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Obama’s Libya experiment: BP a big winner but conflict over Syrian opposition

Map: CIA World Fact Book/U.S. GovernmentPresident Barack Obama can lay sole claim to the war in Libya regarding U.S. involvement—he sought no cooperation from Congress when he decided to engage in the civil war.

Americans were rightfully perplexed about Obama’s reasons for the engagement, but some clear winners are emerging. At the top of the list is a company whose mention will probaby raise a few American eyebrows: BP.

BP, having announced months ago that Libya is “safe enough” to “resume operations,” plans to drill 17 new wells:

“Offshore we have acquired 17,000 square kilometers of 3-D seismic in the Sirte Basin, another commitment to five exploration wells and onshore we’ve acquired 14,000 square kilometers of 3-D in the Ghadames Basin and have a commitment of 12 exploration wells...”

Between 2007-2011, BP spent $900 million in Libya; the company said future investments could be as much as $20 billion over the next two decades.

BP’s positive outlook echoes that of the world’s largest chemical company, BASF. Oil production has stabilized:

In its third quarter financial report BASF, which owns Wintershall, the second largest foreign oil company working in the country, cited Libyan oil production as “more than offsetting” lowered earnings in the chemicals business.

The new Libyan government is at odds with the Obama administration over the Syrian opposition, however. Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have expressed concern about the “radical Islamists” in the current opposition.

Libya, on the other hand, appears to have a positive stance towards the opposition, despite radicalism. Libya has given the Syrian National Council more than $20 million. Libya is the only country that recognizes the SNC as the official Syrian government.

Meanwhile, Benghazi continues to be a hot spot after the attacks on the U.S. Consulate where four Americans died on Sept. 11. A car bomb exploded in front of a police station in Benghazi on Sunday, injuring three.

Obama routinely criticized President George W. Bush’s engagement in Iraq after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Intelligence at the time pointed to the possibility of weapons of mass destruction. Bush did get congressional approval before starting that war on grounds of national security.

Obama pitched his war in Libya on humanitarian grounds. Apparently he “evolved” on the issue of preemptive strikes. His war has had some unintended consequences, among them, the destabilization of Mali.

Most media have declined to report on Libya as Obama seeks reelection.

There is a question no media have asked Obama. Does he prefer to assist foreign oil companies more than those located in the U.S.?

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Nov. 5, 2012)

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