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Who Loses In Libya?

Today the Telegraph reports that Chinese officials are scrambling to protect their business interests in Libya after rebel leaders suggested that they could give a cold shoulder to countries that didn’t help the revolution. The Telegraph quotes an official at the Libyan oil firm Agoco as saying “We don’t have a problem with western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.”

With political power seemingly within reach for the Libyan National Transition Council, it will be interesting to see whether countries that assisted in the revolution (or jumped on the bandwagon earlier rather than later) will win lucrative contracts.

This applies within NATO countries as well. Italy, readers of this blog might remember, was late in offering support for the revolution. Berlusconi was the first to suggest a political solution that would allow Qaddafi to remain in power. France, on the other hand, jumped right on the rebel bandwagon. The Italians, with historical colonial ties to Libya, quickly viewed the revolution as a threat to their oil and other business interests. The French, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to supplant themselves at Italy’s expense. Total, the French oil company, could end up winning new contracts with Libyan companies over their Italian competitors.

Money, however, talks, and it is likely that the ruffled feathers and wounded dignity of Libya’s officials can be smoothed and soothed by traditional methods.  China and Italy will no doubt do their best.

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  • WigWag

    Who loses in Libya? It seems to me that the right answer is “the entire world” except the Libyan people themselves.

    Watching what happened in Libya is sure to convince the Iranian Mullahs that the only way to exempt themselves from foreign imposed regime change is to massively accelerate their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

    Once Iran obtains nuclear weapons, how long will it be before Saudi Arabia and Egypt do the same? With the Shia and the Sunnis each having their own nuclear arsenal, how long will it be before Shia terrorist groups like Hezbollah obtain nuclear know-how, fissionable material or even a bomb? How long will it be before Sunni terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda obtain the same from the Saudis or Egyptians?

    The overthrow of Gadaffi, who gave up his nuclear arsenal provides a massive incentive for regimes to never give up their nuclear weapons. Even worse, it provides a massive incentive for unpopular regimes to obtain their own nuclear arsenals.

    This will make the world a far less safe place. When a Hiroshima-sized bomb explodes somewhere after being stolen by terrorists, maybe then, the world will realize that eliminating Gadaffi was not quite as good an idea as it appeared at first blush.

  • Jim.

    Could it be, that Western Europe is once again playing the game to win?

    Wouldn’t that be an interesting change. One wonders if the US will follow suit, or if that will take until January 2013.

  • PetraMB

    Well, but what about Nato-member Turkey??? Am I wrong to remember that they have rather large business interests in Libya, and that they were for quite some time opposed to the Nato campaign?

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