Libya: Their Oil and US

Operation Odyssey Dawn

With Friday's reported cease-fire ending quickly, if it ever really started, international military efforts in Libya began yesterday. The Pentagon labeled the mission "Operation Odyssey Dawn." U.S. firepower in the area include 11 warships, five of which fired cruise missiles into Libya yesterday. Three American B-2 stealth bombers, reportedly having flown nonstop from U.S. soil, also bombed a major Libyan airfield. The plan, Pentagon officials told reporters yesterday, is for American forces to be the "leading edge" as the offensive begins, but then "step back within days and hand over command of the coalition to one of its European allies."

U.S. forces led the first major attack as cruise missiles from submarines and frigates attacked Libya's anti-aircraft system. The Navy said more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. and British ships and submarines struck Libyan air defense, surface-to-air missile sites and communication nodes. Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, is orchestrating the attack from the USS Mount Whitney deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The American Forces Press Service said 24 other ships from Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and France also assisted.General Carter Ham, the commander of the United States Africa Command, is over the strategic direction.The United States is expected to handle command, control and logistics as well as launch electronic attacks against Libya's air systems. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 set up the no-fly zone.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that it has "effectively" been put in place."We have halted (Gadhafi's forces) in the vicinity of Benghazi, which is where he most recently was on the march, and it is hard to say what'll happen in the next few days and weeks," the American Forces Press Service reported he said on the program. A U.N. Security Council resolution was approved

Thursday in New York allowing outside forces to use all measures necessary to protect civilians in Libya, where eastern rebel-controlled areas have been under attack. Admiral Gortney said one British submarine was used as part of Saturday’s strikes as well as U.S. ships and submarines. He described Libya’s air defense sites as being built with old Soviet technology. He said some countries who were taking part in the military operation had asked to be identified, while others wanted to announce their involvement themselves. "Of the coalition, the countries that have asked us to mention their names, of course, the United States, UK, French, Italy and Canada. The other countries have asked for them, that they want to be able to make the announcement and it is the same for the Arab countries as well," he said.

A mediation delegation from the African Union was due in the capital Tripoli Sunday, but as sites in and around Tripoli were also reported hit, it was unclear if that mission would go ahead.Earlier Saturday, French fighter planes which had departed from France flew over Libya bombing at least one tank that a senior French military official identified as belonging to forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi. Leaders from France, Britain and the United States have said the operations are necessary and that Mr. Gadhafi’s forces were still staging attacks despite warnings to stop.

Libya’s head of parliament, Abdul Qasim al-Zuai denied this, saying a ceasefire was in place and that the missile strikes were what he called a "barbaric aggression" from Western powers. He said civilian areas and civilian infrastructure were being targeted.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Gadhafi wrote a letter to President Obama and other world leaders saying they would regret what he called "intervention in the internal affairs of Libya. "Libyan state media said the strikes caused casualties in Tripoli. At a summit earlier Saturday in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Libyans like other Arabs were fighting for democracy and freedom from oppressive regimes and that it was the duty of outside powers to help them.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron said British forces were helping end what he called "the appalling brutality" of Mr. Gadhafi’s government. Several countries have spoken out against the operations including Russia and Venezuela. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said it was irresponsible to create more deaths and more war.

The International Committee of the Red Cross called on all warring parties to spare civilians and respect international humanitarian law.

The armed rebellion against Mr. Gadhafi began last month, following people power movements which successfully toppled long-time leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and spurred uprisings across north Africa and the Middle East.

The Obama administration never would have launched a war on Libya if they didn't have a puppet-in-waiting ready to take power as soon as the fighting ended. That puppet appears to be Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi's former justice minister. Jalil is presently the opposition leader of the Libyan National Transitional Council which oversees the insurgents from Al Bayda. This is not a grassroots movement that embraces the fundamental precepts of democratic government. It's a clatter of rebels armed by the Egyptian military (with US approval) to topple the Gaddafi regime. Jalil has garnered the military support of the so-called "international community" despite the fact that peaceful protesters in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been kicked to the curb.

It's just another example of the UN's selective support for pro-democracy movements.

So, what's the endgame here? Does Obama really think he can depose Gaddafi with this armed rabble of malcontents or does he have something else up his sleeve? The answer to these questions can be found in an article in Businessweek titled "Libya’s Eastern Rebels, Long-Time Qaddafi Foes, Driving Revolt."

Here's an excerpt: "Decades of poor treatment and economic discrimination against Libyans in the country’s eastern province of Cyrenaica provided the kindling for the revolt against leader Muammar Qaddafi.... The rebellion began in Cyrenaica, a region endowed with oil.... With hundreds of miles of desert separating the main towns of Libya’s three regions, Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan, in the Sahara at the southwest of the country, the regions had little binding them together... “Libya as a country is a relatively new concept,” said Elliott Abrams, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and a former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush. “The period of Libya as a modern nation really starts after World War II.” Most of Libya’s proven oil and gas reserves lie in Cyrenaica, one of three provinces that the 20th century colonial power, Italy, melded into the precursor of modern Libya.

Oil and gas account for 97 percent of Libya’s export earnings, one-fourth of the country’s economic output, and 90 percent of government revenue, according to the International Monetary Fund. “Substantial revenues from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society,” the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency wrote in a public document analyzing Libya’s economy. With $105 billion of reserves in the national treasury and a population of about 6.5 million, Libya has ample funds to support a transition from Qaddafi’s regime and ease any regional tensions that may come from four decades of investment favoring the Tripoli region,

Abrams said in an interview.“If you had a new government, it could actually adopt a development plan that could buy years of stability,” Abrams said. ("Libya’s Eastern Rebels, Long-Time Qaddafi Foes, Driving Revolt," Bloomberg Businessweek) Repeat:
"Oil and gas account for 97 percent of Libya’s export earnings, one-fourth of the country’s economic output, and 90 percent of government revenue. "So, what does it mean? It means that all of Libya's resources lie in the eastern province which can be easily split-off Serbia-style with the support of foreign imperialists using their proxy armies and their "democracy promoting" puppets. This is what's really at the heart of Obama's "humanitarian intervention", further Balkenization of the Middle East. It's just more plunder disguised as magnanimity.

So Again the question can be raised..... Is there any solution for libya?


More by :  Arnab Sain

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