I think the cholesterol levels are a bunch of hype to sell drugs. Now everyone is obsessed with their HDL and LDL and all that. Bologna.
You are absolutely right. It is not the levels of cholesterol that increase or decrease the risk of plaque and arteriosclerosis. Instead it is the amount of arterial inflammation.
What is ironic is that they push cholesterol lowering statin drugs under the pretense of lowering the risk of heart attack. But the doctors don't tell patients that these same drugs significantly increase the risk of heart failure. So you are absolutely right, it is all about the money.