Today Libya, tomorrow Saudi Arabia?

The UN Security Council has voted 10-0 with five abstentions to impose a no fly zone over Libya.

So the obvious question is, if and/or when Bahrain, Yemen or Saudi Arabia’s people decide to oppose their rulers in direct fashion as we have seen in Libya, will we see the United States, UK and France marching into the UN Security Council to demand the imposition of no fly zones over those countries?

Or are such actions only reserved for regimes with whom there are old scores to be settled?

Will we see this newly found principled approach trump the vested and strategic interests of the US and other western nations?  Will we see a surprising appetite for intervention to ‘level the playing field’ in potential civil conflicts between autocrats and the people they dominate?

The words ‘Yeah, right!” spring to mind.

18 Responses to “Today Libya, tomorrow Saudi Arabia?”

  1. 1 Doug Proctor 18/03/2011 at 1:24 am

    When I was a kid, there were bullies in the playground. Every so often a large, non-bully would decide to pummel the bully for fairness’ sake. Us weaker ones got a reprieve, but only as long as our protector was around; as soon as he changed schools we really got smacked.

    What we didn’t do was learn to defend ourselves in the time we weren’t being bullied. If the post-Kadhafi Libyans don’t learn or develop from the Colonel’s ways, then, as in Iraq, peace will not hold. So the question is: is it better to smack down the bully and leave, or leave the bully in place for the people, later, to learn how to get rid of him themselves?

    I’m not PC to say this, but I think history says that the people who learn to fix their own mistakes do better than those who have foreigners come in and try to do it for them. Short-term cruel, long-term, ….

  2. 2 Brian H 18/03/2011 at 2:08 am

    Barn doors … escaped horses …

  3. 3 Delphius 18/03/2011 at 2:18 am

    I’ve said as much in my blog as well. I have a sister-in-law in Bahrain and the protests there never showed any signs of abating, but the media strangely went quiet on the subject while Libya kicked off. The next thing Saudi thugs roll across the causeway with only one intention in mind: to crush any protests and prop up the Bahrain Royal Family. Mainly because the Saudi Royal Family don’t want the unrest in Bahrain to spread into their country.

    So in Bahrain we have a ruling elite shipping in armed men from another country in an attempt to crush a popular uprising. Where’s the difference between Bahrain and Gadaffi shipping in Balkan mercenaries to Libya? None as far as I can see except there’s a lot of oil in Libya controlled by someone the west can’t control themselves. Hence the end game for Libya seems to be regime change just as it was in Iraq.

    Of course the Bahrainis buy arms and other stuff off us and are more friendly to the west, so therefore are allowed to kill scores of their own people.

    The hypocrisy of it all stinks.

  4. 4 Yemi 18/03/2011 at 3:36 am

    The writer of this ‘piece’ is not being objective. Did any of these countries (Britain, France, US…) push for a no-fly zone in Egypt and Tunisia? The former leaders of those countries took the path of honour; stepping down. However, Ghadafi has ‘stepped up’ efforts at murdering his own people. This is absolute madness of the highest order.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2011 at 7:30 am

    On the contrary, I’m being completely objective. Where was the intervention in Zimbabwe as thousands were murdered by Zanu PF’s henchmen? Tunisia is not a done deal yet. Egypt has a way to run.

  6. 6 Piers Corbyn 18/03/2011 at 9:45 am

    Granted the matter stinks of double standards but two thoughts.
    1. Is all intervention wrong? (NB I agree not ALL intervention is right)
    2. If I were a Libyan I think I would find myself near the receiving end of fire from a tank or machine gun or Gaddafi warplane bomb and so I would welcome a no fly-zone or anything which reduced deaths of myself and associates. Such intervention may have unintended consequences but hopefully we could live to cope with them rather than die in the happy belief there wouldn’t be any unintended consequences of something that didn’t happen and left us dead.
    Libyans en-masse have been requesting intervention on these lines and I do not think they should be ignored.
    In the 1930s Baldwin refused to intervene in Spain. Of course no two situations are the same but that policy resulted in massacares and the rise of Hitler.
    Piers (off normal subject)

  7. 7 orkneylad 18/03/2011 at 11:15 am

    [king of Bahrain had a nice photo-op with Cameron]
    Thus: No noises from Cameron on Saudi forces entering Bahrain & the killing & round-up of protesters. Hey, it’s the home of the U.S 5th fleet afterall!

