Monday, August 29, 2011

Six reasons the West wanted Gaddafi to GTFO

Why did the US bomb Libya in 2011? Is it because Muammar Gaddafi was a brutal dictator? Perhaps, but if that's the case, why was the US supporting him just a few years prior? US Senator John McCain spoke of guaranteeing Libya US-built weapons, President George W. Bush tortured opponents of Gaddafi's regime, and President Obama even shook hands with Gaddafi. Obviously, the US didn't care about Gaddafi's brutality until a certain point was crossed. But what point might that be? Where did this blossoming relationship go wrong?

1. Libyas's black gold

According to Oil and Gas Journal, Libya had total proven oil reserves of 41.5 billion barrels in 2007, officially becoming the largest in Africa.

Oil companies such as ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, Amerada Hess and Royal Dutch Shell all had major investments in Libya since Gaddafi renounced Libya's WMD program in 2003 and US sanctions were lifted.

A diplomatic cable from 2008 released by Wikileaks details a "scene setter" for the "historic visit" of then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's trip to Tripoli, declaring that "Libya has been a strong partner in the war against terrorism and cooperation in liaison channels is excellent … Counter-terrorism cooperation is a key pillar of the US-Libya bilateral relationship and a shared strategic interest."

Other cables from 2008 and 2009 raise concerns about US corporations not getting in on "billions of dollars in opportunities" for infrastructure contracts and fears that Gaddafi might nationalize the oil sector.

In early 2009, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi held a meeting with students from Georgetown University via satellite. During the exchange, Gaddafi said that oil prices were "unbearable" and that Libyan oil "maybe should be owned by national companies or the public sector at this point, in order to control the oil prices, the oil production or maybe to stop it".

Later in the year, Libya's state-owned oil company threatened to nationalize Petro-Canada's operations in Libya if Canada did not apologize for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon's criticisms of Gaddafi giving a heroes welcome to the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. Britain and the United States were prepared to intervene on Petro-Canada's behalf "to emphasize that it is not good for Libya to threaten existing and potential investors and violate the sanctity of contracts with such abandon".

By 2011, when the US-backed Libyan "rebel" coalition in Benghazi spoke to the US-Libya Business Council in Washington, representatives from ConocoPhillips and other oil firms attended. In another meeting in Washington, Ali Tarhouni, the lead economic policymaker in Benghazi, said oil contracts would be honored.

2. Gaddafi pissed off Israel

On September 24, 2009, as reported by YNET, Gaddafi said action against Iran "could set a dangerous precedent, noting that other countries including India, Pakistan, China, Russia, the United States and Israel have - or in Israel's case are assumed to have - atomic weapons".

Through the Gadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation, 50 million dollars was donated (9/2010) to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to finance rebuilding 1,250 homes in the Gaza Strip.

Gadaffi urged Palestinians to revolt against Israel on 2/13/2011, saying that "fleets of boats should take Palestinians ... and wait by the Palestinian shores until the problem is resolved. This is a time of popular revolutions".

3. Gaddafi pissed off the British 

As reported by The Herald Sun, 12/8/2010: "Britain faced threats from Libya of dire consequences if the ailing Lockerbie bomber died in a Scottish prison, confidential US cables released by WikiLeaks showed. Threats included the cessation of all British commercial activity in Libya and demonstrations against British facilities, as well as suggestions Britons in the country could be put at risk."

4. Gaddafi's influence in Latin America

Muammar Gaddafi and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed a document decrying attempts by western countries to equate struggles against colonialism with terrorism.

Making his first visit to Latin America in 2009, Gaddafi said that the two regions should unite to wield more influence, and form a defense alliance, a "NATO for the South". 

5. US influence in Africa

Reports the Guardian:

"What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers' central bank in Switzerland. The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on, noted that '[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar.' According to a Russian article titled 'Bombing of Libya - Punishment for Gaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar', Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency. During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the US and the European Union, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa."

6. Gaddafi and the Russians

A Wikileaks cable dated 10/17/2008 talks about Gaddafi meeting with Russian officials to strengthen economic and military ties. 

