07 June 2012

Abu Yahya al-Libi - another #2 RIP, and Peter Oborne's ruminations

Rest In Pieces, it means in this case. That martyrs' paradise has accumulated a sizable unit of #2s by now. Anyway, nothing but good about the dead, so the old formula alone will serve: is Abu Yahya al-Libi dead? Good.

Only one question re this story:

Was he that angry after the strike or before?

Oh, and another one: that $1m US bounty on his head - does the Predator drone get it now?

And now to a related matter: an article in the same Telegraph by one Peter Oborne, who seems terribly concerned by the enmity caused by the growing use of the drones. Here is the final crescendo of that article:
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Britain’s former special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, is equally adamant that drone attacks are horribly counter-productive because of the hatred they have started to generate: according to a recent poll, more than two thirds of Pakistanis regard the United States as an enemy. Britain used to be popular and respected in this part of the world for our wisdom and decency. Now, thanks to our refusal to challenge American military doctrine, we are hated, too.
Hm... is this the same Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO described in Wiki?
In 2011 Cowper-Coles became BAE Systems' international business development director, focusing on the Middle East and south-east Asia. His appointment at BAE caused some controversy, since he is thought to have “had a profound effect” on the decision by Robert Wardle, then director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office, to end an investigation into BAE's allegedly corrupt dealings with Saudi Arabia.
I guess his principled stance for popularity and respect doesn't interfere with his efforts in selling tools of destruction to people he is so concerned about.  More on the moral high horse Sir Sherard likes to ride here. There is even more material on the multi-named diplomatic wizard, but I am not in the habit of stomping on people lying on a sidewalk, so enough is enough.

To get back to the other matter raised by Peter Oborne: legality of the drones' use. I am not saying that drones are the modern equivalent of the medieval chivalry, that of the well-to-do and bored out of their skulls knights (no reflection of some over-named diplomats). There are things to be said about killing people from a distance of half the globe, true, and not all of the things complimentary.

However, many a learned law scholar already agreed that there is no practical difference between Al Qaeda chief (who usually uses others to kill people on the other side of the globe or, in any case, quite far away from his secure location) and a soldier/officer of the enemy's army. What is good enough for a soldier must be good enough for a terrorist. And what is good enough for a lawyer should be good enough for us, moral and ethical qualms notwithstanding.

There is another angle that people, who usually share Oborne's point of view, carefully avoid, namely how to deal with the likes of the Abu Yahya al-Libi if we assume that the use of drones is abolished. How do you bring to the court of law a person safely ensconced somewhere in Pakistan*, knowing perfectly well that this request to Interpol or some other powerless outfit of that kind is not going to be fulfilled any time soon. The person surely laughing at the impotency of the law abiding and oh so stupid humane Westerners, while plotting another bloody atrocity somewhere far away. So what do you do? Wait for the Interpol? Send in soldiers? Declare a war on Pakistan and carpet bomb it until the local authorities come to their senses and hand the culprit over to the ICC?

Don't expect any answers that will make sense.

Too bad.

(*) Where, to take one example, Bin Laden was living quite comfortably, while Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO played the role of British Ambassador there. No doubt improving the bilateral relations and increasing popularity and respect Pakistanis hold the British Empire United Kingdom in. I can imagine how many quiet laughs the duplicitous and corrupted members of Pakistani establishment (who, no doubt, knew very well where OBL and his cohorts are located), have shared on the account of the aristocratic twit and the "respect" he commanded while there...


shaun downey said...

Another Number 2 . There are more number twos in Al Qaeda than there are in a dysentery ward!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That was a good one!