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Not yet processed. Nigel Farage: 'Bombings, bailouts - what on earth are we doing?

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The European Council President Herman van Rompuy pointed out earllier today that the EU is primarily aiming at ousting Gaddafi. Now, it's not what an EU resolution indicates. Do you think the EU is on the collision course with the UN here perhaps? I was very shocked. I'd just been to a private meeting with him and observers from the European Parliament where he repeated that. So it's perfectly clear that as far as Rompoy is concerned, regime change is why we're involved in Libya. What was also surprising was that we all had seen it, to begin with, as France, Britain and America getting involved in this and it now coming on this morning and NATO and brother. What van Rompuy made clear was that those countries would not and in fact could not go to war in Libya without the European Council approving it. So what van Rompuy is saying is that it's the EU, as much as anybody else, that has started off this war and that the aim is to topple Gaddafi. And I would have thought that does go against UN Resolution 1973 and I see it as a very surprising development. But let us make some comparison if we may. Back in 1999 NATO bombed the former Yugoslavia for almost 4 months and still introduced ground forces to take full control. Now we hear reports that 4,000 US marines have been moved closer to Libya. Do you think, is there really support for another ground offensive? I don't believe there is any support for another ground offensive and certainly, if I am to talk about British public opinion. You know, we've been told by the Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey in response to a question: What is the length of our commitment? He replied: How long is the piece of string? Oh, Goodnes me! We've had British troops on the ground in Afghanistan now for over 10 years. I don't think there's any appetite for us getting involved in foreign wars, where we cannot directly see our own national interests being threatened and where, frankly, if we go in to support the rebels, we don't even know who they are, what they stand for or what they want. I don't think anybody has thought this through, not just in the context of Libyan ground forces but hey! What about Yemen? What about Syria? What about Bahrain? What about Saudi Arabia? I mean, is there really... Do Sarkozy or then Rompuy or Cameron... How they thought about the strategy for North Africa and the Middle East? When you talk about Yemen and Bahrain, for example. We're seeing protests, antigovernment protests, people fighting for the same cause as what we've seen in Libya. Why is it then that Western powers have gotten involved in Libya and not in place like Bahrain or Yemen? What, look. I've been... You're asking me the question! It's the same question that I would have asked as well. Surely. Logically, if we've got ourselves involved in Libya because we're on the side of the rebels, and we want to bring parliamentary democracy to Libya, then we have to repeat that in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia and everywhere else. Do we really have the will to do that? Do we have the money to do that? Do we have the military might to do that? What on earth are we doing? Now, when you talk about the will to do such a regional intervention, talking about Yemen, Bahrain and of course Libya already underway. A lack of will, you say, in Europe and also perhaps a lack of will in the region against Western powers getting involved where they're not invited. Well, I would have thought that's true as well and, and you know. It may well be that the people defending Benghazi against Gaddafi are at the moment very grateful for the help they've had over the course of the last week. But, you know, if...if we run this on any longer, we may well find ourselves with ground troops in a country where we actually belate both sides of the conflict. So I am very, very nervous, very sceptical. I dodn't like what's happening in Libya but here we are: throwing in our aircraft, possibly about throwing in our troops against the man who just 4 months ago Mr. van Rompuy was hugging in public. Now, why do you think Mr. van Rompuy would be hugging him in public? We're thinking there is some sort of behind the close doors energy dealings going on there, mutually beneficial agreements? Quite possibly. I mean don't forget it was Tony Blair who did bring Gaddafi in from the cold, Peter Mendelson of course knows Gaddafi some well, he's been pheasant shooting with him, he's been on a yacht in the Mediterranean with him. And as I say there was van Rompuy in December. I mean the air is pretty thick with hypocrisy over this, isn't it? We could have singled out other dreadful dictators, we could have gone on attacks Mugabe or chosen all sorts of different places. I just don't know. Why they picked on Libya? I don't believe they thought it through. And it may far going the book, ground troops in. I think they're gonna find in all the member states involved in this a real, strong level of opposition. So you say you are not entirely sure of the true motives behind this military intervention. But there are many saying it's because of the 4% of the global crude oil that comes from the region. Could oil be the factor? Well,I mean oil is clearly a factor and oil and business was the reason that Tony Blair did bring Gaddafi in from the cold. So you have to be much careful in life which friends you choose. It may be that it's oil. But look. If they're worried about that, what would happen if there