There is a lot of speculation about why the United States has decided to intervene in Libya, considering there are no vital US interests at stake. Lynch argues that the US is interested in dissuading potential violence against protesters, thus acting as a deterrent (which readers know I find absurd). Are we in Libya because lives are in danger, as Obama reminds us? Did we intervene because there is inherent value to humanitarianism? Perhaps US missiles are being fired to uphold the integrity of international institutions or maybe this was just a huge ploy to get Sarkozy re-elected (those sneaky French). Jay Soloman thinks that the US invaded Libya in order to send Iran a message (or is it Israel?). It is pretty absurd to think that this whole intervention business was undertaken for one and only one purpose – more than likely it was a sum of many. Though, unlike some (but like Daniel Luban), I really do not buy into the oil argument (or the thought that the US kept Qaddafi in power…):
Press TV: I’d like to ask you about an argument that is being made by the Libyan opposition movement saying that the US business lobby in fact helped prolong Gaddafi’s reign?
Shoenman: Well of course everybody understands that for the past nearly a decade the Gaddafi regime has made a complete accommodation to US imperialism and indeed the major oil companies of western Europe and the US are once again in charge of Libyan oil production. Consequently, the previous anti-imperialist posture of Gaddafi, which gave rise to usual false flag provocations by the US as we’ve discussed before on Press TV: the false flag operation of the blowing up of the discotheque in Germany, the false flag operation of the blowing up of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, which was a CIA operation – these things were deployed to justify the US intervention in Libya. At the time, they bombed Libya, they killed Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter. Subsequent to that Gaddafi made a complete accommodation and consequently this current posture of the US and with the UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon orchestrating it about major interventions on the part of NATO plan of establishing a blockade in Libya is a very very dangerous and sinister undertaking…
Libya is a country of six and a half million people with oil production of a million and a half barrels a day. Huge fortunes derive from the sale of oil and none of that goes to the benefit of the Libyan people. All of it goes to the apparatus that you described; that [American] military apparatus; that oil company apparatus, that exploits people and sustains repression. It’s not an opponent of repression but is the instrument of it.
But what am I thinking? Stupid me. Set me straight Jerome Slater:
Don’t be naïve. As always, it’s all about oil. Libya is an important oil exporting country, and Qaddafi has been a highly reliable supplier, especially to our NATO allies in Europe. Not only that, in recent years he has worked closely with the United States in the War on Terrorism.
So, Obama really had no choice–even if had been inclined to avoid intervention, Big Oil would have forced his hand. That is why the US. and NATO decided that we could not afford to see Qaddafi overthrown, and why we are now bombing the rebels.
Chart from LiPo Expo