Friday, 11 March 2011

Sorry, Libyans; it's Hungary 1956

There was plenty of condemnation around in 1956; the West condemned Russia's use of force against unarmed civilians in Hungary, the East and the US condemned Britain and France's use of force in Suez. In the event it was Nasser who triumphed and Nagy who was put up against a wall and shot. Still, no-one who has heard the recording of those last, desperate appeals for Western help from the Budapest radio station operated by the rebels can be unmoved by the plight of the Libyan insurgents as their revolt is cruelly crushed. But the reality is that we can no more send military force to face Gadaffi's T72s than we could to face Khrushchev's T54s. 

The sacrifice of the insurgents in Hungary in 1956 and the despotism of the Soviets led to something infinitely precious in Europe; the destruction of the Communist Party as a credible political force in the West. Until then, the Italian communists had been close to government; after, they were split and destroyed. The CPGB bled members by the thousand and became no more than an irritable little colonic polyp on the seat of British politics. In France, being a Communist was a badge of shame.  

The crushing of the Libyan insurgency will be terrible to watch and I shall avoid it. However, somehow, somewhere, the pain will not have been worthless, and freedom from Gadaffi will come for the Libyans, just not yet. 


Anonymous said...

I also sense echos of the Kurds uprising against Saddam. Encouraged and then abandoned to their fate.

Guthrum said...

I agree with Anon, too much posturing by 'statesmen', and a little more 'giving them the tools to finish the job' would have been in order.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

@Guthrum: yes, but we don't even have the tools ourselves any more, do we?

We have beaten our swords into benefits, remember?

Quasi-military posturing from Call-me-Dave is perhaps the most distasteful of all: the very man responsible for the final emasculation of the Royal Navy, has the utter gall to talk about no-fly zones. Contemptible ain't in it.

Anonymous said...

@Weekend Yachtsman - I would like to add embarrassing to to your contemptable. If we hadn't beaten our swords into benefits (I love that phrase) and if we hadn't pissed £20Bn up the wall on other futile wars we could perhaps have helped here. Gaddafi's planes and tanks were once nothing to us.

Now we are just an embarrassing husk of what we once were.

Coney Island

Fantana said...

Hi Radders. Sorry to be a pedant but I believe Nagy was hung?

Gordo said...

Best leave them to it, it is none of our business. Why send our soldiers to die in a North African tribal conflict? Why burden ourselves with "refugees"?

Its not worth one British life, not one.

Edward Spalton said...

David Cameron is enthusiastic for a "No fly zone". Militarily he has already created one in Britain by his drastic reductions of RAF strength and total destruction of the Fleet Air Arm.

What a prat! At least when Portillo was posturing so distastefully as the tough guy, we still had some real military clout.

Incidentally, it was Portillo's decision to acquire those Nimrods which have just been scrapped before they ever flew.