Or is it the arms industry?

    • Mongo

      agree, it’s time to abandon the Middle East altogether. Let the Sunnys and Shites fight each other to oblivion if they wish

      intervening in that godforsaken part of the world achieves nothing good – no more military escapades and especially no more foreign aid money syphoned off to corrupt Arab despots!

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    It is never a mistake when it comes to over throwing foreign governments as in that of Qaddafi, which then led to the the current crisis in Libya.
    Now it is never a mistake in bombing Libya
    But it is always wrong wrong wrong when others bomb European nations. What is wrong with this picture?

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      That it is untenable: sooner or later a stronger power will come around and be able to use our precedents against us without as much as a complaint at the UN.

    • Headstrong

      Is it a mistake to urge ISIS to kill innocents? You certainly seem to think its kosher to cheer ISIS when the intended victims are Indians and Hindus, don’t you?
      Your comments, Bernie – “Sooner than later there will be bomb attacks in your Hindu India. WHEN (and not if) that happens and HINDU women, children babies and adults are BLOWN UP I am going to celebrate. DIE DIE DIE YOU FILTHY HINDUS I HOPE ISIS GETS TO YOUR INDIA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I WANT TO SEE THOUSANDS OF YOU HINDUS BLOWN UP”
      As quoted in http://atimes.com/2015/10/after-dodging-war-crimes-probe-lanka-focuses-on-truth-reconciliation/

  • paulthorgan

    People who believe that revolutions, uprisings and civil wars sort themselves out in a couple of years are naive in the extreme. They take decades to work their way through the country.

    Take the example of Germany. The revolution of 1918 led to a civil war, but then weak government and finally dictatorship and war. It was not until 1990, some seventy-two years after the revolution, that a unified German state that was stable could emerge.

    People expect Libya to be unified stable and strong barely four years after the uprising in Benghazi. Dream on.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      And even then, the Ossis and Wessis still don’t fully trust each other. Pegida is strong only in the East, and is looked down upon by the bien-pensants of the Western Bundeslaender.

  • Curnonsky

    If it had been a full-scale military intervention it might have been successful, though that would have required an expensive occupation lasting years – Cameron’s mistake was to suppose that his half-hearted, ill-planned, public-relations exercise would be a clever substitute.

    Either commit or don’t – there is no third way.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      But Cameron is the No.1 believer in the “third way”, if you’ll pardon the joke. And why would a full invasion have succeeded in bending Libya to our will, against fiercely independent tribal fighters? We couldn’t manage in the 30’s and I see no reason why the British should be able to today. Moreover, the “wogs” discovered the successful way to fight 4th gen warfare in the 50’s, and they kicked their erstwhile imperial masters out in the end!

      • Curnonsky

        A few ragtag tribal fighters would be scarcely more than a nuisance to a proper invasion force – the real issue is: who do we leave in charge when we withdraw? Cameron et al’s delusion was that the “Arab Spring” was going to wash out the dictators and replace them with a golden new era of democratic rule in the Arab world. A more realistic approach would have been to find a new crop of tough military dictators to replace the old lot, on the understanding that we’d back them so long as they controlled the Islamic fanatics. That would have required a bit more statesmanship than our camera-hungry leaders can muster, alas.

        • KingaA

          Possibly, but no Western leader is willing to risk a public uproar about “another Iraq”, even if Lybia could have been a different experience with a different outcome. As long as Iraq is viewed as a fiasco, it’s shadow will prevent any invasions, be they sensible or not.

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            It’s shadow has not prevented invasions. They have been carried out with proxies instead: viz Syria.

        • rationality

          Cameron was under no illusion about the outcome of the Arab Spring. We were the ones led to believe that it was a grassroots insurgency. It was nothing of the sort. It was Western and Saudi backed destabilsation to bring in radical Islam. How we fell for it! The realistic approach was to leave things as they are and not meddle in other country’s business but not likely when a sinsiter agenda to be met.

        • Toy Pupanbai

          Just like Afghanistan, the main supplier of opium?

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          You deftly evade my point. An invasion is all fine and dandy, but it is merely a necessary condition, and not sufficient on its own. The Italians tried subjugating the libians by force, and never really succeeded, despite spending vast sums of money and garrisoning many men. I will make a bolder statement: no outside Western force has succeeded in subjugating a native people and bend them totally to their will in the last 60 years, hence why bother trying? Why it is our job to find new military dictators to supplement the older, home grown variety?

