Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Conflict in Libya: can we afford it?

It is very expensive playing the role of a world policeman.  We seem to be spending a great deal of money on conflicts in far away lands, when our people are suffering from lack of hospital care and medical interventions. Hospitals are threatened with closure and NHS waiting lists are very long.  Treatment can take a good deal of time and people suffer the consequences. Yet we can find the money to send jet planes and fire expensive missiles abroad.  People are rightly questioning our priorities and spending.  The wealthy Arab nations should be much more involved in the Libyan conflict. It may be a long and protracted situation.  Should we be spending millions of pounds on this conflict?  We have more than enough on our plate with little to show for it.  We may be paying the piper, but we do not seem to get the right tune!  Things are very out of tune in Afghanistan.  The Libyan situation could take a lot of time to resolve.

Gaddafi will not be going quietly.  He has paid his supporters well and they are often fanatically loyal to him.  To some he is an iconic and cult figure who stands against the West. He may behave like a crime boss, a mafia don, but his henchmen are willing to shed blood and use violence to keep him in power.  They really believe in the Gaddafi family dictatorship. It has served them well and they have a vested interest in the Gaddafi criminal fraternity.  The International Criminal Court will investigate the crimes of the Gaddafi gang.

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