    [Gadaffi has nice photo-op with Blair]
    Gadaffi backed the wrong horse, he should have banked a good photo-op with ‘call me dave’ instead.

    In a world where Tony Blair can be a middle-east peace envoy, no hypocrisy is too great for the sheeple to swallow.

  8. 8 Gordo 18/03/2011 at 12:28 pm

    Good job there’s no repression in China eh! Bloody Hell Tommy Atkins in his Typhoon jet fighter would be up against a spot of bother there.

    Never mind, gotta do what’s morally right even if a few of our lads and lasses come home in body bags! They can be replaced by the millions of north africans who will be coming here once this little Euro-Med project reaches fruition. More New Britons, more New Europeans, more keen workers for the minimum wage. Hooray for brave Dave Cameron! Hooray for plucky little Israel which doesn’t repress or kill anyone!

  9. 9 sanusi mato soro 18/03/2011 at 5:51 pm


  10. 10 kellys_eye 18/03/2011 at 8:45 pm

    Is not the Saudi ‘invasion’ of Bahrain preferable to an Iranian invasion?

  11. 11 Uncle Badger 18/03/2011 at 9:05 pm

    All I know is that I wouldn’t mind a ‘no fly zone’ to enable us to shake off the yoke of repression by the ruling elite of out own damned country.

  12. 12 Balticus 19/03/2011 at 6:21 am

    Well, well, why the West avoid talking of some kind of sanctions or restrictions against Russia or China? and imitate blindness there but always choose a weaker “victim” and preferably rich in OIL? A genuine Democracy is seen only in books these days so there’s a wide field to think about. It’s only my own point of view.

  13. 13 chris edwards 20/03/2011 at 9:38 pm

    In the 30s Baldwin refused ti intervene in the Rhineland, that led to WW2, on whos side would he ahve been helping? the communists or the eventual winners? in the end Spain was better off under Franco than they would have been under the communists and that kept them largely out of WW2. I doubt anyone is being helped in Lybia except the French oil interests.

  14. 14 cookie master 20/03/2011 at 11:44 pm

    Obama, Bush etc all are thesame they are always against Islam, why is North Korea not attacked? why is that it is always the lives of muslims are being put into jeopardy? American are there protesting that they are tired of war. America, pls note that the enemies u are creating for urself is more than those that admires u. Uare no longer being loved by any, u are thieves anywhere were there is oil America will rob them by all mean. Lets be careful Nigerians. A time shall come where America will try other countries that are oil rich nations. Allah will be for us.

  15. 15 vitality 21/03/2011 at 10:40 pm

    Obviously the so called coalition is selective in thelr support of regime change. What about events in Bahrain. Outright aggression by despotic governments and collusion with the bad boy of the middle east Saudi Arabia.

  16. 16 eri 30/03/2011 at 2:32 am

    no my brother,saudi arabia will be the last,because if they attack saudi arabia first billion moeslem will attack together,,

  17. 17 chris edwards 31/03/2011 at 12:53 am

    eri, I doubt if there are that many anyway and bring it on, they are vermin, not human any more and to get it over with in one go would be good.
    Cookie master, muslime are murdering each other all the time so why the angst? also as islam has declared war on the west why are you startled by this? there are lost of us who see islam for what it is and are aware of its duplicity to infadels so do not pretend to be shocked when they get called out.

  18. 18 Just Commenting 04/08/2011 at 2:56 pm

    All this talk about democracy is bullshit. The US, Britain, and France are not democracies. For the example, the US is a Republic ruled by law. What is taking place in Libya is the attempted control of another countries valuable assets which we will need. So will the Chinese but that is not are concern. I think what we see is WW 111 in progress and has been going on since the Cold War ended. Countries fighting each other through other countries by supporting, or not supporting one side.

    We do not have to worry about Gaddafi, I am sure his regime will not fall. Perhaps the country will be divided and will need a lot of infrastructure work which will be great for the US and the EU countries, and China. The contracts from rebuilding their country and the sale of weapons to each side will make our western countries, and China, more profitable, and they can continue to sell each side more weapons than they need. Weapons which can periodically be destroyed so more can be sold to them. That way the US and EU countries and China can continue to be prosperous and the Arabs will have more war toys to play with. While the principals continue to engage in profit without the problems caused by conventional war.

    It is a win win situation, but that depends on where you happen to call home.

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