26 March 2011

A War Without War Aims


The war begun by the intervening powers in Libya is another of those wars launched for no other reason than to make the attackers look good. After the French, in a midst of an election campaign, jumped headlong into a new adventure the US could not stay behind but hurried to put itself at the forefront lest the French grab all the limelight and start getting ideas above their station.

Fittingly the first war launched by Barrack Obama, the image president of the United States, is an image war. It shows the absurd nature of the time we live in, when ruling politicians will start needless wars with the expectation that it will improve their PR.

It has been interesting to observe Western officials who having sobered up from the initial bombing binge become self-conscious of the absurdity of their enterprise and sought to reassure the public by explaining they will not seek an escalation, because actually their war has no war aims. It is certainly not aimed at overthrowing Gaddafi the public has been told.

This might even be their sincere opinion right now that they have become conscious of the difficulties involved, but experience tells us this is poppycock. Sooner or later Western officials will start explaining that by starting the action, which was clearly anti-Gaddafi in nature, they had put their "credibility" on the line and therefore must bring it to an end by achieving a clear victory over him. There is a high likelihood of the intervening powers gradually investing more in the outcome of the competition for power in Libya, albeit it might not become apparent fast.

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