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 Examiner.com, 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.
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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