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March 19, 2011

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Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

So it begins. Oh dear, Dave's Diplomatic Deal didn't work then. As I could easily have predicted, Gadaffi had no intention of following the ceasefire he hastily gave yesterday and will no doubt continue to strafe Benghazi from the air and shell it with his tanks. So what to do? Cameron and Hague have painted The West into a corner, so they can either escalate the matter and soon have a full blown war on their hands as it will be necessary to deploy ground troops sooner or later, or withdraw and suffer a massive loss of face both in the eyes of the Arab Nations and here with the British people who are by no means heavily sympathetic to this military action in a country which is no responsibility of the UK.

My sorrow if for any UK servicemen who will suffer death or injury as a result of this action and for their families and friends.

Mr Cameron, NOT IN MY NAME!

It doesn't add up...

A shot in the foot by the rebels. Unfortunately, US dithering means that there is no easy line in the sand.

Ultimo Tiger

Every Libyan plane shot down is one more in revenge for what Gaddaffi has done to our country in the past.

So that one can be for one person on board the Lockerbie flight.

Green and Pleasant

Ultimo - What a stupid thing to say!

Ultimo Tiger

Why?

He blew up a plane full of people over country, now we're going to shoot down his planes and kill his pilots.

Eye for an eye much?

Oh I forgot, this is Britain where saying anything about shooting the enemy is a bad thing.

Ultimo Tiger

...............Ahhh, so this was a rebel plane.

Hmmmmmmmm................Oh well.

john parkes

Perhaps `Martin Marprelate` has different information from the rest of us but as I understand it, the deal negotiated by Cameron was intended to be based on the limited imposition of a no-fly zone. This has taken a great deal of work to achieve but now there is a UN mandate that is wider in scope than that he originally sought. The US has also come on board for the application of it, despite a hesitant start.
The delay in setting it all up allowed Gaddafi to try to carry out an air strike on Benghazi, presumably with a view to causing damage before the allied operation began. However one can assume, I believe, that the anti-Gaddafi faction has been supplied with a low-level anti-aircraft capability by someone (?) and this has successfully brought down a Gaddafi strike aircraft in the meantime.
The welcome news is that there will be Arab League operational support.
In the light of all this, even for someone who is on `permanent send` whenever there is any opportunity for Cameron-bashing, it is hard to justify the implication that Cameron`s work to put together an international alliance with UN backing has failed.
It has also been made crystal clear that there will be no land forces involvement and the line taken by Arab League nations has shown already that any such idea would meet with local opposition in addition to that by Gaddafi.
Of course going to war at any level is a last resort and not something to be undertaken lightly. To that extent `Marprelate` has a valid point to make. Even so and despite this, his `amateur-dramatic` language and extreme declamatory style need taking with a hundredweight of salt.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Sorry Ultimo, but as a Christian I cannot accept that. I do not blame the modern day Germans for the actions of the Nazis, nor the Japanese who now suffer from the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Meltdowns for the atrocities of the war time Japs in the likes of the Burma Railway, Changi Jail etc.

I hold no brief for Gaddafi nor for the rebels who fight against him nor do I wish to see terrible punishment visited upon Libya. Perhaps one should take the lead from Doctor Swire who lost his daughter in the Pan-Am/Lockerbie bominbing but is not vindictive.

My hope is that whatever happens in Libya it stops short of an outright war and is speedly brought to an equitable conclusion with the mimimum loss of British Servicemens' lives.

martin sewell

It is a mistake to think that any action we take is going to influence Gaddafi, that is not the point.

We are told that he has about 10-12,000 decently trained troops backing him. The rest, like the rebels, are good at firing guns in the air for the cameras, and may be very brave if they are the only ones in the room with a gun. What Gaddafi's current supporters need to see is a total wipeout from the air of any planes, tanks or artillery that move against the Benghazi. The observation of such decisive airpower over everything that confers upon him an advantage over the rebels will cause them a rapid re-think of their prospects if they continue to follow Gaddafi's orders. It as at that stage we approach the tipping point where supporters decide that this is no longer a winning team and decide to live instead of dying in the sand for him.

Until that power is exercised Gaddafi will continue to wriggle, play for time and use any advantage he has left until it is removed from him by action not words. The man is mad and unrealistic - but not as unrealistic as most Liberal Democrats. He will ignore resolutions and paper pressure until those "big birds" are flying and doing what they do best.

