What if the US invades Libya?March 12, 2011
Who would have thought that a country like Libya who was a geopolitical Terra Nullius for the past 40 years, would become at the very centre of international debates and strategies? Libya is a very ancient civilization which enjoys a strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, rich with its generous oil reserves. Yet, Kaddafi erased Libya from the maps since 1969 with two decades of isolation, embargo, dictatorship, absence from the Union from the Mediterranean, and caricatural political positions.
If we learnt something since January from the Arab turmoil, it would be that no matter how logical and accurate you keep your analysis it cannot be applied to the Arab world, and I am using the constructed term ‘’the Arab World’’ consciously because I believe in the rise of a neo-panarabism in the region. So if we follow the illogical and unexpected series of events, we can imagine everything including a US invasion of Libya: ‘’Surprise! Surprise!’’
People familiar with international relations would understand that severe violations of human rights and crime against humanity can justify interference in the internal issues of a sovereign country according to the UN doctrine, and Mr. Kaddafy who is raiding and bombarding massively his population in front of international cameras has given all justifications for a military invasion of Tripoli. And any person, who was following the events during the past 10 years, would deduce that it took less than that for the US to invade Iraq and Afghanistan! But we all know that no country will engage in warfare out of charity and compassion, unless it has some interests to defend, and the US real-politics machine seems to have several interests in Kaddafiland:
– Saharian Africa and Al Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb: With the conflicts in Sudan which the US is having a hard time controlling with the presence of the French in the Tchad-Darfur situation and the Chinese domination over the economy and the oil companies, and with the annoying presence of Al Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb in Saharian Africa, the US will have a on-field control over the situation if it get stationed in Libya which is well in the centre of all this, and maybe the King of Kings of Africa Muamar Kaddafi will leave his throne to the Afro-American King Mr. Obama.
– The Mediterranean: We have the feeling since the end of the Cold War that more or less the European Union is a solo player in the Mediterranean with its neighbourhood policy and newly born Union for the Mediterranean. We don’t need to mention how important is the Mediterranean for international trade, NATO, migration flows, and intercultural dialogue, so we can imagine easily the US wanting a share of the tomatoes, cheese and olive oil Quiche.
– Mashrek and Maghreb: The US has already a hand in Iraq at the eastern edge of the Middle East, and had strong allies in North Africa in the person of the falling dictatorships, so no wonders that in a situation where it would be very problematic to control Egypt directly because of the high political awareness of the populations and the high pressure of international media and Arab lobbies in the west, it would be wiser to target a country which is next door but which has a less significant emotional importance for the rest of the Arab public opinion. If the US invades Libya, it will have eyes and hands East and West and would protect the interests of Israel more closely.
– The Oil benefits: Libya has one of the biggest reserves of oil in the world. Unfortunately its incomes were scattered around following Kaddafi’s fantasies without benefiting directly to the Libyan people. Without focusing too much on the oil factor, it remains an important argument if the US plans any attacks.
As a counter-argument we can mention that the Obama administration is a hardcore Republican, and is too clever to commit such a mistake. We have witnessed that contrarily to Democrats, the Obama regime is more focused on internal issues and giving more weight to intelligence and alternative diplomacy in terms of its foreign policy, rather than military intervention which was the biggest shame of the Bush cabinet. However, 2011 is the year of all surprises and everything remains possible!
If a US invasion to Libya becomes a reality, Kaddafi would have done to the Libyan citizens what is worse than oppression, tyranny, and extermination: ‘’Occupation’’