last edits May 18
Could it be? A war claimed to be fought for purely moral reasons, actually motivated by, at base level, economic concerns? We're there to "prevent a bloodbath," then to stop all government attacks on "civilian targets" (rebel-held, secessionist cities), responding to atrocities in the east - real or reported - with attacks in Tripoli, and providing tactical air support to rebel advances. This all steadily and predictably (to some) is shifting towards regime change and perhaps the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi as the only "acceptable" solution.
Of course, the nation's economy will have to be re-jiggered, as a side effect, once the colonel's green machine has been scrapped...
The following will be expanded, re-organized, and split-up with links until it's the best possible not-too-huge resource to understand what these side effects might entail. I'm putting it up partly empty, and invite submission, via comments, of further motive categories and quotes/links to fill in beneath them.
John Pilger, April 6:
The Euro-American attack on Libya has nothing to do with protecting anyone; only the terminally naive believe such nonsense. It is the West’s response to popular uprisings in strategic, resource-rich regions of the world and the beginning of a war of attrition against the new imperial rival, China.http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/david-cameron-s-gift-of-war-and-racism-to-them-and-us
There is a civil and tribal war in Libya, which includes popular outrage against Gaddafi’s human rights record. However, it is Libya’s independence, not the nature of its regime, that is intolerable to the west in a region of vassals; and this hostility has barely changed in the 42 years since Gaddafi overthrew the feudal king Idris, one the more odious tyrants backed by the west.
Oil, obviously ...
Libya is has the largest oil reserves in Africa. The U.S. Energey Information Administration cites 44.3 billion barrels proven reserves, as of 2010 (the next up: Nigeria at 37.2 and Algeria at 12.2 bbl)
Libya's state-run oil companies have generally excluded Western corporations, and external economic sanctions have both hampered full exploitation of oil in the 1990s. Only in 2003 did Libya's oil fields open up to some corporate involvement. This era, and BP's famous off-shore exploration deal linked in the media with their Gulf of Mexico spill and the release of "Lockerbie Bomber" al-Megrahi, has come to symbolize Libya's purported openness to Western greed. It has led many to believe there is no problem getting at Libya's oil as things stood.
However, the last two or three years had seen gradual pull-out of many of these companies in the face of unpopular limitations and terms. A regime change might just change those problems. Guy Chazan, Wall Street Journal, April 14:
"Libya has gone from the world's most exciting oil-exploration hot spot in 2005 to another geologically, politically and fiscally risky also-ran," says Charles Gurdon , a North Africa expert at Menas Associates, a consultancy.http://www.marketwatch.com/story/for-wests-oil-firms-no-love-lost-in-libya-2011-04-14
Libya kept its crown jewels off limits to foreigners. The huge onshore oil fields that accounted for the bulk of its production remained the preserve of Libya's state companies. Yet without advanced foreign technology to improve oil-recovery rates, output at these big fields gradually declined, by as much as 6% a year in some cases.
Politics continually intruded, particularly in 2009, the year the Scottish authorities released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi , the Libyan imprisoned for his role in the bombing of a passenger jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, on compassionate grounds. The Canadian government expressed disapproval at the hero's welcome Mr. Megrahi received on his return to Tripoli. Shortly afterward, Libya told Petro-Canada, a Canadian company, to halve production from its Libyan fields. Libya said the reduction was needed to make sure Libya was in compliance with OPEC quotas. But other companies weren't targeted, analysts say.
Gradually, foreign oil companies' interest in Libya faded. When Libya offered them the right to bid on exploration tracts in December 2007, half of the blocks attracted no bids.
A clutch of companies left Libya as their five-year exploration licenses began to expire, among them Chevron Corp., BG Group PLC and Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd.
Susan Lindauer, March 28:
Last October, US oil giants— Chevron and Occidental Petroleum— made a surprising decision to pull out of Libya, while China, Germany and Italy stayed on, signing major contracts with Gadhaffi’s government.http://news-now.org/2011/04/susan-lindauer-libya’s-blood-oil-vampire-war/
About July, I started hearing that Gadhaffi was exerting heavy pressure on U.S. and British oil companies to cough up special fees and kick backs to cover the costs of Libya’s reimbursement to the families of Pan Am 103. Payment of damages for the Lockerbie bombing had been one of the chief conditions for ending U.N. sanctions on Libya that ran from 1992 until 2003.
Knowing Gadhaffi as well as I do, I was convinced that he’d done it. He’d bided his time until he could extort compensation from U.S. oil companies. He’s a crafty bastard, extremely intelligent and canny. That’s exactly how he operates. And now he was taking his revenge. As expected, the U.S. was hopping mad about it. Gadhaffi wasn’t playing the game the way the Oil Bloodsuckers wanted.
Some have suggested Qatar's reward for its fervent support of the rebel cause will be control and develop Libya's oil system - they were given supervision of the first exports, for starters.
Azerbaijan Business Center:
Libya has a 100% state-owned central bank, funded with nationalized oil, and with zero IMF debt. This will almost certainly change if/when the folks described below take over.
