Of Levant and Leviathan: Cautionary Tales from a Turbulent World
In an interesting article for the LA Review of Books, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad analyses the comparisons which continue to be made between the interventions in Iraq and Syria and the NATO No Fly Zone in Libya. He reviews the recent UK Parliamentary Committee report on the UK’s decision to participate in the NFZ, and questions the motivations behind the report, the exclusively non-Libya experts who gave evidence to the committee, and the research methods used to corroborate claims.
For the claim that Gaddafi’s threat to civilians was exaggerated, the report drew on the opinion of think-tanker Alison Pargeter, who insisted that despite his eliminationist rhetoric, Gaddafi was unlikely to “launch some widespread massacre” — because he had prefaced his threats with “I’m going to go for the bearded ones.” She adds, however, that “in Gaddafi’s head, this was an Islamist rebellion, and he was going to go and hunt down those who were responsible.” In other words: Gaddafi was only going to kill bearded ones; but everyone that opposed him he presumed bearded (a serviceable presumption for the age of the “War on Terror,” one also embraced by Assad). Her co-panelist George Joffe of King’s College London echoed her views, though the report makes no mention of the fact that Joffe’s past work was underwritten by Saif Gaddafi’s foundation or that Joffe had written encomia for the Colonel’s son as a would-be reformer.
Click here to read the full article.