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The War for Oil

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Libya's Ghadafi Threatens Europe with Invasion and Suicide Attacks

July 10th 2011

Libya Topics - Muammar Ghadafi as Charlie Chaplin

Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi declared on July 8 that areas claimed by Italy, Spain, France and other nations are actually Arab and should be liberated. He also promised to send hundreds of Libyan agents on suicide missions into Europe as revenge for NATO attacks on his country since March. “Hundreds of Libyans will become martyrs in Europe,” said Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya for decades. “Tens, hundreds or thousands of Libyans might die in Europe. We will raid their houses, women and children, like they raided us, and I told you an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” Qaddafi said. “We are threatening them now.”

Broadcast on Libyan state-controlled television, Gadhafi claims that his military are holding back the rebel forces that have challenged his government with support from the U.S. and NATO. “NATO will be sorry when the war comes to Europe,” said Gadhafi, who added that the Canary Islands and the Andalucian region of Spain, as well as Sicily should be ruled by Arabs.

Gadhafi spoke to an live audience of some 50,000, according to some media reports, which led observers to conclude that he still has popular support in those areas that he controls. “The Libyan people have no problems. It is the colonial powers who have a problem. They want to control our oil. They are jealous because Allah has not given them the gift of oil,” said Gadhafi. “We do not fear them. We have no choice but to resist, become martyrs and fight until the end.”

Gadhafi had threatened on July 1 to attack Europe if raids on Libya continue, telling his supporters on state television that “if we decide, we can also take” the battle to Europe. In June, Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi called on Muslims worldwide to unleash a holy war against the West following NATO's airstrikes.

On July 6, NATO warplanes attacked positions held by Ghadfi loyalists in the town of Brega, including what was identified as oil refueling equipment. The airstrike on petroleum infrastructure was the first of its kind, according to a NATO source in Italy.  A United Nations Security Council resolution, however, authorizes the use of force in the North African country solely to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under attack or threat of attack.  The current conflagration in Libya has cut off 1.4 million barrels a day of exports. Crude oil for August delivery on July 8 declined $2.47 to settle at $96.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the biggest drop since June 23.  Libya has the greatest oil reserves of any African nation.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed that Libyan rebels, whose allegiance is still unclear, are gaining ground against Ghadafi’s forces.  Diplomatic and military pressure on the Libyan dictator remains unsuccessful as he refuses to step down.  Libyan rebels show no signs of taking Brega and loyalist forces continue to bomb opposition-held Misrata.  Clinton will travel to Turkey next week for a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya.

Cutting Edge Senior Correspondent Martin Barillas is a former diplomat. He also edits Speroforum.com

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