In the Corporation where I used to work, one guy used the word 'Colonel' as rhyming slang for a half-day. 'Halfie' rhymes with Gaddafi, see? Its funny the things that come to mind when you see endless mobile phone videos of an ageing leader of his nation being hounded by bloodthirsty liberators before being summarily executed against the conventions of warfare.
Sure, Gaddafi was an evil bastard who for much of his 42 year reign tortured and killed his own people. However, this didn't seem to matter when he shook hands with Blair, Sarkozy, Obama or Berlusconi or dined with Condoleeza. More importantly for short-term economic gain, his evil deeds were ignored when signing business deals. Even supplying him with weapons or sending the SAS to train his 'elite' forces was not beyond the pale.
It doesn't seem to bode well the 'emerging' democratic Libya that they kick it off by murdering one of their own. Though to be fair, the idea that the West sees suspects as innocent until proven guilty or that the West values liberty and democracy, does seem to be very flexible in its definition. And here, I'm thinking about Turkey's continuing Apartheid-like state and treatment of the Kurds. Or maybe China and its own massacre of freedom-seeking protesters. Or Russia and its slaughter of Chechnyans. I guess the morals of the US, UK and France do not stretch to reprimanding those nations that are bigger or richer than us.
The usual London-based right-wing tabloids gloated over the bloody death of Gaddafi. But surely they're fooled if they don't think there's a sizable percentage of 'Brits' who'd eagerly deal out the same fate to Thatcher, Blair, Cameron or Clegg. Barack Obama may still be a hero some deluded 'progressives' but for how much longer? Noam Chomsky has already observed that under Bush, troublesome international boat-rockers were merely tortured. Under Obama, they're just executed like Al Awlaki and Bin Laden. See interview here from Russia Today.
The US's arm continues to be a long one. Sometimes, it just holds a puppet as we saw with French aircraft targeting Gaddafi's convoy as it fled Sirte. How can the attack on a fleeing 'enemy' coincide with the UN resolution to protect Libyan civilians? And what of the Libyan civilians who supported Gaddafi?
If anyone seriously thought that Barack Obama would bring a change to international politics and the cessation of US aggression to protect 'US interests' then think again. Remember, Margaret Thatcher too broke a conservative taboo. Having a woman prime minster was a step forward. With Thatcher though we then took several steps back. Will having a black US president be another game of snakes-and-ladders?
Lastly, our enterprise in Libya has cost us some £300million. Will the ConDems of London spend a similar amount to protect public services and jobs during a recession? Aye right. Though, I guess that Cameron is banking on the carve-up of war-ravaged Libya giving a valuable boost to British companies eager to profit from 're-building'. Or, maybe that Libyan oil will flow just a little easier our way. Then, a 'victorious' and canny Cameron can boast of his exploits in defeating Gaddafi and 'creating' wealth for Brits in his attempt to become a UK Prime Minister that really is democratically elected.
Some interesting reading btw...
BEHIND LIBYA’S “SPONTANEOUS REVOLUTION”And this from Asia Times Online: Why Gaddafi got a red card
What the media has so relentlessly characterized as the “spontaneous uprising” of February 2011 was hardly spontaneous. It began even before the Arab Spring itself commenced in Tunisia during December of last year—and it was orchestrated by the West.
In October 2010, Qaddafi’s protocol chief, Nouri Al-Mesmari, arrived in France, purportedly for medical treatment. But he had his family with him, and the declared reason for his trip was a cover story. He almost immediately plunged into talks with the French and their intelligence service. He argued that Qaddafi was weak. He pointed out breaches in Qaddafi’s national security shield that made it possible to take him down. (More on this can be found on the subscription-newsletter site “Africa Intelligence.”)
The Sunni monarchical dictator in Bahrain stays; no "humanitarian" bombs over Manama, no price on his head. The House of Saud club of dictators stays; no "humanitarian" bombs over Riyadh, Dubai or Doha - no price on their Western-loving gilded heads. Even the Syrian dictator is getting a break - so far.
So the question, asked by many an Asia Times Online reader, is inevitable: what was the crucial red line crossed by Gaddafi that got him a red card?
'Revolution' made in France
There are enough red lines crossed by The Big G - and enough red cards - to turn this whole computer screen blood red.
Let's start with the basics. The Frogs did it. It's always worth repeating; this is a French war. The Americans don't even call it a war; it's a "kinetic action" or something. The "rebel" Transitional National Council" (TNC) is a French invention.