Libya — ’yet one more battleground between the U.S. and China’
In their [Charlie] Sheen-style hysteria — with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton desperately offering “any kind of assistance” — Western politicians did not bother to consult with the people who are risking their lives to overthrow Gaddafi. At a press conference in Benghazi, the spokesman for the brand new Libyan National Transitional Council, human-rights lawyer Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, was blunt. "We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs . . . This revolution will be completed by our people."
This tsunami of hypocrisy inevitably raises the question; what does the West know about the Arab world anyway? Recently the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised a certain northern African country for its “ambitious reform agenda” and its “strong macroeconomic performance and the progress on enhancing the role of the private sector.” The country was Libya. The IMF had only forgotten to talk to the main actors: the Libyan people.
Once again; it’s the oil, stupid. A crucial strategic factor for Washington is that post-Gaddafi Libya may represent a bonanza for U.S. Big Oil — which for the moment has been kept away from Libya. Under this perspective, Libya may be considered as yet one more battleground between the U.S. and China. But while China goes for energy and business deals in Africa, the U.S. bets on its forces in AFRICOM as well as NATO advancing “military cooperation” with the African Union.
The anti-Gaddafi movement must remain on maximum alert. It’s fair to argue the absolute majority of Libyans are using all their resourcefulness and are wiling to undergo any sacrifice to build a united, transparent, and democratic country. And they will do it on their own.