Libya - Now!

Open Letter to Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia

Dear Julia,

I just watched this video:


and broke down and cried at the end of it.

There is nothing funny or political about a guy asking for help hours before he gets annihilated by Gaddafi's goon squads.

Can we please set aside all Labor vs Liberal and many many other ideological disputes we may have not just in Australia, but in the world.

I know that the Australian military is trained and equipped to decimate the likes of Gaddafi's thugs. I know, because I paid for them. One of the taxes I am actually willing to pay, in fact.

I also know that the Australian military is apolitical, and they often get in trouble (rightly or wrongly) for expressing political opinions. I don't wish to debate this here and now, but at the end of the day, they can't say things as easily as I can. I know that these highly-trained, well-equipped men, are more than prepared to take on the likes of Gaddafi's goons.

I have previously suggested via various channels I am currently active in that the Libyan people request the assistance of the recently-free Tunisia and Egypt. But what those two countries or anyone else decides to do, is something I have no control over.

I do have some limited ability to lobby the Australian government, so that is what I am doing now. If I was to carry a placard to Canberra, nobody would bother reading it, since it would never appear on the news. I can get more publicity for this letter to you via the so-called "new media". Not that I think that will be of any help either, because even I was to get 1 million "thumbs up" from the net, which I won't, that isn't representative either way of 8 billion people on the planet, or 6 million Libyans, or 21 million Australians. Your decision to send in troops will be down to you - not me and not them.

We know from past experience that no group of people speaks with one voice. There will be x% of Libyans who support the decisive arrival of Australian troops, and there will be y% who oppose them. Note that Gaddafi himself will be in the y%. It won't be a completely thankless task, because those x% there will thank you for it, even if they don't get much air time on Australian TV. That's our problem, not theirs.

Please, as part of the free world, I ask you to act immediately in Libya before this man gets shot. By "immediate", I mean "how long it takes for an F-111 to fly from Australia to Libya", not "how long it takes for the UN to debate the best way to do nothing while pretending to care as the good Libyan people are slaughtered".

If post-Gaddafi we find out that the figure for "x" wasn't as high as we had hoped it to be, that's fine, just apologize to the y% of people of Libya and promise to never topple Gaddafi again, because I don't really care if we lose the pissing contest for an already-completed job, so long as it doesn't affect what we do to help the next person in the next country in the same situation.

Again. Just treat this man as a human being, and react the same way you would if that human being happened to live 2 doors down from you. Don't worry about anything else - that will sort itself out in its own time.

Please don't extend the political debate beyond protecting this man. We'll argue the toss about other things at great length, for little effect, in other venues.

Please protect this man and I'll say that you are the best PM we've had since the last PM that protected someone else in desperate need of protection. On 2011-02-20 there is nothing else that matters more than responding to this man's plea for assistance. Please act now, and we'll argue the toss later. Please Julia. Hell, I even promise to vote for you at the next election if you do this for me.

By the way, 2011-02-25 is the 25th anniversary of the Philippines Revolution, and it would be nice if we could make that "International Freedom Day" and make it a public holiday in Australia instead of the ridiculous "Queen's birthday" which isn't even held on her birthday, and which no-one cares about anyway. But if that doesn't happen, I don't care either. I'm more interested in substance than symbolism, and the substance is out of my hands an in yours.

I am very confident you will get cross-bench support for any such action. If I am mistaken, then it will be a very long time before they get my vote again.

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