Now that Libya’s NATO-backed rebels have taken the capital of Tripoli, political gadfly Donald Trump wants the insurgents to repay the West for its help by turning over the country’s oil. “You know, in the old days, when you won a war, to the victor go the spoils,” Trump said, “why don’t we take the oil?” “All those rebels are going to be richer than the people of this country because they’re going to take all the oil!” Trump warned. Watch it:
Recall, earlier this year, Trump advocated a similar policy proposal for Iraq. “We should just stay there and take the oil,” he said bluntly, adding that if we didn’t, our soldiers “would have died in vain.”
Trump would be delighted to know that BP is already eyeing a return to Libya after it evacuated all of its expatriate personnel in February when the anti-Gaddafi upraising began. “We intend to resume our activities and return to the country when conditions allow,” a BP spokesman told AFP. Other foreign oil companies seem to be more cautious, saying they want to wait until a new government is formed to return and that it could take “years” to get oil fields back to full capacity.
BP struck a controversial deal with the Gaddafi regime in 2007 that allowed it to drill in the Gulf of Sirte. Many allege that BP leaned on the Scottish and U.K. governments to release Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahim to Libya in order help the company gain access the country’s offshore drilling rights. And as BP was privately lobbying for the terrorist’s release, it was also publicly trying to improve the country’s image and extolling the benefits to the U.K of a relationship between Libya and BP in its company magazine. It’s unclear whether the new regime with hold the company’s ties to Gaddafi against them.