Libya War: Gaddafi Falls ... But Why Did We Invade In The First Place? → Washingtons Blog
Libya War: Gaddafi Falls ... But Why Did We Invade In The First Place? - Washingtons Blog

Monday, August 22, 2011

Libya War: Gaddafi Falls ... But Why Did We Invade In The First Place?

Now that the Libyan "rebels" have taken Tripoli, and Gaddafi's days are quickly ending, it's time to take stock about the meaning behind the war, and why we're really there.

A War For Oil and Gold?

Initially, many say that the Libyan war is really about .oil. If Libya didn't have large oil reserves, we wouldn't be there.

And the Independent ... noted in April that one of the main movers and shakers for the Iraq oil shenanigans has been mucking around in Libya as well:

Lady Symons, 59, later took up an advisory post with a UK merchant bank that cashed in on post-war Iraq reconstruction contracts. Last month she severed links as an unpaid adviser to Libya's National Economic Development Board after Colonel Gaddafi started firing on protesters ...

In 2009, Gaddafi proposed nationalizing Libya's oil reserve. As Reuters reported at the time:

Hundreds of thousands of Libyans gathered on Wednesday to discuss the proposal by their leader Muammar Gaddafi to disband the government and allow the country's oil wealth to flow straight to the people.

"Libyans, this is your historic opportunity to take over your oil wealth, power and full freedom. Why do you want to let the chance slip away from you?"

Nationalization of a country's resources is often a cause for invasion. For example, Guatemala's nationalization of it's fruit processing facilities led to a U.S.-sponsored coup.

(Incidentally, prior to the invasion, Libya had the highest level of well-being, the best economic policies for the quality of life, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy of any country in Africa, according to the UN's Human Development Index.)

Libya also has 143.8 tons of gold ... and some speculate that is the real reason for the invasion.

Of course, most Americans strongly opposed invasion of Libya or other Arab countries - but that is only because they didn't see the value of spilling our sons' and daughters' blood to secure oil and gold.

And the Arab states themselves were not motivated to take down Gaddafi, leading to accusations that this is Western colonialism and imperialism. (And some of the other Arab states have large oil reserves as well, and so aren't as keen to obtain Libya's stash).

We are certainly not "liberating" Libya for democracy or even to stop violence. As I noted in March:

Obama is ... aiding the Libyan "rebels", even though there are allegations that 1,000 of them are Al Qaeda radicals (and there are some indications that their leader is a CIA asset).

Libyan War Planned Right After 9/11 ... Or Before

Toppling Gaddafi was planned right after 9/11, or perhaps even before.

As American reporter Gareth Porter reported in 2008:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders.
Feith's book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states...
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].
When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."
The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage or destroy" their military capacities - not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD)...
Rumsfeld's paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld's proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden.
Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a "small price to pay for being a superpower".
General Clark added some details in 2007:

I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you’re too busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September.


So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it’s worse than that." He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got this down from upstairs" — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."
Obama is simply carrying out the Neocons' war plans created right after 9/11 ... if not before.

Challenging The Supremacy of the Dollar and Western Banks

Ellen Brown argues in the Asia Times that there were even deeper reasons for the war than gold, oil or middle eastern regime change.

Brown argues that Libya - like Iraq under Hussein - challenged the supremacy of the dollar and the Western banks:

Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers' central bank in Switzerland.

The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on, noted that "[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar."

According to a Russian article titled "Bombing of Libya - Punishment for Ghaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar", Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency.


And that brings us back to the puzzle of the Libyan central bank. In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:

One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned ... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.
Granted, the Federal Reserve provided billions in loans to Gaddafi not too long ago.

But in this 1984 world, we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Postscript: I have no love for Gaddafi, just like I hated Saddam Hussein, who was a ruthless dictator. I am simply pointing out that the stated reasons for the Libyan war - just like the Iraq war - were false.


  1. "I am simply pointing out that the stated reasons for the Libyan war - just like the Iraq war - were false." - Indeed. As Sun Tzu noted many a year ago: "All war is deception."

    Not too mention Major General Smedley Butlers' powerful 'War is A racket'; (

    As well as Aeschylus' wise old words: "In war, truth is the first casualty."

    But some would argue that these days it's actually journalism which takes the first hit: (

    When will our leaders realise that; "War is the symptom, not the disease." - L.M. Heroux.

  2. Beautiful journalism, like usual. It was me who wrote the email asking for you to remark and write on the Libya campaign. I'm glad it was read and you acted upon it. Thank you! Great work! You definitely gave some clarification!

  3. The situation is well explained by one vestigial interpretation of Darwinian theories of "survival of the fittest".

    That interpretation led to "social Darwinism", which on national scales equates to imperialism, i.e. survival of the shit kicker cowboys.

    The oil wars are one unavoidable manifestation of that.

    Rummy, who you mention as a mover and shaker in the recent decade's imperialistic manifestations of it, and the rest of those who emotionally subscribe to that interpretation, are all very well "aware" that the nation which controls the oil is the "fittest".

    The problem is that it is short sighted and even suicidal, ecocidal.

    That is because the oil is a finite resource.

    Thus, the imperialist civilization will still be around with its need for oil when there isn't any more oil, even assuming one civilization "wins" the oil wars, be it eastern or western civilization.

    They have kicked over the traces by being pig headed and stubborn, and have gone off into criminal insanity.

    Neither the western nor the eastern civilizations are going down without a fight over oil and other resources, so the pig headed "foreign policy" of oil domination will lead to nuclear conflict when the full blindness of full desperation sets in.

    Of course it is mysterious how supposedly sane looking folks could allow this to happen, but looks can be deceiving.

    They are stone fricking insane, but since it is very, very complicated to treat such a disease, successful treatment won't happen.

    That is because, at this point in history, we are incompetent or not yet sufficiently aware of the causes of this sickness.

    The only viable hope in all of this, IMO, is that there will be more intelligent survivors for the next civilization that hopefully follows.

  4. I weep for Libya if the citizenry is as naive as Juan Cole seems to be in this article Paragraph 5 is a heartbreaker. People need to be aware of the global elites' methods and understand the backlash waiting for them if they become a credible threat to the elites' interests.

  5. I agree about a lot of things written in this website, but this whole idea about Libya being one of the happiest places before the "invasion" (what invasion?) is pure non-sense..
    People starting revolting on their own because of what was going on in Egypt, Syria, etc.. not because of some "Pentagon" plan.
    Ghadaffi enjoyed a very cozy relationship with Italy and Britain (and by default the US) right before the revolution. Why don't you conveniently mention that in your "article"?

    The reasons for the revolution were obvious: Gadaffi is a corrupt dictator who has been enriching himself and his family at the expense of the entire nation for decades, just like our old Egyptian ally Mubarak.
    Let me guess.. the revolution in Egypt was also planned by the Pentagon, right?

    The idea that Gadaffi was going to nationalize the oil industry and share it with the people is just idiotic.
    Please stop trying to see silly conspiracies everywhere you look.

    It is silly articles like this one that take this website's credibility away.

  6. Juan Cole is NOT naive. Like Obama, he cut his political teeth by SEEMING to oppose the Iraq war, and like Obama, he has revealed his true nature as a hawk.

  7. It is a shame that President Obama is just a puppet of the neocon/military plan developed by President Bush and his cohorts. But it is good that we did not join an invading force with ground troops but just bombed an existing government into submission. A good precedent. We should bomb to oblivion any government led by a dictator who doesn't aggressively suppress armed rebellion or civilian demonstrations.


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