In the Mirror newspaper Tony Parsons has written a piece about Misrata, he does not take sides, I believe this makes his piece even more powerful. Misrata: A new name to define the mindless cruelty of war - Tony Parsons.
I understand that sometimes someone has to step in and act, I am just not convinced that when we took action in Libya that is was the right time. Equally though, I would not like to be the person who tries to judge when the "right time" is, I cannot do that, I do not have the capabilities, I only know what I am told by my government. The consequences of war are paid by both sides, who can say or judge whose pain and suffering is worse? The price to be paid is usually paid heavily by ordinary civilians that suddenly find they are living in a war zone. During the Libyan conflict I have watched the news bulletins and listened to the language used. For the so-called "rebels" fighting Gaddafi, when they suffer loss, they are mainly described as "innocent civilians" and women and children caught up in the fighting, and "young men fighting oppression of Gaddafi" yet when Gaddafi's people are hit, they are described as "forces loyal to Gaddafi" there is no picture painted in words about the horrors of the loss of life and the terrible injuries suffered there, these people remain the faceless "forces loyal to Gaddafi", no innocent bystanders? No children? No women? No elderly defenceless people? Just "forces loyal to Gaddafi"? Do the forces loyal to Gaddafi not bleed or scream in pain when they are hit by a bullet or are blown up as they walk along the street? Who is tending the injured "forces loyal to Gaddafi?" What is happening in Tripoli? Are the people there being oppressed by Gaddafi? Are they under siege too scared to go out in case they meet "forces loyal to Gaddafi" or even these so-called "rebels"? Are mothers and fathers being forced to attend Gaddafi's compound and place their children there for the night to protect Gaddafi from coalition air strikes? Why have our journalists stopped reporting what is happening in Tripoli where Gaddafi actually is? I have tried to find up to date news for Tripoli, I can only find entries for March, we are now almost in May has Tripoli somehow ceased to exist? Could it be because just maybe without "rebels" and without the machines of war Tripoli has returned more or less to where Tripoli was before this "uprising" started? So no news to be had just at this moment? No gruesome pictures? No rebels fighting the "forces loyal to Gaddafi"? No innocent bystanders, women and children being horrifically injured and mutilated by "grown-ups war games" to report? Hence no story, or perhaps just not the kind of story that the West and Nato and the Coalition forces want to be told on our TVs, radios and published in our newspapers? "Tripoli returns to peace after rebels flee", definitely would not please Western governments involved in the Libyan civil war!
I have no idea if Gaddafi would have carried out his threat to massacre the many thousands of people we were informed would be massacred if the West (we) did noting, in fact, I have no idea if the threat Gaddafi made was the way he intended us to hear it, how would I know? I do not speak Arabic and the little I do know about translations no matter how good they are, is they can easily be misunderstood eg "lost in translation", and this strangely is all that David Cameron can know because I am sure he doesn't speak Arabic, he doesn't even speak French, so we are being asked to bomb Libya on the say so of a translation of something that Gaddafi may or may not have said, or may or may not have meant? I find this a dangerous situation, from the little I know of Gaddafi, he is not quite right mentally and he does say a lot of bizarre and groundless things often saying things he doesn't mean. Why is Nato and Cameron and Sarkozy choosing to believe some of what Gaddafi says (like the threat of massacre) while choosing not to believe him when he says he wants a cease fire? Is selective "believing" a good enough reason to carry out acts of aggression in another country? Why do our leaders act surprised when Gaddafi does not carry out a promised cease fire after coalition forces have just gone in and bombed his army and continuing to take out his military capabilities? Of course he is going to retaliate, wouldn't we if someone came and started bombing us?
Why didn't NATO and our leaders understand when Gaddafi's son spoke on TV before the conflict started and said "we are Libyan, we die Libyan" that there was no way on this earth that Gaddafi and his sons would surrender? I am no war expert, but I had Gaddafi's measure and so did many thousands of other people in this country, yet apparently David Cameron and his new best mate Nicolas Sarkozy could not understand about Gaddafi? Or perhaps they did understand and the pull of accumulating "good will" easy votes and better poll ratings was just too good an opportunity for them both to miss?
When this began in the West had to ask ourselves if could we stand back and watch while this supposed threat to massacre women and children was carried out, and if it was carried out and we did nothing, would we deserve the condemnation we would receive for doing nothing from other countries? Would the "accusers" the "usual suspects" ask of the West "was there not enough oil for you to bother with Libya?" I have no answers to these questions and I do not pretend I do, so therefor, I do not consider myself to be fully equipped to give a judgement or help make an informed decision, however, I listened to the British prime minister David Cameron deliver his speech to a hushed House of Commons when he *told* us that we were going to be bombing yet another Arab country and from what Cameron said in the House, I still was not convinced of the "impending massacre" but then what do I know? I am the first to admit that I have a major problem with whatever David Cameron says or does, simply because because I honestly do not trust him and I do not believe a single thing he says. Party politics aside for one moment, he has destroyed any trust that I would have had in him under these "special" circumstances to judge and therefor come to a sound and sensible conclusion. Am I partisan to point out that since assuming power barely one year ago, David Cameron, has repeatedly lied to us about everything and anything, he has broken all of his promises so how do I now know he is not lying about Gaddafi? I can only judge Mr Cameron on his record thus far and his record is absolutely dire. David Cameron's judgement both at home and on foreign policy has been hopelessly flawed, hopelessly compromised and virtually non-existent, so now when it really matters how can I trust his judgement? How can I give my blessing to Cameron, to go ahead and bomb the hell out of "forces loyal to Gaddafi" because I trust him to tell the truth and I trust his judgement as my prime minister? How will I trust that he will do his level best to ensure we treat the "forces loyal to Gaddafi" with the same respect we would treat any human being? Are those forces loyal to Gaddafi not "freedom fighters" too? I am scared that these "Forces loyal to Gaddafi" are being looked upon as faceless clones fighting a civil war in a country most of us have never visited in a town virtually none of had ever heard of before now, it is as if these are not real people with real lives and real families with little children that cry when their daddy goes out because they are scared he is not going to come back alive? Or do faceless forces loyal to Gaddafi not become injured by "rebels" bullets and coalition air strikes, are they somehow immune? Children in Libya are becoming traumatised some incapable of speech such is their pent up fear, one little boy on today's news is 8 years old, he was out playing and it is said a sniper shot him, the way it was reported made it sound that the sniper shot him on purpose. How does the reporter know this, how do they know it was a sniper and not one of the "rebels" bullets that caught him? The truth is they do not know and the way it was reported was sensationalised, as if a little 8 year old lad getting shot in the head with ANY bullet and is blinded and so traumatised he now refuses to speak isn't sensational enough. It makes my blood run cold.
