Ben Dunant asks that we bin the humanitarian platitudes and call a vendetta a vendetta
Okay, firstly, let’s be honest about what we really want: Muammar Gaddafi’s melting head on a couscous platter. Oh yes we do. After all, he’s a dictator who enjoys his tyranny a little too much – just look at him with his forty high-kicking, lipsticked, virginal lady bodyguards – and what’s more he’s flanked by a semi-retarded son called Saif who keeps accusing his enemies of taking more drugs that he does. Seriously, what a dick. Let’s get him.
But rest easy, something is being done. First of all, we have branded ‘civilians’ the rag-tag rebels who started a civil war against him, disregarding the obvious fact that taking up arms automatically transforms someone from a ‘civilian’ into a ‘combatant’. Step one complete: militants subject to largely unknown influence and funding have been transformed into victims – and this is where we, the West, enter. It is, naturally, our moral obligation to step in on behalf of victims wherever they are being trod on.
And so we have the present military jaunt, where NATO and a handful of bellicose Arabs have been pounding Gaddafi’s hardware in the name of protecting ‘civilians’ from rough dictatorial treatment. So far it’s been a fine media show: austere, magisterial action shots of men in chequered neck-scarves running across barren desert-scapes cradling rusted Soviet assault rifles, screaming jihad to the indifferent wind, with the debris of exploded tanks littering the roadsides. The romance of the underdog gets widescreen treatment – Lawrence of Arabia with RPGs.
But unpleasant chatter will always arise at the point when one can no longer avoid the obvious. The obvious being that, far from this being a case of foursquare, right-on humanitarian intervention, we have merely picked sides in a civil war. Not that this should be cause for concern: these rebels are clearly the wholesome love-children of Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr., and intend to open gay clubs in Brega and weekend retreats for feminist book clubs in the desert.
The thing to do, then, is to ditch this effeminate ‘humanitarian’ cant and equip these immaculately organised, financially transparent freedom-fighters with the best sub-machine guns and grenade launchers that British taxpayer’s money can’t afford. Bang bang, win win, we all go home – the end. Because expensive weaponry is the way to get things done in this rough-and-tumble world of ours, and John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is a terrible, terrible song.
And so we’ll all have a party and get bladdered when Saif finally runs into the path of a cruise missile, and Muammar’s Swiss-cheesed corpse gets dragged through the dusty streets of Tripoli and pelted with raisins. In the meantime, we must make the world safe for democracy. But thankfully, our governments are doing the right thing.