Sorry, Nicolas, it’s too little, too late in Libya

The time to act and swiftly end Libyan suffering has passed and gone. Dictator Disputed Spelling’s warning of a “long war” seems right on the mark, as the U.N. “no-fly zone” only impedes his wiping out the cornered rebels and the DS regime can simply wait them out.

The Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force distinctly bars occupation of Libyan territory by any foreign country. This is consistent with international law, something U.S. government officials usually think doesn’t apply to them (unless there’s some advantage in it), but is somewhat short of what would be needed to take a principled stand.

The other measures are all namby-pamby rules most modern dictatorships, including the Libyan regime, circumvent routinely without much fuss. What did you expect from a bunch of comfy diplomats with unfettered parking rights in New York City?

Oh yes, French President Nicolas Sarkozy may yet get his desired bounce in the polls by playing the banty rooster, but let’s not forget who and what we’re talking about.

France hasn’t won a war since the Louies and has calmly aided Iran’s nuclear program to assure its oil supply. Besides, the echo of Sarkozy’s (anti-Arab) immigrant baiting is still resounding and the ink on his expulsion of the Roma has just barely dried.

We’re not talking about righteous Lincolnian indignation here.

Is the UN resolution on Libya a case of sending Gordon Pasha?

There’s a precedent for the temporizing that led the major powers to delay a United Nations resolution on the use of force in Libya until the rebels were painted into the tightest of corners by Dictator Disputed Spelling. One Major-General Charles George Gordon was dispatched to the Sudan in 1884 to make precisely the same ineffectual show of concern on the part of Britain toward another African nation.

Back then there was a fanatical Muslim leader, the Mahdi, who led a rebellion that forced British troops to evacuate the Sudan. Prime Minister Gladstone then sent Gordon.

“When the Mahdi floats me down the Nile, the government will assume a pained expression and tell Her Majesty, ‘We sent Gordon, we did the best we could,’ ” says Charlton Heston in the role of Gordon to Ralph Richardson, playing Gladstone, in the 1966 film Khartoum.

Gordon knew that his mission was, as the perfidious Western powers of the present know the Libya resolution is, merely an empty gesture, a conscience-salving sham in the face of human suffering in a neo-colonial outpost valued only for its resources.

Does it all end in tears in the Arab world?

Japan is now providing great news cover for Western cowardice (malice and premeditation?) in failing to aid the democratic aspirations of Libyans (and Egyptians) and letting the Saudi army slip into Bahrain. What a great distraction from food-price spiral fueled popular discontent—after all, a tsunami we can’t really do anything about.

Meanwhile, events have tumbled on beyond White House control. How odd to hear the sound-bite of Obama talking about the “tightening noose” around Libyan dictator Disputed Spelling, seconds before hearing of the latest rebel defeat and the cheering in Tripoli, on whose shores no Marines are evident.

Can’t have people’s revolts shaking up the oil supply, can we?

The main event of the circus is not here yet. Just wait until nuclear fallout from Japan starts getting blown across the Pacific to … oops! … the United States. Won’t that be poetic justice for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Think we’re navel gazing now? Wait until we all get radiated.

Strike! Strike! Strike!

If the Republicans are going to ban the very point of having unions, making the labor market in Wisconsin a buyer’s market for slave owners, why not defy them and close down schools, police and fire stations?