          • Curnonsky

            This is not about whether imperial conquest is possible – it isn’t for Western nations because they don’t have the desire or the backbone (China and Russia have no such qualms). What is possible is a decisive intervention in order to punish a dictator who has attacked us or our allies, or (such as Libya) to impose a changing of the guard where the old tyrant has lost control and the alternative is ISIS-friendly chaos. Whether or not you agree with the public justifications for the Iraq war, that is exactly what was achieved until Obama decided to withdraw all American forces.

            • ClausewitzTheMunificent

              What! Balderdash! The US invervention destabilised the country to the point that it only continues to exist as a legal pretence, and this has nothing to do with Obama withdrawing American soldiers – the soldiers’ presence just delayed realisation of the facts. Besides what was Obama supposed to do, keep 100,000 soldiers in the country permanently? I’d call that the outright annexation of a protectorate.

  • Meezer

    Dave the Jellyfish doesn’t need to justify his actions to the electorate. He has lied to them on countless occasions previously yet still they vote him into office. For Dave, it is enough merely to repeat his mantra, “because it was the right thing to do”.

    • EeeYepBlowing Whistles

      Cameron suffers from the same Narcissistic Personality Disorder that Blair has.

      • trobrianders

        Makes them so much easier for leftards to demonise.

  • Hamburger

    His point is correct, he, together with M Sarkozy, prevented a genocide. What happened afterwards is the consequence of Fr. Merkel’s pacifism and instinct to inactivity. She persuaded the French and the British to stop interfering in Libya’s internal affairs and so ruined an chance of a negotiated settlement. Libya is far enough away from Germany not to matter.

    • rationality

      The ‘genocide’ was Ghaddafi’s government forces fighting back against Saudi/Western funded radical Islamists. Funny how all these interventions are aimed only at secular dictators leaving ISIS type anarchy running these countries in the aftermath. But sure just keep on believing Cameron. He wouldnt lie you know…

      • RS

        Having deposed Gadaffi, Dave gets to invent a ‘mass genocide’ that of course didn’t and wouldn’t have existed.

      • Hamburger

        I’m not sure that the Ayatollah Khomeini and his friends would like to be known as secularists.

        • rationality

          I could have added the revolution to overthrow Mubarak too, but I wanted to keep the post brief. Shia Islam is a curse on the Persian people but it is no threat to Europe despite the immense propaganda we have been subjected to these past 35 years against Iran. Its basically not Sunni and is therefore an enemy to the West/Saudi lunatics destabilising the planet.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Exactly!

          Where is the NATO/EU inspired revolution against Khomeini?

          Or against the Sauds?!

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      Genocide. This word has been so misused in past decades as to almost entirely deprive it of meaning. Do you mean that Gaddhafi was in the middle of preparing the near total physical destruction of an Libyan ethnic group by industrial, shall we say “German”, means?

      • rationality

        When I went to Cheong Ek in Cambodia and saw the skull monument, very clear evidence of a bona fide ‘German’ style genocide I just couldnt believe that we hear so little about this mass murder but never stopped hearing about the German one. This was the first time I became aware of the danger of the left.

      • Hamburger

        Yes

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          Well where’s the evidence good man? Preparations for such a task couldn’t have been hidden given the scale.

          • Hamburger

            Our genocidal acts were initially carried out, primitively, with machine guns. I hope you don’t expect me to produce evidence that Gaddafi’s army had them. I recall a picture of a gold played one for his personal use.

            • Mr B J Mann

              In Rwanda they managed to exterminate 800,000 people in a hundred days (a more fefficient rate than even the highly efficient Germans achieved!) using nothing more efficient that an assortment of blunt kitchen utensils and rusty garden implements, plus a few sharpened sticks!

              Has Assad managed to eliminate 800,000 of his own, moderate, people yet, even using the evil “barrel” bomb, his ruthless and evil army and air force, and, supposedly, chemical weapons.

              And how many months has this evil dictator been rebelling aginst the moderates?!

              • Mr B J Mann

                Actually, despite how many times I’ve checked and written those figures, I find it hard to believe them.

