Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will Gaddafi go full retard and blow the Libyan oilfields?

Don't let Gaddafi's good looks fool you. He's batshit.

   [EDIT: This is an old post on Libya getting awesome web traffic. Since Gaddafi's dead body is currently on display in a freezer in a Libyan supermarket, I'd prefer, for relevancy's sake that you read my latest mind dump on Libya here. Still, the below February 2011 post remains intact for those of you that love hindsight. I must admit, I kind of partial to it too. And I still like that power play of blowing the Libyan oilfields but it was never really an option for Gadaffi was it? Gaddafi thought he could win this war. And him blowing up his revenue source was always going to be a last resort option few 'dictators' ever get to. Even when they're losing; like Hitler in his Berlin bunker in 1945. And just like every other war historians pick through, Gadaffi's options in this war will get kicked into the dustbin of history's "what ifs." Should he have gone full retard on the oilfields?

 "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there..." as the old maxim goes...]

   Reports coming out of Libya right now have Gaddafi about to go full retard. Seems like he's not going to go the way of the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators and fuck off nicely with billions in cash and bullion. He issued a badass statement earlier today which is probably dick waving but he said he wants to 'martyr himself' and go down fighting. That's pretty funny really. And understandable. You see, he's never been on the West's payroll like Mubarak and can't just bail to some fancy beachfront condo somewhere. The US has been itching to kill this guy going all the way back to Reagan when they bombed his compound after they fingered him for the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing. But the interesting variable here, in terms of the recent Arab revolutions, is that this is the first one taking place in an oil producing country. So Gaddafi gets to play an interesting card here that neither Mubarak or the Tunisian Ben Ali had in their deck.

    He can fuck with the world energy market in a major way. How exactly?

  First off, he's threatening  to take a move from the old Russian playbook, play scorched earth with Libya's infrastructure and blow those oilfields and the pipelines linking spice flow to the Mediterranean to kingdom come; taking ~1.9 million barrels per day of world oil supply offline for the foreseeable future. That'd be pretty painful, especially considering the state of the world economy right now. Oil is already flirting with the hundred dollar mark on news of this instability and with Libya offline, the jury's out on how much higher that could go. In 2008, $150 a barrel oil crashed the world economy and with current food prices, real estate misery, zombie banks and high unemployment, anything approaching a similar price is going to start some kind of economic meltdown in the US and Europe that'll have the corporate oligarchy shitting their pants. Of course, the disinformation outfit that is CNBC and Fox will tell you that the Saudi's can easily take up that slack but if you believe what the Saudi's say these days then you're just being naive. Those Wahhabi loons may even have a revolution of their own on their hands soon and if that happens my friends, we're entering a whole new clusterfuck world paradigm.

    Shit could get really interesting here and may be worth a popcorn grab.

   Gaddafi is his own special kind of batshit. That's why he might just go through with this plan. Flamboyant and narcisstic, he grabbed power in Libya as a 27 year old captain in a bloodless coup in 1969 while the King was away getting his pubes waxed or something. Fancying himself as the Arab Che Guevara, Gadaffi had a certain flair and a penchant for safari suits and sunglasses and set up the new Libya as a late sixties counter cultural anti imperialist mecca where anyone looking to do bad shit to Western interests could get supplies, weapons and explosives.

   Obviously, that put him on the shit list. Libya took part in the 1973 oil embargo against the US and its support for Arab unity and opposition to western interests in Islamic states painted a big fat target on Gaddafi in the western world. In 1982, Reagan imposed sanctions and the CIA tried to off him in 1984. Two years later, a squadron of F-111s bombed his compound and killed his 15 month old adopted daughter. This was in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing that killed and injured a bunch of US servicemen. The Libyan's retaliated in 1988 with the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The evidence that Gaddafi funded it was remarkably flimsy but it's gone down in history as his doing and conspiracy theories are not my forte. Everything is a conspiracy these days and whatever line of bullshit you choose to believe is a personal affair. There is no truth anymore. We're living in a dystopian future sci fi novel.

    Ironically, it was Reagan's sanctions and the inability of Gaddafi to sell his oil during the 80s and 90s, (when oil was astoundingly cheap), that preserved Libya's supply. Estimates say Libya had about 55 Gb of which they've gone through about half. This leaves them with significant reserves of around the 30 Gb mark, enough that if those 1.9 M/bpd were taken offline would send those sleazy Wall Street fucks into a speculative circle jerk and have Exxon Mobil and their ilk jizzing their pants at the possible money train. Or maybe not. Because this kind of sucker punch to the world economy combined with Saudi instability could just grind things to a halt and lead to all kinds of riots on the streets of the US and Europe once the plebs can't feed their SUVs without going broke. That kind of action is something that'll grab the corporate oligarchy's attention. Profits tend to dry up when you are on the downside of the Laffer curve and it gets too expensive for the wage slaves to bother spending on anything except food and guns.

   So can Gaddafi pull this chaos off?

   Right now the word is he's got about 5000 troops he can rely on. That's out of an army of 45,000 total strength. Most of his air force bailed after Gaddafi pulled the whack job move of ordering them to bomb protesters from the air. A total batshit play on his part and probably a good indicator of how screwed he views his own position. He's lost control of a number of Libyan cities and since he's got nowhere else to go (except Venezuela maybe), it seems the threat of scorched earth is the only card left to play.

   Gaddafi is the type to go down with the ship. He not going to hide in a hole and grow a beard like Saddam.

   Libya is a country of Bedouin tribes, and right now Gaddafi can only count on the loyalty of his own tribe, the Qadhadhfa. The 5000 or so troops he can rely on are apparently elite forces with handpicked officers who've been sharing some of the gravy train for the last few years since sanctions were lifted and Gaddafi got taken off the US 'supporters of terror' list a few years back. Condi Rice even showed up on a state visit in 2008 and the US was all warm and Fonzy again and happy to have some oil back on the market so the plebs back home could afford the commute from suburbia.

Condi and Gadaffi enjoying a sitdown over Kleenex

   Of course, that could all go to shit now.

   The latest reports coming out of Libya are that Gaddafi has ordered some of his 5000 remaining troops to blow some of those pipelines that link the fields to the Mediterranean. It seems he's playing the last card left in the deck and using it against the West and his own people. He's also released from prison a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists hoping they go out into the fray and foment all kinds of religious nonsense. The West gets an oil spike and his own citizens get to live in a new African Somalia where the Libyan people get to lament the good old days when they could afford bread.

   I'm off now to do a google search on how oil price directly impacts the popcorn supply.

   Stay tuned for updates. I'm loving this shit.


  1. He may be crazy, but he doesn't seem suicidal or even fanatical. The important thing is to leave him a way out, like well-funded exile.

  2. This is turning into my favorite blog. I hope they do not leave Qaddafi a way out so that my entertainment dollar goes the distance.

  3. If Gaddafi blows those pipelines just before his Ukrainian nurse jerks him off for the last time, it could be the greatest gusher of all time!

  4. If he does, no doubt the US will be there in a heartbeat. Humantarian reasons, of course.

  5. I'm getting interested too in the alleged protests in North Korea.

  6. i have to admit i liked this rant and the way it was wrote. well thought out and cutting edge. color commentary at its best

  7. It is only the beginning, this is the point where the entire world will have to face the things we see in the middle east. One world government or fight each other until we destroy this once pure planet.

  8. that picture is funyy...

  9. They just got Gaddafi! What say you Wartard?

  10. La Anonima dice

    Gaddafi tienes lo que has sembrado en tu dictadura.

  11. I like your blog very much but I think it would spice things up if you perhaps made it a little more edgy.