Donate to my Legal Action vs Oliver Kamm

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Libya 'ultimately represents' to the NATO powers

Britain and France will, like the US, maintain that their motives are altruistic. But, as always, it will be selfish economic concerns that inevitably guide Libya’s fortunes.

Billions of pounds worth of oil and natural gas are what Libya ultimately represents to avaricious Western powers.

……..All this amateur army has proved is that it can fight a civil war while supported by the firepower of RAF planes and their Nato allies. But this backing is only temporary.

If Libyans are to establish true democracy, to maintain internal peace and security, to rebuild a shattered infrastructure, and to redistribute wealth, then they will have to do it alone.

You can read the whole of Nabila Ramdani's excellent Daily Express commentary on Libya here.

UPDATE: If you haven't seen it yet, there's a great piece by Seumas Milne in today's Guardian on Libya's imperial hijacking.

If stopping the killing had been the real aim, Nato states would have backed a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement, rather than repeatedly vetoing both. Instead, after having lost serious strategic ground in the Arab revolutions, the Libyan war offered the US, Britain and France a chance to put themselves at the heart of the process while bringing to heel an unreliable state with the largest oil reserves in Africa.


K Naylor said...

Oil is evidently a key geopolitical aim in NATO's
decision to intervene on the side of "the rebels", meaning the anti-Gaddafi insurgents. As with Iraq, the problem is that remove the dictator and the chance is anarchy can prove worse than tyranny.

As with Iraq, the dictator's origins and support lie not only in the capital city but also in the poorest of the country where oil reserves remain untapped.

The Fezzan is Libya's poorest province and it is possible Gaddafi will make his last stand there because, as with Iraq which is also divided into three regions

It is the site of Sebha, the ancestral home of the Gaddafi tribe and 'Mad Dog' will most likely try to play on the fact they will have everything to lose with the NTC.

As historian Mark Almond has written,

'....the most likely option is for him to follow Saddam Hussein and try to go to ground in his own country.

Saddam was able to evade the Americans for nine months in 2003, and Libya is a much bigger country than Iraq. Gaddafi’s loyalists still control his home region around Sirte, 300 miles east of Tripoli, but also vast tracts of desert in the south where Gaddafi reportedly has bunkers filled with weapons and supplies'.

Should the NTC break up into factionalism and squabbles over who gains control over the huge oil revenues in Libya, then Gaddafi's last ditch plot to gain revenge will be to plan acts of terrorism and insurgency from this area with his mercanaries who come from sub Saharan Africa.

Gaddafi had long been building up a power base in Fezzan to act as a counterweight to the other two northern provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenacia which were etnically and tribally distinct under the Ottoman Empire before it collapsed.

Ghadames is also the area with a colossal new oil field discovered by the Sirte Oil Company ( with Sirte being Gaddafi's home town and the company staffed by Gaddafi's men ) back in 2007-2008. BP was due to gain drilling rights in tandem with Libya's National Oil Company ( NOC ).

Gaddafi derives support in Sirte and Ghadames as it is clear that Britain and the US will demand the BP-NOC contract is honoured by the NTC , one which was facilitated by by Al Magrahi's release lobbied for by BP, as part of the reward for having deposed Gaddafi.

If Gaddafi is capable of hanging on for nine months in Fezzan as Saddam did in sunni parts of Iraq where he had a power base in Tikrit, then he could exploit the breakdown of unity in the NTC as tribal and ethnic divisions set Libyans against one another sufficient for Gaddafi or his clan to exploit them.

The aim of Gaddafi now has to be to hope for chaos in Libya and the entrance of NATO troops on the ground in Libya so that he can exploit his recurrent theme of western imperialists taking Libya's oil wealth from them. As in Iraq, the scale of angry young men without jobs will lead to anger at any sell out to the West.

K Naylor said...

PS Neil I have a newish blog that deals with the geopolitics of oil and war. You may wish to link it to your site. Thanks. Karl

brian said...

antiwar twitter accounts/blogs removed:

brian said...

what exactly is true 'democracy'? If it means rule by the people, then it doesnt exist not in the UK or US or anywhere...Libya was a very good attempt at it...thats why it has to be destroyed.

how many brits were asked if UK should wage war on Libya? anyone? UK is a party autocracy NOT a democracy

Neil Clark said...