So when Mr Cameron has lied and cried wolf and broken as many promises as he has, how can we trust him or his total lack of judgement at a time like this?
How can we trust him when every day he lurches from one extreme statement/speech/attack on a minority group to another in order to procure votes for his party? How can we trust him when he behaved in an ill-conceived spiteful way towards Gordon Brown last week announcing publicly he (Cameron) would personally block Mr Brown becoming the MD of the IMF? Mr Cameron behaved in a really unbecoming way for a British prime minister he purposefully and publicly embarrassed, berated and belittled the former prime minister who was his immediate predecessor. How does this that kind of behaviour from Cameron inspire trust in his ability to tell the truth, to make sound judgement calls and to behave like a statesman representing this country? How do we trust him to get his calls right, especially, when he is sending our armed forces into yet another Arabic country to bomb them? How on earth can we trust a man who has continually let us down and shown such appalling judgment as Mr Cameron has on many important occasions? This is what happens when we have an ex PR man spin doctor for a prime minister, and a deputy prime minister who continually lie to our faces and absolutely know the truth that the global problems that befell this country were not the fault of one man yet carrying on lying and deliberately misleading us telling us our problems are all caused by Gordon Brown. Of course it suits Cameron politically to carry on blaming the deficit on Brown and Labour in order to impose their Tory ideologies on us all. They desperately want to shrink our society and get rid of the welfare state, the NHS and state education, this is what Tories do it is in their blue blood! How do we trust and believe a man that does and says all of this purely for Tory dogma and ideology, when truth is that far from causing the world's problems, Gordon Brown helped prevent this country suffering a catastrophic fall, as well as helping other countries in the process? We should be thanking Mr Brown and Mr Darling, instead of that we do as Britain always does, build someone up and then take great pleasure in knocking them down.this time using the pack of lies we have all been fed the last three years by David Cameron and his mates in the right wing press.
With elections coming up and the referendum for AV voting, Cameron, Clegg and Osborne are men who now want our votes and who are once again asking us to trust them! These are the same men who think absolutely nothing of breaking their promises to us and to each other, and blame each other and the coalition for their broken words and lies and take absolutely no responsibility for what they have done and what they are doing to the hardest hit, the disabled, the vulnerable, the sick, unemployed, young and elderly and are using each other, Gordon Brown and the deficit to destroy people's lives?
David Cameron is the kind of man and prime minister who thought it was a good time to join forces with his arms dealer buddies and then hawk arms across the Middle East and flog them to small Arabic countries at a time that region was witnessing uprisings. When innocent civilians were actually being massacred in Bahrain while we and the rest of the world stood idly by doing nothing and meanwhile the royal family of Bahrain is invited and going to attend our royal family's wedding - so what makes Libya a special case for attack and not Bahrain? Or Syria and Iran?
When Egypt had just deposed of its leader for the last 40 years and when the trouble in Libya was intensifying, Cameron was oblivious and carried on his arms trip with his arms dealer mates, many of which back the Conservative party financially, meanwhile the British government back home was incapable of doing anything about getting our nationals out of Egypt and out of Libya they had not got a clue and The Foreign Secretary, William Hague was behaving like a bunny caught in the headlamps just wanting to wash his hands of the whole "Libyan thing" and fly off to Washington as planned; The Defence Secretary Liam Fox had left his post and gone down the pub to sink a few pints with his mates; The Home Secretary, Theresa May, was nowhere to be found, probably off to buy some designer shoes; The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, was where he usually is "in La La Land trying to get his white paper right", The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley was busy putting the finishing touches to his bill designed to disband and destroy the NHS placing millions of lives and jobs at risk; The Tory Chancellor George Osborne was as usual nowhere to be found, probably hidden away somewhere studying "Economics for Dummies". Where was the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg? Well when he was eventually tracked down he told us all that while the prime minister was away he had "forgotten he was in charge of the country" and in any case it didn't matter as "someone else would have to do it" because come his usual knocking off time (every day at 3pm to stop him getting too tired), he was going off on an expensive and probably "freebie" skiing holiday!
Is it any wonder that so many now have serious difficulty placing their trust in Mr Cameron and they doubt his judgement and have profound difficulty believing anything he tells us?