                So I Googled the Rwandan genocide yet again and, though most hits quoted the 800,000 figure, the first one said:

                Over the course of 100 days from April 6 to July 16 1994, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis and some moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide. 1. A recent report has estimated the number to be close to 2 million.
                Statistics | Survivors Fund
                survivors-fund.org.uk/resources/rwandan-history/statistics/

                • Mr B J Mann

                  It kinda puts the evil mass gun slaughter by the evil mass gun slaughtering US rednecks into perspective.

                  It even puts the six(?) times worse Mexican evil mass gun slaughter over the border in Mexico, where they have much stricter gun controls, in perspective.

                  Especially as Rwanda comes nearly at the bottom of the Guardian’s gun ownership league table!

              • ClausewitzTheMunificent

                First of all the internet might not be the most trustworthy source of numbers. And death tolls are frequently manipulated for political reasons. I don’t doubt that many died, possibly hunreds of thousands, but I find it suspicious that such clean numbers were arrived at in estimating the number of murdered in a “popular” genocide which wracked an entire country in the middle of Central Africa! Moreover, even accepting the death toll, it can be explained by the unique characteristics of the event: the largely arbitrary Hutu and Tutsi designation, itself a leftover of colonial times ensured that the two “populations” were mixed across the country, both killer and victim living together. Thus the latter were easily available for butchery by the former to an extent unprecedented in all other cases. When your victim lives down the road and you have a machete, you don’t need much organisation to torture him/her and kill them.

                • Mr B J Mann

                  If both sets of figures are right the primitively armed Rwandans still killed an unbelievably large number of their fellow human beings when compared to the high tech Germans!

            • ClausewitzTheMunificent

              I recall a gold plated Ak-47, which is not a machine gun. And the handgun and the rifle were far more in use in the Einsatzgruppen SS than submachine guns or the even more valuable machine guns, both of which were needed at the front. Nonetheless, evidence exists of Einsatzgruppen activity, indeed the deeds of each Gruppe can be reconstructed. If such activity was being carried out in Libia then there would be documents recording orders and instructions, there would be witnesses, and there would, finally, be the missing people themselves.

              It is not as easy a task as you might suppose to kill large numbers of people. They must first be gathered into one place for efficiency and then killed, both of which require a significant organizational effort. That the bureaucracies of the RHSA, SD, SS and Wehrmacht managed to make it look straightforward is only a testament to their misguided efficiency. Heydrich and Eichmann were both excellent organisers and enablers. No evidence has surfaced that the Libian state had such developed and organized structures for mass liquidation. Nor did Saddam Hussein for that matter, he may have killed a few tens of thousands of Kurds as collective punishment (strangely enough this very doctrine is commonly practiced by the West today against “inferior peoples” without criticism), but it hardly amounted to genocide.

              • Hamburger

                Thank you for correcting me, you are going too far, Gaddafi never got as far as carrying out a genocide. He had the capability, arms and instinct for one.

                • ClausewitzTheMunificent

                  Well then so does every president of every country today have the theoretical capability and arms for genocide. And regarding instinct, how many times in the 20th century did nuclear war almsot breakout because of the dangerous MAD posture of the USA and the USSR?

  • rationality

    Getting rid of Ghaddafi was part of the agenda to spread radical Islam as part of the Middle East destabilisation project. Berlusconi paid the Colonel to stop the smugglers preventing immigration into Italy from Libya. This is another reason why Berlusconi had to go as he was totally anti African immigration and was the purpose of the bunga bunga scandal.

    More lies from Cameron. Ghadaffi only fought back against the Western/Saudi funded insurgents and not his people. We too easily believed the propaganada against the Mad Dog Colonel. Europe needs him and thats why he had to go.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      I completely agree with you, however I do have a little quibble. I think it is completely irrelevant whom Geddhafi was fighting: while I agree with your assessment that he was not trying to contain a popular uprising, I don’t think it should have mattered either way: either one believes in (admittedly seldom observed) concepts of Westfalian sovereignty, or one does not.

