So Who Benefitted From Gadaffi's Largesse?
AS the United Nations Security Council meets in New York, Secretary General Ban ki moon is calling for “decisive” action to be taken against the Libyan regime. The UN Secretary General deserves all of the support he can get, and is absolutely right to call for tough sanctions and for Gadaffi and his henchmen to face charges of crimes against humanity. We shall see if Permanent Members, China and Russia go along with the UN consensus, or simply abstain. To vote against the Security Council resolution would set both countries against the Pale of international opinion.
We must surely hope that the global reaction to Gadaffi’s slaughter of his own people is such that he cannot survive much longer in his Tripoli fastness. How risible seem his ludicrous claims now that the uprising is the property of drugged youth – or of Al Qaeda! But then it wasn’t that long ago that some political leaders in the West really did believe that Gadaffi had become a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism, which goes part of the way to explain how it was the Britain in particular began to sell arms to Libya again.
This we were told was ‘real politic’, but how ghastly it all seems now. To an extent, there was a time when I could understand why Libya was being brought in from the cold, although having reported from that country and interviewed Libyan dissidents; I imagined that we would be supping with Gadaffi from a very long spoon.
I began to wonder about the policy as Gadaffi’s son Saif al-Islam was being so assiduously courted, in particular by Western politicians such as Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson. I also began to wonder as the deal to release convicted Lockerbie bomber, al Megrahi began to unravel – not because I believed al Megrahi was guilty, but because there was such an obvious political narrative to the whole affair. Saif al-Islam, according to Libyan dissidents was just as much a thug as his father. The only difference being that he wore a tie and periodically showered money on various Western pet projects, including one organised by the London School of Economics.
In recent days, Saif al-islam has tried to cash in on that friendship with Blair, by asking him to intervene to save his father's regime.
Said al-Islam revealed his true colours in a long winded, frankly barmy speech that verged on the schizophrenic earlier in the week. The man that Gadaffi and some Western leaders wanted and expected to succeed was revealed to be every bit as a brutal as his father.
If and when the Gadaffi clan to appear in front of a court in The Hague, my earnest hope is that the prosecution will also follow the money. Who benefitted from Gadaffi’s largesse and why? Was Western policy influenced by Gadaffi’s largesse? And, did any Libyan money find its way into any projects supported by Tony Blair’s Foundation or business interests?
The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.
- Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
- Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or the practice of cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is a controversial method of dumping someone.
- People generally agree that it's bad form, but new research shows that people have surprisingly different opinions on the practice.
- Overall, people who are more destiny-oriented (more likely to believe that they have a soulmate) tend to approve of ghosting more, while people who are more growth-oriented (more likely to believe relationships are made rather than born) are less tolerant of ghosting.
"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."
- The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
- Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
- Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.