The news we are hearing about the situation in Libya is conflicted to say the least. In general, the facts presented to us by the mainstream media are sketchy. Reports of Libyan Air Force attacks on protestors are not substantiated in any of the news articles that I have had the opportunity to see, yet the U.S., the UK and NATO member States are calling for a No-Fly zone over Libya. This would be another case of unwanted intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state, not unlike the interventions that have occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan.
All too often, the United States sees itself as the World’s Police. The fact is that while it may see itself as the police Department of the World, the only thing America has managed to become is a police state. We see ourselves as a great power with unlimited jurisdiction over any other nation in the world, not because we are a shining example of democracy, but because we are the last remaining military superpower left on the planet.
While we criticize Col. Qaddafi and present him as a dictator that abuses his people, we have allowed our oil companies to invest billions of dollars into the petro-state of Libya. I don’t feel that I would be stretching the point if I surmised that America is more concerned with the possible loss of profits to American Oil companies than the loss of life to the Libyan people in this political battle between the present government in Tripoli and those who wish to replace it.
While American and NATO ships steam towards Libya laden with soldiers and military hardware, most Americans don’t have the foggiest notion of who is behind the uprising in Libya and what their intentions are. If our government is aware of who is behind this rebellion, they certainly aren’t letting anyone else in on the secret. We hear that there are different tribal elements and that the Eastern part of the country has long been at odds with Qaddafi, yet we hear no names of organizations or individuals. Looking at the situation, I would have to surmise that the United States has no idea who or what is behind the insurgency there.
Now Secretary Clinton is mentioning that “all options are on the table” in dealing with Qaddafi. What I would like to know is who authorized our nation to claim that? What right do we have to intervene militarily in Libya? Is it to protect American corporate interests or are we involved in some humanitarian effort? Here again, as in Afghanistan, we are considering another military intervention. Since we have invaded Afghanistan the mission has changed as to why we are there in the first place numerous times. The real reason, the TAPI Pipeline (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India) is kept out of the conversation. As in most cases where nations resort to military force, there is an underlying economic reason that starts the shooting. In the case of Libya, the proven oil reserves under its sands provides the US with all the impetus it needs to use military means to get what it wants.
Of course America will use humanitarian reasons for intervening in Libya. Undoubtedly, the killing of dissidents will be the overt reason for military intervention. American citizens will find reasons to bear the cost of military operations and the loss of life from military operations against Col. Qaddafi. Even though we were supporting his regime up until last month by doing billions of dollars in business with Libya, the regime will be vilified by the American propaganda machine. Just as in the case of Saddam Hussein, who we supported with military aid in his war against Iran, the fact that we worked with Qaddafi’s regime in economic ventures up until last month will be forgotten. He will become the nation’s newest enemy and we will all be expected to support combat operations against his regime.
Meanwhile, like the greatest transfer of wealth in history in 2008 when we bailed out Wall Street because unregulated banks and investment houses got caught selling worthless derivatives made up of “A” rated bonds consisting of precarious mortgages that were sold to State pension funds and foreign governments among others, it will be the American taxpayer who will foot the bill to extract the American Oil Corporations from their interests in Libya. All of this will be done under “humanitarian” reasons, not economic reasons. When the American oil companies get out from under the position they find themselves in now, the payback to the American taxpayer will be nothing, zero, Nada, and Zippo. In fact, while the corporations recover their losses, the taxpayers will find that we are now farther behind the proverbial eight-ball and will be forced to do more with less as we pay for this latest military misadventure.
Secretary of Defense Gates just claimed that those leaders who send another Army into another land war should have their heads examined. Getting involved in military operations in Libya or any other country going through internal strife should not be the new normal. We already use half of our national income for military spending. We are for all intents and purposes, a bankrupt nation. In the end, it will be the American people that feel the pain that more military endeavors will inflict. Corporate profits should be the concern of the corporations, not the state. The American people already have too much on their plate. Our government should be more concerned with the American people than with corporate interests.
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|Allen L. Jasson|