Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Libyan rescue

The Government has had some bad press over the last week over the so-called 'fiasco' of the Libya crisis, whereby some people thought that we were too slow in getting people out. Radio 5 was reporting that a Turkish ship had got some of their citizens out of a port city, and then went to talk to the wife of a Scotsman trapped at an oil complex in the middle of the desert,

This is where I started to smell a rat. The oilmen were in a far worse predicament than the Turkish workers; many were trapped in the middle of nowhere with no transport (the locals having stolen their vehicles), whilst the Turkish workers mentioned were concentrated in the cities.  Libya is hardly a friendly country, and I can see why the government might be concerned that they would take the flying in of a plane without permission to be an unfriendly act. Comparing the two in such a forthright manner was disingenuous at best.

Then came Cameron's apology. Firstly I could not see what he was apologising for: the government were doing things, albeit in a fluid, complex situation that was hard to manage. But I must say it is a relief to have a country that does manage to apologise, unlike out previous PM for whom 'sorry', like 'cuts', was truly a hard word to say.

Now the oil workers have been rescued, allegedly by the SAS and/or the SBS. An SAS/SBS operation is hardly a quick thing to set up (just getting the teams into position is time-consuming, yet alone the information gathering and planning).It looks as though the SAS team flew in on commercial flights on Tuesday - whilst these idiots were crying out 'fiasco!', and their weapons were being dispatched in diplomatic bags. So the Government was doing something, and apparently doing it well; they just could not speak about it.

It is well known that the first aircraft to be sent had some 'technical issues' that delayed its takeoff by half a day - these failures have not been explained, but one theory doing the rounds was that it was delayed so extra personnel and equipment could be put on board. Although there is no proof, it does make some sense.

Incidentally, the Germans flew in similar missions on the same day, and the media are failing to mention that a US catamaran has been stuck in Tripoli harbour for 48 hours with technical difficulties.

The supposed failure to rescue our citizens was headline news on the BBC News website, as was Cameron's apology. This morning, as what appears to be a fairly daring rescue has occurred, and may still be ongoing, it does not even appear on their front page, and a reporter on the News Channel has cast scorn on the idea it was a 'daring' rescue.

And they are not mentioning Labour's strong links with Gaddaffi...

The media ought to be hanging their heads in shame about this. The fiasco was in their reporting, not in the operations.

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