Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's the Oil People!!

Are we "winning" or "losing" in Iraq? Can the "war" be "won" or is it "lost"?

No reasonable person, if separated from his or her tribal/political loyalties, could make a rational argument that this is a "war" that anyone from outside Iraq can "win". It is a sectarian free-for-all. There are no fronts in the normal use of the term. Iraqi soldiers, supposedly on our "side", have been caught and killed while laying roadside bombs; identified by the ID's they were carrying.

It's a civil war in that it's a fight between different groups who are citizens of one country. But it's not the usual civil war which is about fighting to take and hold the territory of your enemy, and by so doing, causing that enemy to surrender because he is overwhelmed. It's classic tribal hatred payback on a grand scale, using terrorist tactics, inhuman atrocities, no holds barred, non-Geneva Convention, internecine eye-for-an-eye, Old Testament butchering.

There is almost nothing left that one could call a functioning country. There are no safe places behind the "lines", because there are no "lines". In most wars there are cities and war machine manufacturing plants behind the lines. In Iraq all cities are past, current or potential battle zones.

The professional class, doctors, teachers, etc. have left or are leaving. The country is, on its own, separating into three or so areas, along the lines of Sunni, Shiite and Kurd, thousands have become refuges in Syria and Jordan.

So why does the Cheney/Bush administration continue sending our young men and women into this meat grinder, and actively participating in the slow, agonizing destruction of a once, and would-be, sovereign country?


Cheney/Bush used 9/11 as cover to get it. The war, which was real in 2003, was to invade Iraq, knock off Saddam and take over control of the oil. An awful thing happened on the way to the Oil Fields. The hornets from the nests which Cheney/Bush stuck their sticky fingers in swarmed, stung and multiplied. How do you convince hornets, once attacked and let loose, to go back into their nests?

The Bush administration has changed the definition of victory several times over the past four years, because previous ones had been exposed as propaganda and discredited. They continue to use language, however, designed to keep the public thinking in war terms. The term "Surge" is calculated to bring to mind an image of moving forward, killing and capturing the enemy, the traditional way one talks about winning.

It's time both political parties in this country stop the charade and admit that what victory really would look like is private oil companies getting what they have only dreamt of; an Iraq oil law that de-nationalizes Iraq's oil industry, and opens it to private oil companies, with thirty year contracts guaranteeing them 50% of oil revenues. That is the main focus of the so-called oil law that Cheney/Bush are trying to pressure the Maliki government to pass. But Maliki's a Shiite, in cahoots with Iran, his Shiite neighbor, who is arming Shiite militias in Iraq. Why would he want to turn against Iran by rewarding the US with the plunder they came for?

The Cheney/Bush crowd keep talking about the oil law as if it were a humanitarian measure, a commitment to share oil revenue with the various sectarian groups in Iraq; needed to stabilize the country and make the central government actually a stable unity government. There is evidence that the administration actually changed the language of their talking points to disguise the true purpose of the oil law. The Main Stream Media has bought into this, is currently using this new spin, and in so doing is hiding the truth from the public.

Both parties in Congress know this too, and yet continue the charade of arguing about winning or losing, pulling troops out or surging, stopping or not stopping the funding of the "war", by saying they need to keeping funding the "troops", so as not to be called unpatriotic. That's why, sadly, I don't expect anything major to change after the 2008 elections, even if a Democrat wins the White House.

There are as many elephants in the room as there are big oil companies drooling on the furniture, and politicians whom they pay to support, or at least ignore, their greed.

Ironically and frighteningly, trying to get control of Iraq's oil might be justified, given the stonewalling by oil companies and related industries(automobile and power) on developing alternative energy sources, and resisting improving mileage standards. They want to keep the goose laying golden eggs, make hay while the sun shines, and all other shibboleths of short term, hang the future, thinking.

If Bin Laden were to succeed in overthrowing the Saudi Monarchy, his stated goal, and if we were to leave Iraq, both Saudi and Iraqi oil would likely be lost to us, at least on the terms on which we have access to it now. Iran would likely walk in and effectively take control of Iraq's oil. They might use the Maliki/Shiite government as their proxy for propaganda reasons, but for all intents and purposes Iran would decide to whom it would sell that oil, how much and at what price.

Some statistics indicate that Iran, on its own, sits on the third largest oil deposits on the planet. If Iraq is second largest, Saudi is largest, and if Iran consummates its new pacts with Venezuela, if China gets its way on oil in Africa, if Bin Laden controls Saudi oil, and Russia has or controls it's own substantial reserves, the world will suffer not an economic crisis, but an economic and political disaster.

Then there would be some serious talk about a real war against Iran, complete with air and ground assault, front lines and all the rest. Nuclear arsenals all over the place, India, Pakistan, Israel, possibly Iran itself, Russia and the US.

Iraqi's are waking up though, and the more the true facts come to light, and the hidden agendas are exposed, the less likely they are to give away rights to their only real source of income, their patrimony. Is that good or bad? It's bad if Iraq and Iran team up. It could be good if they don't, and if some deal is made that keeps Iraq's oil out of the hands of our enemies.

What to make of Maliki's announcement yesterday that Iraq can get along just fine, any time we want to leave? He denies he really meant that today.

This is why staying or leaving is a red herring. We can't leave, never intended to leave, and won't leave.

The real question is what should our troops be doing in Iraq, and where should they be doing it? We will have troops stationed there for decades, as we have had in South Korea, Europe and the Balkans. That's already been admitted by Defense Secretary Gates, and stated as policy. What can and should be done is a drawing down of troops, by getting those in the greater Baghdad area out of that maul, and reducing the total of those deployed in Iraq by that amount. Protect the oil industry, do what can be done on the borders with those remaining.

There are hints from time to time, unconfirmed in the media, that western Iraq, Sunni territory, might actually be sitting on substantial oil reserves. And so the prize might be even more enormous.

It's often said that sunlight is the best sanitizer. What can the public do to get the shades pulled up in the news and editorial rooms of the Main Stream Media, and the halls of Congress? It's clear that the power is out at the White House and the shutters are closed and fastened. One might conclude that they are purposely hiding the truth by putting it where the sun don't shine.

Lighthouse Keeper

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, Lee, I think you have nailed it. It's always beebn about the Oil. The energy policy cooked up behind closed doors in Cheney's office had as its main component war with Iraq. Those who knew the likely mess this would produce were either not listened to or silenced. We have done untold harm to ourselves in the process--to our military as well as to our reputation.

I can go one and on, but the electorate is asleep and the politicos like it that way.

Perhaps the "wisdome of crowds" will previal, but its not likely given our difficulty in voting turnout.

Warren Radtke

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