Money to Explode 123

All previous experience indicates that the latest expert estimate of the money spent by the UK on bombing Libya – up to £1.75 billion – will prove in time to be an underestimate.

Yesterday saw the heaviest NATO attack of the entire war, on the very centre of Sirte, leading thousands of civilians to try to flee. They are largely unable to do so because of a cordon of checkpoints set up by their attackers, slowing movement to a standstill and very occasional crawl. This massive bombing was coordinated with what we must now call the Libyan government – the former TNC. That a military action by NATO rationalised as protecting civilians from the Libyan government, ends up with a far greater bombardment of civilians on behalf of a different Libyan government, is too terrible to call ironic. NATO’s mandate to “protect civilians” from the UN actually expires on Friday, so all this week we will see a massive crescendo in NATO bombing of towns before that deadline.

But let us put that cost to the UK in context. The whole world economy is being shaken, and the livelihoods of billions damaged, by the problems of French banks having to write off Greek debt. If as expected Greece repudiates 50% of its debt, the capital written off by French banks will be in sterling approximately £4 billion. The £1.75 billion would make a big hole in that. I am certainly not suggesting that money should have been given to Greece instead of blowing up Libya, I am merely pointing out that this is a significant amount of money to waste in terms of global capital sums.

Remember we did not have that £1,75 billion – we borrowed it from the banks, adding to the international debt crisis and your and my tax burden for the rest of our lives, and our children after us. And remember the UK contributed under 25% of the NATO effort in Libya – total wasted will be pushing £10 billion.

NATO members are at the absolute heart of the world financial crisis. The colossal squandering of incredible – and in some cases unaccountable – sums in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are fundamental to the lack of fiscal control in these economies. Not a single media pundit has mentioned it.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

123 thoughts on “Money to Explode

1 2 3 5
  • John Goss

    Not to mention costs in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    “The direct costs of the war, which is to say those unfunded costs in each year’s budget, now come to $1.23 trillion, or $444.6 billion for Afghanistan and $791.4 billion for Iraq, according to the National Priorities Project.”
    And this money we owe – who do we owe it to. And where did they get it from to lend to NATO.

  • larry levin

    Dear Mr Craig Murray, have you noticed that very little is said about Iceland these days? Could it be because Iceland would not make good the losses of the international speculators./gamblers? Iceland is doing very well economically after standing and refusing to be shakedown by the banksters.

  • Alexander Mercouris

    Dear Craig, I totally agree with you. Western economies were already becoming overstretched before 2000 but the unending series of hyper expensive wars we have fought since then has massively added to the problems as has the huge growth in defence spending in thee US. I would add that the same happened in the 1960s. The inflation that hit the world economy in the 1970s and which destroyed the Bretton Woods system was in part at least caused by runaway spending in the US to fund the Vietnam war and to get to the moon before the Russians. The point is scarcely ever made and the subject is largely taboo.

  • mary

    Excellent comment Craig on this latest example of NATO’s barbarity. There will be no count of the dead and injured as elsewhere in Libya this year. I read last week that the UN have extended the operation by another 90 days.
    Nato extends Libya mission
    2011-09-21 16:15
    Brussels – Nato agreed today to a three-month extension of its air and sea campaign in Libya as the country’s new rulers try to dislodge well-armed Muammar Gaddafi loyalists holding out in several towns.
    The agreement to extend the mission, which Nato took full control of on March 31, was reached at a meeting of ambassadors of the 28 Nato states in Brussels, a Nato diplomat said.
    It was the second three-month extension to the mission that has involved a campaign of air strikes and a naval mission to enforce a UN arms embargo.
    Sirte is like one of those game reserves where the rich go to shoot captive big cats and other animals. P Harry’s prospective father-in-law-that-was owns one. How disgusting.

  • Chris2

    These costs, incurred to finance illegal wars or illegally stretched ‘mandates’ for war, are in my view “odious debts.”
    The creditor has a responsibility, when lending funds to government, to refuse to finance criminality.
    To hold that these debts are sacred and must be repaid is simply to encourage amorality and immorality both among lenders and borrowers.

  • Sunflower

    The cost for war will never be too high for the New World Order. Killing has become the new main objective for our “governments”.

  • andy

    Obama’s Arc of Instability
    Destabilizing the World One Region at a Time
    by Nick Turse
    ”It’s a story that should take your breath away: the destabilization of what, in the Bush years, used to be called “the arc of instability.” It involves at least 97 countries, across the bulk of the global south, much of it coinciding with the oil heartlands of the planet. A startling number of these nations are now in turmoil, and in every single one of them — from Afghanistan and Algeria to Yemen and Zambia — Washington is militarily involved, overtly or covertly, in outright war or what passes for peace. ”
    ”According to Pentagon documents released earlier this year, the U.S. has personnel — some in token numbers, some in more sizeable contingents — deployed in 76 other nations sometimes counted in the arc of instability: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Syria, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.”

