What is a no-fly zone? It would be nice if it were a way to keep flies off our picnic but I don’t think this is what our British prime minister, David Cameron means. having said that, does he really know what he means?
Let’s remember that in the early weeks of the Arab Spring he was off on a tactlessly-timed arms deal tour of the Middle East where he admits he forgot that he was in charge when the crisis in Libya started. Then it was all inactivity and bungle and now he is trying to make amends. The trouble is that his actions are just as inappropriate even after his change of direction. Does he know what he is doing?
He wants us to begin this so-called No-Fly-Zone as if it really only means policing the skies over Libya in a pre-war bi-plane. In reality what do these planes do if the Libyan government sends a plane in the direction of Benghazi? We all know the answer, well I thought we did. We would have another war on our hands and, yet again, the West would be seen interfering in Middle Eastern affairs.
David Cameron has been talking to the French President Nicolas Sarkozy who is all gung ho to go in there sabres rattling. Mr Cameron, with so many things falling apart in his hands at home, has been impressed by the idea of “doing something.”
Now he is showing his irritation with American President Obama who is being accused of that most non-Cameron response – thoughtful consideration. If there is to be a happy outcome to the Arab Spring it will not be achieved by Western interference. We have to stand back if we want to prevent the usual East-West divide in international affairs and make the sacrifices of many idealistic and brave Arabs just another excuse for Western dominance.
We should let Mr Cameron know that the last military alliance between an American President and a British prime minister is too recent a memory for us to be relaxed about this latest ill-considered policy.