Libya not a War for Oil

The allegation out there in the blogosphere that the United Nations-authorized intervention in Libya was driven by Western oil companies is a non-starter. The argument is that Muammar Qaddafi was considered unreliable by American petroleum concerns, so they pushed to get rid of him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bloomberg details the big lobbying push by American oil companies on behalf of Qaddafi, to exempt him from civil claims in the US.

The United States in any case did not spearhead the UN intervention. President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, along with the Pentagon brass, considered the outbreak of the Libya war very unfortunate and clearly were only dragged into it kicking and screaming by Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. The Western country with the biggest oil stake in Libya, Italy, was very reluctant to join the war. Silvio Berlusconi says that he almost resigned when the war broke out, given his close relationship to Qaddafi. As for the UK, Tony Blair brought the BP CEO to Tripoli in 2007, and BP had struck deals for Libya oil worth billions, which this war can only delay.

Not only is there no reason to think that petroleum companies urged war, the whole argument about UN and NATO motivations is irrelevant and sordid. By now it is clear that Qaddafi planned to crush political dissidents in a massive and brutal way, and some estimates already suggest over 10,000 dead. If UN-authorized intervention could stop that looming massacre, then why does it matter so much what drove David Cameron to authorize it?

An argument you sometimes hear is that the new Transitional National Council in Benghazi will be pliant toward Western interests. But Qaddafi himself had come back in from the cold and all sorts of deals were being struck with him by Western powers. Those who more or less support Qaddafi and wanted to let him roll tanks on civilian protesters has weaved itself into a pretzel with all these conspiracy theories, while conveniently managing to leave out of the account ordinary Libyans, so many of whom are willing to risk their lives to bring about the end of Qaddafi’s murderous and mercurial regime.

Aljazeera has an update:

Posted in Libya | 57 Responses | Print |

57 Responses

  1. This analysis of oil interests is flawed. The political players with a stake in increasing their Libya portfolio — France and the UK, pushed for war. The states which already had access, Germany, Italy and to some degree the U.S. did not support military action but were hard pressed after Sarkosy’s initiative. Interesting also that NATO support both military and political has come to the oil producing east while the western rebels are largely ignored.

    The disparity between NATO’s response in Libya and it’s lack thereof in Syria will provide us a clear indication as to what exactly the alliance’s commitment to civilian protection actually is. I am looking forward to your next column on NATO’s approach to the Damascus regime.

    • Except that BP already had billions in bids there, and with the end of sanctions, nothing prevented them getting more. And why didn’t Italy go to war with Britain and Drance to protect its oil interests? And the US oil companies were spending millions lobbying for Qaddafi. Your theory has more holes than all the Swiss cheese in Switzerland.

      • Having billions of dollars in bids is not spectacular in the oil industry, Libya or in any other major oil producing country. ENI (Italy) relied on Libyan oil for more than 22 percent of its oil consumption. The Libyan stakes in ENI alone were worth more than the BP contracts which account for less than 5 percent of total Libyan output. No wonder when the crisis began, Berlusconi told the press that he didn’t want to bother Gaddafi with a phone call. Let’s not even mention the spoils that Qatar has been promised from this conflict.

        If your argument was more subtle, that oil wasn’t the only factor in the decision to go to war, I would of agree. Such decisions are never mono-thematic. But it is disingenuous to argue that it wasn’t a factor. BP knew they could increase their stakes in the Libyan market in a way that was simply dramatic.

        Interesting also that you haven’t addressed the disparity between NATO’s response in Libya and its lack of a response in Syria. Whatever happened to civilian protection in Maarat Al-Numaan and Jisr Al-Shughour? Please, if you can, address this issue.

        • Authorization for intervention in Syria would have to come from the UNSC according to the UN charter. Russia and China are blocking UNSC action on Syria, otherwise the EU is very uneasy about what is being done there and would like to be more proactive.

  2. But Juan, it’s often a game of opportunism based upon popular perception. Look at the gargantuan profits the Western oil industry has sustained since the onset of upheaval and intervention in Libya.

    • Or they could have made much more by developing the fields they had already been given bids for. The war in Libya hasn’t been lucrative for ENI or BP

  3. Dear Sir,

    what about the US Navy’s statement, that they were positioned against Libya BEFOR the outbreak of hostilities?
    This statement does not support the notion that the US was draged into the conflict.
    Any explanations?

