Reason for Military Intervention by the West in Libya and not Syria: Oil31 Oct

U.S. Reason Against Intervening in Syria: “White House press secretary Jay Carney announced (7/24/12), “The U.S. is not going to intervene the Syrian situation in a military way or to invade the territory of this country, President Barack Obama believes that such actions would be wrong, he said, commenting on Republican senator John McCain’s statement that Washington does not exert efforts for the resolution of inter-Syrian conflict.” Jay Carney mentioned nothing about saving Syrian lives. As of this writing (10/31/12), 36,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war.

U.S. Reason for Intervening in Libya: During a joint press conference (5/25/11) with British Prime Minister, David Cameron, President Barack Obama justified support for Libyan rebels in their struggle to overthrow dictator Muammar Gaddafi. “Well, first of all, I do think that we’ve made enormous progress in Libya.  We have saved lives as a consequence of our concerted actions…The goal is to make sure that the Libyan people can make a determination about how they want to proceed, and that they’ll be finally free of 40 years of tyranny…We have a broad range of partners under an international mandate designed to save lives and ensure that we did not have the sort of massacre that would lead us then to look back and say to ourselves, why did we stand by and do nothing.”  There are widely varying estimates of the number killed during the military intervention by the west in Libya during 2011. “On September 8, Naji Barakat, the Health Minister of the National Transitional Council, stated that about 30,000 people were killed during the war.”

None of these declarations by President Obama and other western leaders mentioned the single most important reason for intervening in Libya and not Syria. Libya has nearly 20 times more proved oil reserves than Syria:

Country                                Proved Oil Reserves (billion barrels)

Libya                                             46.0

Syria                                                2.5

Conclusions: The Libyan and Syrian conflicts are civil wars and nearly the same fatalities have resulted from them so far. Based on these two examples, one has to wonder whether foreign intervention in a civil war actually saves lives, as claimed by President Obama in his justification for Libyan intervention.  This writer believes that the real reason for intervention justification is based on whether a country, engaged in civil strife, has significant oil reserves of importance to the west. If Libyan oil were removed from the world market, oil prices probably would have risen drastically, despite Saudi Arabian or Russian attempts to make up for any Libyan shortfall.

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One Response to “Reason for Military Intervention by the West in Libya and not Syria: Oil”

  1. The “Top Ten” Energy Issues Glossed over by U.S. Mainline Media | JHEverson Consulting Reply

    […] Syrian Rebels Don’t Matter, Only Oil Counts: The west helped Libyan rebels because that country has about 45 billion barrels of oil in reserve. Since Syria has only 2.5 […]

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

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