…is what they said when the First World War started in August 1914. The war lasted 4 years and cost millions of lives. It was also a boom time for arms manufacturers, who made money from both sides of the conflict. This was also the war that saw the birth of the public relations industry. Air power was also in its infancy. There weren’t any “No Fly Zones” or anything like them.
Fast forward to the present day and similar themes emerge. Many of the right-leaning newspapers in this country have printed headlines that have read “Over in weeks”. The same happened in the case of the Iraq invasion. The truth of the matter is that the so-called coalition of nations that are presently involved in the bombing of Libya have entered into a conflict that has no end in sight nor is there a coherent end strategy. And this is always the problem when nations embark on military action: the nations involved are fond of portraying this variously as having the potential for being a short conflict or ushering in a new era of ‘democracy’. They will conduct the war as though it was a remote control c0nflict (110 cruise missiles were launched on Day 1 alone). We should be in no doubt that the No Fly Zone that has been declared is the precursor to something nastier. The No Fly Zones over Iraq were merely the opening shots for the full-scale invasion that took place on a false premise. It was a ‘phony war’. The current Libyan NFZ can arguably be read in similar terms.
The US, UK and all of the NATO countries that have been involved in Afghanistan, entered into that war with one eye shut. Not being great students of history, they wilfully ignored the writing on the wall. The war is now 10 years old and there seems to be no end in sight. It is only the arms industry and the defence contractors (mercenaries) who have really gained anything from the conflict.
Libya presents a similar problem. The Gaddafi regime is intractable and will not give in without a bloody fight. The coalition of the short-sighted has clearly bitten off more than it can chew.
The ever astute Robert Fisk warns us about the West’s support for Arab dictators and the mess we could get ourselves into.
Whatever you think of George Galloway, he pretty much nails it in this interview on Sky. The interviewer is a Grade A plank.