It seems we have awfully short memories in politics. After the scandal of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have now deployed UK forces into Libya.
Colonel Gaddafi is an odious individual. But he is fighting against an armed uprising consisting of tanks and machine guns. A "no fly zone" that seeks to stop Gaddafi attacking this rebels is nonsense. As the bombing of Libyan tanks has already begun, it is clear that the true mission is to rid Libya of Gaddafi. After all, he is not, as no head of an administration would, going to sit back and let the rebels defeat him and take charge of the country. He is going to defend what he sees as his country, meaning in my eyes that the UN have effectively taken the side of the armed rebels, not just civilians.
And who are these rebels? They are not just "ordinary people", they include former memebrs of Gaddafi's inner circle who propped up his regime before defecting after personal fall outs. They are tribal, divided and of course their is oil to be taken to sweeten the prospect of taking charge. Would ridding Libya of Gaddafi clear the country up and give it great hope? Ask an iraq without Saddam. These things are not so cut and dry.
As Fraser Nelson points out, this is not some selfless humanitarian intervention. Nicholas Sarkozy has elections coming up and is trailing in the polls, thus explaining his urge to go off without aopproval from the UN Coalition when the bombing began. If it was, why are we not intervening in Yemen where snipers shot dead 50 anti-government protestors and injured hundreds more in a merciless atttack. Or in Bahrain? How about in Zimbabwe where the Prime Minister there is having his rallies banned, as Robert Mugabe's police force beat supporters of the elected PM?
If I was cynical I would point out that none of these places have oil. But perhaps it is more simple than that. Libya is a relatively easy target, unlike say Saudi Arabia who are our allies thanks to our dependence on them for their oil. Politicians can play mucho and hope that Gaddafi can be paralysed easily. But I don't think it will be easy. I think more British lives are going to be lost and carried home in boxes, and for what? For a regime change, with a new set of people in charge who no one seems to know that much about.
And all this while David Cameron shamelessly cuts defence spending once more. It is an outrage. Britain cannot police the world. it is time we got a grip on our foreign policy and recognised that civil wars are that; they are not international ones.