Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What if...

we had just bought the oil? I realize this must sound incredibly naïve but I cannot help but think about it. How much oil do you think we could have bought for the trillions we have now spent trying to either steal or control it? And what was all the fighting about in the first place? Were all these Middle Eastern countries with oil refusing to sell it to us? That doesn’t seem plausible.

I realize there are some who perhaps believe we invaded Iraq because they were a threat to their neighbors or us, or because we wanted to spread democracy to the Middle East, or because we thought they had weapons of mass destruction, or perhaps it was even god’s will, or maybe Little George’s revenge for his father. Of course that is all bunk, utter nonsense. It had to do with oil and it is oil that may keep us there until the oilfields run dry. It is true the Iraqis don’t seem to want us to stay, but it also seems we are trying to stay (in the near billion dollar permanent base we have created there).

Then there is Afghanistan. Why are we there? To build a nation, defeat the al Quaida, improve the lives of women? Of course not, we’re there because initially, if not still, oil companies want to build a pipeline across that unfortunate country to bypass Russia and acquire oil for our allies and ourselves. Al Qaida has not been much of presence there for quite a long time but our (apparently somewhat fake) pursuit of them has now involved us in Pakistan, which in turn involves us in India. We had no business invading Afghanistan to find a few international criminals that weren’t from there in the first place. They were mostly Saudis, but our oil deals with the Saudis are too important to bother about a few Saudi terrorists.

Now we are in Libya. I do not believe we would be in Libya if it did not have so much oil. And Ghadafi, it seems, was not being very cooperative about selling his oil to us. As Britain and France have more at stake in Libyan oil than we apparently do, and as they do not have sufficient means to take it, we have apparently been invited to help.

And, of course, there is this terrible problem with Iran. Iran is a problem, we are told, mostly by Israel, because they are trying to build a nuclear bomb. The Israelis are eager to convince us to bomb Iran (for them). So far we have (happily) resisted this bit of Israeli paranoia. But the real problem with Iran, and why we would love to see a regime change more favorable to us, is because they have lots and lots of oil. One of the reasons we are so committed to Israel is because they are our best ally in the Middle East. Why do we need a best ally in the Middle East, because we want to control Middle Eastern oil.

Do I know all of this for sure, of course not, it is merely what I think makes sense. Now we are bombing Yemen, and talking about attacking Syria, and trying to control the changes in Egypt. If one were from another planet one might well wonder why we are so engaged in all these countries so many thousands of miles away from us. It is, I assure you, not to spread democracy, as we are willing to support the worst dictators on earth if they will just do our bidding when it comes to the control of oil in that oil-rich part of the earth.

Why are we having so much trouble with Venezuela and Chavez, another country with lots of oil? It would seem to be the fact that we cannot control them or what they do with their oil. Why don’t we invade them and just exploit their oil to our advantage (as we were doing formerly)? I guess it’s because the South American countries are now organized enough and strong enough to refuse to be exploited any longer. Brazil, too, has oil that we now are eager to buy. But Brazil, being a large, strong, and independent nation, is not going to sell us oil solely on our terms. The days of exploitation in South America seem to be over (probably because we don’t have the money and military to overthrow their government and establish our own puppet as we used to do with recalcitrant nations in South and Central America).

Why, you might wonder, did we not just bargain in good faith with all the oil producing nations of the world? They had the product we wanted, oil, we had the money to purchase it, and no doubt deals could have been worked out that were fair to all concerned. But fair to all concerned was not the plan. The plan was to get the oil at the cheapest possible price even if that meant coercion, deceit, and even “war.” By the time oil came to be of the utmost importance the worst of the colonial period was pretty much over. I have no doubt there were terrible atrocities associated with the oil business in the early days of its exploitation, but I guess we didn’t resort to cutting off hands and legs and heads and outright murder as we did in our quests for land, gold, rubber, and other valuables. Torture and the cutting off of hands and feet (except in certain parts of Africa) seem to be atrocities of the past. Nowadays it’s just more bombing (including lots of civilians), more illegal weapons, and lots of “shock and awe.” I guess that is “progress.” I think we should have just bought the damn stuff for a fair price.

No comments: