Wednesday, 13 April 2011

When Will William Hague Understand Not Every Country Wants War

William Hague is making a spectacular hash of his ministerial remit as Foreign Secretary, although he's not quite in the league of Nick Clegg or David Cameron - yet.

Last week it was reported Moussa Koussa had been interviewed, with his agreement, by Scottish police investigating the Lockerbie bombing because prosecutors believe he has information on the 1988 terrorist attack.  It is understood he was the chief of Libyan intelligence at the time.  Is there a possibility that Koussa has given enough information to reopen the case?  Probably not.

At the time of Koussa's defection William Hague insisted Koussa hadn't chosen Britain on the back of any plea bargain and he 'is not being offered immunity from British or international justice'.

What we do know is that Koussa isn't a pleasant person and he will have weighed up the likely outcomes prior to making his momentous decision to escape the Gaddafi regime.  Either he is convinced that Gaddafi will lose the civil war or he believes he is in a position to cut some kind of deal.

British foreign policy is remarkably adept at overlooking the misdeeds of prominent politicians where there is reason to do so.  That's how come Valentine Strasser, former head of the National Provisional Ruling Council in Sierra Leone, was allowed to study law at Warwick University and how a Spanish request for the extradition of General Pinochet was rejected on medical grounds, leaving the mass murdered free to return to Chile.

Koussa is now in Quatar where he is expected to meet with Libyan opposition representatives. Mr Haig saw the trip as an opportunity for Koussa to deepen his ties with the Libyan rebel opposition umbrella group, the transitional or interim National Council which is based in Benghazi.

Mr Haig is also in Quatar complaining that NATO countries aren't pulling their weight in the implementation of the no-fly zone over Libya. He doesn't yet understand that many countries have no desire to be pulled into another war.

Why Haig is pandering to Koussa is anyone's guess but I would agree with this Lockerbie victim's relative. Haig may well find that Koussa is a great deal smarter than himself.  Anyone who can survive 30 years within the close confines of Gaddafi's court could only be described as Machiavellian.

If Koussa was looking for a country where pragmatism generally overrules all other considerations, his private jet undoubtedly landed in the right place - with William Haig's full agreement.

Richard isn't happy either.


Anonymous said...

I wonder that they can let this man, reputed to be the architect of the Lockerbie tragedy, wander around the world like a statesman, given that Cameron went to America and criticised the Scottish government for allowing a dying man home in accordance with the laws of OUR country, and possibly his too. I wonder how much money Koussa brought with him from Libya. I imagine that he won’t be able to access his Swiss bank account now that it has been frozen, and so I’m tempted to ask who paid for his travel to Qatar, and if it was us did he go cattle class or what...

Personally I doubt he was behind the bomb that blew up the flight over Lockerbie. I still reckon it makes most sense to pin it on the Iranians; after all only a few months before had not an American captain blown a scheduled Iranair flight out of the sky killing 200+ Iranians? Was this not likely a quid pro quo?

As for Koussa being smarter than Hague...I should think so. But that’s not difficult. He’s not the brightest button in the box.

PS SR... sorry I missed your comment yesterday. I hate it when I do that; it looks like ignorance, although it wasn't, just carelessness. Rectified now though!!

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Koussa's on compassionate leave!

Brian said...

Institutionally, the FCO has always expected a lower standard of behaviour from foreigners, especially darker- skinned ones because everyone is inferior to the double-starred Firsts in the FCO. Its only fixed principle now is that it's Israel's fault. As the "Arab Spring" caught the diplomatic community by surprise (just like 1989) there should be a Royal Commission on this unfit for purpose mob.
As for those semi-detatched NATO countries who talk the talk but take a seat, well they are no longer afraid of the Russians invading and wish to keep their options open with both sides.

Dramfineday said...

Well is he the bomb planner in chief or not and since he has left the country, will we ever know?

Anonymous said...

I think, Brian that many of the NATO countries signed up to an organization which would keep peace in Europe and North America, which would come to the aid of other countries in the North Atlantic area in an effort to do that.

I doubt most of them foresaw fighting wars in Afghanistan, or in North Africa.

They may feel deeply sorry, as I do, for the Libyan rebels who are fighting for democracy. They may feel equally sad for Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, Bahrainis, Yemenis who are also struggling for a bit more say, and a little less corrupt government. God knows it would be nice here too.

As Subrosa says, not everyone wants to run the world. Some want to run their own countries.

Some will stick with that and do nothing. I have no problem with that. Some will do a little, mindful that their populations won’t thank them for putting their troops’ lives at risk for a fight that has nothing to do with them, and spending money that might be used for domestic necessities.

In our case, for all I feel deeply sympathetic to the so called “rebels” in Libya...who could not be filled with revulsion on seeing that little lad carried by his dad after being half blown apart by the filth that are Gaddafi’s troops... there are injustices all over the world. Brilliant though Mr Hague and Mr Cameron may be, we cannot deal with them all, and oil rich though we are, we cannot afford to.

I’d prefer to see money spend to ensuring that fewer pensioners die of the cold this winter, instead of the financially induced cuts in one of the things that keeps them alive.

subrosa said...

Koussa isn't going to involve himself in anything Tris, but certainly a deal must have been done. Seems he has a son in England but I doubt if he's funded his father's Quatar trip.

That's ok Tris.

subrosa said...

At our expense Crinkly.

subrosa said...

Very good assessment Brian. Thanks.

subrosa said...

Oh I think he'll be back Dram. There are too many people out there who would be quite happy to see him in a box.

subrosa said...

That's another niggle Tris. Where is the money coming from for all this posturing regarding Libya.

JRB said...

“When Will William Hague Understand…”

To answer your question one would have to say that he will never understand.
But we should not be surprised by Mr Hague’s attitude on this or on any subject?

For years the Conservatives languished in opposition, during which period there fermented within them an extreme form of Conservativism of which Mrs T could only dream. Now under cover of the ‘economic climate’ they are bringing these extreme policies to fruition.

Does Mr Hague listen to his military advisors or to his allies – No - he his driven by Conservative ideological dogma.

… come to that

Does Mr Lansley listen to the doctors, nurses or patients – No - he his driven by Conservative ideological dogma.

Does Mr Duncan Smith listen to the poor, the disabled, or the least well off – No - he his driven by Conservative ideological dogma.

Does Mr Gove listen to the teachers, parents or pupils – No - he his driven by Conservative ideological dogma.

… and so it is for all Conservatives who hold office, they are driven by the same ideological dogma.

It could, or perhaps should be asked – When Will Any Conservative Understand?

subrosa said...

Evening John. Of course you're right but aren't labour of a similar ilk these days? There's little difference between them.

Anon said...

Koussa has long worked for the CIA, according to the Sunday Express.

The architects of the Lockerbie Bombing come from Langley, Virginia, reportedly.

William Hague is not all that he seems.

Hope Dundee is warm and sunny as always.

subrosa said...

Aangirfan, thanks so much for the links. I'd read them at your place and I was tempted to say Hague was also interlinked with them, but you knew that.

I'm not quite in Dundee but in Perthshire, although born in Dundee. It's been lovely here today.

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