from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Libya: that whiff of oil...

I thought maybe I was – unusually for me, as, like most idealists, I'm more often called naive – being unduly cynical in my comments on the UK, US and France's motivations for attacking Libya.

Here's John Pilger in yesterday's New Statesman:

'The Euro-American attack on Libya has nothing to do with protecting anyone... it is the west's response to popular uprisings in strategic resource-rich regions of the world and the beginning of a war of attrition against the new imperial rival, China.'

  • Obama's assault on Libya is run by the US Africa Command, set up in 2007 'to secure the continent's lucrative natural resources from' (yes, from) 'Africa's impoverished people and from the commercial influence of China' (Libya, with Angola and Nigeria, is China's principal source of oil)
  • 30,000 Chinese people are being evacuated
  • There is not as yet any evidence that 'the deranged and criminal' Gaddafi was planning genocide against his own people, says Pilger
  • The Libyan 'pro-democracy rebels' are apparently commanded by a Col Khalifa Haftar, to whom is attributed (by the US Jamestown Foundation) the founding of the Libyan National Army in 1988, supposedly with backing from the CIA
  • While undoubtedly Gaddafi has an appalling human rights record, Pilger suggests that it is not this and 'not the nature of its regime' so much as Libya's independence 'that is intolerable to the west in a region of vassals; and this hostility has barely changed in the 42 years since Gaddafi overthrew the feudal king Idris, one of the more odious tyrants backed by the west'
  • Two senior diplomats at the UN spoke to the Asia Times: 'Demanding to know why the UN never ordered a fact-finding mission to Libya instead of an attack, they were told that a deal had been done between the White House and Saudi Arabia', involving Saudi backing a coalition to 'take out' Gaddafi in exchange for their putting down the uprising in Bahrain. Mission accomplished, I think. And guess who will be a guest at the Royal Wedding in London?
Meantime, as Pilger points out, as the west demonises Gaddafi, the focus is once again off Palestine.

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