John Wayne is the Duke. Elvis is the King.

John Wayne's Holster: Still Think the Iraq War Is Not About Oil?
John Wayne's Holster
Visit my main blog at Monkey Wrench Revival. Visit my birdwatching blog at The Birding Nerd.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still Think the Iraq War Is Not About Oil?

Photo Credit: INFORSE
The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," .” ~ Dick Cheney, 1999, CEO, Halliburton.

GW Bush is an oil man. That’s his thing, although he has not been very good at it. GW is also a politician. That’s his other thing, and he hasn’t been very good at that either. Not to be deterred, Bush resorted to the so-called “double-negative” principle (i.e. two negatives resolve to a positive), combining his chosen paths in the hope of achieving something.

Fast forward to 2001. Bush got himself elected President (sorry Al, although it may seem like an inconvenient truth, GW won the election fair & square). Oil money played a big part in his campaign. For example, Exxon Mobil donated $1.2 billion, and BP Aamco donated $0.8 million. Shell Oil has also spent a few dollars on Bush over the years. As such, Bush owes them a big debt of gratitude (debt being the key word). But how to pay them back? Hmmm?

Fast forward again. This time to 2003. Shock and Awe is underway. The US has invaded Iraq.

Ostensibly, the war in Iraq was/is about a lot of things, such as: removing Saddam Hussein from power, stabilizing the region, finding WMDs, safeguarding the world from terrorism, fighting them over there instead of over here, liberating a repressed people, bringing democracy to the region, etc, etc. At some level, a few of these things are true – but not really. None seem sufficient to justify a war of the present scale.

One thing the war was not about, so we were told, was OIL!

'It has nothing to do with oil -- literally nothing.' ~ Donald Rumsfeld, Nov. 14, 2002.

In reality, no one in their right mind believed that. Of course the war was about oil (and money). Obviously, the administration could not come right out and say it. It had to maintain the façade that the war had some more noble, albeit quixotic, goal.

Now the truth comes out. Iraq's Oil Ministry has just announced that no-bid contracts are about to be offered to four Western oil companies (Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP) to service Iraq's largest fields. Well I'll be...Isn't that a coincidence. Those companies were also BIG donors to the Bush campaign.

Spokesmen for the oil industry maintain that the forthcoming efforts were designed to “help rebuild Iraq’s oil industry. An Iraqi oil ministry spokesmen added, “the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields.”

The rationale for awarding the contracts is “ to increase oil production by half a million barrels per day”. The revenue (some of it anyway) will be used for reconstruction.

Wow. Sounds really selfless. This must be that compassionate conservatism thing we have been told to expect. The oil companies are really going to go to Iraq to help the nice people get their lives back together. Will someone please pass me a Kleenex?

How stupid do the administration and the oil people think we are? Well, I suppose the answer is quite obvious. Doesn’t anyone read their history books anymore (1, 2)? If anyone thinks the oil companies are going to go in, set things up, and then go back home, they must have just fallen off a turnip truck.

Since the discovery of oil in the Middle East (1920s), western oil companies have maintained their imperialistic presence in the region. And they made lots of money doing it. It didn’t take the Middle East long to realize they were being exploited, and shortly after WWII, they began to nationalize their oil industries, much to the dismay (and lost revenue) of the west. The west made a number of attempts to regain their access to the region’s oil. Coups were orchestrated, leaders went missing or were assassinated, and western-supported puppet regimes were established.

Then, in the 1970s, it all blew up. OPEC began price gouging, raising the price of oil 700%, to an outrageous $22 per barrel, and thereby spawning the energy crisis. Not wanting to miss the party, Saddam cashed in and nationalized Iraq’s oil industry. Saddam also had designs on gaining a foothold on the majority of the regions oil. With this aim in mind, he sought to re-annex Kuwait in the early 90’s. The west had enough…

Entrance, stage right: George W. Bush.

In a nutshell, all of our dealings with Iraq, from Desert Storm, through Shock & Awe, to today, have only really been about one thing - re-establishing western hegemony over the region’s oil.

It appears the things are proceeding according to schedule.


Post a Comment

<< Home