Gaddafi expressed an interest in purchasing Russian military equipment, and supported Russia's intervention inside the nation of Georgia.

On March 10, 2010, as reported by Reuters, "Libya demanded an apology and warned that US business interests could suffer after a State Department official made an acerbic comment about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. ... Libya is considering giving priority to Chinese and Russian firms over US energy companies because of its diplomatic row with Washington".

May 16, 2011, as reported by The Wire: "US diplomats scored a silent victory last month when the Italian oil company Eni and Russian energy giant Gazprom postponed a deal to share a large claim to Libyan oil. The State Department can't take credit, however, as the two companies based their decision to shelve the arrangement on violence in the region. But it's all part of a bigger plan to keep access to oil out of Russia's paws, reports McClatchy's Kevin G. Hall based on a recent release of WikiLeaks cables. Gazprom, once a part of the Soviet Union's gas ministry, has been busy buying up oil and gas reserves across Europe and the Middle East. In 2008, the state-run company even attempted to buy all of Libya's natural gas and oil. Since then, United States diplomats discussed how prevent Libyan oil from making its way to Russia in the Eni-Gazprom deal."

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Essentially, the bombing of Libya and the subsequent and needless slaughtering of innocents was all built on a fabrication. But should anyone who has been paying attention to US history really be surprised? Americans were told the Libya mission was a humanitarian necessity to protect innocent lives, just like Americans were told the 2003 Iraq invasion was about destroying Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction".

Reports the Boston Globe:

"Libyan forces did kill hundreds as they regained control of cities. Collateral damage is inevitable in counter-insurgency. And strict laws of war may have been exceeded. But Gaddafi's acts were a far cry from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields. Libya's air force, prior to imposition of a UN-authorized no-fly zone, targeted rebel positions, not civilian concentrations. Despite ubiquitous cellphones equipped with cameras and video, there is no graphic evidence of deliberate massacre. Images abound of victims killed or wounded in crossfire - each one a tragedy - but that is urban warfare, not genocide. Nor did Gaddafi ever threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The 'no mercy' warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by the New York Times, which noted that Libya's leader promised amnesty for those 'who throw their weapons away.' Gaddafi even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight "to the bitter end.'"

"We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth." -- Sydney Schanberg
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See also: 

 Six reasons the West wants Assad to GTFO - Six reasons the United States and Israel want current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power and dead

NATO's shameful record of "protecting" civilians in Libya - A record of reported civilian deaths from NATO's alleged attempt at "protecting" innocent life in Libya, 2011

The US government has a nasty habit of killing the families of its enemies - Not only do we have preventative strikes against nations for what they may one day do, but also against individuals - individuals who are sometimes teens and infants

If the invasion of Iraq was just an innocent mistake, some questions need to be answered - And if it wasn't a mistake, then Americans ought to feel utterly betrayed by both parties and the government as a whole

US foreign policy is laying the groundwork for WWIII, and only Americans can stop the process - The odds are stacked against Americans seeking to free their country from asylum escapees, but the fight is worth it

Dear CNN, FOX, and MSNBC: Why do you keep giving batshit neocons a platform? - News networks portraying themselves as serious journalists should be more respectful of their viewers and their search for accurate information

How President Obama is continuing the neocon legacy of his predecessor - Another "cold war" between the US and Russia? Who benefits? Defense companies, neoconservatives, politicians -- the usual suspects are at it again

What is an acceptable number of dead civilians? - From Bush to Obama, attempts at hiding or justifying unnecessary, taxpayer-funded slaughter are nothing but shameful and pathetic

Four reasons why the US is already at war with Iran - By any conceivable measure, the US has already declared war, and the only thing left for the US to really do at this point is to start dropping bombs over Tehran

 A brief history of George W. Obama - Has the same US President been in office for the last 11 years? The following timeline covers key events between 2001-2012

The problem wasn't Bush and the Republicans, and it isn't Obama and the Democrats - Far too much attention is spent attacking figureheads who will one day be out of office instead of the actual system and the system's ideology

Busting the myth that large conspiracies are quickly dismantled before they can do damage - According to one academic, large conspiracies are quickly exposed and rarely successful - but is this true?

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