Bowing to power

The Iraq war was about oil, and the British and US governments talked with oil companies about Iraq during the lead-up to the 2003 invasion. This was obvious at the time, and now we have new information proving the British part of the story. People who said the war was about weapons of mass destruction or Saddam=Hitler or whatever were never really saying what they really thought. What they were saying, under their words about Iraq, was “I will bow to power. If I ever made the mistake of developing independent observation and critical thinking, I will cease to use them on request. Please hire me.”

It’s the same thing that many people in the political class say every day.

Please keep it in mind when reading news about other countries, especially those that export oil.

4 thoughts on “Bowing to power

  1. westslope

    I agree with Tony Blair. Cheap, abundant oil as the prime motive for invading and occupying Iraq simply makes no sense. Oil is clearly a priority of the USA and European powers. But other priorities intervened.

    The USA invaded Iraq in some part due to the failure of the Oslo Peace Accords. The Accords failed to stop the flow of Jewish settlers to occupied Palestinian territories. Intifada II started and suicide bombers resumed targeting Israeli civilians. Saddam Hussein made common cause with the Palestinian struggle by providing a modest cash compensation for the families of deceased suicide bombers.

    Such a provocative act of generosity was bound to incite some kind of response, if not from the Israelis, then the Americans. Earlier in history, Saddam Hussein had turned deadly anti-personnel weapons against his “own people” and deeply annoyed–read embarrassed–some Americans at the time. Hussein contined to act ‘unreasonably’ after seeing his army expelled from Kuwait in the early 1990s Gulf War.

    The Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonialism was iconic for Al-Quaeda. The occupied Palestinian territories are not the only symbol of western imperial humiliation but an important one. Perhaps the low-budget Sept. 11 terrorists were lucky beyond their wildest dreams but the American public never looked at it that way. Just shy of 3,000 dead Americans, mostly civilians, begged for a massive response. Iraq provided the killing fields, in an angry and not well thought-out grand act of deterrence.

    Helping Libyan rebels makes no sense whatsoever if short-term oil supplies are a priority. In the best of circumstances, most Libyan barrels are off the market for what could be months if not years. NATO’s involvement cannot help but delay returning those barrels to the market.

    The USA and European allies are playing Russian roulette with oil prices by seeking to violently remove Gaddafi. The US has the fiscal and monetary accelerators pressed hard to the floor while Brent Crude stays stubbornly above US$120/bbl. In the best case, the economy stagnates, employment growth slows. In the worst case, it is another recession, unemployment increases and US wealth continues to slide.

    The occupation of Afghanistan and Obama-drone strikes in northern Pakistan combine to create a colossol geostragic mistake that will most likely blowback on innocent civilians at some point. However note that oil is absent, and country is not required for pipeline transportation. There might be some natural gas but nothing worth killing large numbers of children and grandparents over.

    Over the years, US support for Israel and the occupation and settlement of the remaining bits of Palestinian mandate have brought the US into conflict with 3 countries that are rich in light oil reserves: Iraq, Iran and Libya. Various trade embargoes have prevented American and other western oil companies from producing and investing, meaning that these light oil-rich countries have been producing well under capacity for years if not decades at a time.

    In conclusion, oil is an important means to an end–modern armies cannot function without it–but the priority of the ‘ends’ often trumps the ‘means’.

    1. sapitosetty Post author

      yes, there are always many motives. i was just kvetching about the fact that so many people in 2003 claimed that oil had nothing to do with the war.

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