    Thank you

    mark de Wolff

      • Don’t need a conspiracy theory. It sounds like standard military professional paranoia. What can possibly go wrong? Prepare for that. Sound like a competent admiral of the sixth fleet.

  4. A few months ago, I read a piece titled: “the World Oil Politics of the Lybian Revolt”. A quote: “The oil politics could also provoke NATO or other intervention. Although Saudi Arabia is pumping extra petroleum (500,000 barrels a day), it is probably not actually replacing what has been lost from Libyan production. Brent crude hit $114 a barrel on Sunday. The world is skating on the edge of petroleum prices so high that they could push the global economy back into recession. Will NATO governments really risk taking a bath in their next elections because they declined to implement a no-fly zone over Libya and bring a quick end to what is for them not only a humanitarian crisis abroad but also a potential oil crisis at home?” Author: Juan Cole. Here is the link: link to
    It may be true that there is no direct connection between oil COMPANIES and this war. But there is a defenite connection between this war and the oil factor in a more general sense, as Juan Cole himself has indicated in the quoted piece.

  5. I will be very surprised if at least a couple of our oil giants don’t end up in a better position vis-a-vis the Libyan oil fields than they occupied before the intervention started. We’ll see, I suppose. One thing the intervention is not, however, is humanitarian. The US doesn’t do that, contrary to popular belief. Our government takes action when they perceive it to be in the national interest, just like every other government on earth; all else is window dressing.

  6. Professor Cole, I have been a long time reader and admirer of your work, yet I have been puzzled by your position and advocacy on this case. Key point in your post above, “By now it is clear that Qaddafi planned to crush political dissidents in a massive and brutal way, and some estimates already suggest over 10,000 dead.”

    Back in early April, I was at a certain academic conference where a member of the Obama team was present. As he too is…. informed on Libya matters, I asked him at lunch if he could tell us please if there was any such evidence behind Obama’s claim then that Qaddafi was about to slaughter dissidents…. He looked us straight in the eye and said, “there was none.”

    It may be clear to you from the outside that there really was such evidence, but could you come back to this in a future post.

    • He ordered tanks to shell noncombatant crowds for demonstrating! He virtually destroyed Misrata! He was on the verge of reducing Benghazi.

      The preponderance of thinking on the Obama NSC appears to have been that a massacre was looming. The guy you spoke to was an outlier. He clearly lost that debate.

      • Thank you for your reasoned and well-informed support of the Libyan people. You have a grasp of the situation that, sadly, I find completely lacking among many of my fellow American citizens. Gaddafi was out to kill his own people en masse. This wasn’t even a partial job like Saddam, this was wholesale destruction. Rape, torture, executions, whole cities of 300,000+ razed to the ground… The only description of that is wholesale slaughter. The fact that so many people seem intent on linking oil to it is a sad state of affairs when for once, for once, action is taken on a humanitarian basis. Clear proof? Canada just voted 294-1 to EXTEND the missions. Canadians aren’t exactly known for their wild military adventurism. Further proof? Sweden and Norway were one of the first countries to commit fighters to stop Gaddafi. Also countries not exactly known for wild military escapades.

        • canada also has universal political support for israel (even for egregious atrocities like the flotilla massacre, even among the NDP, the supposed opposition party). you use of my country is therefore a pretty impoverished example for the point that you are trying to make.

      • What are your thoughts on how to weigh the somewhat incommensurable values of protecting civilians vs. constitutional restraint on the warmaking powers of U.S. presidents? I refused to sign on to the CPD statement on Libya because it seemed to me that to claim to support the rebels and civilians yet to oppose giving them concrete material support was a hash. But the unconstitutionality of the U.S. intervention seems to expand the principles though not the concrete scope of Bushite reassertion of Nixonian imperial presidency. And such imperial wars historically have involved hundreds of thousands or millions of civilian deaths, over time and in consequences, in Iraq and Cambodia. The expansion of such power is a bit like global warming: you can’t necessarily lay any given war at its feet, Congress is often willing to promote or concede bellicosity and aggression, but you can predict that frequency and severity may rise. How should we think about immediate vs. medium & long term consequences?

