Monday, March 21, 2011

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya

Let's face it, the current situation in the world is pretty bleak to say the least. The economy doesn't seem to be picking up and I personally anticipate another two years of uncertainty before things get right. The latest development in Libya has the world throwing it's arms up in the air saying "Oh no! Not again".

The reason I feel compelled to write this article is based off reading a news article titled "The 'Obama Doctrine': Has the president gone neocon in Libya?" by The Week ( and in the article they discuss the similarities between GW starting an assault on Afghanistan and then Iraq, mentions that "Obama opposed the so-called Bush Doctrine of preemptive, and if necessary, unilateral war against any perceived threat to the security of the United States" and I don't blame him for being opposed at the time. Hind sight has taught us that many mistakes have been made over the last decade, including fabricated stories that caused alarm and despondency in the US and the UK, along with other coalition countries.

However, can we as an educated, well funded, and fundamentally free society, whether we are English, Scottish, French, American, Spanish, or any other first world nation idly stand by while innocent lives are being snuffed out because a despot feels his grasp of power is slipping out of his reach. Having been ousted by his own people, is it morally right that he should go on a rampage against the very people that make the nation of Libya what it is? To kill men, women and children out of spite for their wishes?

Let me put this scenario to you:

What if Obama suddenly lost the plot, and issued a Presidential decree that the three levels of Government were now null and void, and that the ONLY law would be himself, President, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and anyone opposing the President would be silenced? That silence would also be expected of all persons within the States, and freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and all the other rights that we hold so dear are no longer rights? Would you stand by and allow such a thing to happen? I don't think so!

So how can we allow people such as Gaddafi, Mugabe, Kim Il Sung, Sein, Mebazaa, Salih, Triet, to name but a few of the worlds dictators (the whole sleuth can be seen at: to carry on oppressing their people with iron fists?

Personally in my heart of hearts, something tells me that the weapons of mass destruction that were the heart of why we invaded Iraq still do exist. It doesn't shock me that they haven't been found either. When you take a country the size of Iraq, mixed with a very tight family that is the cabinet of that country (Saddam and his Sons), it wouldn't be an impossible task to grab a bunch of people that you don't like, truck them out into some remote spot and have them move those barrels of what ever dirty bomb material and bury them and the individuals that put those materials into place and then bulldoze and wipe evidence of it every existing. We've seen movies of such practices in the past...remember no loose's at the heart and soul of anyone trying to cover their tracks against prying eyes, and every crook in the book has done it, from small time gangster, to mobsters, to yes, dare I say it, leaders of nations. I mean, didn't Hitler do just that, except with millions of people before anyone really realized what was going on? Now that Saddam and his sons are dead, the real truth died with them.

How can I as an individual even contemplate such things? Well, I've experienced life in a dictatorship. Mugabe has been ruling Zimbabwe since 1980, and in that time he has committed atrocious crimes against humanity. He slaughtered 20 000 Matabele people in the south western parts of Zimbabwe, and bodies were thrown down wells and mine shafts which were then blasted to cover up the evidence. (Hey, wait a minute...isn't that called genocide? Or what about perhaps ethnic cleansing?) He has illegally invaded homes, and farms, and communities, blaming the west for his actions. He has schools taken over during election times and these schools are turned into youth militia camps, encouraging young boys and girls to kill their parents, or be subjected to gang rapes repeatedly every single night until they subject and take part in the activities themselves (Umm...wasn't this depicted in that movie Blood Diamond?). These youths are then taken into rural and urban communities to wreak havoc, terrorism, and who knows what else.

I do not condone violence of any kind, but really when you think about it, if these despots are going to kill their own people simply to remain in power, and if it's the will of the people that they should be ousted, then they should be removed by force if they refuse to run by the rules of International law.


Anonymous said...

Thought provoking and particulary well written

kathryn said...

Wow, Mark. You have a unique perspective that most of us can't come close to understanding. We take a lot for granted here in the US, having obviously known no other way.
I think it can be difficult to imagine living under a dictatorship. However, there are times when I wonder what it would be like to be Switzerland...

Ingwa said...

Hi Kathryn, thank you for reading and for your comment. One thing I can say about travelling is that every place is generally the same. The cultures and governments may be different, and architectural, food, and currency differences, but at the end of the day, it's just another place. Even law, while there may be some crazy little loop holes, or ways of approaching specific subjects (for example "blue laws" which don't make sense today), most laws around the world are similar and they are all based on one thing...common sense. This is where dictatorships fail, because while the rule of law states one thing, the leaders can say another and people have to follow or disappear.

If you did decide to move to Switzerland, just to let you know it generally takes around 2 years to actually settle and be a part of the way things work...but this is from my personal experience of course. I would imagine changing states wouldn't be as much of a culture shock to the system as moving country, but then again, it's just another place, whether it's half an hour drive away, or on the other side of the world.