Iraqi oil


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Iraqi oil

  1. 1. Iraqi OilAmericas new strategic petroleum reserveIraq has Earths second biggest and the largest unexplored fieldsrelated pages:  Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL)  the neo-cons new Middle East map (partition)  Bidens plan for Iraqi partitiona crude map showing how partition of Iraq into three new countries woulddivide control of the oil -if coupled with partition of Iran and Saudi Arabia, as some influential war
  2. 2. mongers have proposed,it would centralize control of the worlds largest oil fields - artist unknownan Iraqi exile perspective:, April 26, 2007The Great Wall of Segregation...…Which is the wall the current Iraqi government is building (with the supportand guidance of the Americans). Its a wall that is intended to separate andisolate what is now considered the largest Sunni area in Baghdad- let noone say the Americans are not building anything. According to plans the Iraqipuppets and Americans cooked up, it will protect Aadhamiya, aresidential/mercantile area that the current Iraqi government and their deathsquads couldnt empty of Sunnis.The wall, of course, will protect no one. I sometimes wonder if this is howthe concentration camps began in Europe. The Nazi government probablysaid, "Oh look- were just going to protect the Jews with this little wall here-it will be difficult for people to get into their special area to hurt them!" Andyet, it will also be difficult to get out.The Wall is the latest effort to further break Iraqi society apart. Promotingand supporting civil war isnt enough, apparently- Iraqis have generallyproven to be more tenacious and tolerant than their mullahs, ayatollahs, andVichy leaders. Its time for America to physically divide and conquer- likeBerlin before the wall came down or Palestine today. This way, they cancontinue chasing Sunnis out of "Shia areas" and Shia out of "Sunni areas".I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreigncapitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreigncapitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in Iraq). They refuse tobelieve that their religiously inclined, sectarian political parties fueled thiswhole Sunni/Shia conflict. They refuse to acknowledge that this situation is adirect result of the war and occupation. They go on and on about Iraqshistory and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. Ihate that a handful of expats who havent been to the country in decadespretend to know more about it than people actually living there.
  3. 3. I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didntknow what our neighbors were- we didnt care. No one asked about religionor sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are youSunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth andbackward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hidingit or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you orraid your home in the middle of the night.CIA maps of Iraqi oil fields and ethnic / religious dividesCIA maps produced for the public domain, archived
  4. 4. background on Iraqi Review of Books18 October 2007It’s the OilJim HoltIraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion.But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, itis none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bushet al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than fivetimes the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it isthe least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wellshave been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are amillion. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraqmay have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another studyputs the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to themark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources.The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would beof the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of comparison, theprojected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.[note: it is likely that these inflated estimates of ultimately recoverable Iraqioil are exaggerated, but if that is true, then the remaining oil is even morecritical for control of the global economy on the downslope of Peak Oil] of Iraq: The spoils of warHow the West will make a killing on Iraqi oil richesBy Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim WebbPublished: 07 January 2007Iraqs massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to bethrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under acontroversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliamentwithin days.The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of
  5. 5. which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oilcompanies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqicrude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in thecountry since the industry was nationalised in 1972.The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to criticswho say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such asone from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was stillchief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world wouldneed an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is theoil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the worlds oiland the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he Oil Law Means Victory in Iraq for BushBy Chris Floydt r u t h o u t | UK CorrespondentMonday 08 January 2007The reason that George W. Bush insists that "victory" is achievable in Iraq isnot that he is deluded or isolated or ignorant or detached from reality or ill-advised. No, its that his definition of "victory" is different from those bruitedabout in his own rhetoric and in the ever-earnest disquisitions of thechattering classes in print and online. ....Bush and his cohorts dont really care what happens on the ground in Iraq -they care about what comes out of the ground. The end - profit anddominion - justifies any means. What happens to the human beings caughtup in the war is of no ultimate importance; the game is worth any number ofbroken candles.And in plain point of fact, the Bush-Cheney faction - and the elite intereststhey represent - has already won the war in Iraq. ....Put simply, the Bush Family and their allies and cronies represent theconfluence of three long-established power factions in the American elite: oil,arms and investments. These groups equate their own interests, their ownwealth and privilege, with the interests of the nation - indeed, the world - asa whole. And they pursue these interests with every weapon at theircommand, including war, torture, deceit and corruption. Democracy meansnothing to them - not even in their own country, as we saw in the 2000election. Laws are just whips to keep the common herd in line; they dontapply to the elite, as Bushs own lawyers and minions have openly assertedin the memos, signing statements, court cases and presidential decreesasserting the "inherent power" of the "unitary executive" to override any lawhe pleases.
