By Patrick O’Connor:
US and Europe weigh up Libyan intervention as oil prices spike
24 February 2011
The Obama administration and its European counterparts are coordinating a more aggressive stance toward Libya, including possible military intervention, in response to fears of an international oil price shock. With Libya’s daily oil output reduced by an estimated 50-60 percent, oil has surged to its highest price in more than two years, at nearly $110 a barrel. Stock markets have fallen in the US, Europe and Asia over fears that further price hikes may trigger inflation and slow economic activity.
The overriding concern of the imperialist powers is to re-establish stability in the North African state and resume the flow of oil exports. The various criticisms levelled by the Western leaders against the Libyan government’s brutal violence are utterly hypocritical—Muammar Gaddafi has enjoyed the warmest of relations with the US and Europe over the past decade. His regime was funded and armed by these powers, rewarding its support for Washington’s geo-strategic objectives in the region and collaboration with the foreign oil companies permitted into Libya. Many senior political and business figures have enriched themselves by working with Gaddafi, notably former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was a frequent visitor to Tripoli on behalf of US investment bank JPMorgan Chase.
Now, however, the government in Tripoli appears on the verge of collapse as opposition forces extend their control from the eastern part of the country to western urban centres near the capital.
US President Barack Obama spoke on the Libyan crisis for the first time last night, declaring that he had “asked my administration to prepare the full range of options that we have to respond to this crisis”. In a similar threat of military force, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier said Washington would examine “all possible options” and “everything will be on the table”. (See “Obama and the Libyan crisis”)
Protesters are holding regular demonstrations outside the BBC’s HQ in Manchester city centre in north-west England against the Gaddafi regime: here.
Tony Blair built too close a relationship with the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi, David Cameron has said: here.
Britain’s two-faced relationship with Middle-Eastern tyranny has to end: here.
Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets of Bahrain’s capital, Manama, this week. Defying government demands to end protests, amid vicious police attacks on crowds last week that left an estimated eight people dead and hundreds more wounded, crowds called for the fall of the regime and justice for slain protestors: here.
Dubai: 40% of office space is empty: here.