Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
You weren't told Egypt was a CIA plot as a piece of random hand-waving - there was solid evidence that the CIA trained people who were meant to influence and lead the insurgents. (Although the plan was only partly successful, because it was somewhat overtaken by events.)

Now we know the rebels in Libya have received impressively generous supplies of military-grade arms. Where did those come from?

It's obvious there would have been no insurgency without them, and it's unlikely the rebels bought them on eBay.

So some benign and generous spirit must have organised delivery and distribution. Considering the scale of the gift, it's really quite unlikely it's a disinterested private benefactor who wants to see the Libyan people marching forwards to a glorious democratic and prosperous future.

None of this is to disagree that Gaddafi was a runty little tassled psychopath. But so were/are many leaders supported without question by the West, and not a few home grown billionaires closer to home.

He's not different because of his psychopathy, exploitativeness, and appalling lack of proper democratic manners, but because of his political inexpediency and access to useful resources.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 07:53:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
it was somewhat overtaken by events

You bet. Denying there is a spontaneous movement in Egypt or Tunisia is futile. And I'd like to see the "solid evidence" for CIA intervention in Egypt, and some solid reasons for America to want to introduce instability into a major ally and regional stabiliser (from US/Israel policy point of view).

However, Libya is different in many ways, mainly because of NATO intervention. In past discussions here, I've pointed out the obvious oil interest - and though I don't think Gaddafi can be defended, I was not in favour of NATO bombing. Of course the rebels have received arms from the same countries that were bombing. However, their determination can't be denied - and it belies the Gaddafi propaganda about what a paradise his Libya was (which was my point).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 08:05:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But minus some clear and substantial new source of dissatisfaction with the use and exploitation of those resources, the motive is just not there.  Gadafi was developing his oil reserves, working with international oil companies to do it, and selling the oil to the west without stirring up trouble.  Now, as you have yourself claimed, it's entirely likely that the oil may well stay in the ground for quite a while.

Further, very early in the Libyan situation the rebels took over nearly half the county, including its military bases and police forces, almost entirely on the strength of their protests and their initial surge of momentum.  That's where they got their initial cache of weapons.  Yes, they've been armed and supported afterwards, but support is different from create, which is the key distinction here.

by Zwackus on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 08:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't understand.

Libya is currently retaining far too much of its oil wealth.

This is anti-competitive behaviour and holds back global growth.....(of corporate profits)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 09:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And also I found somewhere (can't find it now, it's hidden in some of my links) that at some point (maybe recently I am not sure) he changed deal with those western companies. It was 50:50 and he changed it to something like 20:80. Not happy campers.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 10:07:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya: hunt for Gaddafi - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

Sitting on Africa's largest oil reserves, Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) can expect foreign oil companies to be beating a path to its door clamouring for contracts, reports Mark Tran.

But campaigners urged the NTC to refrain from any new oil concessions until an elected government is in place to avoid perceptions of a Libyan "oil grab".

"Any deals at this time could raise concerns within Libya that international support for the NTC is driven by a desire for access to oil rather than for the benefit of the Libyan people," said Global Witness.

"The NTC is likely to have to honour Gaddafi-era contracts in order to get oil revenues flowing. But no new deals for the exploration or exploitation of oil fields should be considered until an elected government can review existing rules and laws to ensure robust transparency and accountability."

We will judge them by their acts.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 10:07:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right.
Can anybody please search Internet and try to find what oil companies are right now operating in Iraq (I need to go to sleep soon). If you find ONE other then western I'll buy you a drink, ha-ha.
And then again it was also about DEAL they have about percentage of profit. Do we know anything about Iraq deals?


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 10:25:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but, contrary to the expectations of the Americans, they didn't get sweetheart deals on Iraqi oil. It took several years to get the "oil law" through the Iraqi parliament, because the government's draft was extremely generous to oil companies, and the elected representatives of the people didn't want to give their country's resources away. That's sort of how democracy works, when it works. Iraq has vast oil reserves, and an ambitious program to develop them. There are a bunch of oil companies tendering for projects, including the Chinese. I'll pay you a visit the next time I'm in Brisbane.

I'm sure there's someone who knows this subject much better, who can comment on it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 03:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK you'll have a drink :)

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 07:42:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
You weren't told Egypt was a CIA plot as a piece of random hand-waving - there was solid evidence that the CIA trained people who were meant to influence and lead the insurgents.

Maybe there is also some solid evidence of why the US wanted to topple Mubarak, one of the most reliably pro-American (and pro-Israeli) leaders in the Arab world, to replace him with a government much less sympathetic - especially to Israeli interests. Sure, I'm willing to entertain CIA plot stories as much as the next guy, but in that particular case, something doesn't compute.

Something else that I fail to compute: if the WestTM is behind the Egyptian uprising, what about Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Saudi Arabia? Did they manage to revolt without any nudge from the CIA? Or is it a underhanded US plot in all these countries too? If yes, how would the US stand to benefit? If not, how is it possible that so many Arab countries would revolt without outside help, but Egypt, unlike the others, couldn't possibly do so without CIA maneuvering - seemingly against American best interests?

The odd man out here is not Egypt but Libya: it's the only Western military intervention to date, mostly from France, Italy and the UK. I don't know for the other countries, but I've detailed my own speculation on why Sarkozy went military on Gadaffi.

ThatBritGuy:

Now we know the rebels in Libya have received impressively generous supplies of military-grade arms. Where did those come from?

It's obvious there would have been no insurgency without them, and it's unlikely the rebels bought them on eBay.


