Libya: US Empire Seeks the Spoils of War, or Else

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Libya's oil and gas fields, pipelines, plants and terminals. Courtesy: Open Source

By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 30 January 2016

For the last five years, since the arrival of the Arab Spring in late 2010, early 2011, Libya has witnessed the death of more than 40,000 of its citizens and the wholesale destruction of the vast majority of the country's infrastructure: Libya, one of many nations in the region that was targeted and subsequently destroyed by the US Empire, NATO and a disparate array of Middle Eastern vassal states, has gone from having one of the highest Human Development Index's on the African continent to one of the lowest in just a few short years.

The primary cause of the nations current ills are clearly the result of an illegal war waged by the US Empire et al., the untimely demise of its de facto Head of State, Colonel Muammar al-Gadaffi, and the regulatory vacuum and chaos that has subsequently ensued: Libya, akin to Egypt and Tunisia was one of the first nations to succumb to the vagaries of the Empire's Arab Spring who have used illegal military interventions and coup d'état's as their primary modus operandi for regional geostrategic supremacy since World War II. For Libya, the demise of the nation state was almost absolute: national and local governments were obliterated while its education, healthcare and social security systems, previously the envy of most other African nations, were practically eradicated. The loss of life, pain and suffering of the Libyan people, as a result of the Empire's military voyeurism, is immeasurable.

Nonetheless, the pain and suffering of the people is set to continue as earlier this week, on Monday 25 January 2016, the prospects for the return of peace and stability in the nation receded yet again into the distance: the internationally recognised parliament of Libya who meet in Tobruk voted to reject a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) initiative to form a Government of National Accord with a disparate group of Wahhabist militia's based in the former capital, Tripoli. Less than a week earlier, on Tuesday 19 January 2016, the UN was congratulating itself on having facilitated the prospect of a unity government and an end to the armed conflict and political divisions that have prevailed in the country for years. However, the vote, 89 against and just 15 for, was not a reflection of the dislike and unwillingness of the Tobruk parliament to work with the Wahhabist's of Tripoli but a refusal of the proposed 32-member cabinet of whom some are inextricably linked to hostile foreign governments with ill intent and profiteering multi-national corporations.

It is no secret that in pre-Arab Spring Libya the Muammar al-Gadaffi government had long since spurned the advances of the US Empire and most of the Western multi-national corporations who vied for business and trade with the oil and gas rich nation: al-Gadaffi is known to have shifted his foreign policy away from the West and was already engaged with the East, plus he was about to replace both the US petrodollar and the Euro with an African Gold Dinar backed by his growing reserves in gold.

Naturally, the US Empire et al. were not about to let that happen.

While al-Gadaffi was both lauded and reviled by his fellow countrymen, the majority of the people were either politically agnostic or in favour of his rule which is noted for maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the nation for more than 40 years.

It is in this context that the refusal of the Tobruk parliament to agree to the UNSC sponsored initiative should be viewed. The United Nations (UN), and the UNSC, are not, and never will be, independent arbiters of peace and justice in the World: the vested interests of the richest and most powerful of nations usually prevail. Both the Tobruk government and the Wahhabist's of Tripoli in Libya would not be where they are now were it not for the interests of one foreign party or another, principally the US Empire and Saudi Arabia who are eyeing the spoils of war, namely its oil and gas reserves. That contracts for oil and gas exploration, refining, piping and shipping will soon be open for tender in addition to the maintenance and refurbishment of the country's existing hydrocarbon facilities is common knowledge. There is also the task of rebuilding the nations infrastructure, while not so lucrative as the oil and gas based contracts, it is none the less a highly profitable venture.

Clearly the Tobruk parliament recognises the value of these contracts and, not unlike the former al-Gadaffi government's position with respect to the West, they have no desire in enriching either the US Empire or the Saudi's, not just because they destroyed the nation in the first place but simply because they know that the nation cannot prosper if it is not free to choose its partners.

That Tobruk has taken a principled stance on this issue is clear but just how long it will be before they are forced to acquiesce remains unknown ... chances are, it won't be long, if the renewed interest by the US Empire in conducting reconnaissance missions over the country are anything to go by.

The road to hell is paved with acquiescence.
Ann-Marie de Veer