My thoughts

I have begun to worry myself because I keep getting angry with the news, much like my Mum. Oh dear. Well, here’s why.

We all know that the war in Libya is not going to end soon – it’s obvious. Gaddafi does not seem to be the type to suddenly bow to pressure, he is not just going to go. So really, it has only just begun. The coalition has not even got a strategy yet, but the media is still intent on questioning what it is doing there. Trying to stop people dying. That’s what they are doing. It is quite easy to see. Next question – is it a justified war? That depends on whether you think it is ok for Gaddafi to murder hundreds of his own people. I sincerely hope you don’t. When America, Britain and France finally stopped beating around the bush and acknowledeged what everyone already knew, i.e. that they want regime change, the media subjected us to another round of moral discussion, this time on the limitations of the UN mandate. The coalition’s official aim is to protect civilians. Good. Now, what do you think would happen if an agreement was reached which left Gaddafi in power? Let me tell you – he would kill all the rebels and civilians in the rebel controlled area. Therefore the coalition would have failed to protect civilians and the whole ordeal would collapse into a bloody farce. Of course they want regime change.

On the other hand, we have the debate surrounding whether to give arms to the rebels. If we look back into recent history, we find striking similarities between Libya in 2011 and Afghanistan in the 1980s. Back then, the Soviet Union sent troops to help a communist leadership stay in power in Afghanistan. Rebel fighters grouped together as the muhajideen and tried to overthrow the dictatorship. Because the US was engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, they armed the muhajideen. Once the Soviet Union fell, the muhajideen transformed itself into al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Now, they are at war with the West and the weapons they are using were in part supplied by America. In Libya it is clear that some of the rebel fighters belong to al-Qaeda. If the West were to supply weapons it would have to run the risk of them falling into the wrong hands. We have to find a way to help the Libyans secure their freedom without giving them weapons.

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