  7. I find it tiresome when people bring up Syria and ask, why doesn’t NATO do something about that situation? This line of thinking ignores geography and how that affects potential military responses. Libya may look big on a map, but it’s really a tiny country in that 95% of the population lives within just a few miles of the sea, all connected by a thin ribbon of road. It’s easily dominated by a modest amount of naval and air forces. (Rommel, and now Qaddafi, have learned that the hard way.)
    A military intervention in Syria, on the other hand, would require a massive, lunatic land invasion, a’la Iraq. There is just no comparison.

  8. Actually, an interesting argument I heard is not so much that it the oil lobby pushing for Nato intervention in Libya, but rather the banking lobby, and of course, all tied together with the position of the petrodollar. Peter Dale Scott (of UC Berkeley) wrote an interesting article on it that may be worth a look!

    link to

    • States do things for all kinds of reasons, not just Leninist ones. Bosnia and Kosova have no oil. Explain the British in Gambia via economic imperialism. I dare you.

      • I’m afraid I am not familiar with the history of US imperialism in Gambia – will for sure do some reading on it as you got me curious – but I also feel that an imperial power may also go after a state to squash their sense of independence and sovereignty. Cuba and Iran vis a vis the US come to mind as they cannot be explained purely in economic terms. So not only do I agree that states do things for all kinds of reasons, I also feel not all of them are economic. Having said all this, I fear economics do play a fundamental role.

        • bzzz. Wrong answer. You might be interested to know that the British Empire in the 19th century exerted significant efforts to end the slave trade.

        • “You might be interested to know that the British Empire in the 19th century exerted significant efforts to end the slave trade.”

          Good heavens, that’s wonderful. Did they give back all the profits from the previous centuries and apologize for the minor discomfort to a few Africans? Are you denying that the Brits were rapacious colonialists?

          FDR visited Gambia in 1943 and had this to say:

          ‘It’s the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life… The natives are five thousand years back of us… The British have been there for two hundred years – for every dollar that the British have put into Gambia, they have taken out ten. It’s just plain exploitation of those people.’

        • I have been to Gambia. The idea that it yielded more in revenue to the UK than it cost to administer strikes me as highly unlikely. FDR wouldn’t have had those figures, but to his credit saw European colonialism for the oppressive enterprise it was. The British valued their acquisition of Gambia so little that they offered it to the French, but wanted at least something in return. The French weren’t interested.

        • More from Roosevelt:

          “The natives were just getting to work. In rags…glum-looking.…They told us the natives would look happier around noontime, when the sun should have burned off the dew and the chill. I was told the prevailing wages for these men was one and nine. One shilling ninepence. Less than fifty cents [a day] … Besides which, they’re given a half-cup of rice. Dirt. Disease. Very high mortality rate. I asked. Life expectancy—you’d never guess what it is. Twenty-six years. Those people are treated worse than the livestock. Their cattle live longer!”

          Sorry I didn’t have time to include the source last night.

          The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, The Gambia, by Donald R. Wright

          As well, here’s this from Wiki regarding GB’s history in the region:

          The 1783 Treaty of Paris gave Great Britain possession of The Gambia, but the French retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the north bank of the river, which was ceded to the British in 1857.

          As many as 3 million slaves may have been taken from the region during the three centuries that the transatlantic slave trade operated. It is not known how many slaves were taken by Arab traders prior to and simultaneous with the transatlantic slave trade. Most of those taken were sold to Europeans by other Africans; some were prisoners of intertribal wars; some were sold because of unpaid debts, while others were kidnapped. Slaves were initially sent to Europe to work as servants until the market for labor expanded in the West Indies and North America in the 18th century. In 1807, slave trading was abolished throughout the British Empire, and the British tried unsuccessfully to end the slave trade in The Gambia. They established the military post of Bathurst (now Banjul) in 1816.

          Despite their later efforts to ban the trade, I see no support for “bzzz. Wrong answer”

        • What is wrong is that “the region” is a big place but Gambia was a tiny one. There was never any money to be made there, public or private, and certainly not for most of the period that the British held it. It is just some bits of land on either side of snakey river with scattered grass hut villages. Once the slave trade in the British Empire was abolished in 1807, almost contemporaneously with the British fort, it was an imperial white elephant but went on willy nilly as part of the empire.

          They probably kept it as a chess piece in an imperial match with France. It wasn’t economic.

        • Prof. Cole,

          I’m hardly an expert but I was struck by the challenge: “Explain the British in Gambia via economic imperialism.”