  • ValuePlus

    But the arms manufacturer are making a fortune. Who do think the war is meant to benefit? The real purpose of all the wars is served all the time.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Programme on just now on Channel 4 (UK) about Blair’s business dealings as Middle East Envoy.

    And an Observer article on his deals with South Korean oil companies operating in Iraq, Russian oligarchs and companies getting contracts from the Israeli government in the occupied territories via JP Morgan, the bank that pays Blair £2 million a year as a consultant

  • writerman

    I think we need to realize and accept that the era of what some people term “bougeoise, liberal, democracy” is definitively… over.

    We’ve now entered the era of “totalitarian democracy” which seems like a contradiction in terms, but isn’t. It’s perfectly possible to have a political system where the people have a vote and there are elections, only the parties one can choose between are virtually identical, and as there is no credible, realistic, alternative to the neoliberal economic and social dogma, the election result has become irrelevant.

    In the UK none of the three neoliberal factions pretending to be rival political parties with alternative agendas, have any answers to the challenges we face… that answer, that hope, if it comes at all, will have to come from the streets, not the ballot box.

  • Ruth

    ‘..that answer, that hope, if it comes at all, will have to come from the streets, not the ballot box.’ Writerman
    I totally agree but I think it would be a very good idea to start a campaign to persuade people not to vote. Voting is utterly pointless. It’s something our rulers want to maintain in order to keep up the facade of democracy. The illusion needs removing.

  • Parky

    I think that if the majority can be pursuaded not to vote or better still spoil the paper, I doubt it would make any difference to anything. A general strike might be the only thing that would hit big business in the pocket. This may be inevertible given the way western economies are heading.
    Odd given the UK’s propensity for war making, that further job losses have been announced for BAE defence systems. maybe they are just going to buy it all from China?

  • mark_golding

    Late night thought…
    A world without money means we become our own caretakers and real wealth is group:
    for thinkers…

  • HRIMark

    The Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund is supposed to be worth $70 billion. We’ll see where that is invested now. Probably the French nuclear power industry for a start. The real cost of the war is in dead, injured, displaced, terrified and raped Libyans and Africans, a country with a destroyed infrastructure, a region with a devastated economy and a fractured society in a state of ongoing conflict.

  • James

    Always been a fan and had huge respect from the days we met while I was out in Kazakhstan (int school) lots of balls, but at times more cynical than the radical of old – back in the day you may have supported action in Libya in its pure sense – easy to yack on about the real cost – why not support a new set up that may be capitalist and Islamic and believe in human rights… Unlikely to succeed maybe, but you have to support these things for them to have a chance?

    If something is right is it an obscene waste of money? Please qv your past arguments.


  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Craig,
    The single question I ask myself about this Libyan tragedy is:-
    – How do we have “humanitarian bombing?”
    I see cynical, fascist and criminal action afoot in Libya.
    The African Union at the onset of the troubles coming out of the East of Libya in Benghazi, signaled with a plan that Gadaffi accepted that Western style elections would be held and a plan implemented, which the AU documented (
    NATO rejected the plan, armed rebels, started bombing, and has cleared a path for regime change, which after over six months of bombing of Libya, still finds Libyans resisting the NATO led rebels.
    Of course, just like in Tunisia and Egypt, the populace does not want Gadaffi, but somehow, with the majority not wanting him, there is a need to keep NATO bombing going for a further three months. This clearly shows and proves that the overwhelming majority want to have a new NTC government, which of course is why some unreasonable Libyans continue to resist while the NATO presence and bombardment of Libya continues.
    How with UN Resolutions 1970 and 1973, do NATO get from a humanitarian no-fly mission to bombing Libyan civilians for over six months – then extend for another three months?
    My answer is that the bombing is either of the ilk of fascism, or it is humanitarianism. I remain convinced that it can’t be both.
    Criminal action
    When the following happens:-
    1. A faction, which, if in the recent riots in England – Scotland, Ireland and Wales intervened and gave full support to the rioters – then the established government would be faced with horrendous problems of insurrection, which if left alone it could have resolved – but the Scots, Welsh and Irish supported the looters and rioters simply because they wanted to provide humanitarian support against the overwhelming power of the English state.
    2. There can be no NTC without NATO bombardment and foreign troops and advisors guiding the action on the ground in Libya.
    3. The scope for open-ended civil war has been instigated by NATO’s actions.
    4. There is no viable Libyan faction able to command political power in any cohesive manner – so NATO now dominates the Libyan political landscape ( yet it cannot achieve the goal militarily – because of the range and depth of resistance, Libyan tribal loyalties and the sheer geographical size of Libya) and as the dust of war settles over Libya ( one year, two years, three years, five years…more?) – so NATO presents oil rich, previously debt free Libya with bills to be paid in respect of the liberating bombardment which has created a humanitarian disaster and this “free” country.
    5. Here is some evidence of the effect of dropping bombs on Libyan civilians –
    6. Not to worry – the fight really is for a NATO led war for “democracy”.
    Anyone trying to make sense out of this insanity – can be guided and educated by watching the following informative videos.

