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A few days ago, we wondered where the Libyan oil proceeds have gone, leaving that rich country in need of foreign aid. Now the rebels’ oil minister has announced that it will take at least a year and the half to repair the oil facilities. Which is a lie: Gadhafi’s troops didn’t mine the Brega terminal, as alleged, and the NATO bombing damaged it only slightly. Repairing control rooms and replacing the tanks is a matter of two or three months. Evidently, the rebels need this grace period to sell oil on the grey market, both for themselves and probably for their NATO sponsors.

The rebels have already pocketed 200 million dollars from crude sales to Vitol and other traders, besides $300 million unfrozen by the US treasury during the war, and similar amounts by other NATO states—more than $1 billion total. No way did they spend anywhere that much on their pauper soldiers. Hundreds of millions of dollars reached Islamist fighters among the rebels, Al Qaeda’s largest booty ever.

The corruption extends beyond the Libyan rebels. A US refiner bought 1 million barrels of Libyan oil from the rebels before the US recognized their government, which amounts to purchase of stolen goods.

Libyan oil worker

Though Western sources claim they cannot find Gadhafi to capture him, that cannot be true. He has given several phone interviews, including a call to Syrian TV. The CIA and Israel closely monitor phone communications in Syria, and would have no difficulty identifying the number Gadhafi was calling from. It is unlikely that he used Internet telephony with chain proxies and tunneling; he called from a satellite phone, which can easily be traced to a location.

More probably, he has settled in a Saharan town far enough from the coast that NATO cannot bring its commandos on helicopters.

The government has approved a $300 million plan to resettle tens of thousands of Bedouins from illegal villages into towns. In practice, the plan would cost upward of a billion dollars when other preferences and subsidies are accounted for. The plan is exceedingly immoral: why should the government provide free homes for Bedouins, who are economic parasites, when there are so many needy Jewish taxpayers around? Why does the government compensate Bedouins for their illegal structures, but not Jewish settlers—for example, for the demolished homes of Migron?

Settled Bedouins become just ordinary Arabs. They go from being allies of Jews to becoming our enemies. The government wants to clear the Negev for development, which is impossible now because of Bedouin squatting. But resettlement won’t help, either: the Bedouins will still control the territory unless Jews find the guts to restore law and order in that area, which increasingly is becoming off-limits to Jews.

September 2011
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