Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Anne Frank with a message for the Middle East.

No country sacrifices it's men without reason, and certainly not in the interests of another,and Britain is no exception.

These words were written by Anne Frank on the 22nd of May 1944,two months before her capture by the Germans, however these words have a lasting meaning, not only in the context of the Second World War, but also by sending a stark warning to democratic activists throughout the Middle East.

As protests and uprisings continue in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the United Nations with Britain and France leading the charge; stepped up to prevent a potential genocide in Libya. In my first article I called for the intervention and applauded the UN resolution when it arrived. But now there are more questions facing the West, as a stalemate has ensued in the region.

David Cameron has floated the notion of sending weapons to arm the rebels in this civil war, while negative domestic opinion rises. It seems that Britain, nor any of it's allies have a sustained strategy with how to respond to the Libya problem, or indeed how to engage in the larger Middle East situation.

So with open revolt, revolution and retaliation occurring in numerous countries in the region. Why did Britain decide to involve itself solely in Libya? Already it seems the conspiracy theories are out about oil within the region. Personally I don't believe the reason behind UN Resolution 1973, was based on oil but rather the threat of a potential slaughter of innocent civilians. The aftermath of this however seems far more murkier than of doing what is right and just.

Libya accounts for two percent of the worlds oil, at a production level of 1.8 million barrels per day, this in comparison with Bahrain for example which produces only 49,000 barrels per day. Should this be taken as motive towards Western intervention? Following the protests in Benghazi Crude oil prices rose to $108 a barrel for the first time since 2008. While British shares fell 1.1%.

Of course these figures do shed some light as to why it was important for Britain to try to enforce some order within the region, and the predicted genocide gave them a justifiable reason for this intervention. But was this the main reason or did they genuinely have the people of Libya's best interests at heart?

It is conceivable that both Britain and France have a decided interest in what occurs in Libya, but that they intervened on moral grounds, however we will never know the true extent of what length each country was preserving it's own interests. While rebels in other nations wonder why the West won't condemn the oppressive actions of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.

In order to prevent these conspiracy theories from continuing there must be a dramatic departure from the norm in international activity. Each nation must pledge to secede to a strong United Nations police force, who will be charged with enforcing peace in nations participating in acts of genocide or violation of the rights of their own people, no matter what their allegiance or status in the world order is.

As we saw in Terry Georges' moving film; Hotel Rwanda, the current structure in which the United Nations rely on independent nations for enforcement, results in crisis's only being resolved when they have the interests of powerful nations at heart. If this change is not enforced, then there will continue to be speculation as to the reasons for international intervention, and Anne Franks' message will continue to haunt the world.

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