    West after Libyan oil, riches
    Imperialism with left wing slogans

  • nobody

    Hello Craig,

    Isn’t it true that every pound in the UK is borrowed from independent, which is to say ‘untouchable, international entities? So much for sovereignty.

    And isn’t it also true that the banks the money was borrowed from never had it that money to begin with? Didn’t they merely declare that they have it as an entry in a ledger?

    Is there any sense in this arrangement? What reasons could there be for every sovereign power to subject themselves to such perversity? Especially when they could make money from thin air just as easily as the untouchables? Why do we let them do it and pay them a perfectly unnecessary interest to boot?

    And please no comments about how much more ‘responsible’ the internationalists are. Honestly, as if where the world is at now could be any worse than if we abolished the current arrangement and decided our own monetary needs.

    Aside from the question of why we subject ourselves to this, we must necessarily ask, what’s in it for the bankers? They don’t need the money themselves. They can and do simply declare that they have it. They have a licence to print money.

    How could we conclude otherwise than that this mad arrangement exists to ensure no country ever becomes too powerful. Tell me it doesn’t function in this fashion. How powerful is the US in the face of how much debt they owe? Don’t forget the Americans all worked their arses off, with a lousy two weeks holidays a year, with massive production, and somehow the whole place went out backwards? Nuts.

    And yeah, yeah, they blew the money on wars. But weren’t the wars to make them rich? Isn’t that the theory? Surely this is circular logic? It must be since the US going out backwards. Yes? What were the wars for? Where’s the pay-off? What did they achieve apart from enriching the bankers?

    Sure there’s the MIC oligarchy getting rich on borrowed money they don’t have to pay for. But between them copping a free ride on their nation’s impoverishment all to international entities who exist for no other purpose, and the international entities throwing them some crumbs by way of their couldn’t-be-bettered means of wasting money (ie. wars), who’s the top dog here? What odds would a Ladbrokes from hell give you on each of them?

    Not forgetting that the list of nations we’re currently destroying precisely coincides with the list of nations that don’t subscribe to the aforementioned money-as-debt international entities. Do-ability aside of course. But the heavies like China, will get theirs too. I’ll bet money on it, down at the Ladbrokes from hell.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Nobody,

    ” But the heavies like China, will get theirs too. I’ll bet money on it, down at the Ladbrokes from hell.”

    You are so right – just read my post above – Russia and China has to be emasculated by the US if US global hegemony is to be a “success”. How else do you accomplish the hegemonic mission?
    Crazy and bloody world we live in.

  • Felix

    Described in the Times (26 Sept): Yesterday the NTC fighters withdrew to the edge of the city, allowing NATO jets to soften up the remnants of Colonel Gaddafi’s army. (my emphasis).

  • LeeJ

    Am I right in saying that Greece is paying interest at 17%? If the loan rate was – say – halved, would this stop Greece defaulting and the whole crisis would then go away in the greater sense?

    All that would change would be that a few zeros would go missing off some bankers computer screen?

    Or, as the US did, they could increase the deficit ceiling. I know the debt remains – but it was good enough for the US and I dont hear any financial “experts” making a comparison.

    Would appreciate any informed reply to confirm or dispel my theory.

  • Anon

    I see the NATO (to? zi?) murderers are trotting out the old ‘human shield’ line, as in, “we didn’t want to kill any civilians, gov, but they was being used as human shields’.

    I was just going to wipe my knife on the bed, officer, but the lady was being used as a human shield. What could I do? – Jack the Ripper

  • John Goss

    Mary, I didn’t watch the Tony Blair show, but I’ll catch up later. What I did watch was Gaddafi’s support for the IRA.

    While there was some good research went into this programme it was very one-sided. In fact I ended up feeling: “Yes, Gaddafi supplied the IRA with Semtex used in bombings in the UK, but unlike NATO, Libya wasn’t actually doing the bombing”. NATO countries supply weapons and arms materials all over the world. The presentation showed the blatant hypocritical one-sidedness expected from our media.

1 2 3 5

Comments are closed.