Monday 7 March 2011

Detrimental Diplomacy

This is a telephone conversation between the British ambassador, Richard Northern MBE, in Tripoli and the senior Benghazi rebel politician Mustafa Abdel-Jalil about the presence of around 8 SAS troops who were captured near Benghazi and were freed late yesterday.  They were taken to Malta aboard the HMS Cumberland which faces decommissioning but is playing a key role in the evacuations from Benghazi.

The ambassador tells Abdel-Jalil they were there as an advance party to 'liaise with the National Council' and to ensure there was a hotel where the main group could stay when they arrived.  When told by Abdel-Jalil that they made a big mistake arriving by helicopter in an open area, the ambassador says, most unconvincingly, he had 'no idea how they were coming'.

Did he really think his absurd twitterings would be believed? It was a botched job. Does he understand the damage which could be caused by this poorly planned operation?  It's very probable Gaddafi will now use this incident against the rebel politicians on the premise that they are associating with British forces.

Britain's behaviour with regard to the Libyan unrest is far below the standard the people of this country have come to expect.  David Cameron talks about air strikes when we have no planes. A very serviceable aircraft carrier, the Arc Royal, is being broken up for scrap. Fifty senior military personnel, politicians and academics have written to the PM - although many of them were part of the problem - urging a rethink of the government's SDSR, while the MoD announced on Saturday that 200 troops from the Black Watch (3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland), are on standby for Libyan aid deployment.

Some reports indicate a massive build up of US naval forces, the UK and others, off the coast of Libya so intervention in the internal affairs of the country is already underway and the longer the civil war continues the greater the odds that the West will escalate its intervention, especially if it looks like Gaddafi can succeed in crushing the opposition.

None of this bodes well for Britain.  We have a military which is being torn apart yet our PM, like his predecessor, refuses to acknowledge we can no longer deploy as an independent military.  Whilst I acknowledge we must cut our cloth according to our means, our security is our most important public service and must be funded accordingly.

A quote from Global Researcher with which I concur:

And a sign where this all heading can be gleaned from the following:
"[T]he United States has demanded the UN Security Council (UNSC) to remove the provisions of charging mercenaries with war crimes in the killing of Libyan civilians."
Just in case no doubt some of its own mercenaries get caught. It's a replay of the US position over the use of mercenaries in Iraq where one of the first acts of overlord Bremer was to pass a 'law' to make it impossible to prosecute 'private contractors' for their actions.

Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya: all conflicts which have or will make these islands less secure than ever.  The US have already started their interference.  No doubt we shall follow.


Anonymous said...

As with everything else in the North African situation this government is found wanting and amateur.

And why cannot they see how much needed the aircrqft carrier and Cumberland are needed for this kind of thing?

We all have to have cuts, but these are sensible ways of cutting and stupid ways. It seems that they have chosen the stupid.

We are all in this together, but didn't I hear yesterday that these is a new prime ministerial Jaguar?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The people of Libya are fighting for freedom and democracy and to destroy the iron hand of tyranny.

We should wish them well and, should they succeed, observe and learn from the models of democracy they eventually adopt.

By their rejection of help from the West, they have already given a clear verdict that the shamed sham western style democracies are not models they want to emulate.

Which means the West will reap what it has sown and the deals and wheels greased for the corporates, could face a minimal harvest.

Within this context Cameron's inept and pantomime claim for a covert incursion to be based on diplomatic and humanitarian grounds has an equal veracity to GW Bush claiming a braincell.

subrosa said...

I didn't hear about the Jag Tris, but I do think the defence review was too hurried. How could a department the size of the MoD investigate itself in six months? There should have been independent scrutineers.

subrosa said...

Crinkly, there's another interesting article in Global Research this morning:

Brian said...

Ronald Reagan's government allegedly requested that a hanful of American mercenaries fighting with the Argentine occupation force were to be secretly despatched to avoid any diplomatic problems. That's when there was a Special Relationship.

Billy Carlin said...

Don't worry Subrosa we will show them all who is boss when we have our new aircraft carrier with no planes. They will all be quivering in their shoes then.

Then again everyone knows we can't afford to run a frigate any more so they will all be laughing at this shambles.

These will probably be the last ships our shipyards will ever build.

JRB said...

Have just listened in disgust to an incredulous William Hague trying to make excuse after excuse to the House of Commons, like some guilty schoolboy.

This was our Foreign Secretary who admitted to sending a so-called ‘diplomatic team’ to Eastern Libya under the cover of darkness at two in the morning.

It has been reported that ‘our team’ travelled courtesy of a special ops helicopter. This special helicopter, bristling with the latest secret radar and communications equipment, has now fallen into Libyan hands.

Hague should be seriously considering his position this evening.

subrosa said...

That's when the excuse was a Special Relationship Brian?

subrosa said...

Very possibly Billy and isn't it tragic that an island like ours doesn't build boats? Once upon a time we had the best boat builders in the world. Sorry I'm maudling. Many would say life was dreadful back then and of course some aspects were but...

subrosa said...

Hi John. I've missed most of the news today but what I heard this evening was that it was the SBS who were involved. Of course the SBS have the same training as the SAS (army) and SAS (airforce) but perhaps they don't co-ordinate too well.

I didn't know the helicopter was captured. For goodness sake, what a mess. I'm off to find out more about this.

Apogee said...

Hi SR. All this seems to be so stupid and shambolic, I wonder if something else is going on that we do not know about. It appears that it was done in a way guaranteed to get attention from half the population of Libya, and to loose the aircraft, intact , is criminal. Are we to believe that there was NO contacts set up,no one had a clue who to contact.What are we paying MI5, MI6, and the rest of the spooks for if not to know these things?
They might just as well have landed
in the main square in Tripoli and asked Gadaffi for directions.

subrosa said...

There are lots of conflicting stories about this Apogee and I can't find confirmation about the aircraft as yet, but no doubt it's true, knowing the way Hague conducts matters. It's well known intelligence on the ground is poor out there so surely they must have expected problems.

banned said...

I thought that the French were supposed to lend us their aircraft carrier in times of crisis?

subrosa said...

We've no planes to put on it banned. Marvellous eh?

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