Libya: All Other Hot Spots Seem Cool When Oil is Involved
by Dan Ehrlich

The spice must flow at all costs. First the Arabian Gulf and now Libya, when the supply of oil is threatened the developed world springs into action, lead by America with its massive military power.

The US is mounting possibly its biggest naval presence off Libya since WW2,  ready to protect US interests as gas prices shoot skyward back home. Not even our 10 year-long surge in Afghanistan rates the immediate attention commanded by a major OPEC member in danger.

Remember Desert Storm, our instantaneous reaction to Kuwait being overrun by Iraq? It’s too bad Bosnia didn’t have oil. That may have forced America to become involved there four years and thousands of lives earlier.

The European Union too is at action stations, preparing for an influx of refugees…Muslim refugees, just what nations such as Italy, Spain, Germany and France want. For quite some time resentment has been building among native populations in these and other EU nations over the rise of Euro Islam and the numbers of underclass underemployed welfare cases.

However, whatever Libyan refugees to do settle in Europe will be a drop in the bucket should Turkey with its 70 million Muslims, join the EU.

Europe’s controversial International Criminal Court is also in action, looking into charging Libya’s Gaddafi with crimes against humanity. It’s funny how this court never made a peep before about this dictator’s excesses.
Yet, all this activity around the Mediterranean masks another threat to the world down the Horn of Africa…Piracy off Somalia. Currently Somali pirates are holding more than 35 ships and around 700 crew members as hostages for ransom in this failed state.

And even though for years now there has been an international naval patrol of these waters, the pirate hijackings continue. However, America and Europe, which had to beat a retreat from this lawless land 11-years-ago, is reluctant to repeat that mistake.

A United Nations report suggested that piracy off the coast of Somalia is caused in part by illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste in Somali waters by foreign vessels that have, according to Somali fishermen, severely constrained the ability of locals to earn a living and forced many to turn to piracy instead.

Some news articles allege that 70 percent of the local coastal communities support the piracy as a form of national defense of the country's territorial waters, and that the pirates believe they are protecting their fishing grounds and exacting justice and compensation for the marine resources stolen.

But the fact remains that Somalia is a bigger danger to the world than Afghanistan ever was. Aside from Somalia being a terrorist haven and training base, much of world shipping passes through the Indian Ocean. As the international naval patrol become increasingly more effective along coastal waters, these pirates have begun operating farther out to sea. And they will continue to attack ships and foolish pleasure boaters, who sail into these dangerous waters.

Yet, since oil is not involved, except the millions of gallons on the ships in captivity, don’t look for a major escalation in Western involvement there. NATO has its hand full in Afghanistan’s never ending war. It’s mystifying how after Vietnam and a previous close call in Somalia, we have repeated those mistakes in Afghanistan.

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