British taxpayers, already struggling under budget cuts and service reductions, have shelled out “hundreds of millions” to bomb Libya, with at least nine civilians killed in recent airstrikes.
The civilian deaths make a mockery of the promise that the intervention was to “prevent attacks on civilians” by the Ghadaffi regime, but minor issues like that will be no problem for the Tory and Labour parties who happily went to war with Iraq over easily-disprovable lies.
Initially, Tory Chancellor George Osborne said that the cost of the bombing campaign against Libya would cost no more than “tens of millions” of pounds.
All informed sources knew instantly that this was nonsense. Francis Tusa, editor of the Defence Analysis newsletter, was quoted as reporting that the true cost of all the bombs dropped and sorties flown up to the end of April was already over £300 million.
Mr Tusa added that the cost of the war would reach at least £1 billion by the end of September.
Now, at least one of the Government’s more careless junior ministers has admitted the truth. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said in a Sky TV interview that the cost of the war was going to be of the order of “hundreds of millions.”
Mr Alexander also told Sky News that the money was coming from “Government Reserves” as if this somehow justified it.
The “reserves” dodge is most often used when interviewers start to ask uncomfortable questions like why does Britain spend billions on foreign wars while cutting back services to British people at home.
Meanwhile, NATO has officially acknowledged that at least nine innocent civilians were killed during a bombing raid on an apartment block in Tripoli.
“NATO regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives,” a short statement from Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, commander of NATO’s operations over Libya, said.
According to a Libyan government spokesman, the strike hit a residential district of Tripoli, killing 9 people and injuring at least 18. The bodies of five people, residents of an apartment complex in the neighbourhood, were shown to journalists as rescue workers carried the corpses from the building.
This is just one more case of the madness of current UK foreign policy. Military intervention anywhere in the world is only justified if British interests are at stake.
We do not have the resources or the moral imperative to play world policeman, and our primary focus should be on building a just and fair society for British people at home.