No country sacrifices it’s men without reason, and certainly not in the interests of another,and Britain is no exception.
These words were written by Anne Frank on the 22nd of May 1944,two months before her capture by the Germans, however these words have a lasting meaning, not only in the context of the Second World War, but also by sending a stark warning to democratic activists throughout the Middle East.
As protests and uprisings continue in Yeman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the United Nations with Britain and France leading the charge; stepped up to prevent a potential genocide in Libya. In my first article I called for the intervention and applauded the UN resolution when it arrived. But now there are more questions facing the West, as a stalemate has ensued in the region.
David Cameron has floated the notion of sending weapons to arm the rebels in this civil war, while negative domestic opinion rises. It seems that Britain, nor any of it’s allies have a sustained strategy with how to respond to the Libya problem, or indeed how to engage in the larger Middle East situation.
So with open revolt, revolution and retaliation occurring in numerous countries in the region. Why did Britain decide to involve itself solely in Libya? Already it seems the conspiracy theories are out about oil within the region. Personally I don’t believe the reason behind UN Resolution 1973, was based on oil but rather the threat of a potential slaughter of innocent civilians. The aftermath of this however seems far more murkier than of doing what is right and just.
Libya accounts for two percent of the worlds oil, at a production level of 1.8 million barrels per day, this in comparison with Bahrain for example which produces only 49,000 barrels per day. Should this be taken as motive towards Western intervention? Following the protests in Benghazi Crude oil prices rose to $108 a barrel for the first time since 2008. While British shares fell 1.1%.
Of course these figures do shed some light as to why it was important for Britain to try to enforce some order within the region, and the predicted genocide gave them a justifiable reason for this intervention. But was this the main reason or did they genuinely have the people of Libya’s best interests at heart?
It is conceivable that both Britain and France have a decided interest in what occurs in Libya, but that they intervened on moral grounds, however we will never know the true extent of to what length each country was preserving it’s own interests. While rebels in other nations wonder why the West wont condemn the oppressive actions of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yeman and Bahrain.
In order to prevent these conspiracy theories from continuing there must be a dramatic departure from the norm in international activity. Each nation must pledge to secede to a strong United Nations police force, who will be charged with enforcing peace in nations participating in acts of genocide or violation of the rights of their own people, no matter what their allegiance or status in the world order is.
As we saw in Terry Georges’ moving film; Hotel Rwanda, the current structure in which the United Nations rely on independent nations for enforcement, results in crisis’s only being resolved when they have the interests of powerful nations at heart. If this change is not enforced, then there will continue to be speculation as to the reasons for international intervention, and Anne Franks’ message will continue to haunt the world.
done cheers fella why did you reblog it on yours? been really busy hopefully put something new up before sat
So in getting some feedback I found there was an article to be made about myself. Who I am and why I am doing this.
Well as it says on my profile; My name is Allan Grogan, I’m 27 years old and for the life of me I have no idea what I want.
Most people who write blogs like these have a dream, or a talent they want to share, some just need a way of expressing themselves.
In order for you to care about what I write, I feel I need to tell you my story,
I was the usual 24 year old in their final year of uni, looking for the next stage in my life. Playing snooker one day with my friend changed all that. He, after many beers, convinced me to move to South Korea to teach English; as jobs for graduates were so few in the U.K. at the time, I decided to go for it. Little did I know the impact it would have on me for the rest of my life…
I was born into a family, with two parents from different spectres, A dad, who had nothing and worked since the age of 11, taking any job he could, and a mother who had for her, a path to a better education.
As a kid growing up, I had my mothers traits, and my dad’s red hair which was never a good thing throughout my childhood, the red headed stepchild would be apt. I always felt I wasn’t quite of the norm growing up,until I discovered the first love of my life..
At the age of eight I was given a WWF wrestling tape, I was hooked, these big strong, brave men were everything I wasn’t and yet wanted to be. For years I hid behind these façades until I finally began to wrestle for myself in the amateur divisions. I still remember the first time one of my former attackers tried to fight me, I don’t know why, but winning amateur medals gave me confidence and so I quickly despatched of him. My dreams now were of being a hero, a superstar, someone kids like me could rely on, and live up to. It gave me the confidence I never had before and stayed with me even now.
Eventually I made it pro, but after trying my best for 5 years, I eventually realised that the real world, is the real world. I’m a very good wrestler, BUT I’m not 6ft 6”, I don’t really like the gym, and so I’ll never be the World Champion.
Going to Korea was a life changer. What had been a trip to raise finance, suddenly became a life changing experience, After a short time there, it was no longer about the money, I wanted to see the world,and help the people I met on my travels. It made me a better person, a person who wanted to make a difference….
Then a year ago, while still miles away from home, I reconnected with the only girl I’ve ever really loved. For 6 months, we skyped, messaged, facebooked, until I came back to Scotland. On a personal level I have everything I ever wanted. But back home I found everything I worked for, and every job I’ve undertaken abroad doesn’t count for much. There’s something quite disturbing in being able to get a good job anywhere in the world except your home land.
So I took my old job back at a bookmakers (sports bet shop) until I find the real reason why I’m here.
My dream is that I can be a successful journalist in foreign affairs, this is why I began this blog, in the hope that it can help me reach that goal.
So this is me, a liberal, socialist, vagabond, stilted traveller, avid book reader, sports fan, and now family guy; who will write how he feels, too stupid to succeed, too smart to accept what he has.
I hope you join me on my journey, and be glad you did.
