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Aug 24

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 2:04 AM 

This is a map of known U.S. oil reserves. Oil production in any of these regions require no drone attacks, no NATO bombing raids, and no special forces on the ground. This would save US taxpayers at least $1 billion, the US price tag to date for installing a jihad-heavy government in Libya, the ninth largest oil state in the world.

A crazy policy, an evil policy, or both.

Now the fun begins: The division of (sp)oil among NATO.

Will Italy be the odd-ally out? Reuters featured analysis this week that considered the question.

It's important to remember the insurrection in Libya started in February with a "Day of Rage" commemorating a violent, 2006 protest against freedom of speech in Italy. Specifically, this was a post-Friday-prayers attack on the Italian consulate in Benghazi to protest an Italian minister's defiance of Islamic worldwide protests against Western free speech as manifested in the Danish Motoons. Qaddafi, as dictator in charge, put down the rioting.

At least partly as a result of that, it seems fair to assume, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi was notably loathe to turn on an American dime and join the NATO bombing campaign on behalf of the Benghazi jihadists and their coalition mouthpiece: former Qaddafi justice minister Mustafa Abduljalil. That would be the same Mustafa Abduljalil who in 1998 sentenced six Bulgarian nurses to death in a notorious show trial (a "mild-mannered 59-year-old" reports Deutsche Welle, which omits either this excursion into secular law or mention of Abduljalil's degree in Sharia in reporting on his education at the University of Libya).

There was also the fact that Italian oil -- Eni -- was long cosy with Qaddafi. In 2006, the year of the Benghazi riots, the US brought Qaddafi into the diplomatic sunshine, so things started to get downright crowded as Bush, Rice, France, the UK, John McCain and Joe Lieberman and most recently Obama cuddled up. (Just weeks before the February protests, the Obama administration asked Congress to increase military aid to Qaddafi.)

That was then. By April, Italy was on board with the rest of NATO (including Denmark) ... and their jihadist proteges.

Now, one of the loose ends to be tied up -- and it sounds like a movie starring Marcello Mastroianni -- What Happens to Eni?

Reuters writes:

Eni, the biggest foreign oil producer in Libya before the civil war, could lose assets or opportunities in the long run if Italy's hesitant support for the rebel government early in the conflict leads to a backlash.

The rebels, who are close to winning a six-month war against Muammar Gaddafi, have already said firms from Russia and China could fall out of favour for the lack of support for the uprising, thus opening the doors to companies from Britain, France and the United States to gain more assets.

"In the short-to-mid term I see no risk for Eni. Any new government will need cash and that means getting production on-stream fast. To do that they'll need Eni," said Stefano Casertano, senior fellow at German think-tank BIGS-Potsdam.org.

"We'll see further on if there's a diplomatic-type attack for access to what Eni controls," he added.

While Italy hesitated, Britain, France and the U.S. led the early drive for intervention in Libya to protect the rebels.

Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, long Gaddafi's closest European ally, was silent in the initial days of the uprising in February, and his government's calls for Gaddafi to step down were much more subdued than those of European peers.

Berlusconi has also said he was against NATO intervention in Libya but was forced to go along with it. His main coalition partner, the Northern League, has long opposed intervention.

NB: Roberto Calderoli, the Italian minister whose Motoon t-shirt was answered with an attack on the Italian consulate in Benghazi in 2006, is a member of the Northern League.

In March, Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni called on Europe to abandon sanctions against Libya in an attempt to rebuild bridges when Gaddafi had seemed to be regaining control of the country.

A diplomatic source in Rome told Reuters last month Italy's initially subdued condemnation of Gaddafi followed by an abrupt switch in April to fully back the rebels had damaged its credibility and could prove costly in the long run.

Italy has recently moved fast to seize back the initiative. Berlusconi said he will meet Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril, and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Eni staff were in Libya to try to restart oil facilities, adding, "It is clear Eni will play a No. 1 role in the future."

But attendez a minute:

France's Total is an active player in Libya. Britain's BP has assets there but no production, as does Royal Dutch Shell. U.S. groups Marathon Oil Corp and ConocoPhillips are also active.

Gaddafi's fall could give new players such as Qatar's national oil company and trading house Vitol opportunities. Qatar was quick to establish links with Libyan rebels and was the first Arab country to give planes to police no-fly zones.

"There is obviously some benefit to the countries that helped the Libyans in the crisis, but that advantage can go quite quickly. So British companies and French companies would want to get there as quickly as possible," Gavin De Salis, chairman of oil services firm OPS International, told Reuters Insider. ...

Charge!

Remember "Blood for Oil," the Left's mantra for the Iraq war? Iraq certainly never paid off at the pump, or even for Big Oil (US). But with Libya -- the supposedly "humanitarian," "R2P," people-oriented, globally enlightened, UN-mandated war -- maybe we've finally seen a perfect Blood for Oil war.

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