View Full Version : If Bush is just about the oil, why not lift sanctions on Libya?

01-05-2004, 07:22 PM
Bush refuses to lift sanctions (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=3&u=/ap/20040106/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_libya_7)

Many of Bush's critics said the only reason the US went to war with Iraq was to seize the oil for the sake of the US oil oligarchy.

If that's the case, why is Bush refusing to lift the sanctions on Libya?

After all, the UNSC ended the UN sanctions against Libya after Gadhafi agreed to compensate families of the victims of the Pan Am 103 atrocity. Lifting UN sanctions allows oil companies from Europe, Russia, and China to pursue deals with cash-strapped Libya for its oil, whereas US oil companies are still saddled with the US sanctions Bush refuses to lift and risk being shut out of the Libya market.

Bush certainly has all the political cover he needs to lift the sanctions, considering the very public nature of Gadhafi's renunciation of terrorism and intent to disarm Libya of WMD and cooperate with inspectors.

So why, if Bush is merely a puppet in the hands of Big Oil, is he putting US oil companies at a competitive disadvantage?


01-05-2004, 07:43 PM
Well, GoHeels, I think that in order to get an answer to your question, you are first going to have to find one of the "many" critics who said that the only reason we went to war was to seize the oil. Since I can't even name one person on this board off the top of my head who supported this view (although I do believe there were perhaps one or two who I basically tried to forget about), you may have a heard time getting anyone to answer you from that point of view.

Most of us argued that there were a variety of reasons that Bush went to war. I always thought the most important one was a basic ideological point-of-view that I believe is what people characterize by the name "neoconservativism" that believes it is important for the U.S. to exercise its military muscle to remake areas of the world that it finds to be bad to more suit its liking. Of course, lots of considerations come into this and the fact that the Middle East is an area of the world with an important resource for the United States and its allies is certainly not an unimportant factor by any means. Also, there are many constituencies that this Administration is quite attuned to and clearly Big Oil is among them. I am guessing that Big Oil's views tended to be sympathetic with the idea of overthrowing Saddam for the reason I mentioned here plus the additional reason that it might allow them a healthy share of a post-Saddam Iraqi oil market. I don't think this Administration is going to listen to Big Oil to the point of going against other dearly held principles (e.g., I think if the CEO of Exxon endorsed national single-payer health insurance tomorrow, it would still face a very uphill battle in this Administration) but when its interests tend to align with interests based on those principles, hey, that just makes the argument for taking the action that much stronger.

However, this is a far cry from saying that we fought the war to seize the oil, n'est pas?

01-05-2004, 07:50 PM
Allow me to speculate. The recession is over. Things are looking pretty good for the U.S. and its citizens, especially for Bush. Iraq may still be a tender wound to many around the nation, but Saddam's capture has raised patriotism beyond those "petty" sentiments. Theres no reason for Bush to remove the sanctions and let U.S. oil companies dive in. What I think he'll do is use the lifting of the sanctions as a trump card come election time and wave another economic triumph in the face of the Democrats.

Since the U.N. lifted its sanctions, Libyan export of petroleum have risen. Is the U.S. pressuring other nations to limit Libyan imports? If so, then Libya does need U.S. support but otherwise is the U.S. market really that necessary? Sure it would help, but the U.S. ignoring Libya seems more likely to hurt the U.S. than hurt Libya.

Rashak Mani
01-05-2004, 07:58 PM
I don't get it... Libya has been acting all subdued and begging... still Bush didn't lift the sanctions. Sure seems like a wrong move from Bush... Libya bending its knee anymore would be too humiliating.

01-05-2004, 08:01 PM
You mean today, now ?

Because the Cheney Plan considers the US's need's as between now and (at least) 2020.

It's called strategic planning and contingency planning.

There is now problem just now.

01-05-2004, 08:04 PM
. . . no problem just now.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 08:11 PM
Maybe it's for the same reason that Bush never called for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq before the war, even when Saddam allowed UN inspectors in.

Are you serious?

01-05-2004, 08:23 PM
Well, even from the framework of the OP:

The argument you're talking about is that we invaded Iraq to seize oil for Halliburton. Why would that have anything to do with allowing Libya to sell its own oil freely? Not only would any political cronies not make money off it, it would be putting up a (supposedly) former state sponser of terror as a direct competitor for those cronies. In fact, if we went into Iraq for the oil, this is exactly what you'd expect Bush to do, and it's rather odd that he didn't lift the sanctions to reward Libya for opening up.

So even in the wacko end of the political spectrum, I don't think this argument works.