was a serious unsurgancy in somewhere like Saudi Arabia that produces far more. Now, if you will, just take us for a moment here, when British MPs have voted on UK intervention in Libya. Only 13 of them voted against the measure. Why so, do you think? Why, of course. Why, of course, we saw that with Afghanistan, we also saw that with Iraq where, with the exception of Liberal Democrats, virtually everybody in Parliament voted for the Iraq war. And it seems that what we have in Parliament now are a political class. They all went to the same schools, they get the same universities, they get the same jobs in research offices. And they spend their careers in politics, having never had jobs in the real world And they operate, speaken though, like sheep. We don't have enough independent thinkers sitting in the House of Commons, prepared to make counter arguments. Why, now let me look at the bombing campaigns and the missile strikes in Libya at the moment. Hundreds of Tomahawk missiles and dozens of bombing campaigns are being struck in so called rebel areas. Meantime, Western powers claim these are to protect civilians. Does it seem to you that collateral damage is an expectable and expendable side effect? Well, I don't think it matters, you know, how good your missiles are, how up-to-date your kit is. There is no doubt that if you're involved in military intervention, unfortunately, however much you trump pick the targets and select the targets, there is bound to be a number of civilians that get killed in these things. I mean that is just a fact of modern war this nature. But again, we seem to be... I saw Mr. Cameron this afternoon talking about fantastic victories we secured over the course of last week. I'm not sure what to believe what I hear of all that. But certainly, civilian casualties will be an ongoing part of this campaign. When you hear Prime Minister Cameron talking about so called victories, at what context, do you think, victory actually translates to? Well, they seem to be measuring success in a number of tanks and armed personnel, carriers and fighter jets that they've destroyed from the air with missiles. They seem to be saying: Look, you know, we've smashed up loads of their kit, they haven't much of their airforce left, we've killed lots of their people and therefore aren't we doing well and doesn't this justify the action that we took just over a week ago? And I'm not just sure the public are really to buy that. Let's turn and focus now to the Brussels, the past 2 days of a severe protest there as the EU summit has been discussing possible bailout of Portugal and more austerity cuts in social services there. Do you think that with severe austerity cuts taking place around Europe, it's likely to possibly overshadow military involvement in Libya or, on the contrary, may the public be more sensitive to the huge spendings on Libyan campaign? Ya, I think when people see cuts in frontline services for whatever reasons, when people see their retirement wages going up, when people see their taxes both direct and indirect to their paying going up, they will ask a question: what on earth are we doing, getting involved in an open-ended committment in terms of war with Libya that could cost us Goodness knows what else. I do think the two are very closely intertwined but I also feel that there are lots of countries. This morning, and certainly in Britain, people woke up this morning and they looked to the television, bought their newspapers and saw that Portugal is about to topple over as the next eurozone country requiring the bailout. That is actually gonna cost each British taxpayer about 400 pounds. And actually the biggest effect on our pocket this week was the Chancellor's budget. But it was due to the fact that Portuguese government fell and they're about to be bailed out. So I think people have every reason to be pretty angry when they see their own cost of home going up, their services being cut and money being thrown overseas in all sorts of projects they wouldn't necessarily support. I'd seen these reports earlier that British families will be cashing out about 400 pounds for the broad-scale bailout of Portugal. Is the eurozone failing, do you think? Oh, listen. The eurozone...I've been saying for over 10 years that the eurozone as is currently constructed can not work. You cannot have countries as diversely different as Greece and Germany put together in a single economic and monetary union. It won't work. And they can come up with their bailout packages. And they can come up with their plans. And they can keep these countries inside the euro for now. But in the end all they're doing is building a far bigger and far worse bust, when it comes. And I am utterly convinced that Greece and Ireland, and now Portulgal and possibly even Spain, are now being trapped inside an economic prison where their democratic voice in terms of general elections can't be heard, where we're gonna see increasing violence on the streets. At some point in time, they've got to come out of the euro, reestablish their own currencies, devalue and reschedule their debt. Otherwise they are simply not gonna survive.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: Belgium
Language: English
Views: 240
Posted by: on Mar 26, 2011

The UN says it's alarmed by the looming humanitarian crisis in Libya. Officials warn food supply lines have been disrupted and over three hundred thousand refugees have already fled the country. Nigel Farage, MEP and leader of the UK Independence Party, believes the whole military strategy in Libya has not been thought through

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