          And my immediate reaction was how else would one explain it. Whether it eventually became a remnant of a dwindling African empire (think I read that it was the first and last British colony) doesn’t negate their orig. intents.

          I do agree with the first sentence here:

          “They probably kept it as a chess piece in an imperial match with France. It wasn’t economic.”

          However, can the former chess move be divorced from a larger imperialistic/econ. mission? And here we come to Libya, which per Greenwald’s post (yesterday I think it was) may or may not be about oil. That seems a tad reductive–I’d say it’s about maintaining the right to dictate policy in that huge, vitally strategic region (a la Gambia in W. Africa).

          I live in an Asian nation that provides no resources to my homeland, yet 30,000 troops remain–the notion that their role is decoupled from the US empire’s larger ambitions (resources, markets, geopolitical positioning vis a vis China) is a bit off, don’t you think? I know, way too Chomsky-ish.

        • thanks for taking up the challenge. My point was only that great powers do things for all kinds of reasons, and not only because they are raking in a lot of cash from a particular enterprise. It is something good historians know, and you are a good historian, but some of the commenters here struck me as being overly doctrinaire about economic imperialism as the only possible explanation for any action. Great powers are not charities and I’m not naive, but sometimes I’m happy when they do things, and sometimes I’m angered. Always being angered by everything they do is too monochrome to make one a good analyst of affairs.

        • PS Prof. Cole, but are you familiar with Donald Shojai. Taught at San Diego State for most of his career. Wrote The Prison Papers of Bozorg Alavi under the name Donne Raffat?

  9. What an astonishingly naive article. Having established that US oil companies have supported Gadaffi, there’s apparently no other way in which other players might be motivated by oil or, indeed, any space for the idea that oil companies might be able to work with Gadaffi when he’s in power but also look for a more favourable replacement.

  10. ‘the whole argument about UN and NATO motivations is irrelevant and sordid’.

    Why is this necessarily so? I would say the question of motive is *highly relevant* in terms of gauging how NATO might behave in the future, or the policies they might pursue.

    So if, as some of us suspect, NATO weren’t ultimately motivated by saving lives or furthering the well being of Libyans, and that there were ulterior geopolitical considerations at work, then it’s quite possible that the preservation of life and the furtherance of well being won’t be among the outcomes in the long run. In the sense that NATO could carry out policies which they know, or suspect, could lead to a lot of death and suffering (like trying to cripple the Libyan economy through an Iraq style embargo, for example, or landing ground troops, or escalating air strikes into civilian areas).

    I can understand you disagreeing with some of the alternative (rather than the loaded phrase ‘conspiracy’) theories put forward regarding NATO’s motives, but to say any actual discussion of these issues is ‘sordid’ and ‘irrelevant’ seems frankly bizarre.

    Was your frequent discussion of Bush’s real motives for going into Iraq beyond the specious propaganda about ‘disarming Saddam’ and ‘liberating Iraqis from a brutal tyrant’ – and lets not forget that Saddam’s historical crimes actually were of a magnitude worse than Gadaffi’s – also ‘sordid’ and ‘irrelevant’, or an important part of the debate?

    • The difference is, the Bush administration was packed all the way to the top with people who had conspired specifically to attack Iraq for years. Cheney was the founder of the Project for a New American Century, which openly called for wars on Iraq and Iran for the domination of the Persian Gulf region and thus the world economy. Every act of that bastard for 10 years was in preparation for the occupation of Iraq, down to his Halliburton chairmanship.

      Libya, on the other hand, was a complete suprise to all the power brokers, and their erratic and contradictory responses show that they hadn’t really thought about what they would do. After all, Libya was already moving into the Western camp and making all the deals we wanted. If we cut off China from Libyan oil, you know what China does? It opens up a vault with 3 trillion dollars of foreign exchange in it, and bids up the price of oil everywhere on Earth. Which puts NATO politicians in the same bind as if we’d let Gadafi win by methods that would have legally required us to put sanctions on his oil. All the options in this crisis led to more expensive oil, meaning the danger of another global economic crash, which is not in the longer-term interest of the oil companies.

  11. My sense/nonsense was that intervention became preceived UK and French national interest after both governements, apparently misjudged the significance of the threat the rebels posed to Qaddafi’s regime early on, and made fairly strong statements in support of their aims.

