American Elephants

Britain Takes the Lead in Protecting Libyan Citizens. by The Elephant's Child
February 28, 2011, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Islam, Middle East, United Kingdom | Tags: ,

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Britain will help to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, designed to prevent Moammar Gaddafi from using jet fighters against his own people.  The Prime Minister is the first Western leader to publicly commit to the no-fly zone, in a statement to Parliament which marks a significant escalation in the crisis after sanctions and an arms embargo were imposed by the UN Security Council.

The Times headline says Britain and its NATO allies are making plans to send warplanes to Libya and arm rebels as Western democracies harden determination to force out Gaddafi and prevent a humanitarian disaster — already under way.

President Obama says the violence in Libya is “outrageous” and “unacceptable.” He has signed an Executive Order regarding Sanctions, and protecting assets that belong to the people of Libya.

Justice, Injustice, Compassion, and Mercy, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference. by The Elephant's Child

The release of the mastermind of the Lockerbie bombing, Abel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, after serving just eight years of a 27-year minimum sentence, on “compassionate grounds” has shocked friends and families of the  259 passengers and 11 villagers killed by the wreckage.

Whether or not al-Megrahi is actually dying of cancer remains to be seen.  Moammar Gadhafi arranged for a large audience to greet him when he arrived in Libya on one of Gadhafi’s jets.  The crowd was delirious, cheering and singing patriotic songs.

Canadian journalist David Warren addressed the situation:

The use of the very term “compassionate” in the Scottish decision is two-edged.  while it does, indeed, spit on the graves of the bomber’s victims, and in the faces of their survivors, it simultaneously infers that by refusing “compassion” opponents of the decision are unjust.  Here we enter into the insanity of “moral relativism” and “moral equivalence” — recently on exhibit in tears shed ignominiously for the inmates of Guantanamo.

We reveal, almost everywhere that compassion is invoked, the fact that we no longer have a viable conception of justice.  For in the conception we once had,”compassion” had no part.

The operative word was “mercy,” and the idea behind it was radically different from the idea behind compassion. … Mercy has tempered justice, in our western tradition.  Note that construction: mercy is not a part of justice, it is “another thing.”(…)

But today it is “justice,” which, in our civilization, was known to be something sharp and hard.  Justice is necessary to rectify injustice.  The man who intentionally kills many unknown to him, in order to make a political statement, has committed a grave act of injustice, for which an equal and opposite act of justice is required.  Justice, not retribution; for a desire for revenge should no more come into a just judgment, than a desire for compassion.

And as it has become clear that the release of this man had little to do with “compassion” and everything to do with millions in British business opportunities in the oil fields of Libya, David Warren added:

It is insulting to be told an obvious lie; more insulting when the lie is insisted upon, in the face of undeniable facts.  Unfortunately,  few of our contemporary politicians seem to grasp this, yet they do not always pay for it in the polls.  It appears from this distance that at least Gordon Brown, the current U.K. prime minister, will not be returned to office when the British have their next chance to vote, and that his Labour Party will be annihilated.  But I wish I could be sure.

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