Why did we go to war?
Published by MartinVarsavsky.net in Arab revolts with No Comments
I am debating with too many people on Twitter. I give up. Most people seem to believe that EU and USA went to war in the Arab countries, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya because somehow we are making money doing so. They don’t get it that Europe and USA lost trillions in these wars. That their people, their economies… lost trillions and a horrible sacrifice of human lives on all sides. That yes there are some minor beneficiaries of this disasters like some people in the military industry and military contracting but that for the economies of USA, UK and some EU countries have been wasting $3 trillion only in Iraq as you can see here. And this is madness. Most on my twitter stream believe that somehow we will get paid back. How? Stealing their oil? Well that will never happen and should not happen. Did Saddam or Gaddafi not want to sell oil? Because now we get somebody else to sell us oil at $107 per barrel is that enough reason to invade Iraq? If all we wanted was to buy oil we would not go to war. We went to war because of some idiotic reasoning in the case of Iraq and some smarter reasoning in the case of Libya (where we invested much much less, worked with Libyans and got what seems to be like a good outcome). We went to war because we believed that toppling people who kill their people and sometimes foreigners with oil money don’t deserve to be in power. But the Iraqi money and human lives spent in the Iraq War are gone for good. We should have done nothing in Iraq, Saddam had nothing to do with Al Qaeda and he would have fallen like Gaddafi did, at a much smaller cost if we had waited a decade.
The average American owes $50K, the average Libyan has $30K
Published by MartinVarsavsky.net in Economy with No Comments
Libyans look like they are in horrible shape, and as they finish their civil war they are. And we are all happy Gaddafi, while still at large, is not in power. But unlike anything you can imagine, Libyan finances are not that bad. Libya is no Egypt. They have over $200bn in assets of which $165bn are abroad. They are only 6 million people and have no national debt. As a result each Libyan has assets of $30K. Americans instead have around $50K of debt per capita and Europeans $30K. But Americans and Europeans, paid dearly for the liberation of Libyans, not as much of course as the failed wars of Iraq and Afghanistan but still significant. Should us in EU and USA stop fighting other people’s wars and focus on rebuilding our economies? I think so. We should emulate George W Bush who had everyone contribute to the cost of the Gulf War and as a result it was short and relatively inexpensive as described in the first link. My view is that from now on, if we deal with wealthy nations like Libya I think we should only intervene only to tilt the balance and only if we get repaid. And in cases in which true humanitarian reasons are at stake we should do this together with many nations and sharing the costs.
Even though there is a civil war going on in Libya and global powers are divided on a course of action, there seems to be remarkable agreement that whatever is going on in Libya is, for everyone who has something to say about it, “unacceptable”.
–Obama calls the bloodshed in Libya unacceptable.
-at the same time Gaddafi calls the Arab League support for a no fly zone unacceptable.
-and the Russians are calling outside meddling in Libya unacceptable.
–David Cameron has called Gaddafi’s regime unacceptable.
-Lastly, possible GOP presidential rival of Haley Barbour called the price of gasoline resulting from the Libya conflict unacceptable.
Now my question is, if what’s going on in Libya is so unacceptable to everybody. Why is it still going on?
Added a day later, Iran gets into the game calling foreign soldier intervention in Bahrain “unacceptable”
Why doesn’t NATO help the Libyans get rid of Gadaffi?
Published by MartinVarsavsky.net in Middle East with No Comments
First I recommend that you read the life of Muammar al Gaddafi on Wikipedia. After you are done, you may wonder how such a disgusting human being can still be the ruler of Libya. Now that the people of Libya are being massacred by Gaddafi, and clearly want to see him to go, should not NATO send a few fighters over Libya and turn the tide? I am not saying that an immediate attack makes sense; that may lead to nationalism and even more innocent civilian casualties. But the US and the EU could send a clear message that said: stop killing your people, democratize, give freedom to the press, or we will act. the USA almost killed Gaddafi in 1986, so he would probably get the message. The difference between Gadaffi and other dictators is that he has been a sponsor of international terrorism as in the case of the tragic flight over Lockerbie where 270 people died. In any case Gadaffi may fall out of the pure will of its own people but should he continued killing as he has been doing I think EU and USA should seriously consider a military option. The threat of use of force this time could accomplish more than the actual use of force has accomplished in Afghanistan and Iraq.