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Because of WikiLeaks, and only because of Wikileaks, we know this about Libya....
“Those who dominate Libya’s political and economic leadership are pursuing increasingly nationalistic policies in the energy sector that could jeopardize efficient exploitation of Libya’s extensive oil and gas reserves,” the cable concluded.
I have no love or admiration for Libya's soon to be former leader Muammar Gaddafi....just as I had no love or admiration for Iraq's former dictator, Saddam Hussein. However, that does not change my opinion about why both of these countries were attacked by western powers (the U.S.).
I firmly believe that the U.S. military's world presence, at the cost to U.S. taxpayers of $1 trillion per year, is primarily for the purpose of protecting the flow of goods and services at the behest of huge multi-national corporations. American citizens are continually misinformed that the purpose of that huge worldwide military presence (over 700 worldwide military bases) is to defend the Homeland from our enemies....most recently identified as the Mighty Less-Than-2-Dozen al-Qaeda leaders.
Neither Iraq nor Libya has ever posed a threat to the....Homeland....despite the fact that one Bush administration spent an entire year claiming just the opposite about Iraq. Knowing that these countries posed no threat to America....the second best way to justify the dropping of U.S. freedom bombs on these two countries is to repeatedly misinform us that the U.S. had to get involved to "liberate" the citizens from a ruthless dictator...who had, or was currently, butchering his own people.
No one is in favor of a nation's leader slaughtering his own citizens. American leaders know this moral and emotional dynamic....and that's why in both Iraq and Libya, claims of citizen slaughtering were often repeated to gain popular support for dropping those U.S. freedom bombs.
But let's not kid ourselves. Iraq and Libya have a lot of oil under their ground. Ask yourself this question: Do you really believe that American and European leaders and their multi-nationals care about the slaughter of innocent civilians in oil-rich countries MORE than they care about gaining access to the valuable oil under the ground in oil-rich nations?
Yes, I'm cynical....but thanks to WikiLeaks....my cynicism has been vindicated.
Colonel Qaddafi proved to be a problematic partner for international oil companies, frequently raising fees and taxes and making other demands. A new government with close ties to NATO may be an easier partner for Western nations to deal with. Some experts say that given a free hand, oil companies could find considerably more oil in Libya than they were able to locate under the restrictions placed by the Qaddafi government.
In late February 2008, (ConocoPhillips chief executive Jim) Mulva was “summoned to Sirte for a half-hour ‘browbeating’ ” from Gaddafi, according to a U.S. State Department cable made available by WikiLeaks. Gaddafi “threatened to dramatically reduce Libya’s oil production and/or expel . . . U.S. oil and gas companies,” the cable said.
....the promise of billions of barrels of oil have been dashed by the fighting and Gaddafi’s refusal to relinquish power. Much is at stake; oil industry executives say companies such as ConocoPhillips and Marathon have each invested about $700 million over the past six years.
“Oil companies were extremely excited to move into a territory that had been neglected for 20 years,” said Geoff D. Porter, a political risk and security consultant specializing in North Africa and the Sahara. He said experts believed that only 30 percent of Libya had been explored and that there was “much more oil to be discovered.”
By the time Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited in 2008, U.S. joint ventures accounted for 510,000 of Libya’s 1.7 million barrels a day of production, a State Department cable said.
The big oil companies, several of which had drilled dry holes, felt that Libya was not making the best exploration prospects available.
To me it's clear why U.S. planes began dropping all those freedom bombs on Iraq and Libya. Not because citizens were being slaughtered...Saddam's mass butchery was over ten years old when W. launched Operation Oil Recovery....and claims of Gaddafi's slaughtering of civilians have yet to be verified.....but, instead, because very powerful and influential multi-national oil companies wanted better and freer access to the now very valuable crude oil in those countries.
Both Saddam and Gaddafi refused to allow western powers dictate how their countries' oil resources should be exploited, and for who's benefit. This stubbornness in the light of $80-120 per barrel oil prices could not be tolerated by anxious multi-national oil companies. And thus, regime change was in order.
I'm glad Saddam and (allegedly) Gaddafi are gone from power. Good riddance. But let's try to be less pollyannish about the justification for the dropping of those U.S. freedom bombs in the future. It's about the oil.....and that means that in our near term future, both fossil-fuels-rich Iran and Venezuela will undoubtedly be accused of slaughtering their own people in order to justify the dropping of even more U.S. freedom bombs.
But don't dare call it imperialism.