  6. 6. The Iraq war has been immensely profitable for these Bush-linked powerfactions (and their tributary industries, such as construction); billions ofdollars in public money have already poured into their coffers. Halliburtonhas been catapulted from the edge of bankruptcy to the heights of no-bid,open-ended, guaranteed profit. The Carlyle Group is gorging on warcontracts. Individual Bush family members are making out like bandits fromwar-related investments, while dozens of Bush minions - like Richard Perle,James Woolsey, and Joe Allbaugh - have cashed in their insider chips forblood money.The aftermath of the war promises equal if not greater riches. Even if thenew Iraqi government maintains nominal state control of its oil industry,there are still untold billions to be made in PSAs for drilling, refining,distributing, servicing and securing oilfields and pipelines. Likewise, the newIraqi military and police forces will require billions more in weapons,equipment and training, bought from the US arms industry - and from thefast-expanding "private security" industry, the politically hard-wiredmercenary forces that are the power elites latest lucrative spin-off. And aswith Saudi Arabia, oil money from the new Iraq will pump untold billions intoAmerican banks and investment houses.For even in the worst-case scenario, if the Americans had to pull outtomorrow, abandoning everything - their bases, their contracts, theircollaborators - the Bush power factions would still come out ahead. For notonly has their already-incalculable wealth been vastly augmented (with anypotential losses indemnified by US taxpayers), but their deeply-entrenchedsway over American society has also increased by several magnitudes. Nomatter which party controls the government, the militarization of America isso far gone now its impossible to imagine any major rollback in thegargantuan US war machine - 725 bases in 132 countries, annual militarybudgets topping $500 billion, a planned $1 trillion in new weapons systemsalready moving through the pipeline. Indeed, the Democratic "opposition"has promised to expand the military.Nor will either party conceivably challenge the dominance of the energybehemoths - or stand against the American publics demand for cheap gas,big vehicles, and unlimited consumption of a vast disproportion of the worldsoil. As for Wall Street - both parties have long been the eager courtesans ofthe investment elite, dispatching armies all over the world to protect theirfinancial interests. The power factions whose influence has been so magnifiedby Bushs war will maintain their supremacy regardless of the electoraloutcome.[By the way, to think that all of this has happened because a small band ofextremist ideologues - the neo-cons - somehow "hijacked" US foreign policyto push their radical dreams of "liberating" the Middle East by force anddestroying Israels enemies is absurd. The Bush power factions were alreadydetermined to pursue an aggressive foreign policy; they used the neo-cons
  7. 7. and their bag of tricks - their inflated rhetoric, their conspiratorial zeal, theirmurky Middle East contacts, their ideology of brute force in the name of"higher" causes - as tools (and PR cover) to help bring about a long-plannedwar that had nothing to do with democracy or security or any coherentideology whatsoever beyond the remorseless pursuit of wealth and power,the blind urge to be top dog.]So Bush and his cohorts have won even if the surge fails and Iraq lapses intoperpetual anarchy, or becomes an extremist religious state; theyve woneven if the whole region goes up in flames, and terrorism flares tounprecedented heights - because this will just mean more war-profiteering,more fear-profiteering. And yes, theyve won even though theyve lost theirCongressional majority and could well lose the presidency in 2008, becausewar and fear will continue to fill their coffers, buying them continuinginfluence and power as they bide their time through another interregnum ofa Democratic "centrist" - who will, at best, only nibble at the edges of themilitarist state - until they are back in the saddle again. The only way theycan lose the Iraq War is if they are actually arrested and imprisonedfor their war crimes. And we all know thats not going to happen.[emphasis added] Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraqs OilBy Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted October 16, 2006.Even as Iraq verges on splintering into a sectarian civil war, four big oilcompanies are on the verge of locking up its massive, profitable reserves,known to everyone in the petroleum industry as "the prize."Its clear that the U.S.