Middle East Intervention Is More About Oil Than Democracy

Middle East Intervention Is More About Oil Than Democracy

I don’t know if the Middle East will ever have a type of democracy that resembles ours, but it isn’t for the lack of trying. Protests are sweeping across a region that has never exactly been the model of stability and despotic leaders are scrambling to maintain their grip on power. The region has always been one of contradiction when it comes to human and/or equal rights because of their tribal culture. But, we certainly understand the desires of people wanting to be free from the oppressive whims of maniacal despots and/or constitutional monarchs. Still, when everything is said and done, will forced change to existing power structures of the region result in any significant changes of attitudes? Now, that is something I am not so sure of. The Allied Coalition would probably like to have us believe that this intervention is about Democracy, but isn’t it really about the oil?

Libya, for the most part, is easy pickings right now. For the Libyans, well, they have tired of Moammar Gadhafi and have been emboldened by the pro-democracy movements in the region, particularly in the neighboring countries of Tunisia and Algeria. As for the coalition, well, this is a good time to use their uprising, as a cause célèbre.

Sure, there is an element of humanitarianism, but I also believe that they would like to have a helping hand in installing a more favorable leader in a country that has vast reserves of oil, considering much of it is still untapped. Libya has a lot of upside for the West when it comes to oil as opposed to, say a Saudi Arabia which has a rapidly dwindling reserve.

I have to wonder that if there were a popular uprising in Saudi Arabia, would there be an eager coalition to quell a civil war in that sovereign nation? Well, given the coziness of the Allies with the Royal Family, I highly doubt if they would raise an eyebrow if “similar retaliations against insurgents” would illicit the same response seen in Libya.

So what is this really about anyhow? It is about Gadhafi! Not only is he despised, but he hasn’t been a willing partner of the Western World nor has he played nice. Don’t get me wrong here, I do not condone Gadhafi’s treatment of his people or his fondness for supporting terrorism around the world. But what makes him different than some other despots in the region?

Saudi Arabia, for instance, is our ally but have they not covertly supported terrorism or attempted to spread their Wahhabism and hate for the Infidals? Wahhabism, for those who are unfamiliar is a form of Sunni which Muslims themselves consider extremist and/or heretical. What good is an ally that preaches hate for the West? Still,
the coalition would never go after them like they have gone after Moammar Gadhafi.

Democracy makes for a good story line in the media, but what is forgotten is that Western Democracy is rooted in the rule of law, which at least in theory, protects all its citizens on an equal basis. Will our type of governance ever be adaptable with Islam? Perhaps in some shape or form, but it won’t be Jeffersonian, that is for sure.

Middle East society and culture has always been shaped by a tribal system where loyalties are predetermined by birth into a particular sect or clan. Individual freedoms and gender equality stand in direct conflict with what we view as a democratic society.

As I see it Democracy is the the furthest thing from reality in this conflict.

Too bad American refineries aren’t set up to use Libyan Oil.


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  • The Middle East would hardly rank as a "vital interest" for the U.S. if it was not a primary source of oil. When the oil spigot was (and still is mostly) controlled by kings and dictators over whom we have some degree of control, the Middle East was a potential hot spot. Now it's a hot spot. If our tyrant buddies all get ousted, what's going to happen to the flow of oil? Who are the crowds of people demanding tyrant-ouster and democracy? What do they mean by democracy? (See my post in The Spectator and guest-posted in Chicago Political Commentary). Will we support them and hope they keep the oil spigot open? If so, who and what would we be supporting? In the end, wouldn't they have to keep the oil flowing if they want those oil revenues? We apparently don't know.

    It is not a secret that the Pentagon, etc., has contingency plans that include putting a military force into Saudi Arabia if the House of Saud should fall and oil flow is threatened.

    Qadaffi has been a burr under the saddle for us and Europe for decades. We'd love to get rid of him. But, who are those "freedom fighters" we are supporting? Who are they, what do they represent, what might they do of they gained power in Libya?

  • In reply to jimbreeling:

    I am still trying to figure out who the "who" is - maybe the French and Brits know since they were so eager to enter Libya with or without NATO support; maybe we need to refer back to the Wiki Leaks communications of the Crown Prince?

  • In reply to maciric:

    On the French and Brits, I did happen to pick up the Meet the Press (rerun on Channel 5.2) where Gibbs said that Libya was not a U.S. strategic interest, and they had not attacked us, and Hillary was quick to say that it was a French and Brit vital interest, and, after all, they helped us with Afghanistan when they weren't attacked. However, Hillary didn't mention why the French didn't help with Iraq, how Libya is of interest to the French, and or explain why they are in the lead in Libya, but somehow we are doing most of the work. Maybe the President will explain tonight, but his advisers don't seem to be on the same page.

    As far as oil, I don't claim to know what all is the U.S. plan. All I know that after this unrest started, it went up about $25 a barrel, and gas went up maybe a dollar a gallon. In Saudi Arabia, like Bahrain, apparently the crown has enough money to pay off the masses and quell further unrest.

  • In reply to jack:

    The President and his advisers have looked utterly lost since Egypt so I guess it doesn't surprise me. These Baby Boomers of privilege have never served and seem to believe that altruism is foreign policy. I do know this much, the French are hellbent on reestablishing a presence in North Africa and while Libya was not part of their colonial empire they sure have had many business dealings with Gadhafi prior to the uprising. Then again they have sold arms to our enemies for quite awhile and that would explain why they didn't want to engage in Iraq since many caches of arms bearing "Made in France" were found after the invasion.

    That is exactly why I don't trust them either.

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