Ill-judged action has now nosedived into the sand

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron

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Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Despite the jingoistic tub-thumping by almost all the national media and the backing of parliament – save 13 brave souls – the Nato invasion of Libya has nosedived into the desert sands.

You might not know it from the propaganda, but few nations favoured war strikes in the first place. The African Union, Arab League, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Russia and China, even the Pope were not for them. The list now includes the USA, which has withdrawn its combat jets, missile ships and submarines.

The only ones left are Britain and France – though polls show a mere 45 per cent of British people support the war. A fine mess you’ve got us into, Cameron!

Has anyone ever asked the question: what business of ours is Libya? At a time of the most inspiring, sensitive, tentative upsurges in popular activism across the Arab world, Britain and France go blundering and bludgeoning in with all the subtlety of Desperate Dan.

We have no moral superiority in telling other nations how to conduct their politics. Look at the horror and chaos the west has inflicted on Afghanistan and Iraq.

What is moral about Cameron leading a coven of arms dealers to the Middle East? We are giving Libyans death, destruction, regime change and escalation.

What if we kill Gaddafi? Cameron would go down in history alongside Blair and Bush, a western crusader trying to prop up a puppet state of his own creation.

Why Libya? There are a dozen other countries he could have chosen for his aggression. Osama bin Laden must be rubbing his hands, along with radicals in the British Muslim community.

In future, any popular revolt that has the approval or backing of the west runs the risk of being discredited as a foreign plot.

As with domestic politics, Cameron and his ministers are floundering, out of their depth.

It must have been an ego boost to be hailed as Lionheart battling the evil Saladin. He would do well to remember the words of Lawrence of Arabia: ‘It is better that the Arabs do it tolerably than you do it perfectly.’