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Paul Craig Roberts: Denying China Access To Libya's Oil Reserves

The People’s Daily Online (March 23) reported that China has 50 large-scale projects in Libya. The outbreak of hostilities has halted these projects and resulted in 30,000 Chinese workers being evacuated from Libya. Chinese companies report that they expect to lose hundreds of millions of yuan. China is relying on Africa, principally Libya, Angola, and Nigeria, for future energy needs. In response to China’s economic engagement with Africa, Washington is engaging the continent militarily with the US African Command (AFRICOM) created by President George W. Bush in 2007. Forty-nine African countries agreed to participate with Washington in AFRICOM, but Gaddafi refused, thus creating a second reason for Washington to target Libya for takeover. A third reason for targeting Libya is that Libya and Syria are the only two countries with Mediterranean sea coasts that are not under the control or influence of Washington. Suggestively, protests also have broken out in Syria. Whatever Syrians might think of their government, after watching Iraq’s fate and now Libya’s it is unlikely that Syrians would set themselves up for US military intervention. Both the CIA and Mossad are known to use social networking sites to foment protests and to spread disinformation. These intelligence services are the likely conspirators that the Syrian and Libyan governments blame for the protests. Caught off guard by protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Washington realized that protests could be used to remove Gaddafi and Assad. The humanitarian excuse for intervening in Libya is not credible considering Washington’s go-ahead to the Saudi military to crush the protests in Bahrain, the home base for the US Fifth Fleet. If Washington succeeds in overthrowing the Assad government in Syria, Russia would lose its Mediterranean naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Thus, Washington has much to gain if it can use the cloak of popular rebellion to eject both China and Russia from the Mediterranean. Rome’s mare nostrum (“our sea”) would become Washington’s mare nostrum. “Gaddafi must go,” declared Obama. How long before we also hear, “Assad must go?”

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