Slowly but surely Britain and France are being sucked in to what is rapidly becoming a Libyan civil war. Yesterday we had an increase in what an American General once described as mission creep. We are now to send army experts in to advise the rebel forces in what is clearly a contravention of the UN resolution. And by way of extras, French and British planes carried out attacks on Gaddafi’s communications hubs and the Royal Navy submarine Triumph launched Tomahawk cruise missiles in to Tripoli.
None of this has gone down awfully well with the allotment crowd, most of whom believe that the French unusual thirst for battle is the result of the beleagured Sarkozy seeing an opportunity to be heralded a saviour, and Cameron becoming to him what Blair became to George W Bush. Maybe, maybe not, but it is hard to understand why Libya merits our undivided attention whilst adjoining countries face similar nightmares. Because Libya is the one of most strategic importance? No, that’s Syria. But whatever the explanation for our pouring unlimited cash into this venture – each missile costs £800,000 – the fact remains that we are slowly edging into a permanent involvement.
The first British ‘boots on the ground’ will be advisers. As Menzies Campbell pointed out yesterday,Vietnam began with an American president sending military advisers in! The next step will probably involve attacks by Gaddafi on those advisers which will trigger our sending in troops to protect them. By that point ‘defeat’ would be devastating to Sarkozy and Cameron, whose self understanding seems low on this point, and more and more troops will be shipped in. The identity of the so-called rebels is still an unknown and there is at least a possibility that the blood of our personnel will be shed fighting for terrorists.
Of course we were right to play our part in protecting civilians, but there is no logic to say that we should be the main contributor. From this point on we and the French are largely alone in defying the UN resolution and in switching from protection mode to nations at war. In our case there is the even more worrying thought that we are reducing our armed forces to miniscule levels and we are firing off weaponry, the cost of which would already have provided thousnads of nurses or policemen.
Within days now this conflict will have reached the point where the British and French leaders can only withdraw with enormous loss of face. It will quickly become another Afghanistan where everyone really knows that there is no possibility of other than ignominious exit.
Once agin the role of the Lib Dems comes under the spotlight for realistically they are the only ones capable of stopping this mad adventure. Many, like Menzies Campbell, are extremely unhappy but Cameron has Clegg in a vice-like grip.
No one can stop the madness and we can only pray that Gaddafi collapses quickly. If not we will face the prospect of more young men coming home in coffins, having perished in wars that are not our responsibility and which we are no longer equipped to fight!
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY; GOD AND RELIGION; “Men don’t get cellulite. God might just be a man”…..Rita Rudner “Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends”……Woody Allen “Only one thing is impossible for God; to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet”……Mark Twain “God may be dead but 50,000 social workers have risen to take his place”……J D McCoughey “When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me”……Emo Philips “If you want to make a man very angry tell him you are going to pray for him”…..Edgar W Howe ”I know God is a man. Because if God was a woman She would have made sperm taste like chocolate”…….Carrie Snow “My church accepts all denominations – fivers, tenners, twenties”…..Patrick O’Connell “My favourite characters in the Bible are King David, Delilah and Charlton Heston”…..Milton Berle ” A Christian is a man who feels repentance on a Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday”…..Thomas Ybarra
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S QUIZ; 1 The police 2. It was deemed to be too noisy
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. What name had Alvin Stardust used back in the 1960s? 1.What is ‘Sting’s ‘ original name?