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NATO intervention in Libya rooted in access to oil?

By Jehron Muhammad | Last updated: May 17, 2012 - 12:12:02 PM

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(FinalCall.com) - For decades European oil companies had enjoyed contracts that allowed them access to half of the high-grade crude produced in Libyan fields, reported the May 4, 2012 Wall St. Journal. “Some major oil companies hoped the country would open further to investment after sanctions from Washington were lifted in 2004 and U.S. giants re-entered the North African nation.”

But that wasn’t going to happen. The Libyan government under Muammar Gadhafi, in the years that followed, renegotiated those foreign companies’ “share of oil from each field to as low as 12 percent, from about 50 percent,” according to the WSJ.

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Graphic: MGN Online
The Libyan leader in 2006 voiced the reasons why his administration sought to put the revenue generated from Libyan oil fields into Libyan hands. “Oil companies are controlled by foreigners who have made millions from them. Now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money.”

A recent blog post entitled, “Gadhafi’s crime: Making Libya’s economy work for Libyans,” by Steven Gowans, suggested that “last year’s NATO military intervention in Libya was rooted in objections to the Gadhafi government’s economic policies.”

As reported by Gowans, under a stringent new system known as EPSA-4, the regime judged companies’ bids on how large a share of future production they would let Libya have. Winners routinely promised more that 90 percent of their oil output to NOC (Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp).”

The Aug. 22, 2011 New York Times summed up the West’s objections to Col Gadhafi. “(He) proved to be a problematic partner for international oil companies, frequently raising fees and taxes and making other demands.” According to Gowans, “Gadhafi’s sins weren’t crimes against humanity but actions in service. His reputation blackened, government overthrown, country besieged from without and destabilized from within, his life was ended for daring to enact a radical idea—pressing the economy into the service of the people of his country, rather than the people of his country and their natural resources into the service of foreign business interests.”

Farrakhan on Africa, Libya and Cowardly Leadership

On March 21, 2012, during a press conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, responding to a question about Africa, talked about the slaughter of Blacks in Libya in the aftermath of the U.S./European destruction of the North African country. In response to media question, the Minister said, “I’m hurting for Africa. Because now the United States has inserted Africom (U.S. African Military Command) into Africa, soldiers are there, supposedly trying to track down Mr. (Joseph) Kony. But in reality it has nothing to do with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA’s less than 300 fractured troops are on the run). It has everything to do with the mineral strength of Central Africa. America will never be a super power in the twenty first century if she doesn’t have access to those strategic metals and minerals.”

He then expressed his hurt at the African Union’s recognition of Libya’s National Transitional Council. “It is so grievous … because those Arabs that hated Gadhafi because Gadhafi spent the treasure of Libyan oil for African development. So when he invited Africans to come into Libya he wanted even the marriage of Black Africa with Arab Africa. Because (as) he said in his Green Book, ‘The future belongs to the Blackman’ and that we would ultimately prevail in the world.”

The Minister expressed outrage at the wanton killing of Black Libyans and Black Africans in the North African country. “And their hatred of what he did caused, when they overthrew Gadhafi, them to kill and slaughter Africans in Libya. Black Libyans and Africans that were living in Libya. Slaughtered! And I could not for the life of me understand how the African Union would recognize them without some kind of reparation for the destruction of Black African life.”

He criticized African leaders for weakness and cowardice with their unwillingness to make a principled stand for what Gadhafi represented to Africa. “Weak, cowardly leadership that is so frightened of North America and Europe that you allow yourself to be trodden under foot, so that the next generation receives nothing but the legacy of cowardice,” he said.

“So yes I would like to add the Nation of Islam to Africa’s development. But right now poor Africa has to get her head in the right direction.”

The following report on “indiscriminate slaughter of Black Libyans” in the North African country is excerpted from the online newsletter WND.

“Sources say that the indiscriminate slaughter of Black Libyans. Some of whom supported Gadhafi, constitutes revenge killings, which rebel leaders of the National Transitional Council … said are not supposed to be happening.”

“What observers report as systematic rape, torture, executions by being shot in the back of the head, lynchings, beheadings and horrific internment is happening to Black Libyans principally in the towns of Misurata, neighboring Tawergha and in other small towns …”

NATO’s intervention Libya destabilizing region

Former UN envoy Robert Fowler, while speaking to the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper railed against NATO as the principal belligerent (in ousting Muammar Gadhafi) responsible for destabilizing the region. “Whatever the motivation of the principal NATO belligerents, the law of unintended consequences is exacting a heavy toll in Mali today and will continue to do so throughout the Sahel (which spans North Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea) as the vast store of Libyan weapons spreads across this, one of the most unstable regions of the world.”

Since the inevitability of post-Libya destabilization, according to the online weekly Radiance, was obvious to so many from the start, why the insistence on referencing a “law of unintended consequences?”

Even “chaos” has its own logic, Ramzy Baroud wrote in Radiance. “For several years and especially since the establishment of Africom in 2008, much meddling has taken place in various parts of Africa.”

An interesting note is that the Mali coup leader, army captain Amadou Sanogo, is a former U.S. military trainee and at one time “affected a U.S. Marine Corps lapel pin.”

Two weeks after the coup, the ethnic Tuaregs, or the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, declared independence in Northern Mali, including Timbuktu. Now more groups have become emboldened with arms, many of the arms pouring in from Libya, coming through the ever-porous borders with Mauritania, Algeria and Niger.

Baroud writes that NATO shouldn’t allow its intervention in Libya to cause the destruction of democracy and the “entrenchment of Islamic militants—in neighboring states.”

So again, a question: Why overthrow a stable Libyan government knowing that the consequences would lead to the instability of the region?

(Jehron Muhammad writes from Philadelphia and can be reached at Jehronn@msn.com.)

Related news:

Kony 2012: Concern or Deception? (FCN, 041-20-2012)

Amercia's Shadow wars in Africa  (USinAfrica.com)

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