Lately I’ve been puzzled about why NATO and the U.S. have intervened militarily in Libya, but stayed out of popular rebellions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and other middle east countries. Human rights concerns doesn’t seem to fully explain it. After all governments in Yemen and Bahrain in particular have violated human rights without so much as peep from the U.S. Yes, there’s the oil explanation, but Libya doesn’t have that much oil (less than 2% of world exports) and besides Western firms (BP and Marathon) were involved in the production anyway.
Now comes a very interesting piece from Ellen Brown at Web Of Debt. It’s the kind of thing that makes you go “hmmmm”:
If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and health care continue to be free.
Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:
I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.
Alex Newman wrote in the New American:
In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”
Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, “Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.”
Libya’s national central bank is not only not part of the BIS, the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland, that regulates and coordinates international banking, but Gaddafi’s government has been actively promoting an alternative international currency and banking structure for African and Arab nations. The alternative currency and banking structure would greatly weaken the power of large, private international banks (largely U.S, British, and European) and facilitate popular policies in those countries. Libya’s status as a non-member of the BIS is a status it shares with Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. Again, it just makes you go “hmmmm”. I recommend following the link and reading the entire article here.