Italy And Libya

An interesting article at InThese New Times.

Some excerpts:

"...Let’s set the record straight: only a gullible person might think that the current attack on Libya by some NATO member countries could actually be motivated by “humanitarian” concerns. Of course, Gaddafi is a merciless dictator with his enemies, but he’s not any fiercer than most of the dictators in other Arab countries, some of whom have been already overthrown (Ben Ali and Mubarak), while others are still governing and are stoking the flames of war (the autocrats of the Arab Peninsula)..."

"...Barack Obama on 19 March 2011: “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries … The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” Since then, Gaddafi has surely had recourse to planes against the rebels, though the numerous journalists have been unable to document any attacks against civilians. Same story for the allegations of “mass graves”, based on a single picture portraying four or five open tombs in an identifiable cemetery of Tripoli, which was immediately shelved due to its scarce credibility..."

"...Let’s start from the beginning. Before the riots erupted, Italy enjoyed a privileged relationship with Libya. First of all, Italy is Tripoli’s largest trading partner, constituting the main market for Libyan exports and the first exporter to Libya. Italy buys almost 40% of Libya’s exports (its second main buyer, Germany, gets only 10%) while selling to Libya 18,9% of its total imports (the second main seller, China, provides not much more than 10%). Libya’s trade dependence on Italy is strong, but this relationship represents an even greater strategic value for Rome than for Tripoli.

Libya owns the biggest oil reserves (good quality oil) on the whole African continent and is geographically close to Italy, therefore it is naturally Italy’s main, or one of the main, energy supplier. Italian state company ENI extracts from Libya 15% of its total oil production; through the Greenstream pipeline in 2010 Italy received 9,4 billion cubic meters of Libyan gas. ENI’s contracts in Libya are still valid for 30-40 years, and despite Italian behaviour, which we are about to analyze, Tripoli confirmed them on March 17th through the voice of oil minister Shukri Ghanem. Currently Libya grants all contracts for infrastructure building to Italian companies, assuring billions of orders that impact positively on Italy’s employment market. Lastly Libya, which is a relatively rich country thanks to its energy exports (it has the highest per-capita income in Africa), invests in Italy most of its “petrodollars”: currently it is involved in business transactions with ENI, FIAT, Unicredit, Finmeccanica and other companies. A fundamental contribution of capitals in a trend characterized by a lack of liquidity, after the financial crisis of 2008..."

"...Therefore, the real reasons for the intervention are strategic and geopolitical: humanitarianism is just a pretext. On this site, it is possible to glean the real reasons motivating France, the US and Great Britain. Reasons that, after all, are easy to guess. Here, we will dwell on the choices made by the Italian Government..."

"...So Italy arrived at the outbreak of the Libyan crisis as an ally of Tripoli, tied to Libya by the clauses – written down in black and white – of a treaty, stipulated not a hundred years ago but in 2009, and not from a former government but from the incumbent one.

"The Italian attitude, during the last weeks, has been uncertain and embarrassing. At the beginning Berlusconi stated that he didn’t want to “disturb” colonel Gaddafi (February 19th), while his Foreign minister Frattini was haunted by the spectre of an “Islamic emirate in Benghazi” (February 21st). Very soon, though, the riots seemed to overcome the authority of the Jamahiriya and the Italian attitude changed: Frattini inaugurated the hike-up of the alleged victims, announcing 1000 bodies (February 23rd) while Human Rights Watch was still counting a few hundreds; Minister of Defence La Russa (we don’t know by what specific area of expertise) announced the suspension of the Italian-Libyan Friendship Treaty, a totally arbitrary and illegal measure (February 27th)."

"...Whatever will be the outcome of this conflict, Italy has already lost its Libyan campaign. Italian leaders celebrated the 150 years of unity with a glaring about-face towards Libya: a tragicomic new edition of the tragedy of September 8, 1943. This time it won’t be Italy, but its former “friend” Libya’s turn to descend into a long and painful civil war, which could have been ended in a few days without external intrusions."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Mysterious and anonymous comments as well as those laced with cyanide and ad hominen attacks will be deleted. Thank you for your attention, chumps.