-led invasion had little to do with national security orthe events of Sept. 11. Former Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill revealed thatjust 11 days after Bushs inauguration in early 2001, regime change in Iraqwas "Topic A" among the administrations national security staff, and formerTerrorism Tsar Richard Clarke told 60 Minutes that the day after the attacksin New York and Washington occurred, "[Secretary of Defense Donald]Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq." He added: "We all said… no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan."On March 7, 2003, two weeks before the United States attacked Iraq, theU.N.s chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, told the U.N. Security Council thatSaddam Husseins cooperation with the inspections protocol had improved tothe point where it was "active or even proactive," and that the inspectorswould be able to certify that Iraq was free of prohibited weapons within a fewmonths time. That same day, IAEA head Mohammed ElBaradei reported that
  8. 8. there was no evidence of a current nuclear program in Iraq and flatly refutedthe administrations claim that the infamous aluminum tubes cited by ColinPowell in making his case for war before the Security Council were part of areconstituted nuclear program.But serious planning for the war had begun in February of 2002, as BobWoodward revealed in his book, Plan of Attack. Planning for the future ofIraqs oil wealth had been under way for longer still.In February of 2001, just weeks after Bush was sworn in, the same energyexecutives that had been lobbying for Saddams ouster gathered at theWhite House to participate in Dick Cheneys now infamous Energy TaskForce. Although Cheney would go all the way to the Supreme Court to keepwhat happened at those meetings a secret, we do know a few things, thanksto documents obtained by the conservative legal group JudicialWatch. AsMark Levine wrote in The Nation($$):… a map of Iraq and an accompanying list of "Iraq oil foreign suitors" werethe center of discussion. The map erased all features of the country save thelocation of its main oil deposits, divided into nine exploration blocks. Theaccompanying list of suitors revealed that dozens of companies from 30countries -- but not the United States -- were either in discussions over or indirect negotiations for rights to some of the best remaining oilfields on earth. says war motivated by oil07:46 AEST Thu Apr 7 2005AP - Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has said that oil was oneof the reasons for the US-led invasion of Iraq, a Swedish news agencyreports."I did not think so at first. But the US is incredibly dependent on oil," newsagency TT quoted Blix as saying at a security seminar in Stockholm."They wanted to secure oil in case competition on the world market becomestoo hard."Blix, who helped oversee the dismantling of Iraqs weapons programs beforethe war, said another reason for the invasion was a need to move US troopsfrom Saudi Arabia, TT reported.Competition over oil is creating tension between the United States andChina, Blix said, suggesting nuclear power as a more environmentallyfriendly source of energy."I believe the greatest threat in the long term is the greenhouse effect," saidBlix, whos become a vocal critic of US leaders since he retired from the UN
  9. 9. last year.He defended the United Nations, despite recent scandals includingallegations of corruption in the oil-for-food program for Iraq."The criticism is, in my view, a revenge from American political circles for thedefeat over Iraq," Blix was quoted as saying.©AAP 19, 2007From Greenspan to KissingerOil WarriorsBy ROBERT WEISSMANAlan Greenspan had acknowledged what is blindingly obvious to those wholive in the reality-based world: The Iraq War was largely about oil.Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger says in an op-ed in Sundays Washington Postthat control over oil is the key issue that should determine whether the U.S.undertakes military action against Iran.These statements would not be remarkable, but for the effort of a broadswath of the U.S. political establishment to deny the central role of oil in U.S.involvement in the Middle East.Greenspans remarks, appearing first in his just-published memoirs, areeyebrow-raising for their directness:"Whatever their publicized angst over Saddam Husseins weapons of massdestruction, American and British authorities were also concerned aboutviolence in the area that harbors a resource indispensable for the functioningof the world economy. I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient toacknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."His follow-up remarks have been even more direct. "I thought the issue ofweapons of mass destruction as the excuse was utterly beside the point," hetold the Guardian.Greenspan also tells the Washington Posts Bob Woodward that he activelylobbied the White House to remove Saddam Hussein for the express purposeof protecting Western control over global oil supplies.
