Friday, March 04, 2011

today : the habit of empire

I'm wondering why are we interfering in Libya? I say this because somehow everyone is now talking about no-fly zones with attendant air-attacks (to take out air defence capabilities). Some people are even positing a ground war to enact regime change. Of course, it's about the oil and the money, but our governments will never admit that. The same went for the recent appeasemant of Gadaffi. But now Gadaffi is losing power it seems obvious that the EU and the USA want to use the chance to turn Libya and its oil our way. Or more precisely, they want to see that it doesn't turn someone else's way. But I also think we are getting involved out of habit. Libya, after all, is yet another country that was artifically created under European colonial control. We have a long history of meddling in the regional and local politics of much of the world. And I suspect that habit plays a part. The formerly colonial powers of Europe, like Britain, just can't bring themselves to stand aside when the chance of a bit of meddling comes along. Viz Afghanistan. And it's not out some post-colonial guilt or responsibility. Look at the way the Belgians washed their hands of Rwanda, and the way the French and British helped arm the genocide.

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