The US ambassador to Tripoli tells US companies: “oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources”. Total victory promises 35% of Libyan oil concessions to the French oil company Total.
[This] is the first time that the UN Security Council explicitly gave the green light … to armed intervention against a sovereign State … and that its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, played an active role in unleashing hostilities.
… intervention has never been, and will never be, anything other than the intervention of the strong in the affairs of the weak
The action by the UN against Libya threatens the people and countries of every continent. When will the “international community” want our resources, and what will they do to us to get them? Who in my country may be coopted by them?
The pun is easy but unavoidable, especially since Libération published the letter in which the National Transitional Council (NTC) promised to grant 35% of concessions to the French petroleum giant Total “in exchange” (the term used) for French military engagement (a document which naturally triggered a hasty denial from the Quai d’Orsay). The fight for freedom is such a noble cause. The author nevertheless concluded his article by taking note of “the strong odor of petroleum hanging over the whole business.”
It is by themselves — and never from the outside — that peoples gain their freedom.
Beyond the case of Libya, that is the point, the most essential, which deserves to be discussed among all those who adhere to the right of peoples to decide their own destiny — what used to be called anti-imperialism.
Used to be? In fact, it was so up until the fall of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact opened the way to the reconquest of the entire planet by capitalism, its dominations and its imperial rivalries. And that left no other choice to countries except to align themselves with the canons of “human rights,” the “rule of law,” and the “market economy” — three terms which have become synonymous — or else find themselves under fire from the cannons of the planetary policemen shamelessly calling themselves the “international community.”
Granted, when it comes to armed intervention against a sovereign State, the so-called “international community” is no beginner. But it is the first time that the UN Security Council explicitly gave the green light, and that its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, played an active role in unleashing hostilities. The full implications of such a situation need to be weighed: the brutal challenge to the sovereignty of States has been legalized — even if not legitimatized. The dominant planetary oligarchies, whose final horizon is “world governance” without borders, have thereby scored a major point: interventionism (“preventive” at that, according to Mr. Luck) can henceforth be the rule.
This conception, which explicitly contradicts the United Nations Charter, is a time bomb: it undermines the very foundations on which it was written and could mean a veritable return to barbarism in international relations.
For there is one obvious truth that should never be forgotten: intervention has never been, and will never be, anything other than the intervention of the strong in the affairs of the weak. The respect for sovereignty in international relations is what the equal vote is to citizenship: certainly no absolute guarantee, far from it, but a substantial asset against the law of the jungle. The latter is what could very well take over the world stage.
from: Libya: NATO Provides the Bombs; The French “Left” Provides the Ideology by Pierre Lévy
You cannot bomb a country into democracy, but of course democracy was never the true objective in Libya, no matter how humanitarian the justifications and rationalizations for the blatant aggression.
In the Wall Street Journal:
TRIPOLI, Libya—Six weeks after the fall of Tripoli, the palmy days of rebel unity have begun to disintegrate into a spiral of infighting, political jockeying and even the occasional violent flare-up threatening to derail Libya’s post-Gadhafi transition.
This is what everyone who knew anything about Libya predicted. Libya, with it multitude of factions and arms could devolve similar to Somalia.
US Ambassador Cretz appears to have a tin ear for the language of imperialism. Jewel in the crown was the part India played in Britain’s global empire. This is just one more indication of how naked and blatant the imperial aggression against Libya has been.
From the NYT:
Ambassador Gene A. Cretz … participated in a State Department conference call with about 150 American companies hoping to do business with Libya.
“We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources, … “If we can get American companies here on a fairly big scale, which we will try to do everything we can to do that, then this will redound to improve the situation in the United States with respect to our own jobs.”
His remarks were a rare nod to the tacit economic stakes in the Libyan conflict for the United States and other Western countries, not only because of Libya’s oil resources but also because of the goods and services those resources enable it to purchase.
Oil was never the “predominant reason” for the American intervention, Mr. Cretz said, but his comments … underlined the American eagerness for a cut of any potential profits.
The entire intervention against Libya was driven by potential profits. Pierre Lévy quotes a 2007 speech by Sarkozy:
“Europe is today the only force capable of carrying forward a project of civilization. … America and China have already begun the conquest of Africa. How long will Europe wait to build the Africa of tomorrow? While Europe hesitates, others advance.”
Not wanting to be left behind, Dominique Strauss-Kahn around the same time expressed his desire for a Europe stretching “from the cold ice of the Arctic in the North to the hot sands of the Sahara in the South (. . .) and that Europe, I believe, if it continues to exist, will have reconstituted the Mediterranean as an internal sea, and will have reconquered the space that the Romans, or Napoleon more recently, attempted to consolidate.”
And Lévy reminds us:
After years of being subjected to embargo and treated as a pariah, Colonel Kadhafi undertook the rapprochement mentioned above with the West, which notably took the form in December 2003 of an official renunciation of any nuclear arms program in exchange for guarantees of non-aggression promised specifically by Washington. Eight years later, there is no getting around the fact that that commitment lasted only up until the day when they felt they now had reasons to trample it under foot. Suddenly, in the four corners of the earth everyone can measure the worth of the word given by the powerful and just how much they value the commitments they have made.
Sarkozy speaks in the voice of previous centuries, when Europe would supposedly bring the three Cs to Africa, Christianity, civilization, and commerce, with the unlimited arrogance to call Europe “the only force capable of carrying forward a project of civilization“. European and American development has been financed for centuries by Africa. France would have been a minor player in international affairs without the wealth of Africa. The west owes Africa for western development, instead it plans returning to take more. The doctrine of the self styled “international community”, the US and Western Europe, is our old nemesis: might makes right.