Syria and Libya: A Tale of Two Uprisings

Muammar Ghadafi's stranglehold over Libya will soon end, military officials assert, as rebel forces stormed through the streets of Tripoli over the weekend. The U.S. involved itself in the Libyan war - excuse me, I meant "conflict" - under the guise of promoting freedom, a logic it has curiously failed to carry out in Syria, where the government continues to ruthlessly murder its citizens.

Ghadafi was undoubtedly a brutal, autocratic leader, reportedly torturing and killing thousands of Libyans during his 42-year reign of terror. The U.S., along with French and Italian forces, decided to intervene in Libya this year after reports surfaced that pro-Ghadafi forces were firing on opponents, savagely murdering protesters and rebel forces.

It's interesting, however, that a quick look at the news reveals the Syrian government, under President Bashar al-Assad, has similarly fired at peaceful protesters. The military has also orchestrated a brutal crackdown of government opposition forces over the past few months, with many thousands of Syrians killed during non-violent protests. In fact, since the government began its crackdown in March, more than 2,200 people have been killed, according to the United Nations .

Instead of invading the country in the name of democracy, President Obama and other Western leaders have called for al-Assad to step down.


On the other hand, in Libya, a country coincidentally responsible for more than 2 percent of global oil production, Western leaders quickly and decisively responded by invading the country. The ensuing war - sorry again, I meant "conflict," as officials have continually referred to it - is projected to cost the U.S. more than $1.1 billion by late September , all to capture a despotic leader who paid millions of dollars to singers like Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Nelly Furtado just a few years ago to perform at his swanky parties.

Following news that troops had surrounded Ghadafi stronghold this weekend, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on state television Monday that Eni , an Italian oil company, will "have a Number 1 role in the future" in Libya. Strangely enough, the European benchmark price for oil dropped on Monday morning as investors believe foreign companies will quickly reenter the country to ratchet up production.

Very interesting, indeed.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.