|Winning hearts & minds.|
While much has been made of the uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, and the brutal force used against these protesters and rebels, there has been only the passing reference to our role in propping up these regimes which we now find ourselves in the sticky situation of having to condemn. The "Made in U.S.A." label on tear gas canisters used against Egyptian protesters made headlines but little else in this regard has.
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The Bush administration approved the sale of $3 million of materials to Libya in 2006 and $5.3 million in 2007. In 2008, Libya was allowed to import $46 million in armaments from the U.S. The approved goods included nearly 400 shipments of explosive and incendiary materials, 25,000 aircraft parts, 56,000 military electronics components and nearly 1,000 items of optical targeting and other guidance equipment.
In the months before Libyans revolted the U.S. government was moving to do business with his regime on an increasing scale by quietly approving a $77 million dollar deal to deliver at least 50 refurbished armored troop carriers to the dictator's military. Congress balked, concerned the deal would improve Libyan army mobility and questioning the Obama administration's support for the agreement, which would have benefited British defense company BAE.
Obama administration intends to make biggest ever US arms deal with Saudis.
State department official Andrew Shapiro said "It will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East."
The Bush administration [made] an arms-sale package to Saudi Arabia and five other Persian Gulf countries [United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman] that may total more than $20 billion. Included in the package are advanced satellite-guided bombs, fighter-aircraft upgrades and new naval vessels.
As for why we have gone into Libya while ignoring numerous other atrocities around the globe:
ExxonMobil signed a heads of agreement to execute an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with Libya's National Oil Corporation to initiate exploration activity offshore Libya in the Sirte Basin.
BP in February suspended its preparations for onshore drilling after violence broke out across the North African country. Since then, troops loyal to Col. Moammar Ghadhafi's regime have steadily rolled back the rebel advance and re-taken control of most of the country.
Why France and the UK led the way into Libya:
Libya possesses 1,800 kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. The country produces 2 percent of the world's oil, with 85 percent of exports going to Europe. Libyan nationals have been prominent jihadists in Iraq. Since the beginning of the Great Recession and the slump in global demand in 2008, Libya has allocated $200 billion toward new infrastructure spending.
None of this is about the protection of human life no matter how warm and fuzzy it may feel to think it is. One final note: Who is it we claim to be protecting anyway?
Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered US allies in the fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60% of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to become suicide bombers or take part in other attacks, senior American military officials say.
Oh great. This won't come back to bite us in the ass.