The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release


Libya: "Hidden Agendas" and "Vital Interests"


JAN OBERG, Skype: janoberg
Secretary of State Clinton is in London today at a conference with other governments participating in the bombing of Libya, including those of Britain, France and Qatar. Based in Sweden, Oberg, who is director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, recently wrote the piece "Libya: Contradictions, Foolish Assumptions and Flawed Humanism."

PEPE ESCOBAR, Skype: pepeasia
Escobar's books include Obama Does Globalistan. His recent writings for the Asia Times are at:

He recently wrote the piece "There's no Business Like War Business," which states: "Lies, hypocrisy and hidden agendas. This is what United States President Barack Obama did not dwell on [in his speech last night] when explaining his Libya doctrine to America and the world. ... It's easy to identify who profits from the war in Libya: The Pentagon, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the 'rebels,' the French and al-Qaeda. But that's only a short list of profiteers; control of an ocean of fresh water is crucial to the war mix and nobody knows who'll end up getting the oil and the natural gas. ... United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 has worked like a Trojan horse, allowing the Anglo-French-American consortium -- and NATO -- to become the UN's air force in its support of an armed uprising. Apart from having nothing to do with protecting civilians, this arrangement is absolutely illegal in terms of international law."

He also wrote the piece "Endgame: Divide, Rule and Get the Oil," which states: "Odyssey Dawn is only happening because the 22-member Arab League voted to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The Arab League -- routinely dismissed in Western capitals as irrelevant before this decision -- is little else than an instrument of the House of Saud's foreign policy. Its 'decision' was propelled by Washington's promise to protect the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] kings/sheikhs/oligarchs from the democratic aspirations of their own subjects -- who are yearning for the same democratic rights as their 'cousins' in eastern Libya.

"This is exactly the same GCC, posing for Saudi Arabia that invaded Bahrain to help the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty to crush the pro-democracy movement. ... For Saudi Arabia this was a great deal; the perfect chance for King Abdullah to get rid of Gaddafi (the bad blood between both since 2002 is legendary), and the perfect chance for the House of Saud to lend a hand to a bewildered Washington." [Brazil is one of a few non-Arab countries granted observer status at the Arab League.]

TOBY C. JONES, @tobycraigjones
Jones is an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University and author of the book Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia. He said today: "While the United States has taken on a brutal dictator in Libya ... its claims to be supporting Arab democratic movements elsewhere is belied by its policies in the Persian Gulf. Robert Gates remarked on Sunday's Meet the Press that U.S. stands by its ally in Saudi Arabia and even justified a recent $60 billion arms deal to Riyadh. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has conspired to brutally repress a pro-democratic movement in Bahrain. Gates remarked that intervention in Libya was justified in part because it was not a 'vital interest' to the United States, while the Gulf is. The cost of our strategic relationships with the Gulf means more oppression, greater instability, and a potential escalation of hostilities with Iran. Perhaps it is time to rethink what is vital about our ties to brutal regimes in the heartland of oil."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.