General Economic Restructuring: Privatization and "Free Markets"
See the post Libya's Free Market Future.
The Benghazi council chose as its leader the colorless former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil. Jalil's brain is Mahmoud Jibril, a former head of the National Economic Development Board (NEDB). A U.S. embassy cable from May 11, 2009 (09TRIPOLI386) describes Jibril as keen on a close relationship with the U.S. and eager "to create a strategic partnership between private companies and the government." Jibril's NEBD had collaborated with Ernst & Young and the Oxford Group to make the Libyan state more "efficient." Jibril told the ambassador that "American companies and universities are welcome to join him" in the creation of new sectors outside hydrocarbons and that "we should take him up on his offer." His Ph.D. in strategic planning from the University of Pittsburg is useful in this context.
A 1994 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) discussion entitled “Post-Qaddafi Libya: The Prospect and The Promise, featured one Dr Ali Tarhouni, Libyan expat in America, professor in Seattle, who stated at the conference, “with privatization, entrepreneurs will reach out and get involved in regional cooperation by searching for markets.” [source] Now 17 years later he's back in Libya on invite to be the Transitional National Council's minister of finance, oil and economics. He recently ventured back to Washington DC to lobby for a chunk of the $30 billion-plus of the Libyan peoples' money stolen/frozen by the Obama administration, ideally, to dole out as it sees fit. Dr. Tarhouni said:
“We’re faced with the same sanctions as Gadhafi,” he said, referring to U.S. sanctions that have frozen more than $34 billion of Libyan government assets, in addition to U.N. and European sanctions. “I don’t have access to any foreign exchange to cover any purchases, open lines of credits to merchants, so that’s a very challenging aspect to what I do.” [source]This ultimately pro-Wall Street angle is a consistent feature of the rebel TNC leadership, and probably the one that makes them so attractive to the Western elites who decided at the outset to support them, despite professing "little knowledge" of who the rebels really were... As I said in the Free Market Future article:
The handy thing is how many talking heads and think-tank experts there are to back these guys up. "Of course privatization is the answer! Gaddafi was against it and he was evil! Had mercenaries on Viagra rape kids! Just look at the state Libya was in before under Gaddafi's Green Book sytem!" Indeed, take a look - ask for specifics. Environmentally speaking, do we need more bio-diversity, or more monoculture? Why is it different when it comes to economic systems?
And let's be honest a moment - in an age of such Western economic failure, is the Euro-Atlantic community really more likely to be dispesnsers of good advice - good enough for a regime change war - or to be looking for some stored up financial blood to suck - via a regime change war and the plunder-tization of Libya?
Pepe Escobar again:
The water privatizershttp://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MC30Ak01.html
Few in the West may know that Libya - along with Egypt - sits over the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer; that is, an ocean of extremely valuable fresh water. So yes, this "now you see it, now you don't" war is a crucial water war. Control of the aquifer is priceless - as in "rescuing" valuable natural resources from the "savages".
This Water Pipelineistan - buried underground deep in the desert along 4,000 km - is the Great Man-Made River Project (GMMRP), which Gaddafi built for $25 billion without borrowing a single cent from the IMF or the World Bank (what a bad example for the developing world). The GMMRP supplies Tripoli, Benghazi and the whole Libyan coastline. The amount of water is estimated by scientists to be the equivalent to 200 years of water flowing down the Nile.
Compare this to the so-called three sisters - Veolia (formerly Vivendi), Suez Ondeo (formerly Generale des Eaux) and Saur - the French companies that control over 40% of the global water market. All eyes must imperatively focus on whether these pipelines are bombed. An extremely possible scenario is that if they are, juicy "reconstruction" contracts will benefit France. That will be the final step to privatize all this - for the moment free - water. From shock doctrine to water doctrine.
NATO, as Pepe Escobar writes, intends to subordinate the last Mediterranean country (aside from Syria and Lebanon) not allied with NATO, to make the Med "a NATO lake." Further, the U.S. African Command (Africom) does not want to co-exist with the Libya-favored African Union.
Pepe Escobar, "There's no business like war business", Asia Times, March 30
It started with Africom - established under the George W Bush administration, beefed up under Obama, and rejected by scores of African governments, scholars and human rights organizations. Now the war is transitioning to NATO, which is essentially Pentagon rule over its European minions.http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MC30Ak01.html
This is Africom's first African war, conducted up to now by General Carter Ham out of his headquarters in un-African Stuttgart. Africom, as Horace Campbell, professor of African American studies and political science at Syracuse University puts it, is a scam; "fundamentally a front for US military contractors like Dyncorp, MPRI and KBR operating in Africa. US military planners who benefit from the revolving door of privatization of warfare are delighted by the opportunity to give Africom credibility under the facade of the Libyan intervention."
Africom's Tomahawks also hit - metaphorically - the African Union (AU), which, unlike the Arab League, cannot be easily bought by the West. The Arab Gulf petro-monarchies all cheered the bombing - but not Egypt and Tunisia. Only five African countries are not subordinated to Africom; Libya is one of them, along with Sudan, Ivory Coast, Eritrea and Zimbabwe.