      What we are seeing is a 30 years war writ large with the big players (mostly the US) seeing fit to impose their view on any weaker political unit, and the majority of states caught in the fray attempting to survive the best they can in the surging seas of world ruled evermore by a “winner takes all” paradigm. This dates back at least as far as the Cold War, and beyond, for while in the 19th century European states seldom interfered in each other’s domestic politics, they played by different rules in their colonies, rules they should have realised would eventually turn on their masters.

      Sadly, if experience is any guide, will take the bones of billions and possibly a nuclear endgame for pragmatic constraints to produce anything similar to the ideas of 1648, themselves imperfect and fleetingly observed. In short, humanity will never to solve its problems peacefully because we seem to be constitutionally incapable of it.

      Sorry for the ramble, got distracted!

      • rationality

        It is completely relevant who Ghadaffi was fighting as this is the modus operandi. Funded terrorists attack government positions and when they fight back the media suddenly appears reporting on the ‘genocide’. This is to get public support but this tired method is looking a bit thin. Though the lengths that these psychopaths go to to herd public opinion…

        Things are very different now to any other time in history as there is an agenda that they are trying to disguise but the Middle East destabilisations and using radical Islam as a tool for political gain is dangerous and very concerning. Societies acting in this way are tyrannical at their heart and it is not good for the future. Therefore I dont think that this is indicative of humanity itself, its just the people running the show. But I do agree that the most likely outcome is some sort of Armageddon (why else are they filling Europe with military aged men). This can be avoided if more people were aware of what is going on and demanding regime change a la 1989. This is why I post.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          Relevant in a practical, operational sense, yes, because they shape the “reality of the TV crews”, but not in a legal/ diplomatic sense. I’m afraid I don’t have your faith in the inner qualities of man. Empires built on coercion seem to be our destiny, almsot regardless of the personalities involved. Perhaps I despair too easily and a political awakening with fruitful consequences is still possible.

          • rationality

            What is happening is a complete charade, The one good thing about the insanity of Syria is that the whole nonsense is unravelling, The UK has somehow not had too much heat as evidence is more towards Turkey and Saudi mainly and to a lesser extent the US and its vassals. It stinks,

            I dont think that our destiny is with the psychos running the show. We see now how bad they are as they bring in millions of the f___ers in some blatantly fraudulent refugee crisis. Really now is the time to be vocal and say how we feel in the real world as well as online. Nowadays I am very assertive on this matter, We have no choice,

          • sarah

            Maybe you already know the ‘mimetic theory’ which Rene Girard developed from Clausewitz?
            His view is that Clausewitz glimpsed the consequences of his insights, but drew back in dismay at the outcome you posit.
            Girard also examines Shakespeare to illustrate our flawed inner qualities;Will was a Catholic or a Christian of some kind.
            Strong faith in a merciful God may be a prerequisite for staring into our own hearts and thoughts?

        • Mr B J Mann

          What amuses me is that the overthrown “dictators” are always “killing their own people” in these EU/NATO inspired civil wars:

          But, strangely, the moderates never are.

          Even more strangely, the “dictators” still manage to lose despite killing hundreds of thousands of “their own people”.

          While the “moderates” manage to win these civil wars without killiing a single one?!

          Even the Americans managed to kill up to 750,000 in their Civil War!

          And as for “barrel bombs”, if we are so worried: why don’t we give Assad some precision guided munitions, or at least sell him some “acceptable” bomb casings?!

          Oh, and for those whinging about cluster bombs, what were “we” using to support mujahadeen and jihadis in the Balkans?!?!?!!!!

    • Pip

      I find it quite incredulous that the mainstream media continue with the seemingly never ending stream of lies (spin and propaganda) even in the face of rapidly increasing public awareness of the truth and reality!

      • rationality

        Its concerning as that trust we had in governments will never be returned. It looks as though they are going for broke on this and its deeply concerning,

      • trobrianders

        Yes surely they should give up now they’ve met their match in you.

        • Pip

          Indeed they should desist from lying and failing to report all relevant events truthfully.

    • trobrianders

      That or else life just happened.

  • Clive

    The astonishing thing about all of these interventions is the lack of analysis of what would have happened if there had been no intervention.

    That is true of Iraq; Afghanistan and Libya.

    I am sure there is no shortage of pundits who would offer an opinion yet nothing of the kind ever happens.

