The British have been aiding. As have other EU nations, even little ol’ Portugal. They supplied some of that anti-rioting equipment (you know, bullets, small arms, a few helicopters, that kind of anti-riot gear). The Russians had supplied that other stuff that strafes, you know, those items that dictators don’t use on their own cities? The bombing and things. :-|
But seriously, the British government has screwed up aiding their own nationals getting out of Libya so what kind of help to the Libyans could they organise?
The oil companies were much better at it, so yay for the private sector. :-|
There also appears to be a misconception of lumping everyone in the Middle East as Islamists, and violent Islamists at that.
These revolts (in Tunisia, Egypt & Libya, even Bahrain, at least) have had secular roots. Religious extremism is constantly brought up and here Gaddafi & Mubarak are no different to those on the West who bring up the spectre of extremist fundamentalists waiting in the wings by introducing fear of the changes these revolts will bring in order that these revolts die out.
Those sorry Western efforts are clearly seen by the average person of those countries for what they are, realpolitik. Read about France’s initial faux pas when Tunisia kicked off.
This morning on the radio I heard someone translating what the protestors were saying in Pearl square, that the UK & the US have been responsible for propping up their kings for the past 200 years.
Who armed those oppressive regimes afterall?
The third option is to drop the farce.