Our government’s failure to act on Libya an indictment on us as individuals

As the situation in the Middle East degenerates, and the democracies of the first world continue to ignore the pleas of the people trying to break free from tyrants, rendering our talk of human rights and democracy somewhat hollow, I suddenly realised that what was (or, more accurately, was not) happening was partly my fault. By keeping silent (one solitary blog post on the issue weeks too late aside), by failing to apply any kind of pressure to my government on the issue, I’ve been part of the problem, not part of the solution.

We say everyone deserves to live in a democracy because that’s the only way that governments will do what their people actually want.

Well, our governments are doing absolutely sweet frak all about the massacres in Libya and Bahrain and elsewhere. (Yes, Australia probably can’t do a lot without the aid of other countries; but we’re not even doing as much as we can.) So, the young Arabs who believed our talk, must be wondering – do we really have democracies ourselves? And if so, then isn’t our governments’ utter failure to act really an indictment not on them, but on us, the individual citizens they supposedly represent? Which is it – do we advocate for representative democracy we’ve as yet failed to achieve for ourselves; or do we have it, but just don’t really care what happens to them?

At the very least we can make sure our representatives know that we support Australia doing everything it can to support the people of Libya. I will make a point of contacting my local MP today. If you’re not comfortable sitting back and averting your gaze while Libyans are slaughtered for daring to try to break free from a tyrant, you might consider doing likewise.

UPDATE: Likewise Bahrain – seriously, click the link, it’s unbelievably serious and unlike Libya, the West really does have some direct influence there. (Maybe don’t click on this video unless you’ve a very strong stomach.)

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15 responses to “Our government’s failure to act on Libya an indictment on us as individuals

  1. It seems I owe the UN something of an apology, I heard on the radio this morning that the Security Council has voted to support a no fly zone — a little slow in coming but at least they’ve got there eventually.

    The question now of course is now how to implement it and who’s air forces will be involved — I don’t believe it should entirely rest on the American’s shoulders, I’d probably like to see the Arab League take a lead role from now on.

  2. Australia and the UK should impose it and call on the US to assist. 😉

  3. “At the very least we can make sure our representatives know that we support Australia doing everything it can to support the people of Libya. I will make a point of contacting my local MP today. ”

    Aside form pressuring our allies to act I’m not really sure what Australia can do. We don’t have the gear necessary to do anything, I was half joking with my comment above but I beleive both Au and UK are in a position to call in a favour from the US. I dare say the UK/France could do it unilateraly but France aren’t in much of a position to call on the US.

    Rightly or wrongly the US is very reluctant due to them being up to their eyeballs with two wars of choice, one based on utter lies, the US public have no stomach for it.

    I will drop Roxon a line but she’s never paid any attention to any previous emails…

  4. I think also Rob, the current US administration might be a little hesitant to get involved due to the economic problems they are now facing at home.

    There’s also the issue of the US getting involved in yet another conflict with a Muslim nation and the inevitable deaths that would follow, many in the Muslim world may well view Americans killing more Muslims as further proof of an anti-Islamic agenda, even though they would be supporting the general population.

    I still think it would be preferable for the Arab League to lead any military intervention that may take place, with NATO perhaps providing some logistical support.

  5. This is the thing – there should be no doubt where Australia stands, and that the world knows that we’ll assist such people in whatever ways are in our power. That we may be a small country with a small military, but we’ll provide every support we can.

    Problem is, after the last fortnight, we can’t even say that, honestly.

  6. “I think also Rob, the current US administration might be a little hesitant to get involved due to the economic problems they are now facing at home.”

    Agreed, the admin and the American people, I play on an American blog and that’s the vibe I’m getting.

    “I still think it would be preferable for the Arab League to lead any military intervention that may take place, with NATO perhaps providing some logistical support.”

    I hear you. Saudi must have better gear than Lybia.

  7. Although it is drawing a long bow, but yet I feel it relevant to the issue.

    Yesterday I attended a union rally in support of jobs and yes, supporting business in claiming a share of the contracts for the WA resources boom, that are mostly currently being done in China. I am retired myself but anyway.