Surely, arm trafficking has existed pre-eBay. It's always been appallingly easy to purchase military-grade weapons: AK-47 are cheap and plentiful, but bigger machine guns are not much more difficult to get.

Gadaffi also acquired "a generous supply" of weapons at the beginning of the unrest, plus mercenaries from sub-Saharan African countries by the plane-load; as a legit head of state, it was easier for him, of course.

ThatBritGuy:

So some benign and generous spirit must have organised delivery and distribution.

Well, the French government has "secretly" supplied some of it: they haven't been very good at covering their tracks. Other governments probably did the same - heck, even the CIA might have done so.

ThatBritGuy:

Considering the scale of the gift, it's really quite unlikely it's a disinterested private benefactor who wants to see the Libyan people marching forwards to a glorious democratic and prosperous future.

Nobody "private": just Sarko and other governments who, having sided with the rebellion and against Gadaffi, didn't want to risk having said rebellion crushed by Gadaffi - to their greatest embarrassment and other unpleasant consequences.

by Bernard on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 04:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really think that UK France and "other governments" would do this on their own?
Yes there are things that are not clear and obvious especially with Egypt but what do we know about what they are cooking in back rooms?
Except for Libya and perhaps Syria my feeling is that other protests were actually genuine indigenous protests and west maybe was caught by surprise of the scale of it. Do they have strategy to deal with it? I am not sure. With Libya I am sure it was orchestrated, to catch the moment and use it to destroy Qaddafi. As we can see if they are not armed on a large scale by some outsiders people do not have any other choice but to keep protesting or to shut up. Yes they will be killed in some numbers and that's not funny but usually alternative is civil war and foreign intervention. And pretty much hell for decades. I remember people in Syria or Yemen I can't remember exactly where, when asked said "No thank you, we don't want Libya and we don't want foreign troops here".


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 07:57:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really think that UK France and "other governments" would do this on their own?

Yes. The US State Department were not cheerleading for this war, and it's hard to see Sarko and Poshboy take marching orders from anyone else.

Besides, it's not like there's any great number of places that could hire Sarko as a hit man: Russia didn't want that war; China has no obvious interest in it (and a plausible interest in keeping Qaddafi in power as long as the oil continued to flow); Merkel doesn't care about foreign policy, and in any event has better uses for her political capital right now.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 08:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. It's your opinion.
I don't think that UK and France would dare to do anything that USA would not endorse. Especially not when it comes to military...But that's just my opinion.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 09:01:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US did endorse it. That does not make it their idea. It only means that it was more trouble to say "no" than to say "yes."

If you want a good idea of how absent the American war propaganda was, ponder this: This is the first war the Freepers have not liked.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 09:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly the US gave the OK, but between "the US orchestrated the uprising" and "France, the UK and Italy went ahead despite US objections, leaving the US to declare support to save face" is, "the uprising occurred, and in the circumstances, the US gave the OK to intervene in support of an insurgency on the proviso that no US boots would be on the ground".


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 01:05:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy was by no means in favor of waging this war. In fact it was against (ambiguously and at times overtly) given the country's strong economic and geopolitical ties with Libya. This was another American war waged by its ever more obedient satellite - France. How proud the French must be.
by Lynch on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 at 09:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As for the UK, we already know that it is to the US what Bulgaria was to the Soviet Union.
by Lynch on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 at 09:37:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lynch:
This was another American war waged by its ever more obedient satellite - France.

Well, it's not frequent to see France being called America's "ever more obedient satellite", but I suppose there's a first time for everything.

As for Sarkozy, who famously loathes Obama, he also has his own reasons, some of which I tried to list here.

by Bernard on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 at 05:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only US objections were for CNN's cameras and public opinion at large, as can be discerned from NYT article "Libyan War Goes a Long Way to Improve the Pentagon's View of France as an Ally"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/world/africa/27military.html?ref=world

by Lynch on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 at 10:33:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None of which turns it into a dichotomy between the US instigating the intervention from the outset by instigating the uprisings at the outset and the US being against the intervention all the way and being somehow pushed into doing it against its will.

Different people will use different mental models of how much freedom of action various actors have to find different positions in the range in between more or less plausible ... but both extreme ends of the range are implausible, and so a false dichotomy forces a choice between two implausible alternatives.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 at 01:14:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe there is also some solid evidence of why the US wanted to topple Mubarak...

It would be perfectly understandable for the CIA to have and to be cultivating assets in Egypt prior to the first glimmers of the Arab Spring. I recall congressional urgings for the CIA to broaden its network from the time of Obama's Cairo speech. The purpose of these assets would most likely have been to provide insight and inside information and to be in a position to influence the course of events should they get out of control. But this would not validate claims that the USA instigated the events that led to Mubarak's downfall, a claim which I find preposterous. The CIA is perfectly aware of AIPAC, after all.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 10:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My theory is somewhat different.

I think that in a complex world, where technology increases the power of individuals and increases volatility (of values, power, trends) no single nation or organization can possibly control events.

The  objective of the American regime is, indeed, to control. But when it doesn't control - and this happens more and more often - its secondary objective is to give the world the impression that it is in control.

Egypt is a good example. The US regime was at a loss as events were unfolding - holding back from supporting the revolutionaries, and even supporting Mubarak until late in the uprising. But when all was lost, the US propaganda machine changed tack and began communicating how it had influenced the uprising all along... which is total BS.

Let them hate as long as they fear. Accius.

by Lynch on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 03:01:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series