David Parker

Martin Sewell,
A very pertinent and thoughtful post, apart from your very last sentence.
Whilst I have little time or sympathy for the Lib-Dems, I really don't think that it is either relevant or accurate to compare their lack of realism to that of Gaddafi's and merely detracts from the impact of the rest of your post.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

"However one can assume, I believe, that the anti-Gaddafi faction has been supplied with a low-level anti-aircraft capability by someone (?) and this has successfully brought down a Gaddafi strike aircraft in the meantime."

Oh dear Mr Parkes, looks like the rebels have done a "blue on blue" and shot down one of their own planes. WHOOPS!

martin sewell

David,

I simply wish to stress in an arresting form that sometimes the angst and wrestling with moral conscience is the enemy of decisive action and ultimately timely peace making.

I have just heard an American Military commentator putting the point well. What is now being done is good; it would have been more effective two weeks ago before Gaddafi's men got some traction to re-take some of the rebel towns. Obama and his supporters, there and here, dithered, trying to get " the best coalition" which has salved their consciences but has not assisted many of the poor devils on the ground who have died whilst he and others felt unable to work on the basis of " good enough".

Greg

Martin Marprelate you seem to take a lot of glee from a blue on blue given that you are a Christian!

john parkes

`Martin Marprelate` implies that the anti-Gaddafi faction have strike aircraft at their disposal and that they have `downed` one of them. This is news to me. If on the other hand they have brought down a Gaddafi-faction strike aircraft, what is so `whoopsie` about that? I would have thought this was the aim of the exercise and that coalition airforces will now go ahead and reinforce this approach. The `Marprelate` rather muddled approach here is not easy to understand but I suppose he is trying to manufacture another stick with which to beat Cameron and his policy on Libyan intervention. Puzzling and potentially unsuccessful, to say the least.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

To Greg, "Those who live by the sword". Matthew 26:52

To Mr Parkes. I am consistent in that I do NOT believe in Internationalism, "Police Actions" or any other armed intervention in the internal affairs of a Sovereign Nation State, which has not attacked us nor presents any real and immediate threat, as is what is now occurring under the Umbrella of the UN. If I resent the likes of the ECHR, the WTO and the EU etc telling the UK what to do, I would be totally ambivalent were I to back this current military action in Libya. I also attack the two-faced attitudes of the West. Cameron and Co will take on a relatively weak enemy but shy clear of any confrontation with one well able and ready to defend itself for example North Korea, Iran, to say nothing of course of China. They know when they are likely to be licked and keep out of it. Even a potentially weak tyranny such as Rhodesia under Mugabe is left to get on with oppressing their own people who show any degree of dissent to the ruling Mugabe regime. Of course there is no oil or anything else worth much in that country since it has been changed from a Bread-basket to a basket-case by the Black Hitler, Robert Mugabe. Britain has been very selective indeed as to which Civil Wars in which it will intervene. Kosovo and now Libya are fair game but the Nigeria-Biafra conflict in the late 1960s was ignored as was the long lasting trouble in Ceylon. It seems that some rebels are to be backed but others ignored by "John Bull". I could also cite the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 and the Prague Spring in 1968 when only token objections were made to the then Soviet Union by The West when the formed invaded these countries and put down dissent by force. Of course it was wise to stay out of a possible conflict with a mighty Nuclear superpower but the smell of hypocrisy lingers round recent events.

As to Cameron. I have racked my brains to find anything of moment and with which I agree that he has done since he formed the Coalition with the Lib-Dems in May 2010 but have come away empty-handed. Most of his actions have been against my values and core principles. I will continue to attack him unless he changes tack quite markedly on many key issues, which is highly unlikely. I have no great love for Gaddafi and feel that in time he will either be killed or seek exile in some far-off land. I DO however fear about what might come after him and the longer term ramifications of this military actions for the West in general and Great Britain in particular.

john parkes

`Martin Marprelate` has of course every right to his own point of view. However I find I disagree with much of what he says and the tone in which he says it.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

That's good Mr Parkes. I am having an impact on you. In the words of Al Jolson "you ain't heard nothing yet!"

john parkes

If `Martin Marprelate` thinks he is having an impact on me and that this is a matter of moment for him, I am glad he is so easily pleased.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

If I am not having any impact on you Mr Parkes then why reply to what I post? You could after all simply ignore me.

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