The media has spun a great victory for the rebel forces in Tripoli despite gross inaccuracies in reporting and falsified imagery of celebrations. The triumphant story line seems to now be meeting the reality of the challenge ahead for NATO’s ragtag rebels. Consequently, calls of increasing funding to the rebels grow louder.
The Associated Press reports: “The Libyan opposition says they urgently need at least $5 billion of those assets to pay state salaries, maintain vital services and repair critical oil facilities.”
According to analysts in the AP report, the West has seized upwards of $110B in assets from Gadhafi’s Libya. If accurate, these frozen investments exceed the entire 2010 gross domestic product of Libya, which was $96.1B.
Additionally, it was reported that in 2009 Libya had at least 143.8 tonnes of gold reserves worth nearly $10 billion. Both these vast gold reserves and foreign assets indicate Libya was in tremendous financial shape prior to NATO’s “humanitarian” invasion.
Now it appears that the rebels, who are a very small minority of Libya’s population, will be using the country’s savings to wage war against other Libyans loyal to Gadhafi — which most recent estimates showed represent about 85% of the population.
Perhaps his popularity has something to do with Libya’s incredible economic and social accomplishments, all achieved with very little nominal debt relative to their GDP and savings. As the Western economies crumble to receivership and austerity, Libyans received free health care, free college, free housing, cash from oil revenues, and enjoyed near self-sufficiency as a nation with the highest standard of living in Africa. All this achieved while maintaining assets exceeding their annual GDP.
Libya’s economy, therefore, has been the polar opposite of the West’s. Yet, now that NATO controls the seized purse strings, Libya is likely to get a lesson in Western economics. God help them.