03.22.2011 04:19 AM

In today’s Sun: the crusade against the colonel

Imagine, for a minute or two, that you are Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi. What are you going to do?

You are hunkered in your family’s compound, in Tripoli’s Bab al-Azizia barracks, with nowhere to flee. You are trapped. For weeks, your mercenaries had been beating back disorganized pro-democracy insurgents, mercilessly wiping them out with superior military might.

And then, early Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama and his western allies — including Canada, whose former prime minister, Paul Martin, had just a few years ago come to Libya to sing your praises — did what you never thought they’d do. They attacked Libya.

They declared war on Libya, in effect, and declared they would not stop until you were dead, or deposed, or both.

8 Comments

  1. MontrealElite says:

    Until Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi?s violent suppression of unrest in recent weeks, the United Nations Human Rights Council was kind in its judgment of Libya.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/weekinreview/06libya.html

    Oh the times, they are a changin’

  2. wannabeapiper says:

    What would I do, under these circumstances if I were ‘Gadaffy’ – well, I’d spin up a big fat Nuke, if I had one, and take everybody with me, and that of course, would be for the glory of Libya and Allah etc.

  3. dave says:

    A side point about the mention of the Lockerbie bombing in the article:

    Al Megrahi’s case was about to go to an appeal court when the Scots released him. I sometimes wondered how much that contributed to his release. A LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS article by one Gareth Peirce (easily googled) has an interesting slant on Al Megrahi’s case.

  4. Michael Watkins says:

    Paul Martin wasn’t the only leader to play verbal footsie with Libya and certainly wasn’t the most accommodating. George Bush normalized relations with Libya, desperate as he was to be seen gaining a “win” against a state with weapons of mass destruction programs. David Cameron appears to have played a role – certainly British Petroleum intervened – in the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

    The fact that oil concessions were an integral component of these various interdictions by western leaders should not be lost on a Canadian audience given we are a petro-state where national public policy is influenced by wealthy white guys in Calgary. Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Total, Petro Canada and others have made large investments since 2004, and one small Canadian player operating there with some success was bought not too long ago by a Libyan state controlled oil company. And for all his bluster, the *Harper* government maintains a petro-focussed trade office in Libya and Harper himself approved a flight stop over in Canada for Gaddafi in 2010. Petro-Canada made a multi-billion dollar commitment to Libya in 2007, on Harper’s watch, and that company was stung by Libyan quota restrictions on Suncor/Petro Canada output in response to criticism by the Harper government over the Lockerbie bomber release.

    As Libya has the largest reserves in Africa, expectations were initially high that business could be done there but the experience hasn’t been smooth and conditions could be said to have been worsening long before the people of the country, inspired by others, decided to rise up. Will the Dutch, French, UK, U.S. and Canadian leaders talk openly about the deteriorating business climate in Libya and how that factors into their military decisions?

    No, they get to hide behind the pretext that their mission objectives are strictly humanitarian in nature.

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