Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh Yes - about the Arab thing

I have been meaning to say something about the Arab uprising thing - My spin was that it is exciting and unpredictable, and that the "dictators dillemma" is definitely in play in those Arab countries that have dictators (most of them?).

This article explains to me at any rate the relationship of modern technology with why the uprisings have gotten so much momentum.

My view is that at this point, international "judgement" is quite moot, especially as there is no such thing as international law, at least that can be enforced. All there is is a kind of multilateral pragmatism, with perhaps some belated justice being meted out by citizens on their former oppressors, and perhaps sanctioned in hindsight by various countries and groupings. There is absolutely no point in supporting a tyrant when they look like they are going to lose no matter what. It is in a sense "victor's justice"

Chris Fellows says:
(BTW Marco, if you mind me posting an off-topic diatribe, just delete it and tell me to get my own blog already!)

Too bad - Until you get a new blog I'll keep the conversation going here.

It leaves a sour taste in my mouth that the one time the UN can get together it is to kick a man when he's down...surely the time for sanctions against Qaddafi was when he invaded Chad, or blew up that passenger plane, or fomented Tuareg rebellions in neigbouring countries, or killed thousands of unarmed prisoners, or had Sadat assassinated for making peace with Israel (the last not proven, but as proven as some of the allegations being used as justification now)?

If I was part of a mob burning down a police station and calling for the violent overthrow of the government, I would consider that I had crossed some red line between being a 'civilian' and an 'insurgent' and that it would be pretty much justifiable self-defence if the government used deadly force against me. And if there were people all over the country burning down police stations, I would think the government was pretty much justified in imposing a curfew and shooting me if I broke it. And if my whole town was in the control of police-station-burning hooligans, I would think the government would have a pretty good case for sending the air force against us. The hypocrisy of the UN condemning Qaddafi for doing what almost every UN member state would do if they were in his shoe is kind of icky

Not many journalists have taken this line at all. "Groupthink" seems to have taken over and the new good guys can do what they need to do to extinguish the bad guys, who have been happily doing bad things for decades. The double standards argument makes no sense to the groupthink.

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