History will show U.S. lusted after oil
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  1. #1
    AJS
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    History will show U.S. lusted after oil

    by Linda McQuaig


    "Decades from now, historians will likely calmly discuss the war currently raging in Iraq, and identify oil as one of the key factors that led to it.

    They will point to the growing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the importance of oil in the rising competition between the U.S. and China, and the huge untapped store of oil lying unprotected under the Iraqi sand. It will all probably seem fairly obvious.

    Just don't expect to hear this sort of discussion now, however, when it might actually make a difference.

    In fact, a year-and-a-half into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, with the carnage over there spiralling ever more out of control, don't expect media discussions of Iraq to stray much beyond the issue of "fighting terrorism."

    Indeed, while ordinary people around the world apparently suspect Washington was motivated by oil, not terrorism, there continues to be a strange unwillingness in the mainstream media to probe such a possibility.

    Perhaps it simply sounds too crass.

    It implies that those at the very top of the U.S. government willingly sacrificed countless lives to further a cause that has nothing to do with liberty or democracy.

    This sort of allegation certainly doesn't fit with the respectful, even deferential approach generally taken in the U.S. media towards George W. Bush, just chosen Time magazine's Man of the Year.

    Raising the oil factor also perhaps sounds unsophisticated. Some commentators, like syndicated columnist Gwynne Dyer, scoff at the notion of an oil motive, suggesting it's not necessary to invade countries to get their oil: "You just write them a cheque."

    But buying oil isn't the goal; getting control of it is.

    Dyer's cheque-book solution wouldn't have solved much back in 1973, when the Arab oil embargo temporarily left the U.S. unable to satisfy its voracious appetite for oil.

    That created a deep sense of vulnerability — a rare experience for the world's most powerful country. Preventing the U.S. from ever being vulnerable like that again has been a key objective of American strategic planners ever since.

    The 1973 embargo sparked a new hawkishness in Washington. An article in the March, 1975, issue of Harper's, titled "Seizing Arab Oil," unabashedly outlined plans for a U.S. invasion to seize key Middle East oilfields and prevent Arab countries from having such control over the modern world's most vital commodity.

    The author, writing under a pseudonym, wasn't just any old right-wing blowhard; it turned out to be Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

    But seizing Arab oilfields was too risky as long as the Soviet Union existed. The Soviet collapse in 1991 opened up new possibilities.

    Kissinger's old idea was taken up with new interest by a small group of right-wing Republicans who, in the late 1990s, formed the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In a 1998 letter, the PNAC urged President Bill Clinton to overthrow Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, whose potential control over "a significant portion of the world's oil" was considered a "hazard."

    One could dismiss the PNAC as just another group of right-wing blowhards — except that the group included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, who became key figures in the Bush administration and principal architects of the Iraq war.

    Is it really such a stretch to imagine that, only a few years after forming the PNAC, oil was still on their minds?

    "The plan to take over Iraq is a revival of an old plan that first appeared in 1975. It was the Kissinger plan," James Akins, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia under Kissinger, told me in an interview in Washington in 2003.

    Dyer insists that the Iraq invasion wasn't about oil, but about extending U.S. power. But these goals go hand in glove.

    Gaining control over oil is crucial to extending U.S. power, and will be even more so in the coming years as the world's easily-accessible oil reserves are depleted, creating ever fiercer competition for what remains.

    All this will make controlling the Middle East that much more crucial. Or, as Cheney put it in a speech to the London Institute of Petroleum in 1999, when he was CEO of oil giant Halliburton: "The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

    Now that he's vice-president, Cheney no longer talks about the Middle East as "the prize." He talks about it as the place terrorism must be confronted.

    Call me unsophisticated, but it seems to me that politicians often try to disguise what they're really up to, and we have to wait decades for historians to point out the obvious."


    No...but really! - we're making the place safe for "democracy and freedom"! The 'freedom' to be subjugated by yet larger and more powerful Amurican corporations, and the 'democracy' like we had Nov. 2nd in Ohio, New Mexico, and Florida, and the recent "election" in A'stan.

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  2. #2
    Palm trees & sunshine!
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    The silence...

    ...is deafening.

  3. #3
    AJS
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    And with 9/11, they had their excuse. Funny that it happened less than 8 months after GWB took office.

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    The Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    ...is deafening.
    is a result of no body caring enough to read the post. AJS needs to stick with shorter stories.

    Ken B can your honestly say you read the whole thing?

  5. #5
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    Here, LL, maybe this is more your style

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0448...16#reader-link

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifelover
    is a result of no body caring enough to read the post. AJS needs to stick with shorter stories.

    Ken B can your honestly say you read the whole thing?
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.

    Charles Darwin

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    Master Piece

    Quote Originally Posted by purplepaul
    Here, LL, maybe this is more your style

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0448...16#reader-link
    That book spawns memories of a much better time.
    I still remember getting though the entire book for the first time.
    This tpe of education was so much more pure than what kids get today.
    You can rest assured the GW was educated under the classical systems that included Dick and Jane!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifelover
    is a result of no body caring enough to read the post. AJS needs to stick with shorter stories.

    Ken B can your honestly say you read the whole thing?
    Actually, yes I did. Nothing new there to me but this is one issue I take particular interest in. I don't think the author takes it far enough, but it think she's generally on the mark. We also recently covered this very topic.

    This is something I've been screaming about since GWB announced he was running for president. I knew then that we'd be in Iraq within 12 months of him taking office. Anyone who knows me IRL, can attest to that. 9/11 was a sheer stroke of good fortune for the oil plan. I won't go as far as saying they knew enough detail about it in advance to prevent it, but I will absolutely say that they did everything reasonably within their power to provoke it.

  8. #8
    AJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    ...Anyone who knows me IRL, can attest to that. 9/11 was a sheer stroke of good fortune for the oil plan. I won't go as far as saying they knew enough detail about it in advance to prevent it, but I will absolutely say that they did everything reasonably within their power to provoke it.
    I know your position on this Ken, but that's where you (and most others on RBR) and I diverge. I believe at the bare minimum the Cons knew 9/11 was in the pipeline and encouraged it by "looking the other way". They were/are too close to the bin Ladens/Saudis, and had an enormous, long-standing motive to make sure something like it occured. (Not to mention several other convenient coincidences and unexplained evidence)
    Last edited by AJS; 12-29-2004 at 02:50 AM.

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    my main thing against W and Cheney

    before the 2000 election is what kind of future (as energy relates to foreign policy) are /were we going to have with 2 Texas Olimen at the helm. Oil is not the future yet we put dinosaurs in office. (pun/ metaphor intended)

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