Permanent wars for oil and permanent terrorism
By Rodrigue Tremblay
Online Journal Guest Writer
May 1, 2008, 00:16
�Oil in the
next war will occupy the place of coal in the present war, or at least a
parallel place to coal. The only big potential supply that we can get under
British control is the Persian [now Iran] and Mesopotamian [now Iraq] supply. .
. . Control over these oil supplies becomes a first class British war aim.�
--Sir Maurice Hankey, Britain�s First Secretary of the War Cabinet, 1918
"Whatever their publicized angst
over Saddam Hussein's 'weapons of mass destruction,' American and British
authorities were also concerned about violence in an area that harbours a
resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy." --Alan
Greenspan, Fed Chairman, 1987-2006
"[We cannot leave Iraq because]
extremists [may] be in a position to use oil as a
tool to blackmail the West . . . and they will do so unless we abandon Israel
" --George W. Bush, November 1, 2006
"When there is a regime change in
Iraq, you could add 3 million to 5 million barrels of production to world
supply," --Lawrence Lindsey, George W. Bush's then-chief economic adviser,
supplies of energy are essential to our prosperity and security. The
concentration of 65 percent of the world's known oil reserves in the Persian
Gulf means we must continue to ensure reliable access to competitively priced
oil and a prompt, adequate response to any major oil supply disruption.":
-- White House, "National Security Strategy of the United States,"
When the Bush-Cheney
administration took over in January 2001, the international price of oil was
about $22 a barrel. Now, nearly eight years later, the price of oil is hovering
around $120 a barrel, a more than 500 percent increase.
Thus, as far as oil
is concerned, things have not unfolded in Iraq as planned and expected by the
neocons in the Bush-Cheney administration. First, they thought that gushing
Iraqi oil would pay for the invasion and occupation of the country. Instead, the
cash outlay for this adventure is likely to reach one trillion dollars, and the
total cost to the U.S. economy will likely surpass three trillion dollars.
Second, the price of oil has reached record levels with no top in sight and
this is threatening to tip the U.S. and the world economies into a protracted
economic recession. This is partly due to the fact that Iraqi oil output has
not increased as planned and is rather below where it was when the United
States invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003. From a macroeconomic point of view,
this ill-advised and illegal war
has been an unmitigated disaster.
despite sporadic pious declarations about leaving Iraq when asked, the
Bush-Cheney administration is planning a 50-Year American military
occupation of Iraq. They do not want to set a date to end the occupation of Iraq, because they see it as an
open-ended military occupation. This is to be expected, since the real reasons
they invaded Iraq in the first place was to pursue the long-run goal of controlling Middle Eastern oil and of protecting the
state of Israel from its Muslim neighbors. Indeed, everybody knows that
the military invasion of Iraq by American forces had nothing to do with
"democracy" or the wishes of the people. It had everything to do with
securing Iraq's oil reserves and with removing one of Israel's enemies in the
person of Saddam Hussein.
31, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed these long-term plans when he
said that the United States was looking for a "long and enduring
presence" in Iraq. That is the reason the U.S. has built the largest embassy in the world, 21 buildings on a 100-acre site
on the banks of the Tigris, which will be capable of housing 1,000 employees.
That is also why they are consolidating some 100 plus military bases in that
Muslim country into 14 permanent
super-military bases -- all geared to control militarily that part of the world
for a very long time.
This is also why the
Bush-Cheney administration is pushing the Iraqi Parliament hard to adopt a law
that would privatize the Iraqi oil
industry. If the current puppet regime
now in place in Iraq were to refuse passing such a
law, the so-called "Hydrocarbon Act," it would lose over a billion
dollars in reconstruction funds
that would be blocked by the Bush-Cheney administration.
This overt military
grab of the oil resources of a Middle Eastern nation is a sure recipe for
feeding permanent terrorism in the world and permanent war in the Middle East
for as long as one can see. And if Americans elect a Republican president again
next November, by voting for presumptive Republican presidential nominee
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), that is what
will happen since this politician is already committed to a 100-year war
in that part of the world.