    • rationality

      If there had been none of these interventions then radical Islam would have not been fermented and exported to Europe via the engineered ‘refugee crisis’. Its political destabilisation on a continental scale to fulfill the elites agenda.

      • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

        Radical Islam – or ‘Islam’ as sensible people like to call it – has had the same agenda for 1400 years. Anyone paying attention would have listened to the real views of Turks, Libyan, Iranians, Egyptians and others – and discovered that conquest of the world by Islam is THE mainstream view among Muslims, and that could be seen 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago and more.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          That’s just not true. Just like any other power in the history of the world, various civilisations in North Africa and the Near East attemtped to expand into the land of their neighbours, subjugate them and enslave them. Thankfully they failed, but our own closer, “Christian” neighbours weren’t any better. The 30 years war depopulated Germany by 50%! And it was not uncommon for peasants to be massacred in the tens of thousands, or at least robbed and their women raped, in the endless fighting of the middle ages. The mechanised slaughter of the 1st and 2nd World Wars between European powers killed hitherto unimaginable numbers of people (in absolute terms), rivalled only by the depredations of Genghis Khan of 800 years before. It is not necessary to attribute special meaning to Islam.

          Moreover, you treat the concept of “political Islam” as a single unified entity, when even a single glance at the disunity of the Islamic world today ought to convince you of the opposite. The Ottoman Empire was a Turkish Empire over many peoples, most of whom resented their overlords, not just the Christians in the Balkans. What is true is that because of a variety of causes, including the Western efforts to undermine secularism in these countries, they have never made a firm transition to a modern social and political system and have to some extent turned back on a mythic “traditional past” of the Middle Ages as inspiration. Today barbaric medieval Islam does pose a threat to our societies, but only because we allow it to. In a straightforward competition between social systems ours would win. It is only because we invite millions of people from primitive societies to settle in their unreformed millions in our lands, and because we can’t seem to stop meddling in their politics,that such a problem exists.

          As far as I can see, the problem of a backward looking, revanchist, apocalyptic and aggressively expansionistic Islam would solve itself if we stopped caring about the Muzzies, stopped treating those in our midst like children but demanded from them civic responsibility, and allowed them to sort out their own civilisational problems. The more we are care, the more we interfere, the greater the hatred, the more we will allow to flow at will into Europe, and the greater the danger.

          • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

            Those are good points, however if you are acquainted with the anecdotes of people working in the Middle East during the past 40 years, the anecdotes of those who have actually been Muslims, the anecdotes of those who hae spoken to Muslims directly, you will see that conquest of the earth by Islam is a mainstream belief, not a fringe one. It always has been – it’s not something that’s just arisen during the past 10 or 20 years. Multiculturalists don’t listen to what people tell them, and Western media has not reported the conventional views of Muslims in the past.

            • ClausewitzTheMunificent

              Well in Italian there have been a few good books published by Oriana Fallaci (obviously met with howls by the leftist press). These set out the dark realities of current trends in the Islamic world, but as you say were largely ignored. Nonetheless, while I don’t doubt that this radical word view does not have deep historical roots, I can’t imagine it having surfaced in the mainstream in it’s current form before the mid-1950’s. At the very least, the idea that Islam was going to take over the world would have seemed absurd for the entirety of 19th century and up to the beginning of the self-destruction of European civilisation that started in 1914.

              • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

                Yes, but that’s still bypassing the everyday beliefs of ‘non-radical’ Muslims, that have remained constant.

    • EeeYepBlowing Whistles

      There are no proper analysis’ allowed in the msm – if there were to be the msm would be seen properly as just a tenticle of the state that it really is while the msm claim to be a free press – the biggest of all big fat lies.

      • rationality

        They managed to keep the illusion of a free MSM for so long. The whole Levenson thing in the light of whats been happening recently just doesnt make sense.

        • EeeYepBlowing Whistles

          i have pointed out [across the net] on numerous occasion that as a result of the ‘so called’ testimony given by R Murdoch and G Brown – that both of their testimonies ‘conflicted with one another’ – i.e. That one or the other Or both of them were lying – yet the whole judiciary – ‘still’ remain ‘silent about it’ to this day.

          That as far as i am concerned – was a most ‘TELLING’ point about how high up the corruption goes.

