We are going to have British boots on the ground in Libya. They are not going as combatants but will instead be ‘advisers’ to the rebels. Thus mission creep continues.
This adventure was initially peddled by David Cameron as a mission to save civilian lives. This was the caring face of nuclear powered submarines, almost a humanitarian operation really, a kind of Save The Children with cruise missiles. It is a difficult thing to save civilians from the cockpit of a fast jet armed with air-ground weaponry and pretty soon the RAF was acting as the rebel air force, taking out government held positions and heavy weapons.
Even with this help the rebels were too ill-trained and badly organised to make any real headway. You have to doubt the effectiveness of any quasi military organisation which runs out of ammunition because its fighters fire so much into the air in celebration.
As expected the aim of the mission gradually escalated. Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama all said yesterday that peace was not possible whilst Gaddafi remained in power. The mission has escalated into regime change, although this is in contravention of the UN resolution.
Now British troops are going to be on the ground in Libya. This is a war where there are no clear front lines. What will happen if British troops are ‘advising’ rebels and find themselves attacked by government forces? Will they be allowed to return fire? Will we be drawn ever closer to direct involvement in yet another Middle East war?
In the meantime we are not the only ones putting fighters into Libya. An article yesterday (19th April) in Le Figaro, chronicled what has been obvious in a way the British media studiously fails to acknowledge. Le Figaro highlights an interview given by Saleh Abi Mohammad, an Al Qaida spokesman, to the Saudi journal Al Hayyat which is published in London.
According to Abi Mohammad, Al Qaida fighters are taking their place fighting alongside the Libyan rebels in numerous cities. In the town of Dernah, they have already formed with their allies an Islamic Council, “pour gouverner la ville en vertu de la sharia.”
When questioned as to whether Al-Qaida welcomed foreign intervention, Abi Mohammad answered, “It is always preferable to die like a martyr than to ask the help of the crusaders.” He believes that the rebels could have prevailed without assistance, and he does not consider foreign help as “positive.”
There is no clear reason why Britain, or any other western nation, should be involved in the turmoil in Libya. At the end of this debacle all we will have achieved is to put into power those who consider themselves our sworn enemies.
Nice one Dave.