Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Robalini on Libya

I just find it so amusing to hear talking heads and mouthpieces on news pretending this is about democracy or helping the Libyan people. Read the Wikileaks cable on Libya and its absolutely Orwellian: the argument that the only way for Libyan people to benefit from their oil is to give MNC oil companies a greater cut (Mo K demanded from the start of his revolution that Libya must receive a majority of all oil profits, although giving oil companies 49 percent doesn't seem like a ripoff to me.) They also must stop demanding key jobs of power go to Libyans so that the decision makers have a vested interest in the country. If you think the neoliberals make legitimate arguments here, then there's no reason to dismiss the GOPs argument that cutting taxes for the rich will actually help the poor. Neoliberalism is just right wing economics instituted internationally in disguise, with the same disastrous results.
Kadaffi also has used Libya's oil wealth to give low interest loans to African nations without the neoliberal strings attached by the IMF. I know Bono in his increasingly pathetic attempt to win a Nobel Peace Prize (Jesus, at least Marty Scorsese kept his dignity with his desperation to win an Oscar) became an apologist for GW Bush and WB/IMF figures supposedly for their concern for people for Africa, but if helping out Africans is the measuring stick for a Peace Prize, nobody has come close to Kadaffi over the last decade thanks to this. Odd this isn't really pointed out at all in the establishment press.

Indeed, the establishment consensus version of reality just ignores all these giant elephants I've just pointed out. This isn't to deny that Mo has his issues or there was legitimate opposition to the Libyan establishment in this battle. But if two of the first things the new Libyan government do is renegotiate all oil contracts to give oil companies a greater cut and stop their loans to fellow African states, can anyone pretend that the overwhelming goal of the US and Europe here was to put in a puppet government? "We are concerned about the lack of democracy and he's a tyrant and blah blah blah" sounds a lot more appealing than "We want to steal from African people."

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