    I think after that the conclusion was that forcing reality to align was preferable to what the implications (re immigration, oil, China) of having lost all trust with a still in power Qaddafi might have been.

    And so off to market…

  12. I don’t believe the war was motivated by oil. But I suspect the oil factor means that the West wants a speedy end to fighting (so that the oil companies can resume their work and oil can flow again). Hence the West’s exceeding the mandate to protect civilians. That and the fact that Qaddafi is not a puppet made it an easy decision which side to support in the conflict.

    As for the morality of the war, the bottom-line is that a lot more people have died and a lot more of Libya has been destroyed than would have been the case if the West had not attacked government forces and supported and encouraged the rebels.

    • “As for the morality of the war, the bottom-line is that a lot more people have died and a lot more of Libya has been destroyed than would have been the case if the West had not attacked government forces and supported and encouraged the rebels.”

      The nato intervention spared areas such as benghazi the fate of places such as mistrata and therefore prevented many deaths, it also greatly assited in weakening gaddafis ability to attack the citizens of mistrata itself.

      The rebel movement itself was mainly motivated by domestic reason, not by foreign encouragement.

      The number of deaths would also have been quite lower if gaddafi respected the wishes of the libyan people and allowed for democratic elections.

    • I have to ask — did you really like the idea of the neutron bomb, then, hey? And that assertion about how the war/rebellion/whatever you want to call it results in “more deaths and destruction of property” than leaving a Daffyduck Dynasty in power there? I wonder how narrow you have to draw the parameters and perimeters to come up with that unsupported accounting assumption?

      How many years of state-security disappearances and how much vampire corruption does it take to equal the current spasm of violence? I bet the Shadow knows, but I bet you do not…

      But not to worry — as one poet puts it,

      Ah, love, let us be true
      To one another! for the world, which seems
      To lie before us like a land of dreams,
      So various, so beautiful, so new,
      Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
      Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
      And we are here as on a darkling plain
      Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
      Where ignorant armies clash by night.

      I’m sure that to the geopolitical Jerkmeatery, the “harsh reality” all makes perfect sense.

      There’s irrefutable logic behind the layering of Hell, too, I am told…

  13. In this case, Professor Cole may be right.

    There are equally compelling neo-liberalization grabs here.

    Libya’s central bank is among the few remaining nationalized central banks (not in private hands) and not subject to BIS. The bank also has considerable gold-bullion reserves. Even mainstream analysts noted the speed with which the rebels established their own central bank (privatized). It appeared for some time that the U.S. would transfer control of Libyan seized funds and assets to the new bank for purposes principally of funding arms purchases.

    French water companies, dominant in the privatization fo water globally, are drooling over the Great Manmade River Project and the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer (has 1,000 years of supply for Libya alone based on current useage and projected agricultural development). Controlling water in Libya and surrounding countries would assure a profits in the hundreds of billions if not trillions.

    Additionally, Gaddafi broke the West’s monopoly (and lucractive profit stream) over African satellite communications. He was also proposing a common African currency, the gold dinar to supplant the dollar and Euros for African trade purposes. Finally, I understand he was making noise about re-negotiating oil contracts – greater royalties to Libya.

    No doubt he’s a monster, but Occam’s Razor being Occam’s Razor, the “humanitarian” intervention is probably best accounted for by what has universally been true – he stopped being our monster and turned on us. Once he’s been shown the door, a more compliant monster will be installed and the asset stripping can then be carried out in earnest.

    • So why attack now when Khadaffi had been brought solidly into the western fold and applied serious neo-lib economic reforms?

  14. It is not at all certain that a western-style democracy will flourish once Qadaffi is gone.

    Its seem more likely that years of war and instability will set Libya back further than would a stable, slowly reforming Qadaffi regime with foreign investment flowing.

    • Why?? Are Libyans somehow incapable of creating a society based on equality?
      I for one hope my brothers and sisters in Libya reject western style “democracy” and create a truly fair and just society. They certainly have the potential.

    • The point is that the pro-Qaddafi fringe thinks all European actions in the global south are a form of imperialism that is impelled by economic and corporate interests in Europe of a predatory kind. I bring up Gambia because despite its unimportance, the British did expend resources to conquer and administer it as part of the empire for many decades, actions that cannot in fact be explained in Leninist fashion. If the general proposition is sometimes wrong then it is not universally true and we have to start looking at the documents more carefully in any particular case instead of ‘reading off’ a preconceived template of monochrome theory.

