published Friday, June 3rd, 2011

What about Libya — and our $$?

Few of us Americans are ordinarily very interested in events in the North African country of Libya. But what is going on in Libya today may affect us — and our pocketbooks — tomorrow.

That’s because Libya is one of the world’s oil-producing nations. So what happens there has an impact on world oil and gasoline prices — and thus on us, in our automobile-reliant society.

Libya, on the southern side of the Mediterranean Sea, is in serious turmoil. Libyan rebels are seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi from his dictatorial rule.

Libya unfortunately has been ruled by Gadhafi since 1969. He is a perennial world troublemaker. He has ruled Libya oppressively. And his nation has at times sponsored terrorism — including terrorism against the United States.

It recently was reported that about 120 Libyan soldiers had turned against Gadhafi. That number might not seem very significant — except for reports that the anti-Gadhafi soldiers include eight senior Libyan military officers, five of them generals!

One of the generals opposing Gadhafi is Oun Ali Oun. He is said to have accused Gadhafi of genocide against his fellow Libyans, and violence against women in several Libyan cities.

Do the defections mean that Gadhafi is in danger of being toppled — or will he succeed in wiping out his internal military challengers?

In the midst of the Libyan civil war, NATO jet fighters have been bombing military targets in and around the capital, Tripoli. Those attacks have been in support of demands that Gadhafi cease aggression against Libyan rebels — and step down. President Barack Obama has unwisely provided U.S. military assistance in this effort, though no clear U.S. interest is at stake.

So what happens in Libya in the next few days may determine whether Gadhafi will stay in power. Or it may not.

But the next time you pull up at a gas station to fill your tank, you just might think of Gadhafi — and his role in the price you pay for gas.

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