According to polls, a vast
majority of Iraqis are opposed to the privatization of their oil industry.
Nevertheless, privatization of Iraqi oil is one of the main "benchmarks"
that the Bush-Cheney administration is imposing on the Iraqi government.
It has installed in
occupied Iraq a puppet government of its own that is delivering the
merchandise, even though some arm-twisting has been necessary. Last July 3, for instance, the
U.S.-controlled al-Maliki's Cabinet approved, with no
Sunni ministers present, a US-backed draft oil
law that will share Iraqi oil wealth between the three main Iraqi groups, but which will, above
all, let American and foreign oil companies into the Iraqi oil sector
and enact privatization under so-called production sharing agreements.
This has been a key political target and even a
"benchmark" set by the Bush-Cheney White House, but so far the Iraqi
Parliament has balked in approving the required controversial legislation, because there have been many protests. Many Iraqis are very reluctant to adopt a policy of
sharing oil production and revenues with foreign oil companies, especially when
they have been taken away from them at gunpoint.
The Iraqi oil
industry has been nationalized since 1975, some 33 years ago. Indeed, before
the American-led military invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Iraqi oil fields were controlled by the Iraqi government through a
state-owned corporation. This was the foundation for a relatively high standard
of living in Iraq, which had one of the best health care systems in the region
and was producing more Ph.D.s per capita than the U.S. It is this prosperity
and this wealth that are being destroyed by the Bush-Cheney administration.
Under their military occupation of Iraq and the contemplated oil arrangements,
much of Iraqi oil production and oil revenues would fall under the control of
foreign oil companies, mainly American and British (Exxon/Mobil,
Chevron/Texaco, BP/Amoco, and Royal Dutch/Shell).
the two main rationales for launching the illegal invasion of Iraq would have
been accomplished, i.e. to keep the flow of oil going,
under the surveillance of American troops, the other rationale being the
destruction of one of Israel's strategic enemies. Many knowledgeable observers,
such as Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson,
have confirmed that Oil Supply Security was
a paramount reason for the Iraq invasion and occupation when he said that maintaining "resource security" in
the Middle East was a priority. That is the reason why, when the
American armies arrived in Baghdad, in early April 2003, their orders were to
secure only one kind of public buildings, those of the Iraqi Oil Ministry. All
the rest did not matter.
let us remember that on October 11, 2002, the U.S. Senate voted 77-23 to give
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney a blank check to launch a war of aggression
against Iraq. Two current presidential candidates, John McCain and Hillary
Clinton voted for the resolution. Let us remind ourselves also that 10 days
earlier, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had issued a confidential 90-page
classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate, which contained a long list of dire
consequences to follow if the USA were to invade Iraq. The report was made
available to all 100 senators, but only six of them bothered to avail
themselves of the opportunity to read it. Thanks to that knowledge, people have
a glimpse now about how decisions were made in Washington, D.C., before the
onset of this war. Even on questions of life and death, improvisation prevailed
on a large scale. And now, the seeds have been sown for permanent military
occupations, permanent wars and permanent terrorism in the Middle East and in
price for such a misguided policy will be high and will linger on for years to
come. Indeed, many Americans are beginning to see that there is a link between
Iraq war spending and deficit, and the ongoing recession and accelerating
inflation. Such waste and spending on wars reduce the amount of financial
resources available to finance other essential government programs at home,
from education to infrastructure. They increase the balance of payments deficit
and force the U.S. to borrow abroad. And when the Fed lowers interest rates to
mitigate the banking crisis, the dollar plummets, which feeds inflation further
when oil prices and all other prices connected with transportation and
world-traded commodities go up. The current stagflation is a direct consequence
of excessive U.S. military spending abroad. The sooner a majority of Americans
see that, the better.
lives in Montreal and can be reached at email@example.com.
He is the author of the book �'The New American Empire.� His new book, �The Code for Global Ethics,�
will be published in 2008. Visit his blog site at thenewamericanempire.com/blog.
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