sabodog


a running dog of ultraliberalism


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Destroying the Libyan 'War for Oil' argument
sabodog
Despite all logical odds, the "war in Libya being about oil" argument is still making its way around the internets. One of the bizarre side effects in this strange war that puts Islamic radicals and the West on the same side of the barricades against someone who has no support virtually anywhere except among hardline lefties and conspiracy theorists. While the civilised world works hard to put a stop to this disaster, with even China and Russia getting rare reality checks and allowing the UN resolution to protect civilians, I feel the need to debunk the argument. 

Not difficult, since it's coming from the usual quarters - lefties and nationalists. Both types of people are very reactionary and don't mind switching their versions of reality at will to fit their meticulously constructed conspiracy theories. Thus, countries like Iran go from benevolent dictatorships to American stooges (!), terror groups like Hezbollah go from freedom fighters representing the True Muslim to... imperialist stooges and Russia and China go from being the only true opposition to the creeping West to... you've guessed it - part of the conspiracy. Somehow, the obvious answer - that Gaddafi is a moron who pissed off everyone in the world he had any sort of contact with (the wars he fought against his neighbours, constant slamming of other Middle Eastern actors and incessant support for such charming fellows as Charles Taylor probably didn't help) so that nearly everyone who's had any dealings with him is not only happy to see him go, but in the case of UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan, are quite happy to provide some of the firepower to do so... just doesn't seem to penetrate through their thick skinhead skulls. 

And the West? Well, what about the West? For someone with rhetoric of his caliber, Gaddafi excelled at being the West's bitch for at least a good decade. Oil groups like Eni, StatoilHydro, Occidental Petroleum, OMV, CoconoPhillips, Hess Corp, Marathon, Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Wintershall (what we know as 'big oil') acquired huge stakes in the Libyan oil industry, 85% of whose export was directly to Europe. No wonder Russia didn't veto the intervention: high oil prices as a result of the protracted war was just what they needed to fill their budget deficit, not to mention Libya's military machine being destroyed with the possibility of lucrative new arms deals to replace it. But it wasn't all one way traffic - Gaddafi benefited well from selling out, with shiny new riot gear Made In England , and the possibility of the Rafale jet - one of the best fighter aircraft in the world. Libya declined the offer at the time. Maybe, in hindsight, they shouldn't have. 

Big oil companies are understandably not happy about the Libyan civil war since it directly hurts their profits. To posit the obvious question: if the proverbial Big Oil really is behind the NATO air attacks, why would they choose such a suicidal strategy? Knowing Gaddafi and how well we were milking him and his country before the uprising, crushing the rebels would have surely been the more sensible option. 
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