By Padraig O'Hannelly.
Over the years, many countries have sacrificed their prosperity for the sake of ideology, or to keep a ruling elite in power.
Zimbabwe was known as the 'breadbasket of Africa', until corruption and cronyism forced it into decline, forty years of communism set East Germany back a generation, while the contrast between the fortunes of North and South Korea could hardly be greater.
Libya under Gaddafi fits this mould to some extent, but as an article in this week's Economist points out, at least during the civil war both sides refrained from attacking the countries oil infrastructure, leaving it largely intact and available for use when the conflict ended.
In recent times, however, protestors have taken to disrupting the country's main source of income -- oil production. The Minister of Oil and Gas, Dr. Abdulbari Alarusi [Al Arusi] said the protests have cost the country 250,000 bpd in lost production. That's around $25 million lost to the Libyan people every day, $9 billion a year that they can ill-afford to lose.
Libyans of all tribes and factions should remember the experiences of other countries before putting the future welfare of the country at risk.