Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 | 18:57 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 | 18:57 | SYDNEY

Libya: Chocks away


Sam Roggeveen


18 March 2011 14:35

So, it's decided. We're going to war. Again.

I want to join those who are asking 'Where does this end''. Given that the stated mission is to protect the civilian population of Libya, the obvious and natural end-point would be the overthrow of Qadhafi. Maybe that can be achieved with air power alone, but even in Afghanistan, the local anti-Taliban forces needed some coalition ground troops to force the issue.

And we don't seem to know who we are supporting in this fight, though Crikey's Bernard Keane seems to think this is mere detail

Well, we know one critical thing — they’re not Gaddafi, we know they’re not a regime that engages in systematic and savage human rights violations as a matter of basic policy, we know they won’t, should they manage to take control of those parts of Libya currently under Gaddafi’s control, systematically butcher the resident populations.

We certainly hope they won't systematically butcher resident populations, but do we know it for a fact' Revolutions have a way of getting nasty, and of replacing horrible regimes with even worse ones. The point is, we just don't know.

As for the idea that crying 'Iraq!' is false equivalence, of course the situation is different, but the point of the comparison is that we in the West have an altogether inflated view of how well we understand foreign countries and of the effectiveness of military force. It's astonishing to me that our misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have done nothing to cure some people of this militant optimism.

Photo by Flickr user shishOr.