Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Libya Connection

Diplomatic relations have been reestablished between this country and Libya. This is due in large part to the fact that Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi [other possible spellings], who has run the country since 1969 (military coup…what else?), decided to throw in the towel in 2003 vis-à-vis the race for nuclear weapons, probably having seen what was happening in Iraq and deciding it would be better to join the USA than fight it. Also, the Libyan government in 2003 finally got around to paying the survivors of those killed in the crash in Scotland of PanAm #103 in 1988 (triggered by terrorist operatives from Libya), thus making instant multimillionaires out of them. Gaddafi’s government also agreed in 2003 to pay compensation to the survivors of those killed in a flight over Niger in 1989 as the result of the work of Libyan agents.

The move is a wise one for this country, strategically and economically. According to Mbendi, a South African news organization located in Capetown, Libya has proven reserves of 29.5 billion barrels of oil and a production capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day. Italy, Germany, Spain and France account for 74% of Libya’s exports. Libya also has the problem of needing new technology to get its oil out of the ground – technology already used in this country. The Libyan economy is based on oil, the manipulation of which accounts for 75-90 percent of its state revenues. Particularly at this time of highway robbery in the oil market, allowing U.S. corporations to enter the country and do what’s necessary, thereby helping both countries immensely, makes good sense, especially since the eco-freaks in this country delay every homegrown opportunity to produce more oil by scaring the bejabbers out of the population (and a constantly freaked-out Congress) with the scare tactics associated with “killing the world.”

In addition to the oil factor, there is the matter of friendly terms with a nation situated perfectly vis-à-vis national security for both this country and Libya. Located directly across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy and about halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Suez Canal, Tripoli, the Libyan capital, is the ideal calling station for U.S. Naval ships. Other Libyan seaports could also be an important factor. In time, there may be an opportunity, if deemed important enough, for establishing air bases, though Gaddafi probably thinks most days about the time President Reagan had his palace bombed with the intention of getting rid of the man. This was in answer to various terrorist activities carried out by Gaddafi, and in particular for an attack by Libyan planes on American naval forces in international waters in 1981. There were other attacks by Libya on American forces, as well…sort of like the “Barbary pirates” affair that was short-circuited by President Jefferson in 1803-05, when he raised a navy that tore up the pirates’ dollhouse and prepared an army that was ready also to invade North Africa with troops.

This is also important with regard to the other nations in the Mediterranean/Middle East area that are watching Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. These include the other North African nations, such as Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, as well as Turkey, Greece, and Lebanon, all within striking distance of Iran, an announced nuclear wannabe and whose president has vowed to erase Israel entirely. Could anyone believe this madman would actually stop with Israel? Saudi Arabia finances terrorism routinely and Syria probably is in possession of Saddam’s WMD. Libya abuts Sudan, where the extremist Muslim government there has been participating in genocide in South-Sudan and the Darfur region for years. So…whether their governments express it or not, the people in these countries – Moslems all, at least nearly – should be happy to see a stabilizing presence like the United States in their pond. They will express their hatred of this country openly (as all good Moslems must do), but be thankful inwardly. They will also look at what’s happened in Afghanistan and Iraq and realize that “holy war” will be answered with hellish results produced by a nation in which life is considered sacred and the slaughtering of innocents intolerable.

Sadly, this reestablishment had hardly been announced on the 15th before NPR had located someone (probably one of the new millionaires) affected by the Lockerbie, Scotland, crash to appear on its All Things Considered late-afternoon news program to vent his rage nearly 18 years after the fact because Gaddafi hadn’t formally apologized for the crash, as if that would change anything. This bit of media-foolishness has been in operation with respect to the survivors (many of them also instant millionaires, courtesy of the U.S. government) of the 9/11 victims every time that subject has been broached, such as about every day during the Moussaoui hearings recently concluded. Much, if not most, of the time, they vent against the administration for allowing 9/11 to happen, notwithstanding the fact that Bush had been in office less than nine months and that the Attorney General’s office during the Clinton administration had effectively gutted any connection the FBI might have had with the CIA, thus perhaps leading to the culprits before the fact.

This is not to say that these folks are not entitled to their outrage…they certainly are. But, everyone has to move on, and the constant carping, especially in light of this government’s determined stand to set things as right as possible, has now become unseemly. Almost as many Americans have been killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq actions as were killed on 9/11, but there isn’t a constant stream of their survivors paraded on camera and/or in print every day to exhibit outrage. They are seen, certainly, but nearly always as supportive of the country, even though their lost ones died as a result of choice to serve and take risk rather than by accident, i.e., simply being in the right place at the wrong time.

It is to be hoped that the constant whining and caterwauling by a media that is openly and consistently hostile to the administration will be accorded the heed it deserves – none. All the propagandists in both the media and the democrat party should be put on notice that the nation’s security comes first, even at some sacrifice. Actually, this notice has been given, the polls showing that two-thirds of the population approves of the latest-exposed surveillance plans put in operation in 2001 and that 51% approve of the president’s overall handling of terrorist surveillance. Even Congress realized this in its renewing of the Patriot Act a few months ago. Notwithstanding all the grandstanding that may take place over the Libya connection, let the nation move on and profit from that link to a former enemy.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark.

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