What's Left

“Oil companies are controlled by foreigners who have made millions from them. Now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money.”—Muammar Gadhafi, 2006.

The Wall Street Journal of 5 May offers evidence, additional to that already accumulated, that last year’s NATO military intervention in Libya was rooted in objections to the Gadhafi government’s economic policies.

According to the newspaper, private oil companies were incensed at the pro-Libyan oil deals the Gadhafi government was negotiating and “hoped regime change in Libya…would bring relief in some of the tough terms they had agreed to in partnership deals” with Libya’s national oil company. [1]

For decades, many European companies had enjoyed deals that granted them half of the high-quality oil produced in Libyan fields. Some major oil companies hoped the country would open further to investment after sanctions from Washington were lifted in 2004 and U.S. giants re-entered the North…

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