Marian and the colonel

It’s amazing the things people know. I was listening to the radio this morning and Marian Finucane was on RTÉ asking some reporter on the spot if Colonel Gaddafi’s “42-year reign of terror’ was definitely about to end.  How did she know that, I wonder? Maybe Marian is right, and from the moment he took power Gaddafi made the lives of all Libyans hell.  Or maybe he made some of their lives hell. Or maybe he improved some or all of their lives. I just don’t know. Do you?  And if you do, will you tell me your sources?
My caution is built less on cynicsm and more on experience. Take my blog the other day about QE2’s visit yielding huge tourism benefits for Ireland. Nobody at the time, as far as I know, stood up and said “Bollocks, it’ll do nothing of the sort”.  But it now seems that’s just what claims of boosted tourism were: Grade A bollocks.  Re Libya, I do know that the media report of the struggle in Libya has presented it as Rebels (good) vs Gaddafi (bad). Which may in fact be the case. But then I think: why the Western interest in Libya? And the answer of course is oil. And then I see reports that  say NATO bombing of Gaddafi’s forces were what made the difference so it actually wasn’t  just Rebels (good) vs Gaddafi (bad), it was Rebels + NATO (good) vs Gaddafi (bad). And then I see shots of the rebel forces with huge automatic weapons and large tanks, and I wonder where those came from. And then I remember a clip of the American Secretary of State standing up at a press conference and announcing “Gaddafi must go”, ’and I wonder again why is the Secretary of State of a country thousands of miles from Libya so firm in announcing what should or should not happen there. And the little word “oil” pings on like a light-bulb in my head.
The reporting over the next few days will build to a crescendo,  with much interest centring on  the whereabouts of the arch-villain   Muammar Gaddafi, and whether he’s been captured or killed. Me, I’m wondering  why we’ve all decided it’s OK to invade other countries (didn’t  WW2 start because Hitler invaded Poland?) and whether regime change in a country is or is not OK, depending on what the US says. And/Or whether there’s oil involved.

12 Responses to Marian and the colonel

  1. Ryanm29 August 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Jude, I’m pretty sure we are not invading this country…. just bombing it.

    What I find interesting is that the libyans have had the best quality of life in most of africa, free health care etc.
    Case in point, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, would be long dead had he lived in Scotland but rumour is, he’s getting better treatment than anyone in the UK or Ireland could get… drugs that arent available to us.
    Seems that the west have the wrong priorities, bomb them for their oil and resources, charge our citizens for decent healthcare (emphasis on decent) and get ourselves into debt in the process. Seems rather short sighted to me.

  2. PJD August 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Was it not the greedy British oil companies that Gaddafi kicked out? Did he not nationalise the oil production and take the proceeds formerly siphoned off to Britain, with a backhander to the then pro-British ruler, and instead invest the funds in the infrastructure to better the quality of life for the while nation. I’m a patient man, but i think my patience will be long gone before Nato and the Brits start bombing Saudi or Israel to stop the inhuman and undemocratic policies of either of those nations. Whilst on this soap box, which of the human rights that Cameron is demanding for Libyans was he wanting to remove from the Brits last week?

  3. Anonymous August 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    The euphoria on faces of the bbc “impartial journalist” is disgusting but is to be expected. Mathew Price of the BBC,referes to Libyan “state tv” it’s unbelievable. And the Irish News makes comparisons with Saddam. Where do they get their info? Rupert Murdock.

  4. Anonymous August 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Can somebody tell me what this 40 year reign of terror was? ,what the “rebels” grievances are,? and i mean the libyan rebs,not the ones from Virginia and elsewhere.

  5. Anonymous August 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    Jude,do you think that the arms/explosives which Gadaffi sent to the I R A in decades past helped the quality of life in Northern Ireland at all?Oops, I suppose we are supposed to forget about all that now !

  6. Jim Lynch August 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Anonymous; Well the British believe in a level playing field, so they accommodated the loyalists by helping them acquire arms from South Africa. And colluded with them in the murder of innocent Catholics. Oops, I suppose we are supposed to forget about all that now, as well !
    The British like others in ‘glass houses’ shouldn’t throw stones, right ?

  7. Jude Collins August 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    This is worth a look if you’re cheering on the rebels and rejoicing at the end of 42 years of terror…

  8. Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Jim Lynch and indeed many of the other pro-Gadaffi apologists on this blog seem not to want to address the question of whether the arms and explosives which were sent to Ireland by the good Colonel helped the quality of life in the North.No doubt many countries have their eye on Libyan oil but the question I have posed above is separate one and deserves a considered response and not the usual vitroil.

  9. Jude Collins August 24, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

  10. Jude Collins August 25, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    And this is a little dated but it makes a similar point about Western intentions and media impartiality (or lack thereof) in reporting

  11. Anonymous August 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Yes it was paradise under Gaddafi….as long as you weren’t a woman, or weren’t trying to set up an opposition party. Or weren’t hoping for a fair trial.