Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Russia, China Square Up To West Over War On Libya

By Darryl Mason

Despite apparently being almost out of money, the United States, France and the UK have all found the necessary cash to launch a new war on Libya, under the guise of enforcing a UN-mandated No Fly Zone. For the United States alone, the cost of military action against Libya is estimated at more than $100 million per day.

The official American government/media narrative is that Libyan rebels are a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters trying to take down one of the world's most evil & sadistic tyrants. Well, Gaddafi is now, again, anyway, an evil tyrant, after being feted and praised for planning to open up his country to more western oil deals and development in the past few years by a conga-line of world includes including Bush, Obama, Blair & Sarkozy.

But Libya is not Egypt, or Bahrain, or Tunisia. Libya is an energy, water & resources rich nation with tens of billions in trade, energy and development deals with Russia and China.

Russia's Putin could not speak anymore plainly about what he believes is the real motivation behind the War On Libya :

Russia is, in fact, warning that the attacks on Libya could lead to a wider, world war :

“Any bombing of Libyan territory could provoke a large-scale conflict between the so-called West and the so-called Arab world,” a Russian Parliament leader said commenting on French and British plans to carry out aerial attacks in Libya.

“Any foreign military intervention will give Libya legal grounds to defend itself. We should do our best to avoid this highly dangerous scenario,” said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned ground operations by foreign forces will lead them deeper into protracted war :

“You and I understand what ground operations mean: they probably mean the beginning of war, and not civil war but war involving international forces.”
Now China is getting involved :
China's most important political newspaper ratcheted up the country's criticism of Western airstrikes against Libya on Monday, comparing them to the U.S.-led invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Communist Party's flagship newspaper, The People's Daily, said in a commentary that the United States and its allies are violating international rules and that in places like Iraq "the unspeakable suffering of its people are a mirror and a warning."

"The military attacks on Libya are, following on from the Afghan and Iraq wars, the third time that some countries have launched armed action against sovereign countries," it said.

"No matter what pretext the military actions were under, they should not be at the cost of people's lives and properties. This is not only the moral standard, but also the appeal from the world's people," it continued.

"People have good reason to express misgivings about the consequences that this military action may precipitate," it said.
China is getting very, very involved :

Why is China getting involved?
China's deep involvement with the North African dictatorship has also exposed a vulnerability in the world's second-largest economy.

In Libya, the world's 12th-largest oil exporter, China has emerged as a major investor and financial partner of strongman Moammar Kadafi. China is now the third-largest buyer of Libyan crude behind Italy and France. European and American oil firms have worked in Libya for years, but their governments have long sought to punish Kadafi for terrorist ties. Meanwhile, China has stuck to a hands-off policy it has dubbed "non-interventionism."

Before the Libyan conflict erupted, about 75 Chinese firms reportedly were laboring on an estimated $18 billion worth of contracts there, including construction of rail lines, irrigation systems, and Internet and cellphone networks.

But China's primary interest is energy. State-owned China National Petroleum Corp. has partnered with Libya's national oil company to build hundreds of miles of pipeline and explore for oil and gas offshore.

The world's No. 2 petroleum user, China imports more than half of the 8.3 million barrels it consumes daily. It buys from nations including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Venezuela, which also supply the United States, the world's top oil consumer. Libyan oil accounts for only about 3% of China's imports, but it won't be easy to replace.

Paul McGeough :

Even if Gaddafi is eliminated from the equation - figuratively or literally - a daunting number of what-ifs will remain. What if the internal conflict in Libya is less a democracy uprising that unites the nation and more a tribal civil war? What if the Western intervention gives a leg-up to one side, the rebels, who in time could be no better and no worse that the Gaddafi loyalists - sans Gaddafi?

There is no evidence to support Gaddafi's claims that al-Qaeda and teen drug addicts have fomented the uprising. But there is historical evidence of tribal enmity in Libya that could support the colonel's claim that the revolt is a tribal war of those from the east against those in the west.

What if the country fell back to its pre-Gaddafi iteration of tribal distrust and infighting - and what if one side, in what could become a prolonged conflict, has been armed by the West? We could hardly be surprised if in such a stalemate , the underdog was drawn to or co-opted by al-Qaeda or its ilk.

The War On Libya has only just begun, is barely a few days old in fact, but already the 'coalition of support' is said to be crumbling,

AntiWar's Justin Raimondo :

Barely 24 hours after the first Allied air strikes, President Obama’s high-flying Libyan adventure is losing altitude. The smoke hadn’t cleared from the first air strikes when the head of the Arab League complained that “what happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives. What we want is civilians’ protection, not shelling more civilians.” Russia and China, who abstained at the Security Council, are already getting restless.

There’s trouble on the horizon.