    All that aside, it was the appearance of our beloved Premier and his speech to the gathering crowds that convinced me, our leaders not only treat us with contempt, they are positive in their conviction, that most of us are imbeciles. I sat and listened to what could be best described as a speech that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Kindergarten. It was reminiscent of Bush’s ‘My pet goat’

    The bullshit was layed on with a trowel and we were all sent away with the knowledge and firm belief, that the problem would be fixed.

    Just like Libya will be. Who said we deserve the leaders we get?

  8. “I hear you. Saudi must have better gear than Lybia.”

    I reckon they would have too Rob, if I recall wasn’t arms supply part of the deal for allowing the Alliance to use Saudi as a base ?

    Jeremy

    “That we may be a small country with a small military, but we’ll provide every support we can.”

    It sounds like you’re advocating using our military to intervene, which I suspect won’t happen — for much the same reasons I reckon the Yanks aren’t keen on using theirs.

    At any rate it certainly won’t happen without UN Security Council approval for a full military intervention, which is far different to approving a no fly zone.

    Sadly I think its too late, whatever resolutions are decided now won’t make much difference — Gaddafi’s forces are on the verge of breaking through the rebel lines around Benghazi and once that happens I reckon this uprising will be all but finished.

    If the UN was going to help the Libyans I think it needed to act 2 weeks ago when the uprising had momentum and before Gaddafi could organise his loyalists and hire foreign mercenaries, now the horse has all but bolted and there will be the repercussions to come.

  9. “I reckon they would have too Rob, if I recall wasn’t arms supply part of the deal for allowing the Alliance to use Saudi as a base ?”

    I think so and KSA is probably the UK’s number one customer when it comes to weapons. War planes for Oil… But it seems KSA is more interested in supporting the despots in Bahrain than freeing others from despots. Besides I think KSA can see what’s coming, they’re a prick nation that has no regard for the rights of women. If Gadaffi loses Lybia then the King of Saudi Arabia will be shitting himself.

    “Sadly I think its too late, whatever resolutions are decided now won’t make much difference

    Agreed, the time to act was weeks ago, the UN is just too slow.

  10. “If Gadaffi loses Lybia then the King of Saudi Arabia will be shitting himself.”

    You’re right there — I reckon he’s got his private jet sitting on the tarmac with its engines running 24 hours a day 😛

    The Arab League’s position is pretty telling I think, they’ve come out in support of a no fly zone, but won’t support any kind of foreign military intervention — which kind of limits what the UN and NATO can do.

    To me it sounds like the AL wants to look and sound like it is supporting the uprising to the international community, but at the same time its saying to Gaddafi ‘we won’t actually do anything to remove you from office’.

  11. Why not take the approach that many of us were saying should have been taken in Iraq and Afghanistan: Surround the whole place with heavy artillery and call “Come out with your hands up!”

  12. narcoticmusing

    “You’re right there — I reckon he’s got his private jet sitting on the tarmac with its engines running 24 hours a day”

    Ooo I wonder if he gets his advice from Brewsters Millions…

  13. Libya belongs to the UK and the Americans want to stay well clear of that shit fight.

    Besides, what the hell hope do the Libyans have when protestors in Bahrain are being massacred within eyesight of the US Naval base?

    Cheers.

  14. Ah shit!
    Lost most of my last comment in a cut and paste accident.

    Briefly;
    You’re absolutely right Gavinm about the Arab Leagues’ handringing on this issue.
    They know a NFZ is useless unless backed up with ground forces and they know that will never happen. The Americans have no interest in a Libyan tribal war.

    Cheers

  15. Blast Tyrant

    What’s this “us” Jeremy? Maybe an indicment on you but some people have have been doing as much as is possible in a country as far away and politically uninterested as Aus since the first protest in Tunisia in January.

    Good on you for calling your MP, however I doubt they give a shit.
    Oh, and Rundle’s an idiot.

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