      • Juan,

        The US spent massive resources on conquering Iraq, certainly much more than it was worth. So does that mean there weren’t imperialist motives behind it? I think you are forgetting that, in the case of Gambia or Iraq, the costs of administration are socialized while the gains are privatized. How exactly was Lenin wrong about that?

  15. At any particular point, the influence of oil — not just its availability, but control over its regional or worldwide effects, or profits from its sales, or any number of aspects — on US or NATO or various national involvements in Libya operations is an empirical question.

    Surely such discussions would never be limited to the role oil interests did or didn’t play in the start of Western military operations.

    Neither would it be a factor to ignore in trying to understand what is being done, what appears to be forming, what may or is likely to take place, and so forth. Any more than any other factor would be ignored by fiat rather than analyzed and found more or less significant for some particular question.

  16. From the Bloomberg article:

    “Qaddafi “threatened to dramatically reduce Libya’s oil production and/or expel” U.S. oil companies…

    (The) chairman of Libya’s state-owned oil company, “chastised” Phil Goss, Exxon Mobil’s country manager, for almost an hour, Stevens wrote. U.S. companies had to “‘tell Washington’” that “Libya was serious,” about slashing production in retaliation…”

    This is absolutely consistent with the idea that “Muammar Qaddafi was considered unreliable by American petroleum concerns…”

    Juan is using evidence that the US oil companies worked for an exemption from sanctions for Qaddafi as evidence they did not want to see him removed. This view assumes that the oil companies did not mind having their access threatened, or being forced to lobby congress for favors. I don’t believe that’s a logically supportable position.

    So the allegation “that the United Nations-authorized intervention in Libya was driven by Western oil companies” most definitely makes sense, and has not been refuted, but rather SUPPORTED by the Bloomberg article Juan cited.

    • The point is that the oil companies were willing to lobby for Qaddafi despite his being perceived as erratic. Moreover, companies like ENI did practical business with him and there was every prospect that others could, too. The oil companies were not acting like implacable enemies to that regime, to say the least, and it is ARAMCO, Total and BP you have to explain if you want to explain the war as impelled by them.

  17. Gee, I guess that it’s just too much for folks to accept that Gaddafi is being driven from power because he’s a murderous madman who serves the interests of no one and is everyone’s enemy.

    It doesn’t usually happen, but every now and then things are done for good reasons.

    Professor Cole has this one right.

  18. Were thousands of Libyans saved from a looming disaster or not? Will more Libyans be killed as a result of the intervention? These questions are much more important than the motives of the parties involved. But it seems illogical to assume that national leaders can never be partially motivated by a humanitarian impulse. It’s also conceivvable that national interests could motivate an action that has a humanitarian result, as a by-product. The result is what counts. Those who somehow know that every single thing the West does is wrong are tiresome.

  19. Juan, I absolutely believe you are more “in the loop” than I am, but I recently read a very interesting story about Libya and Qadaffi (I don’t have the source though at the moment) and would just like to hear if you know of these incidents…

    That Qadaffi lost billions at the hands of Goldman Sachs, in what were supposed to be sound, safe investments, over the last few years, and other western companies also got him, and lost his money (Libya’s money). One quote I do remember from the article was about “western investment firms liked to play him for a rube” (paraphrased)…
    It went on to cast doubt on his responsibility for Lockerbie, noting that and hinting that he possibly took responsibility in order to gain…standing, and that some of the victims familes even refused the compensation awarded.
    In any case, they made the case that the compensation package he agreed to (in order to gain in the end he thought) along with the investments tanking, left him in desperate need of cash, and that he had just levied some hefty “taxes” on all oil companies that wanted to gain from Libyas oil.

    I wish I could find the article, as I read it it seemed to make a lot of sense and point to oil interests wanting to stop him from pulling a “chavez”…

  20. I think the British and the France came to the conclusion that some times its beneficial to be on the right side of history even if it will cost them in the short run.
    It is just matter of when not if when the Arabs break of their chains and those nations that the Arab public will feel was on their side in the struggle will be rewarded one way or another.

    I have always felt strange how openly and actively the Germans worked against the British/France with their push for the Libyan intervention.
    Could it be that the reason is that when France/British negotiated with US they said that the EU will pay the war bill ?

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