Hi Karl,
Great to hear from you and good luck with new blog.
Brian- as the Edwardian writer Saki pointed out in The Comments of Moung Ka, Britain is "what is called a Democracy", and that doesn't necessarily mean that it is one.

brian said...

Tell Naylor that Gadafi is NOT a dictator: i suggest he learn a bit moer about the man:

On February 16, 2009, Gaddafi took a step further and called on Libyans to back his proposal to dismantle the government and to distribute the oil wealth directly to the 5 million inhabitants of the country.
However, his plan to deliver oil revenues directly to the Libyan people met opposition by senior officials who could lose their jobs due to a parallel plan by Gaddafi to rid the state of corruption.
Some officials, including Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi, Ali Al-Mahmoudi and Farhat Omar Bin Guida, of the Central Bank, told Gaddafi that the measure could harm the country’s economy in the long term due to “capital flight.”
“Do not be afraid to directly redistribute the oil money and create fairer governance structures that respond to people’s interests,” Gaddafi said in a Popular Committee.
The Popular Committees are the backbone of Libya. Through them citizens are represented at the district level.
“The Administration has failed and the state’s economy has failed. Enough is enough. The solution is for the Libyan people to directly receive oil revenues and decide what to do with them,” Gaddafi said in a speech broadcast on state television. To this end, the Libyan leader urged a radical reform of government bureaucracy.
Despite this, senior Libyan government officials voted to delay Gaddafi’s plans. Only 64 ministers from a total of 468 Popular Committee members voted for the measure. There were 251 who saw the measures as positive, but chose to delay their implementation.
Given the rejection of the Committee, Gaddafi affirmed before a public meeting: “My dream during all these years was to give the power and wealth directly to the people.”
So…another big LIE falls by the wayside, the false image of Ghaddafi the dictator who robs from his people.

brian said...

'It is the site of Sebha, the ancestral home of the Gaddafi tribe and 'Mad Dog' will most likely try to play on the fact they will have everything to lose with the NTC. '

how pathetic...'mad dog'? Naylor better stick to Belarus, where he seems to have some knowledge...The mad dogs are the ones doing this

LibyanLiberal LibyanLiberal
I saw a rebel raping a 10 yo girl. another holdng the girl. both rebels were shot, they dont deserve life.
39 minutes ago

LibyanLiberal LibyanLiberal
We killed 2 rapists and saved a girl last night behing enemy lines. A lot of not Libyans in the ranks of rebels. White like norvegian.
41 minutes ago

LibyanLiberal LibyanLiberal
The rebels kill anyone that is on a list with pro-gaddafi people. they have killing platoons.
42 minutes ago

LibyanLiberal LibyanLiberal
Last night we went behind enemy lines in high landanous to save a group of hostages. many houses looted in rebel areas. panic everywhere.
43 minutes ago

K Naylor said...


'how pathetic...'mad dog'? Naylor better stick to Belarus, where he seems to have some knowledge...The mad dogs are the ones doing this'.

Thanks for that. But note I put the words 'Mad Dog' in commas, meaning that's what he's called but not really a term I would use.....

brian said...

Thanks K Naylor...ive been following this sory saga for ages so im on edge, apologies.
The sacking of Libya BY the EU is the sorriest day in their short existence since the war on Yugoslavia.
I admin a couple of FB pages keeping track of events in Libya, so i can see what is really going on

Currently two people are tweeting from Tripoli: and they remain now our main source of news from the city

Aisha, whos husband was killed in Benghazi some time ago, has returned to tripoli after a dramatic flight from Benghazi to Cairo a month ago:
BUt her twitter accouny was hacked by a male likely libyan youth movement member:
here is her new twitter account:

and this guy: whose a fighter in Tripoli

brian said...

NOTE Fezzan is Libya blackest province and solidly behind Gadafi and the libyan govt./.Nato will have its work cut out to subdue them.But then will have eben less scruple in carpet bombing

NATOS HQ is in brussels...isnt it time antiwar groups there descended on this command and control bunker?