Thanks for reading
Last week, I made an appeal for governments in the west and the UN to take action against Gaddafi and his regime before it was too late. They finally seem to have accepted that something must be done with a UN vote supporting the creation of a no fly zone. Congratulations to the U.K. France, Spain and Italy for stepping up to be the moral conscience of Europe in this matter. While Gaddafi has promised a cease fire at the news, there are still reports of attacks. The UN must see this through and prove that they are not a toothless institution.
Since taking office last May, the Conservative led coalition government have begun to slash the deficit level of the United Kingdom. To do so they have implemented the biggest cuts to public spending that we have seen for generations. The big question is whether this radical approach is a stringent policy to place Britain on the road to recovery.
In May 2010, the National debt for the U.K, stood at 893.4 billion pounds with an estimates net borrowing of 157 billion for the 2010-2011 period, taking it to over a trillion pounds. In the general election the three major parties both emphasised reducing the deficit (roughly 185 billion) as a major priority, However neither the Conservatives; nor the Lib Dems suggested anything to the scale that they have so far implemented.
Initially they announced over 7 billion pounds in cuts with each government department having to reduce their finances, some by as much as 20%. Most notable of these cuts was the. 650 million pounds the Education department would have to make. Then in his June budget the real massacre occurred.
George Osborne announced an increase in VAT, from 17.5% to 20%, Child benefit and public service pay was frozen. This budget was continued by further announcements of the cancellation of Sure Start, the EMA, a reduction in charitable funding, and the trebling of Student tuition fees in England. The latter saw the largest protests in the capital since the Iraq war.
The governments obsessive desire to put deficit reduction before all else has meant that everything is for sale and no ones jobs are safe. With police, teachers, nurses, and public workers all expected to be made redundant and even Britain’s forests were considered for sale. But is it all worth it?
George Osborne has claimed that these cuts are a “tough but fair” action on debt that was “unavoidable.” However fiscal reduction is not the sole factor in reducing a nations debt, you also need economic growth which has stagnated since the reductions have taken place, with GDP contracting 0.6% in the final quarter of 2011. This reduction is hardly surprising with the cost of living rising yet living wages remaining the same. Also as unemployment goes up, which it will continue to do during these cuts then more people will have less to spend and those, unemployed will only be spending money given to them by the government in benefits.
The government needs to change it’s focus, rather than decrease spending they should be engaging in ways to increase economic prosperity such as trade and jobs growth. After all you don’t take out a mortgage on a home and use your entire wage to pay it back in the first 6 months.
Osborne’s comment of being “tough but fair” seem to be rankling more and more with the British people, as the perception of this government seems to be that of a group of individuals who don’t know what it is to struggle financially. This was particularly apt when days before the rise in VAT came into affect the Chancellor was seen living it up in a 10,000 pound a week château.
The major worry for many Brits as they endure these years of painful austerity is what will be left of Britain as a country when the deficit is finally reduced. With cuts in policing, teachers, overhauls of welfare and the NHS in the works, will we need to once again go into debt to reconstruct our destroyed public services while the world looks at this one time stallion of a nation who ruled the world as a now broken down cart horse.
I’ve had some wonderful experiences travelling already but Cuba is definitely up there as is Russia.
The fate of the rebel uprising in Libya has suffered a grave setback this week thanks in part to Western powers still coming to terms with what the historic revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa.
With his premiership hanging by a thread following the capture of Libya’s second city, Benghazi; Gaddafi laid out his chips on the table, promising air strikes and the slaughter of his own people, then waited with baited breath for a response from the west; If it were a poker game, his bluff would have cleaned up the table.
Western powers have been at odds to find a coherent policy towards what is happening within the region and with the financial crisis and daily reminders of their last attempts of an ethical foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, seem anxious to avoid further conflict in the region. While Obama dithered, and Cameron came to the dance arm in arm with British arm dealers, pro- Gadaffi followers have been taking back their power by any means necessary, and with the launch of air strikes the balance of power seems likely to shift back to the Colonels side.
Any hopes of an international intervention seems to be fading as Britain and France have both stated that they will not become involved without a UN resolution which will likely be blocked as Russia has promised to veto any attempts of instigating a no fly zone in the region. With his hands now firmly untied, Gadaffi has promised to shed the blood of the rebels and with his military might most fear a mass genocide will be inflicted on his own people.
The very idea of ethical intervention arrived in the the U.K, in the 1990’s, when the late Robin Cook, who at the time was Foreign Secretary; made the case for his government to have a ‘moral responsibility’ which would; “make Britain once again a force for good in the world.” This seemed to follow the recognition that our utmost duty was to protect not only those of our own country, but of all mankind. However with difficult times being endured by most in Britain there seems to be little support for this theory in regards to Libya. With a recent Sun newspaper poll suggesting that only 1 in 5 British people supported the deployment of British troops to protect Libyan citizens.
Britain, and indeed many other Western powers are not unknown to turn a blind eye to genocides abroad. In fact, up until the late 1980’s Britain and Germany, were still supplying the Khmer Rouge with weapons and supplies in their fight with Communist Vietnam, who had freed Cambodia from Pol Pot and his party. This funding occurred long after the revelations of the Khmer Rouge having massacred over 3 million of their own people between 1975 and 1979.
This is a pivotal time not only within the Libya, but for all countries in that region. In the last three months we have seen historic and inspirational movements which, through non violent measures has toppled dictators and oppression. What occurs in Libya will affect any further attempts within the region as citizens fight for the basic human rights we take for granted every day. This is a time when the West should be standing shoulder to shoulder with the rebels, and once again reclaim the moral authority as a standard bearer in the belief of democracy, human rights and freedom for all. If they do not; then the blood of the Libyan people will not only be on Gadaffis’ hands; but also on our own.