The Libyan intervention: another bell that tolls the death of America

I haven’t written lately about the Libyan intervention because it’s so insane it makes me feel insane. NATO and the U.S. have long since dropped the limited mission, as lawless as that was, of “protecting civilians.” They are openly waging war against the Libyan government and are seeking to kill Kaddafi. It has to be repeated that the U.S. in 2003 made a settlement with Kaddafi over the Lockerbie bombing. It included his payment of financial restitution to victims’ families. Sure, it would have been better if we had punished him for Lockerbie back in the ’80s. But we didn’t do that. We let 15 years pass and then we made peace with him. As a practical matter, Lockerbie as of 2003 became a dead issue. The same neoconservatives who now are calling for Kaddafi’s head were lauding him as a new-found ally and friend of the U.S. in 2003 and 2004. And since then, Kaddafi hasn’t done anything against the U.S. or against anyone. He has not been backing anti-Western jihadists and terrorists. The NATO campaign to kill him or drive him from power is criminal. The Western alliance has become a criminal alliance.

And not only is it criminal, it is whimsical. Why did the U.S., France, and Britain choose to make war against Kaddafi, and not against some other Mideast dictator? Whim. And whimsicality is the mark of tyranny.

And what does the absence of any real debate in the U.S. about the Libyan intervention say about us? It says that we are slaves to that tyranny.

- end of initial entry -

Barbara V. writes:

I wonder if the Kaddafi thing is something more than “whim”, though I can’t think what it could be. (I guess that’s one reason I’m not a criminal?)

Kilroy M. writes:

“And not only is it criminal, it is whimsical. Why did the U.S., France, and Britain choose to make war against Kaddafi, and not against some other Mideast dictator? Whim.”

I beg to differ. The West’s attitude with respect to Tripoli shifted towards interventionism when the Libyan dictator stated he would no longer sell oil to Western powers because of their global pro-democracy media campaign against him. Western powers obviously decided to become actively involved when the threat of the sixth largest oil exporter to embargo them became a reality. Italy, for example, relies on most of its oil imports from Libya and is a NATO member. I hate to sound like a leftist but it’s about oil, essentially. It’s the Trump policy being acted out by Western Europe with U.S. help.

On a related point, I don’t like unnecessary interventionism either, but I think things have to be kept in some sort of perspective. Oil is important, so much so that it is important enough to go to war over. I know the last sentence will give some a heart attack, but there it is. So much of what we take for granted comes directly from that black slop. All industries that use or rely on plastics, rubbers, lubricants. The pharmaceutical industry would be nothing without the petrochemical industry too. So if you value heath care and medicine, public or private, you have to ensure its material and economic foundations are intact. If you choke the foundations, you might find the price of aspirin at the drug store jumps up to $50 a pop. An exaggeration perhaps, but you get the point.

LA replies:

There’s just no statement I’ve heard from the relevant Western governments indicating that oil was a consideration here. The whole thing moving Obama, who had previously resisted intervention, was the fear that Kaddafi would slaughter civilians. Now he wasn’t actually slaughtering civilians, but the fear that he would was the justification in the Obamites’ heads for intervening. Why not be concerned about the civilians that the rebels were killing or might kill, or the civilians who would inevitably be killed as collateral casualties of our air strikes? That’s where the whimsicality comes in. The Obamites were also concerned about showing the democracy supporters in Egypt that we were on their side. In any case, no one who has read about the process leading up to the Obama administration’s decision to support intervention would believe that fear of losing oil was the reason. This is a left-liberal action, done for left-liberal motives (and supported by neocons), all the way.

May 16

Howard Sutherland writes:

Great post about the lethal whimsicality of the NATO Libyan escapade, the only certain result of which will be to flood Europe with even more unassimilable Africans and Moslems. (Or is that what B. Hussein, Sarkozy, et al., have been after all along?) Is the intervention about oil? I doubt it, which only makes it worse. If the intervention were about oil—perhaps at the behest of the Italian government, as Italy is so dangerous dependent on Libyan supplies, a curious relic of colonial history—it would still be wrong, but might be defensible on starkly realpolitik grounds. But I don’t believe it has even that going for it.

Bill Carpenter writes:

Your comment brings to mind the Spanish prosecution of Pinochet after the Chilean government had entered into some kind of settlement with him. Tyranny has no understanding of the benefits of respecting past agreements, i.e., of the rule of law.

Karen writes from England:

The Libyan intervention is about waging was on China by throwing China out of the Mediterranean and denying China access to Libyan oil. It is not about anything else except the removal of Gadaffi and his replacement with an American Puppet and the expulsion of the Chinese. Gadaffi, like many African leaders, was courted by the Chinese who are pursuing resources and commodities in Africa. The aim of the US is to deny China access to the oil which China needs for its economic expansion.

Gadaffi allowed the Chinese to take over a lot of oil projects in Eastern Libya and since the insurgency and invasion started then over 30,000 Chinese workers have had to be evacuated from Libya and most of these projects abandoned. The aim of the US is to stop China and Russia getting a foothold in the Mediterranean and (hence the riots in Syria which are about kicking the Russians out of Syria).

The aims of the US are the military and economic containment of Russia and China and so there is a logic to the removal of the Gadaffi regime and its replacement with a regime loyal to the US and hostile to China and Russia. The problem is that the US is bankrupt and does not have the finances to wage war on both Russia and China. And as the US is unable to pay for a large scale land invasion of Libya, the US is forced to finance all sorts of dubious characters in the Arab world to do the job of removing Gadafi for them.

LA replies:

Our age is rife with these fancy, gnostic-style theories of why political leaders do things, theories which always have nothing to do with the evident motives of the leaders. Obama’s switch from non-intervention to intervention did not take place in secret. It was played out, step by step, before the world. And the thing that switched him was Kaddafi’s threats against the rebels, Samantha Powers’s “responsibility to protect” theory, and so on. Yet Karen would have us believe that the reason for the intervention had nothing to do with the concerns that evidently drove Obama, but rather some other set of concerns that have been kept entirely secret.

Moreover, according to Karen, Obama’s real motives were based on legitimate American and Western self-interest. So according to Karen, Obama is concerned about America’s true interests and had a rational reason for intervening in Libya, but he has kept this legitimate reason totally secret because, presumably, it would not play well with his leftist base who would only support an intervention if it had nothing to do with American national interests? Have I got that right?

Rhona N. writes:

I think there is a simple explanation for our assault on Libya: We are doing it because we can. Libya has no nuclear weapons. No large population. No consequences. We are bullies. We are strong with the weak and weak with the strong. Remember Serbia and Kosovo? What was our rationale there? Did Serbia ever do anything to us? It was so easy to take them out and claim the moral high ground. Does anyone bother to return and see what has become of Kosovo? A Muslim terrorist state that has driven out almost all of the Christians.

What will happen in Libya? I suspect a jihadist nation supporting terrorists. But who cares about the future. Right now the MSM thinks it’s the right and moral thing to do. Gotta please Anderson Cooper.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 15, 2011 05:36 PM | Send

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