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Lobbyists line up to new Libyan government

Published time: August 26, 2011 03:31
Edited time: August 26, 2011 07:31

AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte

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It’s no surprise that America is quick to put itself in the picture of the whole ordeal in Libya as the United States isn’t exactly a known isolationist nation.

Aside from involving itself in the politics of the country during the current revolution, American PR companies have begun a bidding war to offer their services to a nation with a new government and new faces.

Corporations, companies and politicians in America aligned themselves to Colonel Gaddafi only up until late. As the revolt escalated, however, ties were cut and contracts broken. Now with the Transitional National Council being considered the governing body of Libya by parts of the world, the US included, American entities want to invest in an all-new Libya.

Washington-based lobbyists Patton Boggs have already inked a deal with Libya in the days since the coup heated up, and are charging the new government upwards of $50,000 a month for consulting fees. In a new report by the National Journal, it’s revealed that strategists at The Harbour Group have also lined up to hop on the Libyan bandwagon, and while they are offering their services for free right now, they could be setting the groundwork for a long-lasting, big-money contract.

“There is a great deal of money to be made in nation building,” Malou Innocent of the Cato Institute told RT. She noted, however, that Americans are already putting themselves at risk of overstaying their welcome overseas. “There’s this feeling that, yes, thank you so much NATO for helping us get liberated, but now Yankee, go home,” added Innocent. By investing so much into a newborn nation, she says the example could easily be stated as a pretext for western imperialism.

At the same time, she notes that America is also exercising its tendency to be a country of hypocrites. Americans once supported Colonel Gaddafi and celebrated him as a leader and ally. In recent times, however, Americans have taken great measures to sever ties with the former leader. By backing one leader only to turn their back and go against them is simply a reoccurring pattern with American politics, said Innocent.

A report by the Boston Globe reveals that one consulting firm founded by Harvard professors was raking in a quarter of a million dollars a month for generation good press and “international appreciation of Libya” up until only a few years ago. Now companies are cutting those ties and trying to start all over again.

Is it an attempt to spread western ideals and bring democracy to Libya, or is America just looking to get that much richer? Regardless of which way you look at it, it’s a dangerous trend that unfortunately isn’t exactly new.

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