Of lions and donkeys

With growing bemusement I've been watching the Western world, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in particular, going all George W Bush on Muhammar Khadaffi. What a difference a few years make. Back in 2003 GWB was a stupid and malignant little man, trying to bully his way to more oil (oil that would have been orders of magnitude cheaper had he just bought it from Saddam Hussein). But now we're supposed to all gather behind a pointless war cooked up by two of the most infernal Eurocrats not residing in Brussels.

And evidently we are.
NATO has now decided to launch an operation to enforce the arms embargo against Libya. All Allies are committed to meet their responsibilities under the United Nations resolution to stop the intolerable violence against Libyan civilians.

Our top operational commander, Admiral Stavridis, is activating NATO ships and aircraft in the Central Mediterranean. They will conduct operations to monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries. This will be done in close coordination with commercial shipping and regional organisations. And we will welcome contributions from NATO partners to our common endeavour.

At the same time, NATO has completed plans to help enforce the no-fly zone -- to bring our contribution, if needed, in a clearly defined manner, to the broad international effort to protect the people of Libya from the violence of the Gaddafi regime.
The Netherlands is expected to contribute (NL) F-16 fighters, supported by a KDC-10 aerial refueling tanker and the minesweeper HNLMS Haarlem.

In what could be described as a war, the pointlessness of which is on par with the clusterf.ck that gave us WW1 ( and let us pray it does not devolve into a disaster of the same scale) , any semblance of national interest seems to be missing. Even if the goal is to further democracy and Western-style freedom: Are these really the beneficiaries Western dreams are made of?

Wretchard neatly sums up the latter day squalor of the current order in the West:
After Barack Obama ditched President Mubarak, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia quickly understood that nothing could be taken for granted any more — and began to crack down hard on internal dissidents. Caroline Glick at the Jerusalem Post says that Washington has descended into “strategic dementia” — it is not acting in its own self-interest. Indeed it seems incapable of even apprehending where its interests lie.

That strategic insanity is now playing itself out in Libya, where against all odds a fourth rate dictator looks set to survive against three of the mightiest powers on earth simply because they have been led so incompetently. It is a totally self-inflicted epic fail; the triumph of auto-destruction. Explaining why British troops were marched into the maw of machine gun fire in the First World War, historian Alan Clark said it was because they were “lions led by donkeys”. Not all the courage in the world could compensate for stupidity. What phrase might be used to describe Barack Obama has not yet entered currency, but maybe “elephants led by donkeys” would be a start.
And do not think this is a failing of the USA only. Dr. North argues concisely that this exact same dementia of over-blown egos is guiding European actions. Actually, let us remember for when it may matter that it was France, with inexplicably fawning support of UK PM David Cameron, that instigated this pointless exercise of our military. In a time when the first order of business would appear to be to overcome the world-wide economic slump, one would think the cost of waging modern-day hyper-war on a few shabby T-72 tanks in a lot of empty desert is something wise men would forego.

But wise men are in short supply these days. In stead we have our lions out to fight the cause of donkeys with delusions of grandeur. We deserve better.

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