  10. 10. "Im saying taking Saddam out was essential," Greenspan said. But, writesWoodward, Greenspan "added that he was not implying that the war was anoil grab.""No, no, no," he said. Getting rid of Hussein achieved the purpose of "makingcertain that the existing system [of oil markets] continues to work, frankly,until we find other [energy supplies], which ultimately we will."Theres every reason to credit this view. U.S. oil companies surely havedesigns on Iraqi oil, and were concerned about inroads by French and otherfirms under Saddam. But the top U.S. geopolitical concern is making sure theoil remains in the hands of those who will cooperate with Westerneconomies.Henry Kissinger echoes this view in his op-ed. "Iran has legitimateaspirations that need to be respected," he writes -- but those legitimateaspirations do not include control over the oil that the United States andother industrial countries need."An Iran that practices subversion and seeks regional hegemony -- whichappears to be the current trend -- must be faced with lines it will not bepermitted to cross. The industrial nations cannot accept radical forcesdominating a region on which their economies depend, and the acquisition ofnuclear weapons by Iran is incompatible with international security."Note that Kissinger prioritizes Iranian (or "radical") control over regional oilsupplies over concern about the country acquiring nuclear weapons.One might reasonably suggest that Greenspan and Kissinger are onlypointing out the obvious. (Kissinger himself refers to his concerns about Iranas "truisms.")But these claims have not been accepted as obvious in U.S. political life.The Iraq was "is not about oil" became a mantra among the pro-war crowdin the run-up to the commencement of hostilities and in the followingmonths. A small sampling --Said President Bush: The idea that the United States covets Iraqi oil fields isa "wrong impression." "I have a deep desire for peace. Thats what I have adesire for. And freedom for the Iraqi people. See, I dont like a system wherepeople are repressed through torture and murder in order to keep a dictatorin place. It troubles me deeply. And so the Iraqi people must hear this loudand clear, that this country never has any intention to conquer anybody."
  11. 11. Condoleeza Rice, in response to the proposition, "if Saddams primary exportor natural resource was olive oil rather than oil, we would not be goingthrough this situation," said: "This cannot be further from the truth. He is athreat to his neighbors. Hes a threat to American security interest. That iswhat the president has in mind." She continued: "This is not about oil."Colin Powell: "This is not about oil; this is about a tyrant, a dictator, who isdeveloping weapons of mass destruction to use against the Arabpopulations."Donald Rumsfeld: "Its not about oil and its not about religion."White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer on the U.S. desire to access Iraqi oilfields: "theres just nothing to it."Coalition Provisional Authority Paul Bremer: "I have heard that allegation andI simply reject it."General John Abizaid, Combatant Commander, Central Command, "Its notabout oil."Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham: "It was not about oil.""Its not about the oil," the Financial Times reported Richard Perle shoutingat a parking attendant in frustration.Australian Treasurer Peter Costello: "This is not about oil."Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger: "The only thing I can tellyou is this war is not about oil."Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary: "This is not about oil. This is aboutinternational peace and security."Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett: "This is not about oil. That was veryclear. This is about America, and Americas position in the world, as theupholder of liberty for the oppressed."And Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen joined war-monger RichardPerle in calling Representative Dennis Kucinich a "liar" (or at very least a"fool"), because Kucinich suggested the war might be motivated in part by aU.S. interest in Iraqi oil.What lessons are to be drawn from the Greenspan-Kissinger revelations,other than that political leaders routinely lie or engage in mass self-delusion?
