Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive - by Stephen Lendman
Trapped for days in Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arranged for the release of over 30 foreign journalists yesterday.
They're now at the Corinthia Hotel, awaiting a boat for transport to Malta, then home via Europe that can't arrive until fighting subsides. Given the chaos and violence, it could be a while.
Among them are heroic independent journalists, unable to report vital truths on the ground. For now, only their safe passage home matters, but what they witnessed firsthand will be sorely missed.
As a result, it'll be much harder to know what's ongoing. Rest assured, this writer and others will report what's known as fully and accurately as possible to keep the freedom flame for all Libyans alive.
They deserve no less in light of what NATO has in mind, including carving up the Libya corpse for profit.
In fact, scrambling for its oil began began last April when Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said energy giant ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni had talks with Transitional National Council (TNC) officials "to restart cooperation in the energy sector and get going again the collaboration with Italy in the oil sector."
In June, the Washington Post said ConocoPhillips, other US oil giants, and related companies also held talks with TNC officials. Engineering firm Quantum Reservoir Impact CEO Nansen Saleri said:
"Now you can figure out who's going to win, and the name is not Gaddafi. Certain things about the mosaic are taking shape. The Western companies are positioning themselves. Five years from now, Libyan production is going to be higher than right now and investments are going to come in." Or so he hopes.
Though accounting for only 2% of world production, Libya is Africa's most oil rich state. Moreover, its high quality is especially valued, and reports suggest vast reserves yet to be explored.
On August 22, New York Times writer Clifford Krauss headlined, "The Scramble for Access to Libya's Oil Wealth Begins," saying:
The fighting hasn't ended, "but the scramble to secure access to Libya's oil wealth has already begun."
In fact, vultures began circling months earlier, believing Libya's corpse was only a matter of time. Perhaps so. Perhaps not. Despite all the hoopla, the jury is very much out.
Nonetheless, besides ENI and ConocoPhillips, other companies wanting back in include Britain's BP, France's Total, Spain's Repsol YPF, Austria's OMV, America's Hess, Marathon, perhaps ExxonMobil, and others.
Excluded will be Russia, Brazil, and especially China on orders from Washington, calling the shots absent Gaddafi, at least for now.
Moreover, the Obama administration and NATO partners prepared a detailed plan for Libya without him, including a United Arab Emirates-supported occupation force, supplemented perhaps by UN Blue Helmets.