Most observers will concede that BP and the potential of billions in oil was behind the lobbying for the release of convicted terrorist Al-Megrahi. Al-Megrahi was released on “humanitarian grounds” and was supposed to be dead within weeks. Nearly two years after his release Megrahi is still living with his family in Tripoli.
Now that BP has won contracts in Libya, the people have decided that they don’t want to be ruled by a thug. The violence has escalated to the point that BP has had to pull its people out of Libya, and essentially shut down operations. All the lobbying to get a killer released is for naught at the moment.
The Libyan regime has long been known for it’s brutality and support of terrorism. Bush’s adventures in Iraq convinced the country that it wanted to suspend its nuclear and chemical weapons programs. Gaddafi didn’t want the US marines marching to Tripoli again. The Libyan dictator showed the world what most already knew, bullies respect only power and the will to use it.
Recently the country has been trying to normalize relations with developed nations. These attempts are remarkably self serving. Libya’s oil industry has been slowly faltering for the better part of the last decade. The dictator couldn’t stay in power unless the oil and money flowed and Gaddafi understood that getting to the oil required foreign know how. The call went out and BP was all to eager to step up to the plate and help, even if that meant releasing a killer and playing footsie with a brutal dictator.
In a karmic turn, BP’s investments aren’t looking so good now. The jury is still out on when or if BP can return anytime soon. If Gaddafi somehow holds on to power, would you want to do business with a company that is helping to prop him up?