Monday, March 21, 2011

What can we do to bring the Libyan conflict to a speedy end?

I have just sent this email to my MP. You can copy, customise and send it too, via WriteToThem.com




Dear [MP]


Action to block broadcasts of Gaddafi’s Al Jamahiriya 2 TV station

Now that the Prime Minister has rightly led, with France, the military action to protect the population of Libya from Ghaddafi, we must all hope and act to bring the allied operation to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.

The remit of the Allies is to protect the people. The intention of the people is to remove Ghaddafi. They have the will and the numbers to achieve success, as the Allied action re-balances the  military situation by removing Ghaddafi’s heavy weapons.

There is one more heavy weapon that needs to be neutralised: Ghaddafi’s TV station Al Jamahira 2 State TV, and also his radio stations.

Gaddafi is mentally unstable, showing symptoms of denial, delusion, paranoia, and irrational aggression. He is controlling within his inner circles, and manipulative in his dealings with world opinion. He probably has a borderline unstable extraverted personality disorder exacerbated by 41 years of unopposed power.

It is clearly inappropriate for a deluded individual to be permitted to spread his delusions through a TV station, especially when they result in delaying the successful end of the Libyan crisis.

The importance of Ghaddafi’s broadcasts to his war effort cannot be overestimated.  We have seen the blatant misinformation that his ministers put out with regard to a “ceasefire”. Libyans are subjected to this propaganda every time they turn on the TV. He maintains his supporters’ morale with his TV broadcasts, affects their cognitive framework with misinformation.

If his broadcasts were stopped, it is reasonable to expect that support for Ghaddafi would diminish among the Libyan people. If families of loyalist soldiers no longer express enthusiasm for Ghaddafi, morale among his soldiers will be reduced.  Blank TV screens would be a symbol to loyalists that Ghaddafi is losing control. There would also be a positive net effect on world opinion, since some broadcasters are using Libyan State TV as if it were a reliable news source.

Nilesat is Ghaddafi’s main TV service provider. They are located in Egypt. It might take just a certain amount of diplomatic pressure to get them agree to deny service to him.  Other options of course include jamming his signal.

In short this is an action that is non-violent, and can reasonably be expected to shorten the length of our engagement in Libya.

I have heard no substantive arguments against this line of action, though I imagine there may be some kind of gentleman’s agreement among governments along the lines of “I will not jam your signal if you will not jam mine”. Clearly this convention no longer holds now that Ghaddafi is subject to a UN R2P action.

I urge you therefore, please, to take this matter up directly and personally with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for defence at the earliest opportunity. If there is any objection to the idea I would be grateful if you would call me so that we can talk it through. Time is pressing.


Many thanks for your action in this very important initiative.

Sincerely

....

Action to press the UN to recall the mercenaries here.

7 comments:

nickleberry said...

I cannot believe you are commending the prime minister for initiating this military action. It beggars belief that Cameron is doing it for the people. He's playing politics and he's seeking power and control in North Africa... As are all of his allies.

The rebels in Benghazi have my sincerest sympathy, but they should beware the hand that offers friendship. Cameron et al have no interest what so ever in seeing Libya ruled by the will of the people. They will sell the rebels down the river without batting an eyelid.

It is a sad day when even the Greens are ready to go to war.

DocRichard said...

OK. You disagree with the war. But will you turn your hand to bringing it to an end by writing to your MP?

Carly said...

Hi

I have a quick question about your site. Would you mind emailing me back @carlymiller687@gmail.com

Thanks,
Carly

nickleberry said...

DocRichard, to reply:

(a) You assume that writing to my MP constitutes a concrete act towards ending the war. That's quite an assumption. (I'm not entirely dismissive of such acts by the way, but let's not overstate their importance.)

(b) You haven't addressed anything I said! You haven't explained why you agree with the war. Perhaps you should! I would hope that your default position as a Green is to oppose war... So an explanation for your stance would seem warranted.

DocRichard said...

Writing to MPs with the aim of getting them to block Gaddafis propaganda machine. OK. If I write, nothing happens. If you write, a flicker. If 100+ write, the matter gets taken up. The journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step.

I have explained my position here:
http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/greens-debate-libya-nfz.html
here:
http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/arab-spring-confounds-old-leftright.html
here
http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/un-r2p-action-on-libya-out-with.html
here
http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/arab-spring-confounds-old-leftright.html
here;
http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/libya-arguments-against-intervention.html
and here:
http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-is-libyan-mission-when-will-it-end.html

also you can hit the ArabSpring label.

I understand your aversion to war. But I do not understand the aversion of critics of war to taking non-violent action to weaken Gaddafi's hold on the minds of his supporters.

nickleberry said...

Richard, in response:

Writing to MPs with the aim of getting them to block Gaddafis propaganda machine. OK. If I write, nothing happens. If you write, a flicker. If 100+ write, the matter gets taken up. The journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step.

It sounds nice, and God knows I've written a lot of letters to MPs over the years but let's not kid ourselves. Writing letters is (typically) the thing middle-class people do when they find themselves opposed to a policy but can't bring themselves to do anything substantial about it. Now this has described me in the past, and probably describes me right now when it comes to Libya, so I'm not pointing the finger.

The point is that it hardly constitutes taking action. It's a panacea for the conscience and little more. Organising and resisting are what's required.

I have explained my position here...

I take your point - I read your position statements after I posted my comment. i.e. the wrong way round!

I understand your aversion to war. But I do not understand the aversion of critics of war to taking non-violent action to weaken Gaddafi's hold on the minds of his supporters.

I have never expressed any aversion to non-violent resistance to Gaddafi. The rebels have my best wishes (for all that they're worth) and I'll happily support them (non-violently) however I can.

I hope to goodness that at the end of this conflict they (or, more precisely, the people of Libya) find themselves free of Gaddafi... And free of malignant foreign influence intent on making sure their people end up running the country. I think there's virtually no chance of that happening now we're engaged in military action over there, but such is life. When Western powers invest millions of bounds in affecting the politics of a place, they tend to want to have a say in what happens next. God help the people of Libya.

DocRichard said...

Nickleberry

We do have a democracy. Pretty basic, but better than an autocracy.

You seem resigned. There's nothing we can do but wish the Libyans well, or pray to God.

Sorry, I don't buy that. I believe there are these things we can do, ie call, organise, press for blocking libya State TV and also get the mercenaries recalled.

If you don't want to help with this, please at least don't obstruct those that do want to take action.

Thank you.