I spent 33 years...being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and the bankers. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street…In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
Marine Major General Smedley Butler
August 21, 1931 to an American Legion convention
The more things change, the more they stay the same. America has a long and illustrious history of imperialistic feats, as was so eloquently portrayed by Smedley Butler in 1931. The recent intervention of NATO, led by the United States in the Libyan civil war, is just the latest example of U.S./Western imperialism.
It all started with a massive deception. Security Council Resolution 1973 was limited in scope and simply called for the imposition of a No Fly Zone over Libya to protect threatened civilians from tyrant Muammar Qaddafi’s wrath. The intent was clear and mostly responsible for its passage through the Security Council as members Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Germany voted to abstain instead of against the resolution.
However, from the very beginning NATO’s intent to liberate Libya, not just protect its citizens, became clear. NATO bombings went beyond aircraft, anti-aircraft batteries and the like to troop formations, oil installations, and other infrastructure. Even though Obama said there would be no need for boots on the ground, reports broke that American Special Forces had been on the ground prior to the beginning of the social unrest?
Why the special interest in Libya? There is no doubt it had nothing to do with the well-being of the Libyan people. It was all about Libya’s oil reserves. In 2004, after Qaddafi ended his quest for weapons of mass destruction, President George W. Bush lifted sanctions against Libya. Since then, American companies have invested heavily in Libya. For instance, energy giants ConocoPhillips and Marathon have each invested about $700 million.