  12. 12. Controlling the U.S. war machine will require ending the U.S. addiction to oil-- not just foreign oil, but oil. There are of course other reasons that endingreliance on fossil fuels is imperative and of the greatest urgency.More and more people are making the connections -- but theres nooutpouring in the streets to overcome the entrenched economic intereststhat seek to maintain the petro-military nexus. A good place to start: The NoWar, No Warming actions planned for October 21-23 in Washington, D.C. and around the United States.Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based MultinationalMonitor, and director of Essential Action.presidential press conference with Ari Fleischer, Feb 6, 2003questions by Helen ThomasQ Since you speak for the President, we have no access to him, can youcategorically deny that the United States will take over the oil fieldswhen we win this war? Which is apparently obvious and youre onyour way and I dont think you doubt your victory. Oil -- is it aboutoil?MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, as Ive told you many times, if this had anything todo with oil, the position of the United States would be to lift the sanctions sothe oil could flow. This is not about that. This is about saving lives byprotecting the American people --Q We will not take over the oil fields, are you saying that?MR. FLEISCHER: The oil fields belong to the people of Iraq, thegovernment of Iraq, all of Iraq. All the resources --Q And we dont want any part of that?MR. FLEISCHER: -- of Iraq need to be administered by the Iraqi government.And any action that is taken in Iraq is going to be taken with an eye towardthe future of Iraq. And that involves the protecting of infrastructure,providing humanitarian aid. And that needs to be done by the Iraqi people.Q There are reports that weve divided up the oil already, divvied it upwith the Russians and French and so forth. Isnt that true?MR. FLEISCHER: Whats the source of these reports that you cite?Q Theyre all over the place.MR. FLEISCHER: Can you be more specific?Q That we have just -- we will take the oil fields and then we will parcel outthe oil.MR. FLEISCHER: But you cited some reports. Im just curious about -- if youcan be more specific about the source of these reports that youre citing here
  13. 13. today.Q -- have you been reading the newspapers?MR. FLEISCHER: Can you be more specific? Anywhere in particular?Q Senator Lugar said it.MR. FLEISCHER: No, theres no truth to that, that we would divide up the oilfields. As I --Q Your own people have said something -- but Im sorry I cant pinpoint it.MR. FLEISCHER: As I indicated, the infrastructure of Iraq belongs to thepeople of Iraq. And that is going to be respected.Q Why should you decide what is their infrastructure or their government?MR. FLEISCHER: Obviously, if the regime changes there will be a newgovernment. And the government will represent the people of Fred Pearce New Scientist 29/01/2003Iraq has the second largest proven reserves of oil in the world, behind onlySaudi Arabia. 112 billion barrels lie below the countrys desert sands,together with another probable 220 billion barrels of unproven reserves.Whats more, the US Department of Energy says, "Iraqs true resourcepotential may be far greater, as the country is relatively unexplored due toyears of war and sanctions."This, plus the fact that "Iraqs oil production costs are among the lowest inthe world, makes it a highly attractive oil prospect," says the departmentslatest country analysis. No wonder many critics believe that the campaign totopple Saddam Hussein is really a battle for Iraqs Oil Coup: Bushs Master Oil Plan?A Cyber Research ResourceGeorge Monbiot www.monbiot.comIn the Crocodile’s MouthBlair is appeasing Bush partly in order to get a share of the world’sdiminishing supplies of oilBy George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 5th November 2002
  14. 14. Tony Blairs loyalty to George Bush looks like slow political suicide. Hispreparedness to follow him over every precipice jeopardises Britainsrelationships with its allies, conjures up enemies all over the world andinfuriates voters of all political colours. And yet he never misses anopportunity to show what a trusting friend he is.There are several plausible and well-established explanations for thisunnatural coupling. But there might also be a new one. Blair may havecalculated that sticking to Bush is the only way in which our unsustainableeconomy can meet its need for energy.Britain is running out of time. According to the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre,the UKs North Sea production has been declining since 1999. Nuclear powerin Britain is, in effect, finished: on Saturday, the EU revealed that it hadprohibited the governments latest desperate attempt to keep it afloat withmassive subsidies. But, partly because of corporate lobbying, partly becauseof his unhealthy fear of "Mondeo man" or "Worcester woman", or whateverthe floating voter of Middle England has now become, Tony Blair has alsoflatly rejected both an effective energy reduction policy and a massiveinvestment in