  • The Dybbuk

    Time has proven that the west interferes in the internal affairs of North Africa and the Near East to everyone’s detriment. The populations of this country and France in particular are more at risk after the adventurism of Blair, Cameron, Hollande and Sarkozy who, having further destabilised an already friable region, can hide behind their sophistry safe that the consequences of their actions will not imperil their personal physical wellbeing. The same, however, cannot be said for the rest of us.

    • trobrianders

      Are these the panto villains that you fantasize about? Really sad.

  • southerner

    No Ifs is an utter clown.

  • new_number_2

    He is the Heir to Blair after all, so you wouldn’t expect him to express regret or remorse for a pointless war.

    • telemachus

      This man is a true statesmen
      He got rid of a tyrant
      And now he is changing our relationship with Europe to benefit us all

      • Clive

        This man is a true statesmen
        He got rid of a tyrant
        And now he is changing our relationship with Europe to benefit us all

        Well said

        • Wessex Man

          erm, tele babe being a confirmed Communist was, I think trying to be ironic but as is always the case falling flat on his face.

          • rationality

            He has to be a paid troll whos job is to stop this site from becoming too much of an echo chamber.

            • Mary Ann

              Certainly he makes it more interesting.

              • rationality

                i do wish you would respond to my posts.

                This is Telemachus’ home and he isnt a baiter unlike the problems I get from the Leon,

        • Mr B J Mann

          He got rid of a benevolent tyrant:

          And replaced him with hundreds o thousands of murderous ones?!?!?!!!!!!

          I never realised you were as unhinged as tele!!!!!!

      • RS

        A true Muppet more like. He spent a year getting rid of a two a penny autocrat and created a haven for IS and people trafficking between Africa and Europe.

        • telemachus

          Folks need to live
          There is nothing for them in Africa

          • Cobbett

            There’s nothing for them in Europe either. So where is the sense in letting potentially millions of them enter?

            • telemachus

              We are a rich continent
              We are the difference between life and death

              • Cobbett

                Rich is a meaningless term….as it is totally debt ridden/on the brink of bankrupt. Also, so what? How is it Europe’s problem? Africa’s population doubles every 25 years… They will bring Europe down if we let all those who want to come in. Let them go to China/India or anywhere else if they must go somewhere.

                • RobertRetyred

                  Rhodesia used to be the bread basket of Africa. What went wrong?

                • freddiethegreat

                  Lord Carrington, James Carter and others.

                • Cobbett

                  Let me guess.

                • Mary Ann

                  Spend more on educating the Africans and stopping them from dying and their birth rate will drop just as it has for us in Western Europe.

                • Gilbert White

                  Anybody willing to set megamouth Mary up in a school in Kinshasha?

                • rationality

                  We have been pumping money and scientific and medical advances into Africa for decades and where has it got us? The birth rate has multiplied and they are told that the West is the reason for all their problems. No more money to these people. We dont even get any gratitude. It is an exploitative relationship that plays on our guilt.

                • Mr B J Mann

                  Like you do gooders helped and educated 5 million poor, starving, Ethiopians:

                  So that now there are 100 million poor, starving, Ethiopians!!!

                • Cobbett

                  They are ‘stoppin’ from dying…. That’s the problem.

                • RobertRetyred

                  It doesn’t matter how much money we spend on this. It is the number of wealth producing Africans that matter, compared to the wealth destroying numbers, and they can use their own wealth to do this! Africans are capable of teaching others!

              • will91

                You’re arrogance offends me.

              • Noa

                The likes of you will destroy it. And yourselves with it.

            • Mary Ann

              They are far less likely to have their heads chopped off for being born into the wrong Islamic sect, sounds like a real benefit to me.

              • Mr B J Mann

                Yeah, not even wives and children are killed here for makin the wrong choices!

              • Cobbett

                Benefit for who?

          • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

            Libya was the most prosperous country in Africa. Each newly wed couple was given a home. The future for most Libyans was excellent. Cameron – at the behest of Obama – destroyed the country and jihadists have taken control of 50% of it. Cameron made a calamitous mistake that makes the Suez Crisis look trivial in comparison.

            • telemachus

              So it was OK to let a monster dictator get his wicked way with folks daughters at will

              • King Kibbutz

                So when do we extinguish the House of Saud?

