Libyan oil of greater interest than people
THE CRISIS in Libya continues to twist and turn each passing day. It now seems that NATO are taking over from the original “coalition” in the pursuit of a remedy to the woes of the Libyan people who are being oppressed by Mister Gadaffi. Tripoli, the capital of Libya has been bombarded with air assaults nightly, ground troops are being mentioned more frequently each passing day, and there is more and more talk about the need to remove the dictator Gadaffi from power as soon as possible.
I wonder is all what it seems though. Is it really the case that the British, French and Americans, and their supporters, are that interested in the welfare of the Libyan people? Or is there something else driving them on in what it seems will turn into a war sooner or later.
What I'm thinking of is of course, oil. Petrol and diesel prices have been soaring over the past while. It could be a case of the troubles in the Middle East, and now North Africa too, which are driving up the cost due to decreased production which is resulting from the “unrest”. Or it could be a case that the intervention of the “coalition forces” is because of the fact that Libya has oil, and Gadaffi controls Libya, therefore the removal of Gadaffi means easier and cheaper access to oil. It's the proverbial “chicken and egg”, which came first?
I was speaking to an American friend during the week and we were discussing the events happening across the world. I mentioned my suspicion that the goings on in Libya had as much to do with oil as it had to do with freeing a people from oppression. The response was, “if this man is causing our gas prices to increase, then we need to remove him. He doesn't have a right to control the oil resources, just because they are in the country he rules.”
There is a man called Elias Chacour, who is the Archbishop of Galilee and has been nominated a few times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He wrote a book charting his people's story in Israel, from the arrival of the British, their removal from their homes, to their struggle to regain their homeland and the survival of their culture. His book is called “We Belong to The Land”. One of the strongest themes of his book is that his people, the Palestinians, are ingrained in the land they came from, and it is ingrained in them. Their forced removal from that land is akin to tearing out their hearts.
The oil that is to be found under the earth in the Middle East, and in Libya, belongs to us all. The people in power in these countries have control over this oil, and they make money from selling it to those who wish to buy it. I think it's fair to say that oil, as well as other natural resources are there for the whole of humanity to benefit from.
However it seems to me that we are less concerned about countries where there isn't as much to be gained. Genocide has happened in many countries, and the international community was very slow to act, to prevent the oppression of the people.
Yet in Libya it's different. The difference being, of course, that Libya has something valuable. It's in the world's interests to intervene in Libya. Roman Abromovich, and countless others in other countries too, have made billions of Euros from oil. Surely there's something wrong in that, if the oil is a resource that belongs to us all.
But we are stewards of creation. Mankind was created to look after creation. We belong to the land; the land doesn't belong to us. We are merely passing through, tenants so to speak, who have the use of it for our time. We have an obligation to look after the earth that we inherited from our ancestors, to make sure that it is there for generations to come. Environmentalists have long been fighting for the protection of the earth. Maybe it's time we listened to them more carefully.
Rebels adjust an anti-aircraft gun as smoke from a damaged oil facility darkens the sky in Ras Lanuf, Libya. Many say it is in the world’s interest to intervene in Libya.