Wesley Clark: Libya isn’t worth helping — they don’t have enough oil

Retired US Army general and NATO’s former supreme allied commander in Europe, Wesley Clark, says Libya doesn’t provide the US with enough oil for the fate of the country to be regarded as a vital interest. Not only that, the US is busy helping democracy movements in Iraq and Afghanistan!

In 2001, when the United States went into Afghanistan, it was clear that we had to strike back after the attacks of Sept. 11. And we’re still there, despite all the ambiguities and difficulties, because we have a vital interest in combating al-Qaeda and similar terrorist groups there and across the border in Pakistan.

How do we apply this test to Libya? Protecting access to oil supplies has become a vital interest, but Libya doesn’t sell much oil to the United States, and what has been cut off is apparently being replaced by Saudi production. Other national interests are more complex. Of course, we want to support democratic movements in the region, but we have two such operations already underway – in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then there are the humanitarian concerns. It is hard to stand by as innocent people are caught up in violence, but that’s what we did when civil wars in Africa killed several million and when fighting in Darfur killed hundreds of thousands. So far, the violence in Libya is not significant in comparison. Maybe we could earn a cheap “victory,” but, on whatever basis we intervene, it would become the United States vs. Gaddafi, and we would be committed to fight to his finish. That could entail a substantial ground operation, some casualties and an extended post-conflict peacekeeping presence.

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7 thoughts on “Wesley Clark: Libya isn’t worth helping — they don’t have enough oil

  1. Vince J.

    “…the US is busy helping democracy movements in Iraq and Afghanistan!”

    The US has no historical credentials as a ‘DEMOCRACY promoter’ anywhere in the World. They are currently loosing in Afeghanistan for an oil pipeline project. Nothing to do with democracy.

  2. Vince J.

    as per 9/11 I’m still waiting to see those confiscated fottages of an alledged 757 hiting the building, an explanation on how nanothermite residue was found in the dust of WTC1,2 and 7, an explanation of what an E-4B plane was doing flying over washington on that day, and a serious scientific analisys on how two planes hitting two building got 3 towers on total collapse under 10 sec.

  3. hquain

    The wonderful thing about Clark’s argument is that he doesn’t even manage to be cynical at the right level, even leaving aside his grasp of our current wars, which seems to have been derived from scanning headlines several years ago. “We” don’t currently import much from Libya, so … don’t bother me. The fact that our allies in Europe do … irrelevant. The fact that Libya apparently has huge unexploited reserves … whatever. The larger fact that military regimes are liable to catastrophic collapse … hey, it’s “stable” now.

    Time to go back to playing games of Risk with the grandchildren.

  4. Ian Arbuckle

    Firstly the good news is knowing that this man’s job was to take orders and not develop the policy for giving them and even better that he has been retired. The bad news is that these old delusional farts are the kind of megalomaniac psychopaths that are listened to seriously by self serving ignorant people who have the same rights but more power than I and that this type of opinion is put out there by a slave media to justify actual policy made by just such people.

    General indeed, generally it is the flotsam and jetsam mixed with a fair helping of effluent that rises to the top. This garbage goes in and out with the tides unless collected together and pushed against the pier and the coast by big ships (political party) as they dock or by storms (war and conflict) as they come in from the open sea. Unfortunately in this brave new world even the endless storms are fashioned to bring greater power and profit with their destruction.

    We live in a world that is run for corporations not people.

  5. Norman

    The General Officer Corps of the U.S. Military Hasn’t proven it’s capable of winning a War since W.W.II. They play a lot of games, have a lot of ideas, but it should be evident by now to even the simplest mined, that they are not too good at what they preach. This goes for all those so called experts in the Think Tanks too. If the U.S. Military was as great as the Generals proclaim it to be, the U.S. wouldn’t be still fighting in Afghanistan and shoveling $billions into that quagmire. We don’t have to mention Iraq, that’s self explanatory. Oh, the same General hero of Iraq is the same one in Afghanistan today. There has also, for those inquiring minds, rumors of running that same General for the job of P.O.T.U.S. Bush/Cheney and their fellow War mongers did more to destroy the U.S. than bin Laden ever imagined. The present “O” has continued in the decline of the American way, so, the U.S./NATO involvement in a No Fly Zone leaves something to be desired. I would think that Italy & France would team up and do so if anybody/country does.

  6. Phil Dennany

    I am sure that Clark knows very well that the war on Afghanistan was made because the Taliban government of that country refused the oil pipeline being run through their country. In fact there were official Pentagon plans drawn up prior to the false flag 9-11 attacks, with a set invasion date for invasion on Afghanistan intended to for Mid October 2001, waiting only for the 9-11 demolitions. The aircraft that were made to crash were not hijacked.

  7. rosemerry

    Is this from the WaPost op ed? Every statement is a lie. It seems incredible that a general of his standing could have such warped ideas of what is meant by success, failure, humanitarian….. Panama, Grenada, Bosnia (what pride he has) were wonderful successes, and Iraq and Afghanistan are thriving democracies too. Yemen and Saudi Arabia will no doubt be next. Clark for Prez.

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