Lessons From the Libyan Intervention

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I posted an article on August 22nd, explaining why President Obama can never win [against the Right]. The last 2 paragraphs are a clear indicator of where I stand on the NATO intervention, but to be clear, I am against all direct foreign intervention. We  have the U.N., Arab League Nations, and others. A rhetorical question: why do foreign countries look to the U.S. to save them? American troops always suffer the highest casualties as well. In 2008, foreign casualties made up only 7% of the  combined deaths; U.S. troops made up the remaining 93%.

I do not believe in humanitarian efforts because history taught me not to.

Below is an article by Horace Campbell and a separate 39:58 speech titled “The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention.”

When the idea of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was being discussed within the security circles in the United States, there were major debates as to the real purpose of this new combatant command. Was the mission one to advise and assist African militaries and work to build partnerships; was the mission the protection of US petroleum companies and agribusiness interests; would the United States be confronting China in Africa and if so where; or was the mission a new front for the global war on terror? When the new Obama administration took office in January 2009, there was a new language on ‘the overseas contingency operations’ of the United States and later in Congressional testimony it was made known that the US Africa Command was to be a development agency, concerned with development, democracy and security.

If there were any doubts about the real mission of the United States, France, Britain and other members of NATO in Libya, these doubts were clarified with the nature of the military campaign against the people of Libya that was orchestrated under a mandate of the United Nations Security Council. It was a new kind of war using third-party forces in order to silence the global peace movement that were opposed to further military intervention. A robust propaganda and disinformation campaign by the corporate media covered up the real content of what was happening. Most members of NATO were hesitant about this recolonization of Africa because the economic crisis inside the Eurozone was too deep. Nevertheless, France was desperate to get into the act of intensifying the plunder and looting of Africa. France had not been a big player in Libya, a former colony of Italy, which until recently was Africa’s fourth-largest oil producer, and which possessed one of the continent’s largest oil reserves of some 47 billion barrels, more than either Nigeria (37 billion) or Algeria (13.42 billion). After 2004 the National Oil Company of Libya opened up the country for new exploration rights in oil and gas, British and US companies were the main beneficiaries. In the negotiations, the Libyan leadership opened the economy to a wide spectrum of players in the oil game. As Duncan Clarke noted in his book on the struggle for Africa’s oil:

‘It has been a shrewd game, played by Libya with finesse and largely on its own terms. The outcome has been to establish the country as a major exploration destination not just in Africa but in the world.’

Libya produced sweet crude which is easy to refine and Libyan oil is close to European markets. More importantly, the establishment of the Libyan Investment Authority to invest the more than US$150 billion in reserves had benefitted US and British financial firms. Billions of dollars had flowed to Anglo-American financial services organisations and France wanted French houses to benefit from the same dalliance that Goldman Sachs had enjoyed with the resources of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Libya.

This is an abridged version of the original article by Horace Campbell, found here in Pambazuka News.

“The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention” can be downloaded and listened to here.


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