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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:54:18)

Martin Porter

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  • Libya: Oil Bids on Basis of Capacity; World releases $15 bn in Assets
    • So Gaddafi s incompetent a dictator as he was at everything was at everything else? Not a surprise, but never-the-less he would still be in power without NATO.

      This does suggest that the prospect for popular revolts not backed by 21st century air power are a little slim, and that semi-competent dictators like Assad should be reasonably confident of surviving.

      Not a very edifying thought.

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • I think you're being very unjust towards the rebels with this:

      "It’s the civil war that is causing the death of civilians, and the rebels bear 50 % of the responsibility for the civil war."

      Using this argument, Ghandi was 50% responsible for the Amritsar massacre.

    • I agree, o the principles at least.

      My reservations on the intervention are entirely practical. If Gaddafi is the brutal and effective dictator he pretends to be he will be even now swapping his military vehicles for civilian one and ditching his armour for human shields. Then it will get messy, and bloody and our moral principles may look at little tarnished.

      Similarly if Sarkosy gets re-elected and sends the Foreign Legion in to seize the oil fields then I'll have to admit that this really was an exercise in Imperialism.

      Mainly though I'm concerned that the economic, environmental and demographic problems behind the current unrest in the region can't be solved from 30,000 feet with guided bombs and that Arabis is about to disappear into a bloody civil war that will last a generation or two.

      However I agree with your analysis. To suggest that Arabia was happier under its dictators is to disinter Henry Kissinger's realpolik and give it a liberal makeover.

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