The politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis. This was inevitably unleashed with the high cost of grain, the effects of which are being felt with more force in the Arab nations where, despite their enormous oil resources, the shortage of water, arid areas, and generalized poverty of the people contrast with the vast resources derived from oil possessed by the privileged sectors. While food prices triple, the real estate fortunes and wealth of the aristocratic minority rise to billions of dollars.
The Arab world, with its Islamic culture and beliefs, has seen itself additionally humiliated by the brutal imposition of a state which was not capable of meeting the elemental obligations that came with its creation, based on the colonial order in existence since the end of World War II, which allowed the victorious powers to create the United Nations and impose world trade and economy.
Thanks to Mubarak’s betrayal at Camp David, the Palestinian Arab State has not come into existence, despite the United Nations agreements of November 1947, and Israel has become a powerful nuclear force allied with the United States and NATO.
The U.S. military-industrial complex supplies tens of billions of dollars every year to Israel and to the very Arab states that it subjugates and humiliates.
The genie is out of the bottle and NATO doesn’t know how to control it. They are going to try and take maximum advantage of the lamentable events in Libya. No one is capable of knowing at this time what is happening there. All of the figures and versions, even the most improbable, have been disseminated by the empire through the mass media, sowing chaos and misinformation.
It is evident that a civil war is developing in Libya. Why and how was this unleashed? Who will suffer the consequences? The Reuters news agency, repeating the opinion of the well-known Japanese bank Nomura, said that the price of oil could surpass all limits:
“If Libya and Algeria were to halt oil production together, prices could peak above US$220/bbl and OPEC spare capacity will be reduced to 2.1mmbbl/d, similar to levels seen during the Gulf war and when prices hit US$147/bbl in 2008, the bank stated in a note.”
Who could pay this price today? What will be the consequences for the food crisis?
The principal NATO leaders are exalted. British Prime Minister David Cameron, reported ANSA, “admitted in a speech in Kuwait that the Western countries made a mistake in supporting non-democratic governments in the Arab world.” He should be congratulated for his frankness. His French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy declared, “The continuing brutal and bloody repression of the Libyan civilian population is revolting.” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini declared “‘credible’ the estimate of one thousand dead in Tripoli. . . . ‘[T]he tragic number will be a bloodbath.'”
Ban Ki-moon added:
“The use of violence in the country is totally unacceptable.”
“[T]he Security Council will act in accordance with what the international community decides.”
“We are considering a series of options.”
What Ban Ki-moon is really waiting for is for Obama to give the last word.
The President of the United States spoke Wednesday afternoon and stated that the Secretary of State would leave for Europe in order to reach an agreement with the NATO allies as to what measures to take. Noticeable on his face was his readiness to take on the right-wing Republican John McCain; Joseph Lieberman, the pro-Israel Senator from Connecticut; and Tea Party leaders, in order to guarantee his nomination by the Democratic Party.
The empire’s mass media have prepared the ground for action. There would be nothing strange about a military intervention in Libya, which would, additionally, guarantee Europe almost two million barrels of light oil a day, if events do not occur beforehand to put an end to the presidency or life of Gaddafi.
In any event, Obama’s role is complicated enough. What would the Arab and Islamic world’s reaction be if much blood is spilt in this country in such an adventure? Would the revolutionary wave unleashed in Egypt stop a NATO intervention?
In Iraq the innocent blood of more than a million Arab citizens was shed when this country was invaded on false pretexts. Mission accomplished, George W. Bush proclaimed.
No one in the world will ever be in favor of the deaths of defenseless civilians in Libya or anywhere else. I ask myself: Would the United States and NATO apply that principle to the defenseless civilians killed by yankee drones, and this organization’s soldiers, every day in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
It is cynicism’s danse macabre.
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 23, 2011
Fidel Castro is First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. En español.