[Dehai-WN] Globalresearch.ca: Geostrategic Basis Of Libyan War: Hydrological Warfare and Energy

[Dehai-WN] Globalresearch.ca: Geostrategic Basis Of Libyan War: Hydrological Warfare and Energy

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 13:52:11 +0200

Geostrategic Basis Of Libyan War: Hydrological Warfare and Energy

Death for Libyans; billions for the West


by Garikai Chengu


 <http://www.globalresearch.ca> Global Research, September 23, 2011

From oil to water, water-boarding to arms and from gas to reconstruction the
war in Libya will rake in billions of dollars for the West. Just how much
will trickle down to the people of Libya remains to be seen.

People who think that the West's intervention in Libya is just another oil
grab are mistaken. Broadly speaking, for Britain military intervention is
mainly about arms, Italy its natural gas, France its water and for the US
its counter-terrorism and reconstruction contracts. Spreading democracy and
saving the people of Benghazi form merely tangential benefits used to
justify these ends.

Lest we forget, Nato's bombardment began because Mr Gaddafi threatened to do
to Benghazi what Mr Bashar al-Assad's forces are doing to various Syrian
cities and Nato itself is poised to do in Sirte.

''History is a set of lies agreed upon'' once remarked Napoleon Bonaparte.
If left unchallenged the true motives behind what the French mainstream
media have coined ''Sarkozy's War'' may be lost in the fog of war.

So what makes Libya so important to the West? Any real estate agent could
tell you: location. Given that Libya sits atop the strategic intersection of
the Mediterranean, African, and Arab worlds, control of the nation, has
always been a remarkably effective way to project power into these three
regions and beyond.

Ever since time immemorial Western control over Libya has been of great
importance. After Libyan independence in 1951, US, British and French
payments for military basing rights formed the single-largest element of
Libyan GDP until oil exports began to flow in 1961.

Nowadays, Mr Sarkozy's interest in Libya lies in a commodity more precious
than oil, namely water. It is becoming increasingly accepted that water
promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century: the
precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations.

Unlike oil, there are no substitutes, alternatives or stopgaps for water.
Nature has decreed that the supply of water is fixed. Meanwhile demand rises
inexorably as the world's population increases and enriches itself..
Population growth, climate change, pollution, urbanization and the rapid
development of manufacturing industries are relentlessly combining such that
demand for fresh water will outstrip supply by 40 per cent by 2040.

Libya sits on a resource more valuable than oil, the Nubian Sandstone
Aquifer, which is an immensely vast underground sea of fresh water. Colonel
Gaddafi had cleverly invested $25 billion in the Great Man-made River
Project, a complex 4,000-km long water pipeline buried beneath the desert
that could transport two million cubic metres of water a day. Such a
monumental water distribution scheme could turn Libya - a nation that is 95
per cent desert - into a food self-sufficient arable oasis.

Today France's global mega-water companies like Suez, Ondeo and Saur,
control more than 45 per cent of the world's water market and are rushing to
privatize water, already a $400 billion global business. For these French
companies, Libya will be a bonanza. No wonder Le Monde coined it ''Sarkozy's
War'' and had a ''Victoire'' front page splash when Mr Gaddafi's compound
was stormed.

Late last year, the Central Intelligence Agency suspiciously raised the
spectre of ''future 'hydrological warfare' in which rivers, lakes and
aquifers become national security assets to be fought over,'' or controlled
through proxy armies and client states. Regime change in Libya is the first
major instance of hydrological warfare.

With the spoils of war from Libya's water market largely reserved for the
French, Mr. Cameron is eyeing another market, that of arms.

The subject of the West selling arms to regimes suppressing uprisings
remains as wilfully overlooked as an American war crime. Even as The Times
of London has just reported that Britain enjoyed a 30 per cent spike in arms
sales to regimes in the Middle East during the Arab Spring. Arms sold
between February and July jumped to $101 million, the Times' report says,
noting that these include weapons that could be used to suppress domestic

Mr Obama's administration is even more steeped in the controversial arms
trade. The US accepts no rival on this front. Over the past decade the US
has averaged a staggering $5.8 billion per year in arms sales with the
Middle East.

The very Libyan military hardware that Nato boastfully claims to have
downgraded by 90 per cent will need to be rebuilt. US arms companies will
gleefully be on hand to arm their proxy regime to the teeth. Libya will be a
bonanza for American arms dealers.

American infrastructure contractors will also reap the windfalls of post-war
reconstruction. The grim reality is that every bridge, road, rail-link and
building that US war-planes bomb will have to be rebuilt and paid for by the
Libyan taxpayer.

Even grimmer still is the fact that the approximately $1.1billion spent by
the US government on bombarding Libya is a drop in the ocean compared to the
profit that American contractors stand to make. Many of whom have strong
ties to the upper echelons of the military and the Obama administration.

In-fact, more than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8
billion in contracts for work in post-war Iraq and Afghanistan over the last
two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity.

According to the study, nearly 70 per cent of these companies had employees
or board members who either served in or had close ties to the executive
branch for Republican and Democratic administrations, for members of
Congress of both parties, or at the highest levels of the military.

Therefore, those in the military tasked with minimising 'collateral damage'
to property stand to directly profit from less than pinpoint precision. In
short, dropping bombs can be profitable.

The recent bombshell revelations of correspondence between the CIA and
Libya's security apparatus prove that the US has been outsourcing its
torture or ''enhanced interrogation' ' of terror suspects to Libya through
the internationally illegal rendition process. These revelations are
embarrassing but hardly surprising. Nevertheless, there is little doubt a
pliant proxy regime will continue to do America's dirty work.

Last but not least there is oil. Much as the self-righteous West might
pretend otherwise, oil is unquestionably a key part of the equation. Libya
has the largest oil reserves in Africa and 85 per cent of its exports are to

Archival footage of Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi surrounded by Mr
Gaddafi's female bodyguards, kissing the Libyan strongman's hand at Leonardo
Da Vinci airport is indicative of just how important Libya is to Italy.

Libya's oil is especially important to Italy because of its proximity, the
ease of its extraction, and the sweetness of its crude. Most refineries in
Italy and elsewhere are built to deal with sweet Libyan crude, they cannot
easily process the heavier Saudi crude that has recently replaced the Libyan
production shortfall.

Libyan natural gas reserves are estimated to be over 52.7 trillion cubic
feet and large areas of the country are still to be surveyed. With assured
supplies available from Libya, Italy will become less dependent on supplies
from Russia, which on the energy front is increasingly flexing its muscles
and thumbing its nose at mainland Europe.

Libya has a 1,800km coastline just miles from Italy and porous southern
borders with three poor African nations. Therefore, a pliant regime that
will stem the flow of asylum seekers and keep the oil and gas flowing is
vital for Rome.

From oil to water, water-boarding to arms and from gas to reconstruction the
war in Libya will rake in billions of dollars for the West. Just how much
will trickle down to the people of Libya remains to be seen.

The author is a research scholar at Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and


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Received on Fri Sep 23 2011 - 07:52:11 EDT
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