Tuesday, March 22, 2011


In this instance I'm going to rely on the media and not dig any deeper.

A group in Libya decide they don't like their current government and want to get rid of it; the government cracks down on them.

Let's take that as our starting point. Whether we like it or not Gadaffi is the current head of the legitimate government, he's been recognised as such by other countries and has a voice at the UN. Next point - he's not suddenly attacking a group because they've got different coloured skin; have a different accent; originate from another area; or practice a different religion. He's not systematically wiping out a entire subset of the population. He's responding to a threat to the government in a way they've been doing since he came into power, merely on a more visible scale.

Just at the point where he's almost got things settled down the UN enacts a no-fly zone. At which point UN forces start bombing runs. Sorry how exactly did we jump that quickly to making sure there's no flying to actively taking out military targets?

This has gone beyond "protecting civilians" and is now at 'we agree with the protesters'. The UN has in effect declared against Gadaffi. Now I don't like his regime, I hope the protesters win; but the greater picture needs to be examined.

The UN has taken action against a government it previously recognised and worked with not because it committed genocide, not because it threatened other countries; but because it responded to an internal threat to itself.

We may not like the way it was dealt with, but how is this any different to the way certain other high-standing UN countries deal with 'dissidents'?

As seems to be the case the UN only acts like this against countries it knows can't respond in kind and there's a word for that - bully.