UK to escalate its military involvement in Libya… even though they promised not to. Funny, that.

So, the UK and France have decided to send helicopter gunships to Libya, apparently to defend civilians from Gaddafi’s forces.   They are sending in the choppers, we’re told, because bombing from high altitude is too inaccurate; which makes me wonder how many Libyan civilians have been killed by their “guardian angels”.

I find it interesting that France is sending French-built Tigers, while the UK will send US-built Apaches.  The defining line between the US and the UK on military matters gets more blurred every day.  When will the British government cede sovereignty to America, and officially announce that Britain is the 51st state?  In his novel 1984, George Orwell called Britain “Airstrip One” and made it part of “Oceania”, which is an analogue of America and its allies (there’s a nice map to illustrate this on Wikipedia).

At the start of all this horror, the British government assured its people that there would be no “mission creep” or “regime change”.  These promises have been proved to be false.  The “No-Fly Zone” was originally meant to stop the Libyan air force from bombing its own people.  NATO aircraft were there to maintain that No-Fly Zone.  But it didn’t take long for NATO to start using its air superiority to attack military targets.  As for the promise that regime change was not on the table: NATO air strikes have repeatedly targeted the homes of Gaddafi and his family.  How is that not regime change?

The stated reason for taking action in Libya was to “protect civilians”.  But what does that really mean?  If I am, say, a Libyan shop-keeper and I get a rifle to protect my home and family, am I a civilian or an armed combatant?  If I shoot at looters, does that designate me as “pro-Gaddafi” and therefore a legitimate target?

Libya is in Africa, and in/near to the Middle East.  It poses no military threat to NATO.  So we should get the hell out of there and let its regional neighbours take the responsibility of  imposing peace.  But of course we won’t, because Libya has oil. The US/UK, and NATO reserve the right to get involved anywhere you might find oil.  Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong for us to protect our economic interests.  But we should be more honest about our intentions.  Remember when Blair and his contempories were beinding over backwards to find a way to “rehabilitate” Libya?  We were perfectly happy to deal with Gaddafi then.  So what’s changed?  Back then, Gaddafi’s people killed his opponents behind closed doors; now they do it in the street.  Is this a valid reason to go to war with him?

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