Category Archives: Libya

>Because Our Other Wars Are Going So Well

>I can’t pretend to speak knowledgeably about what’s happening in Libya right now. I just know when I hear we’re dropping milion-dollar bombs on a poor country while our infrastructure crumbles and we tell teachers and kids they must sacrifice so we can give millionaires tax cuts… well, something has gone horribly wrong.

I know lots of liberals on The Twittah say this is the right thing to do. I heard Howard Dean on Thom Hartmann’s show last week say we couldn’t sit by and let those fighting for democracy get slaughtered by Qaddafi. But of course we are standing by while those fighting for democracy in Yemen and Bahrain are slaughtered by their regimes, so there goes that claim.

All of this just seems so media-created. It’s hard not to watch the breathless coverage of bombs bursting in air and the ghastly-green night-vision images and not remember the media’s wicked stiffy for carnage in Iraq. It’s a sickness, and I don’t have the cure.

One of the best things I’ve read on Libya is at Pastor Shuck’s place. This is yet another oil war, he says, another burp after our global petroleum feast. The pantry is about empty but instead of using what time and resources we have left to grow new food, we decide to bully anyone else who comes near the pantry door.

This, in the same week that Japan suffers a nuclear meltdown, while a 100-mile long oil slick has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Oh great diviner Pat Robertson, what could the Almighty be trying to tell us? Pray tell, what?

I’m just tired of it, I really am. Is our default solution for every problem to drop bombs? (And by “our” I mean the West, not just America.) Call me a tree-hugging DFH spouting crazy liberal stuff like “war is not the answer,” I’m just feeling like we’re in a tailspin and I’d rather we devote our energy to getting off the oil tit. Three trillion dollars wasted in Iraq would have been more than enough money to put a solar panel on every roof in America, upgrade the electrical grid, and put an electric car and charger in every garage.

I mean, I know that’s not the final answer but it would have been a start, and for crying out loud we have to start somewhere. Maybe someday we’ll have the hydrogen fuel cell thing figured out, or we’ll be masters of efficiency, hell maybe we’ll have figured out a way around the Laws of Thermodynamics. The point is, we don’t need to have the entire puzzle figured out to start putting the first pieces together.

We have to start somewhere. We have to make those first steps. Fighting wars to preserve a dying industry and a doomed way of life just strikes me as the kind of thing kids will read about 100 years from now and wonder, “Gee how could they have been so stupid?”

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Filed under alternative energy, Libya, peak oil, war economy

>Is There Anything We Won’t Do For Oil?

>Turns out it wasn’t humanitarian, compassionate reasons that prompted the British government to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

It was oil:

Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.

The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.

The correspondence makes it plain that the key decision to include Megrahi in a deal with Libya to allow prisoners to return home was, in fact, taken in London for British national interests.

[…]

The exploration deal for oil and gas, potentially worth up to £15 billion, was announced in May 2007. Six months later the agreement was still waiting to be ratified.

On December 19, 2007, Straw wrote to MacAskill announcing that the UK government was abandoning its attempt to exclude Megrahi from the prisoner transfer agreement, citing the national interest.

[…]

Within six weeks of the government climbdown, Libya had ratified the BP deal. The prisoner transfer agreement was finalised in May this year, leading to Libya formally applying for Megrahi to be transferred to its custody.

For those who haven’t been following this story:

On Aug. 20, 2009, the Scottish government released him on compassionate grounds, saying that medical evidence showed he would die within months of prostate cancer. Mr. Megrahi, who served 8 years of a 27-year minimum sentence, was flown to Tripoli, Libya, and welcomed home as a hero, setting off angry protests in Britain and the United States.

I’m wondering just what, if anything, the West won’t do for oil.

We invade countries that were not a threat to us, killing tens of thousands of civillians.

We lie to our own people.

We poison our air and land and threaten the future of the entire globe.

We torture and indefinitely imprison people who, if they didn’t hate us before, surely do now.

And we release a convicted terrorist, who killed 270 people, to a hero’s homecomning.

It seems to me that oil is a pernicious thing, bringing us so much wealth and such a high standard of living over the past 50 years. But at what cost?

I ask you this: What good will it be for a man to gain the whole world, if he loses his soul? What price have we placed on our souls?

Is this it? Easy living, big cars, cheap food, big houses, nice clothes? Are we bought so cheap, then?

Surely the devil is laughing.

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Filed under Libya, oil, terrorism, UK