America’s Frenemies


by lizard

In the world most of us inhabit, rarely does one go from shaking hands with a person to actively advocating for their extrajudicial murder on television. In DC, however, that is exactly what John McCain did after returning from Libya with fellow snakes Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.

The clip above just doesn’t do the hypocrisy of this bullshit humanitarian war against Libya justice, especially after reports that NATO strikes have produced some familial casualties.

An apparent attempt to kill Colonel Muammar Gaddafi failed late last night when the Libyan leader escaped unharmed from a reported direct hit by a Nato air strike on his youngest son’s house. However, his son Saif and three of his grandchildren were killed, according to a government spokesman.

Sadly, the head of the snake has not yet been decapitated, like America’s Frenemy Saddam. But I’m sure McCain won’t lose any sleep knowing a few of the snake’s alleged progeny have been dispatched from this world.

The real snakes, though, are slithering around our capitol, discussing the real reasons for this little intervention, like countering China’s expanding interest in African energy, disrupting the “virus” (according to McCain) known more generally as the Arab Spring, and maybe, just maybe, a multi-billion dollar money grab.

The objective of the war against Libya is not just its oil reserves (now estimated at 60 billion barrels), which are the greatest in Africa and whose extraction costs are among the lowest in the world, nor the natural gas reserves of which are estimated at about 1,500 billion cubic meters. In the crosshairs of “willing” of the operation “Unified Protector” there are sovereign wealth funds, capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages sovereign wealth funds estimated at about $70 billion U.S., rising to more than $150 billion if you include foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies. But it might be more. Even if they are lower than those of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, Libyan sovereign wealth funds have been characterized by their rapid growth. When LIA was established in 2006, it had $40 billion at its disposal. In just five years, LIA has invested over one hundred companies in North Africa, Asia, Europe, the U.S. and South America: holding, banking, real estate, industries, oil companies and others.

In Italy, the main Libyan investments are those in UniCredit Bank (of which LIA and the Libyan Central Bank hold 7.5 percent), Finmeccanica (2 percent) and ENI (1 percent), these and other investments (including 7.5 percent of the Juventus Football Club) have a significance not as much economically (they amount to some $5.4 billion) as politically.

Libya, after Washington removed it from the blacklist of “rogue states,” has sought to carve out a space at the international level focusing on “diplomacy of sovereign wealth funds.” Once the U.S. and the EU lifted the embargo in 2004 and the big oil companies returned to the country, Tripoli was able to maintain a trade surplus of about $30 billion per year which was used largely to make foreign investments. The management of sovereign funds has however created a new mechanism of power and corruption in the hands of ministers and senior officials, which probably in part escaped the control of the Gadhafi himself: This is confirmed by the fact that, in 2009, he proposed that the 30 billion in oil revenues go “directly to the Libyan people.” This aggravated the fractures within the Libyan government.

In the long run, it doesn’t pay to be a Frenemy of America, especially if you’re not a part of the nuke club. You never know when some western funded/hyped/co-opted opposition groups may start trouble, hopefully inciting stupid police state repression tactics that result in good images of unrest. Then the corporate media can trumpet the propaganda and help launch another hegemonic assault packaged for public consumption as saving civilians. I mean, the good civilians, not grandchildren snakes slithering around Papa snake. Their deaths don’t matter.


  1. mr benson

    I’m pretty sure the commander in chief, the guy who won the election, isn’t John McCain. Your outrage against McCain is laugh out loud-able. You got everything Acorn and SEIU could bring you, remember?

    Hope you like the change.

    • lizard19

      you are right, i really should be focusing on Obama, because i haven’t criticized his handling of this “intervention” at all.

  2. Ingemar Johansson

    Someone should revisit history. To subdue the snake you have to kill a family member while posing for a greater threat.

    Like Reagan.

    Community organizers need not apply.

  3. First – Gaddafi is absolutely a legitimate target. “Extrajudicial murder” is not language that makes any sense in the context of a war. And given his loud proclamations that he isn’t head of the country, he is merely a colonel in control of the revolution, he is ultimately a command and control target. And lets not forget that the entire point of targeting CC infrastructure is to reduce overall casualties.

    Second – though legitimate, the decision to target Gaddafi is a terrible one. It raises sympathy for his regime, and hardens his resolve. It commits us to a course of action based on regime change or bust, rather than seeking a ceasefire that could actually protect civilians. I fail to see how this benefits the United States, though it may help out France.

    • lizard19

      do you still seriously think this is all about keeping civilians safe? really? no, seriously, really?

      as for the ceasefire, there was one offered, and the rebels snubbed it. because they’ve got America now backing them up, why negotiate peace?

      wake up, wolf, and smell the hegemony. a “D” beside the name of our current war-mongering executive doesn’t cover the stink of what’s going down in Libya.

