Gaddafi’s Threat To Reagan
Libya is back in the World News and history should serve to educate. Not surprisingly, Libya has a very bad write up in the International Press. What is yet to be understood by Western leaders is that the West has got itself entangled with a problem without a solution, unless we can turn the clock pack two thousand years. The problem is tribal conflict.
The Story of “The line of Death” has been well documented and published, in book form and film, as seen from the American perspective. However, I strongly believe that the USA thought that the “Line” was a point at which the Libyans would react with conventional weapons to any incursions over the imaginary line drawn between Tripoli and Benghazi . This post (Part 1 through to 4) is to tell of the actual work, which took place inside Libya., to create a “line” which was to be a weapon of mass destruction. For the American’s side of “The Line of Death”, the book entitled “EL DORADO CANYON: REAGAN’S UNDECLARED WAR WITH QUADDAFI (Joseph T Stanck) describes the events, leading to the conflict between the American Fleet and the Libyans, in the Gulf of Sidra in the year 1986. However, the true story of “The Line of Death” was centred on the LNG Plant, operated by the Sirte Oil Company, which is located in Marsa el Brega and is on the Libyan Coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The true story would be a real comedy if the target was not to decimate the American Fleet which was threatening to confront Colonel Gaddafi for his part in supporting terror activities across the World.
I first went to Libya to work for EXXON in the LNG Plant in early 1980’s. My job was as a Project Planning Engineer and my job location was in the central offices of the LNG Plant. In the early part of the 1980’s EXXON was under pressure from the Libyan government and Washington to withdrawn from Libya. Accordingly, EXXON agreed, with the Libyan government, a timetable for EXXON to hand over control of all the LNG, oil and gas facilities to the Sirte Oil Company. I, along with a group of Planning engineers who were all from the UK, was employed by a Libyan Contractor going under the banner of GESESA. However, in time, the Sirte Oil Company wished to have control of all people working for the Company and so our group was transferred to the payroll of the Sirte Oil Company.
Due to domestic circumstances I left the Sirte Oil Company in 1984 and after a long search for a new job secured a position as a Systems Engineer in the Thai Shell Company, Thailand. I was based in the small town of Phitsanulok, Thailand. In that job I deputised for the Head of Maintenance and Minor Construction. In a time when I was acting as the Head of Maintenance and Minor Construction, with my boss having left Thailand on business and for R&R, the oil price dropped to $2 per barrel and this sent a shock wave through the industry. I was given direct instructions from Shell Company of Thailand to demobilise all the contractors and to freeze operations with respect to maintenance and construction. This, in effect, included demobilising myself. I had the unenviable task of going around the Thai workers and telling them their services were no longer required. I also had the task of securing a new job for myself. As I was in charge, I had a secretary working for me and, through her, I circulated my CV to companies show in an expatriate employment paper back. Sadly, I had gone through a divorce and I did not have a permanent address. This meant that I omitted a contact address when I was making out the cover letter which was to carry the CV. I gave my secretary the job of printing out the CV and cover letter, placing them in large manilla envelopes and posting them off, at Thai-Shells expense, to the individual addresses of each company listed in the booklet that I gave her. Each day, at my desk, I sat down and placed my signature on a group of cover letters. I signed off approximately 500 cover letters in the several months before my demobilization
On the day that I was to leave Thai-Shell I asked my secretary to print me off the cover letter and the CV. She did so and placed them in a manilla envelope. She handed me the envelope and I reached in and slid out the top of the cover letter. I was completely shocked to see that I had not returned to the master word document to include a contact address. Hence, I returned to Libya and back to my old position as LNG planning Engineer. In the following posts, the true origins of “The Line of Death” (“The Line of Fire”) and its development are described. (To Part 2)