alternative power. The only remaining way of meeting futureenergy demand is to import ever greater quantities of oil and gas.And here the government runs into an intractable political reality. Asavailable reserves decline, the worlds oil-hungry nations are tussling to grabas much as they can for themselves. Almost everywhere on earth, the UnitedStates is winning. It is positioning itself to become the gatekeeper to theworlds remaining oil and gas. If it succeeds, it will both secure its own futuresupplies and massively enhance its hegemonic power.The worlds oil reserves, the depletion analysis centre claims, appear to bedeclining almost as swiftly as the North Seas. Conventional oil supplies, itsuggests, will peak within five or ten years, and decline by around twomillion barrels per day every year from then on. New kinds of fossil fuel haveonly a limited potential to ameliorate the coming crisis. In the Middle East,the only nation which could significantly increase its output is Iraq.In 2001, a report sponsored by the US Council on Foreign Relations and theBaker Institute for Public Policy began to spell out some of the implications ofthis decline for Americas national security. The problem, it noted, is that"the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy withoutsacrifice or inconvenience". Transport, for example, is responsible for 66% ofthe petroleum the US burns. Simply switching from "light trucks" (the giantgas-guzzlers many Americans drive) to ordinary cars would save nearly amillion barrels per day of crude oil. But, as the presidents dad once said,"the American way of life is not up for negotiation"."The world," the report continues, "is currently precariously close to utilizingall of its available global oil production capacity". The impending crisis isincreasing "U.S. and global vulnerability to disruption". Over the previousyear, for example, Iraq had "effectively become a swing producer, turning its
  15. 15. taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest". Ifthe global demand for oil continues to rise, world shortages could reduce thestatus of the US to that of "a poor developing country".This crisis, the report insists, demands "a reassessment of the role of energyin American foreign policy ... Such a strategy will require difficult tradeoffs,in both domestic and foreign policy. But there is no alternative. And there isno time to waste." By assuming "a leadership role in the formation of newrules of the game", the United States will prevent any other power fromexploiting its dependency and seizing the strategic initiative.The US government has not been slow to act upon such intelligence. Overthe past two years, it has been seizing all the Caspian oil it can lay hands on,cutting out both Russia and Iran by negotiating to pipe it out throughAzerbaijan, Georgia and Afghanistan. Last week, though all the sages of theBritish and American right insisted during the Afghan war that it couldntpossibly happen, the presidents of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistanmet to discuss the first of the Afghan pipelines. American soldiers have nowbeen stationed in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan,Kazakhstan and Georgia, all of which are critical to the Caspian oil trade.According to the security firm Stratfor, "the U.S. military presence will helpensure that a majority of oil and gas from the Caspian basin will go westward-- bypassing the United States geopolitical rivals, Russia and China." Thereason why Vladimir Putin is so determined to keep Chechnya under Russiancontrol, whatever the cost to both the Chechens and the Russians may be, isthat Chechnya is one of the last available routes for Caspian oil.The US has been playing the same game in the Middle East. A recent reportby the Brookings Institution notes that "U.S. strategic domination over theentire region, including the whole lane of sea communications from the straitof Hormuz, will be perceived as the primary vulnerability of Chinas energysupply." Last month a senior US general, Carlton Fulford, visited Sao Toméand Principe, the islands halfway between Nigeria and Angola, to discuss thepossibility of establishing a military base there. Both nations see the base asa threatening staging post, which the US could use to help gain exclusiveaccess to West African oil. Earlier this year, George Bush negotiated a "NorthAmerican Energy Initiative" with Canada and Mexico. The US is hoping toextend the arrangement to the rest of the Americas, which could help toexplain the coup which nearly toppled Venezuelas president in April.Oh, and theres the small matter of the one nation in the Middle East whoseoil production could be substantially increased, with the help of a littleexternal encouragement. Last week the leader of the exiled Iraqi NationalCongress met executives from three major American oil companies, to startnegotiations about who gets what once the US has taken over. This carve-upwould mean cancelling the big contracts Russia and France have struck withSaddam Hussein. Lord Browne, the head of BP, warned that Britain mightalso be squeezed out of Iraq.