                • telemachus

                  Live and let live

                • RobertRetyred

                  If only these ‘refugees’ would, they wouldn’t need to come here!

                • Ridcully

                  That has to be one of the most breathtaking pieces of self-contradiction I have ever read!

                • King Kibbutz

                  Except in Gaddafi’s case, yes?

                • Neil Saunders

                  Unless your name is Blair or Cameron, in which case it’s live and blow innocent people to pieces.

                • Mr B J Mann

                  I thought it was folks sons they preferred?!

              • Extricate

                What’s good for Rotherham is not good enough for Libya?

              • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

                Yes, Gadaffi was evil, but what of the welfare of his people? Whether you like it or not, he truly cared for his people, and they were infinitely better off under him than under the murderous chaos they have now.

              • Ambientereal

                It was not OK, but the islamic people have another ways. We must not judge their behavior in their own society. May be our leaders could have pressured Gaddafi to make him respect the Human Rights, but now the situation is a million times worse and there is nothing we can do.

            • Mynydd

              I would add 80% of girls were being educated, before Cameron’s bombs, now most of the schools are closed.

          • King Kibbutz

            And so, how many millions is Europe to bear?

          • will91

            Obama will end his presidency with a string of failed states/terrorist refuges stretching from North Africa to the Hindu kush.

            • Mary Ann

              It was Bush that started it. If might have helped if they had finished of the first one properly, or given more consideration to what would happen after the second, when the people elected a sectarian government.

              • will91

                Or when all US forces were withdrawn from the region in the first few months of Obama’s presidency.

              • rationality

                a) Bush was a front man for the Agenda, As is Obama.
                b) There was no purpose for the Iraq War except to ferment division and to prosper the MIC, The Vietnam War was a dry run, Thats how these psychos work and why they need to be exposed,

              • Harryagain

                It was Regan armed the mujaheen in Afghanistan.
                He started it.

            • Fraser Bailey

              I fail to see why that should concern Obama or, indeed, the UK. If these people want to live in failed states/terrorist refuges, that is up to them. Our job is to stop them exporting the people and belief systems responsible into our societies. And that is where where we are failing. Thus Europe, too, will soon be nothing more than an agglomeration of failed states and terrorist refuges.

          • greggf

            This is a prejudicial comment on the people of Africa tele.
            Everything of every resource in Africa!

        • trobrianders

          When people fantasize they don’t usually come up with something quite so boring. How come your fantasies are so boring?

      • King Kibbutz

        He is changing it to what, exactly?

      • Noa

        When the stalinist telemachus supports Cameron and his murderous policies we know that a Labour, or conservative, the same interchangable elite holds power.

      • Neil Saunders

        You’re either mentally ill or the biggest wind-up merchant on the Internet.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      I would characterise it more as illegal, murderous and evil (at the very least in a moral sense because it made the British people complicit in a war of aggression) I agree that it was a pointless war “of choice” given that it was not a war in the interest of the defence of Britain, but this line of argument tends to whitewash, even if by accident, the criminals behind it i.e. Dave, Sarkozy, Obama, by implicitly portraying them as mere naive actors, when they fully realised in advance the consequences of their actions. Moreover, it is for precisely this reason that they should stand trial in a UN tribunal, like their illustrious forbears. Theirs is not the sin of “omission”, of not “having known” or being incapable of predicting consequences, but rather the sin of “commission” if you like, that of waging aggressive war.

    • Pip

      Psychopaths and Sociopaths have no regret or remorse to express in the first place!
      Cameron and Blair both are destined to be held to account by the people for their crimes and betrayal.

    • trobrianders

      And you would have stuck to your pacifist principles while Libya descended into genocide.

      • Slater

        It wasn’t genocide, it was revenge attacks against the rebels in Benghazi which would undoubtedly have ended up in mass casualties. (Of course nobody had the historic memory or knowledge that the Benghazis were hard line Islamics).
        Did anyone in the FO know that the two parts of Libya hate each other and that the Idris monarchy only temporarily papered over the cracks? Or that Libya is a seriously artificial state with straight line borders?
        The question remains why doesn’t Egypt intervene to stabilise its neighbor or even seize some territory? It could do with some of that oil wealth.

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