      • Oh I totally agree, lizard. But I’m not really looking at this from a human rights perspective – the grand strategy here makes no sense. There is no indication that the rebels are capable of ever subduing the country. That doesn’t spell anything good for the oil flow. If we had effectively split Libya into two administrations, we would have had one (in Benghazi) very friendly to us, and one in Tripoli that was not, but effectively ruled Tripoli and not causing any trouble. Instead, we are inviting instability by trying to replace Gaddafi with a force clearly incapable of succeeding.

        Instead, we are effectively removing the power of Libya, one of the strongest nations in Africa. This doesn’t help us much, but it helps France and Britain’s continued efforts to guide development in Africa. Sure, Libya will most certainly be less productive, but Chad and Darfur (whatever shape it takes) will be more likely to gravitate towards Europe rather than the ‘anti-colonial’ rulers like Mugabe or Omar al-Bashir. Europe is leading this effort, and we’re along for the ride.

  4. If only this will be the last time We the People assist in the de-seating of a drunk behind the wheel, liz.

    Public opinion drives leaders of democracies to act so much more now in the Twitter age; witness the White House correspondent’s gala firming that reality with extreme prejudice. Look at Schweitzer’s collapse on the MM dealio.

    We have more power to affect change from the grassroots now than from any time in the past. Let’s embrace and protect the Peoples’ Defense Against the Dark Arts from the Kochs and Carlyle Groups of the world.

    Abandon red state failure, Montana. Vote Wanzenried.

  5. groucho

    Isn’t this supposed to be a news blog? Shouldn’t you be talking about Obama’s bogus birth certificate or the royal wedding or something like that? And I hope I didn’t infer that you were calling the democratic principles of some of our most patriotic civil servants into question.

    Lizard, forgive my lack of wit today. I wanted to let you know Ed Lahey passed away. For those of us who knew him and/or his poetry, we called ourselves blessed. Ed was an extraordinary poet, who believed war and capital punishment are morally wrong. For those who haven’t encountered Ed’s work, check it out.

    “He knew perfection could
    conceal the wound
    beneath the arc of his art.
    I liked him for that.”

    Cheers, Blackbirds, write on.

  6. so long ed. it’s been good to know ya…..

    Ed Lahey-

    Old Butte Rat

    I will not end up like the beggar
    with the sign that reads “Need Food,” even though,
    of course, honesty may be everything.

    I think a philosopher should have something to talk about,
    a writer something to write about. I have never been able to
    do more than declare I was a chip on the foamy river,
    and on the chip. Hey, I say, I’m still afloat.

    Rumi wrote, “Beyond ideas of wrong doing,
    beyond ideas of right doing,
    there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

    I wonder who might bring bread? That’s what I wonder.
    Why a field? I’ll meet ya in the alley I say. Of course, I am
    from Butte, not Silky Persia or Smooth Move, Amerika.

    Still. It is the Indian Paint Brush Flowers
    and Bear Grass that get to me, as I fork through the sausage
    of current affairs, remembering the sacred little mining
    operations of the past.

    It is also the sky without contrail.
    To gaze at the heavens now is to peer through
    a shattered windshield,
    cracked up by lawless noisy aircraft.

    Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of blue…

  7. kathleen

    My comment seems to have disappeared as I tried to send …
    Forgive if this is a repeat.
    On Ed Lahey —

    Anyone who loves great writing, Montana and poetry can feed all 3 with Lahey’s “Birds of a Feather,” the 2005 complete poems collection published by Clark City Press, Russell Chatham’s publishing house.

    Ed was a good friend, a rare talent, a Montana treasure, a great poet.
    He passed away April 27 after having a rough go of it this past year.

    Luckily, Ed and I were blessed with a good, sweet (oatmeal raisin cookies) visit recently.

    Lesson learned over and over and over: Reach out, make contact when the thought of someone bubbles to the surface. Future is so uncertain.

    Ed always found it a bit surprising how much I appreciated his “Bring Me a Comb for My Hair” poem. Perhaps he felt it wasn’t substantial enough, given the vivid images in his earlier works set in the Butte mining realities.
    But, really, what subject could be more substantial than the impending death of one’s loved one and the unique relationship between the 2 people.

    Ed and his poetry have seen me through my own rough times as well as joys.
    Please check him out.

    Ed has been repeatedly introduced and mentioned as Montana’s de facto poet laureate.
    Well-deserved.

    He is missed and we are so thankful for Ed’s published works!
    I’m personally thankful for our years of friendship.




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