Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Wait Years For a War, And Then (x) Come Along At Once

The United Nations Security Council is due to meet in New York to discuss action in Libya.  Western countries want a no-fly zone to halt the advance of forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi...  (Sources) suggest that if the resolution is passed, air attacks on Col Gaddafi's forces by the British and French air forces could begin within hours. It is not thought that the US would be involved in the first strikes, but the British and French are likely to get logistical backup from Arab allies. 

Holy shit.  Looks like they're actually going to do this thing, the nutters that they are.  The French, by the way, are positively straining at the leash on this one.


Well, most of you lot will have an advantage over me - by the time you read this, we'll know whether the resolution passed or not.  God knows how this one will pan out, but I will say this: you have to admire the balls on our leaders.  You'd think western governments could accumulate Nectar points for wars, given the number of conflicts they want to buy into at once.

If it passes, we'll have to assume that, contrary to all appearances, there is actually some kind of plan beyond Bombs > ?? > Freedom.  I certainly hope so, since that was the extent of the plan last time round.

If it fails, we'll be left to wonder why it was proposed in the first place.  There's no political gain in forcing the Chinese or the Russians to veto a resolution, after all.

I find it deeply alarming that so many of the people involved in pushing for this - Cameron, Clinton, John Kerry - are those who have spent the last eight years telling us all how cretinous their predecessors were for miring their countries in ultraviolent bloodbaths.  Clinton and Kerry both based their presidential campaigns around the fact that they'd been duped and outwitted by the most famously dense POTUS in American history, FFS.

More alarming still is the fact that, for weeks now, our papers have been filled with leaders and opinion pieces saying things like We must not let the fact that our previous interventions have been murderous catastrophes prevent us from jumping into Libya with both feet.  When you consider that half of those people have spent much of the decade backing away from the Iraq disaster like it was an angry Bengal tiger on viagra, while somehow also insisting that Al Qaeda ate their homework...  It's not encouraging, really.

Difficult to say what consensus has developed, given the usual media riot of information - I've been told that Libya is 1774, or 1848; 1939, 1956 and 1968, not to mention 1989 and 2003.  It looks a hell of a lot like 2011 to me, but maybe all those figures just have me confused.

You'll know already that I'm no military strategist, beyond some vicious PS3 skills and a lot of tedious books.  Quite what the plan is I can't guess, because at the moment it appears to be halting the offensive on Benghazi, and then.... something.  I do hope it's not And then the people will rise up, because there are thousands of dead Highlanders who could tell you exactly how that plan usually works out. Plus, it's not at all clear who the people actually are in this case, especially since Libya has its share of jihadist lunatics, but I guess we're about to find out*.

Well, fingers crossed for a quick, super-effective campaign that luckily takes out Gaddafi and all of his leading henchmen en masse.  As with Iraq, you can only cross your fingers and hope that it somehow turns into flowers and democracy, rather than a ten-year commitment to blowing shit up for no discernable reason.

If this one drags on for months, with the usual fuck-ups, massacres and unforeseen disasters, then we might as well paint those warplanes white with a flashy red cross on the underside, for the impression it'll make on the locals and their touchy neighbours. 

Update!  Bombs away.  Hope everyone enjoys the killcams.

*The good news here is that, as soon as it kicks off, the Soldiers for Allah's Glorious Whatever are usually the first to get themselves pointlessly killed, charging tanks with AK-47s and so on.  That's what happened in Iraq at least, and... Oh, shit.

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