Desert leadership or deserted leadership?

I read yesterday that the US spends $3.5 million a day on defence spending. For Egypt. That seemed like an unusual thing to do and an unusually high amount. I guess you need a lot of money to buy defence gear. For another country a long way away.  Libya is being bombed now because the Libyan government has attacked an uprising, pitched as “killing its own people”. It’s probably true. It was also true in Afghanistan quite some years ago and it turned out the uprising we in the west were supporting was the Taliban. That all worked out pretty well.

On the other side of the world China is helping Japan through it’s earthquake-driven disaster. Yes, other countries are too, but China and Japan haven’t exactly seen eye to eye. China has a history a repressing its own citizens and the state legally kills more people than the rest of the world.

Is the world headed for another war in the desert?  I don’t see any UN Resolutions proposed to force China to stop killing people for fraud and whatever else they execute for. When the US can’t afford to buy its friends like Egypt, what then? I guess China will. Or will they? Maybe they do in Africa right now. If you’ve experienced Chinese culture, you’ll probably know that despite what I just said, revenge and bullying are less common values than you see in the southern states of the US, say.

We have complex and seemingly intelligent international bodies including the UN in place where insights and learnings could be applied for the likes of Libya. I can see that if a government is killing its citizens then urgent action might need to be taken. But there doesn’t seem to be any urgency in other parts of the world. Like Zimbabwe to use another example. Cause and effect thinking, oil, and our cry for democracy have spurred the West into action.

It seems to be part of a western-encouraged uprising to bring democracy to the middle-east. Is the UN sanctioned bombing of Libya a sign of international leadership? Or is it a few countries beating up another bully so democracy can rise?  And if it does will they be free? I’m pretty sure Egypt hasn’t been free. The people from their president and the president from America. Not at $3.5 million a day.

These guys don't need Libya's oil

I’m a big fan of democracy. I’m an even bigger fan of freedom. I used to think that one led to the other. I’m not so sure now.  Do you feel less free in China than you do in America?

Do you feel that the UN has shown leadership in supporting the uprising in Libya?  Is this leadership through a consensus? What of the countries like Russia, China and Germany that abstained from voting? Is there an uncomfortable feeling in that? Are they closing their eyes and not wanting to support, or not deal with, a terrorist? Or does it have a feeling of “well you do what you have to do, but we’re not sure”.

That doesn’t feel like leadership, democracy or freedom to me. The most powerful leaders in the world. And they use simple cause and effect, voting leadership, and looking away to deal with one of the most significant international issues in many years. We should expect more from them all, those political leaders.

As my friend Rex says, if we spent that money on electric car technology, it probably wouldn’t matter so much. I’m starting to think he’s right.

I don’t have the answer, but somewhere in the thinking that put China in Japan to help its neighbour without any ado, there might be a better way.



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