Sunday 21 August 2011


Not much commentary to add to this except that, in Syria and Libya, we are being shown side-by-side examples of both the costs of intervention and of non-intervention.

Yes, the crowds celebrating the entrance of the rebels into Tripoli do not tell the whole story. This seeming victory has been bought at the cost of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of lives, as well as much in the way of money and diplomatic capital, nor will it be secure until a democratic government is installed in Tripoli. However, the cost of non-intervention would have been to stand by watching as, month after month, thousands were killed and disappeared into jail cells for torture.

[Picture: Former dictator of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, at the African Union summit in 2009, via Wikicommons]


Anonymous said...

After a self-organised struggle session, I have to fess up and admit that I posted some six months ago that Gadaffi's military forces would come apart like a cheap toy in the rain.

However, at the same time Dan Nolan at Al Jazeera wrote a long piece predicting stability in Syria because of the Shia, Christian, Alawite configuration in that country, so I don't feel too bad about this lapse of judgement.

Gilman Grundy said...

Well, KT, OK, so I did call it a civil war, but then I backed off a bit saying there was no real counter-revolution, and that this was necessary for a real civil war. Instead I saw Gaddafi's army crumbling as his stocks of weapons we diminished and the Rebels increased by foreign assistance. Pretty accurate, no? But then we haven't seen the end of it yet . . .

Anonymous said...

FOARP. I was just commenting on my dismal prediction here, and not remarking on anybody else's take on Libya. {resigned shoulder shrug}

Collapse of Berlin wall: TM square, Rwanda genocide. And maybe a couple of other events. Some rivetting reporting.