What do you call it when the full force of a US/NATO aerial bombardment is coupled with political support for a ragtag rebel group that, when victorious, promises to hand over its oil resources to its Western backers? A war for oil.
Don’t believe for one moment that the US backing for Libya’s opposition was about freedom.
Flouting international law and going far beyond the UN resolution that permitted a limited military effort to protect civilians in Benghazi, a decision that was promoted by human rights advocates inside the White House and by certain misguided liberals such as Juan Cole, the Obama administration is in the final stages of imposing forcible regime change against the Libyan leader, Muammar Qaddafi. It was an operation gleefully backed by the kleptocrats of the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, none of whom like freedom very much, but who engineered the Arab League endorsement of the attack on Libya.
Was the US/NATO campaign closely coordinated with each advance by the rebels? In an article in today’s Washington Post, headlined, “Allies guided rebels’ ‘pincer’ assault on capital,” we learn that every inch of the rebels’ advance was facilitated by pinpoint military attacks by NATO. It quotes a Pentagon spokesman: “We have a good operational picture of where forces are arrayed on the battlefield.” Some revolution!
And listen to this. In the New York Times, in a piece headlined, “The Scramble for Access to Libya’s Oil Wealth Begins,” the rebel leader who heads the opposition Libyan oil company, which was formed with support from the Arab Gulf kleptocrats, says that Libya’s new leaders, a combination of wealthy defectors, tribal chieftains, and Islamists, plan to favor their NATO backers when handing out access to Libya’s oil.
“We don’t have a problem with Western countries like Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil,” said Abdeljalil Mayouf, a spokesman for the Libyan rebel oil company Agoco.
Helpfully, the Times points out:
“Russia, China and Brazil did not back strong sanctions on the Qaddafi regime, and they generally supported a negotiated end to the uprising. All three countries have large oil companies that are seeking deals in Africa.”
“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.”