The news is filled with ‘air strikes on Libya’. Now that the UN has voted to enforce a no fly zone, once again, it is Britain, America and, this time, France, who are spearheading the enforcement. That apparently means we have to bomb people (because let’s face it, all targets, military or otherwise always involve people). Despot leaders are also not averse to using human shields. It’s all going to end badly and yet more people will end up hating us.
I don’t want us to be the policemen of the world and anyway – who pays for all this? How does this work? Will other nations of the UN be chipping in to refill our coffers from this expense? (I’m guessing not). And aren’t we setting a precedent here? Why are we meddling in Libya, yet we have been happy to ignore Zimbabwe and the Sudan? Well we’ve got the ball rolling now, so what’s next? Bahrain? The Yemen? Why not have a little tinker around there whilst we’re at it?
A YouGov survey this morning showed that the majority of people asked support these strikes. Why am I always in the exact opposite camp to everyone else? When we were going in to bomb Iraq, I believed what I was told – that they had weapons of mass destruction that could wipe us out in 45 minutes. In my mind there was an absolute imperative to do something, and quickly. It felt at the time as though almost everyone else (with some kind of freaky inside knowledge) was dead against the war and there were mass demonstrations in the street to illustrate the point. (Ultimately fruitless demonstrations). Of course, history now tells us that they were right. Are they right again? I don’t know, but recent history tells me that military intervention in the Middle East has a tendency to end in tears.
My daughter asked me at the weekend why I feel the need to watch the news each day. It’s something I feel passionately about, I have no time for those who say it’s all too depressing, so I told her:
‘Because it’s the duty of all of us to know what’s going on in the world. To leave it up to someone else is a dangerous strategy. What if something was happening that you knew in your heart just shouldn’t be happening?’
‘What? You mean like all those people who marched against the war in Iraq?’
She has a very valid point.
It seems that I am on the other side of the fence again, disagreeing with the majority. Oh well, for me it’s situation normal and in any case, as I now realise, what can I do to change things?
Yes, I actually think I need a little news break.
World graphic from iStock photos