  16. 16. The United States, in other words, appears rapidly to be monopolising theworlds remaining oil. Every government knows this. Ours appears to havecalculated that the only way it can obtain the energy required to permit themen and women of Middle England to stay in their cars is to appease theUnited States, whatever the cost may be. Britains role in the impending waris that of the egret in the crocodiles mouth, picking the scraps of flesh frombetween its teeth.In 1929 the novelist Ilya Ehrenburg observed that "the automobile cant beblamed for anything. Its conscience is as clear as Monsieur Citroensconscience. It only fulfills its destiny: it is destined to wipe out the world."Our struggle over the next few months is to prove him wrong.5th November Howard Kunstler - Clusterfuck NationJanuary 31, 2003Commentator Jim Minter on the Energy Resources list-serve makes someexcellent points about the looming Iraq war vis-a-vis oil. Note, Minter is nota war hawk. he is just trying to explain what is really behind our policy.Iraq has a lot of oil that is soon to be needed in the global oil market. Itdoesnt matter to this market whether American, British, French or Russiancompanies pump and sell it. Its a global market! Iraqi oil doesnt even needto come to the U.S. Even if Iraqi oil only went to Europe it would increase theglobal supply and lower the global price. Oil companies are multi-national.Their investors are international. Dont trap yourselves into old-thinknationalism. As we slide deeper into this decade, global oil consumers needIraqi oil.Saddam has out-waited us--at terrible cost to the Iraqi people--butnevertheless shutting off Iraqi oil from the global market will soon hurt globalconsumers worse than it hurts Saddams regime. Why? GLOBAL OILPRODUCTION IS AT PEAK, as Matthew Simmons, Colin Campbell, JeanLaherrère and other knowledgeable experts have shown... as the highestlevels of U.S. and British decision-makers know from their highly-classifiedbriefings. And so, because global oil production peaks in this decade, Iraqi oilmust re-enter the global mainstream--and soon! Saddam cant have thoseprofits. Its as simple as that. The global community cannot afford to havethe profits from the very imminent massive pumping of Iraqi oil funding thearsenal of that maniac. That regime has got to goIts a stark picture and I suppose the best "humanitarian" face we cancandidly put on it goes something like this: "The goal is to see peace andstability come to Iraq and the oil-producing Middle East while the global
  17. 17. economy pumps its oil. The aim of the global community is to set up ademocratic, market-economy regime in Iraq with the oil revenues going tobuild a stable, secular and prosperous society in Iraq. The Iraqi people canselect whomever they please to help them quickly develop their oil, and Godbless them (though guess who has the best oil technology?).Oil directly fuels more than a third of the American economy, mostspecifically our entire transportation system. That includes the auto/truckindustry (everything from manufacturing to repair to insurance) road buildingand maintenance, all commerce and industry (trucking delivers everythingand even the few trains left are diesel), air transport, and every facet of ourdaily lives from commuting to tourism. There is no substitute fuel for ourpresent transportation system. None. Nada, Zilch. That has been conclusivelyand finally demonstrated to exhaustion on this Energy Resources Web Site.But even if those lame, low-net transportation-fuel substitutes touted by afew stubbornly-giddy techno-cornucopians were viable, none can claim thattheir pet schemes can be put on-line in time to provide an alternative-fueledtransportation system for America in this decade... or even the next decade.Without our petroleum transportation system, the U.S. economy dies. Alsohaving trans-continental economies, Canada and Australia are in the sameboat. Next in transportation vulnerability are Europe and Japan.Oil is also the base feed stock for our petro-chemical industry and possiblyhalf of all the non-edible, physical products we now consume. There aresome substitute feed stocks in some products, but they are not likely to beas cheap or as usable as oil stock is presently. Oil products also drive muchof our non-transportation machinery, in addition to heating and powering achunk of our built-infrastructure. Here, at least, petroleum products can bealmost totally replaced, though not always swiftly or efficiently... and rarely,cheaply. We can run our buildings, if not our cars, on something besidespetroleum. However, our modern agricultural system is totally petroleum-dependant. So is our forestry and fishing.Bottom line: Our transcontinental economy is built upon the cheaptransportation provided by petroleum. For the foreseeable future there is noalternative. If oil fails totally, which is not likely, we fail totally. But [as weadvance into the future and] oil becomes restricted and expensive, we enterthe same "stagflation" of inflation-with-recession that we experienced afterthe last oil crisis in the mid-70s. Simply put: Without petroleum the U.S.faces catastrophe; with constrained supplies or expensive supplies ofpetroleum we only face disaster.The rapid flow of Iraqi oil into the global bloodstream for the next dozen-or-so years will not, of course, alleviate the total decline in global petro-stocks.But rapidly pumping Iraqi oil can push forward in time the "felt effects" of theglobal "Hubbert Peak" decline. Pumping Iraq and Saudi Arabia at ever-accelerated rates can for a time cover the decline of the North Sea and theNorth Slope, the continental U.S., and other aging oil fields. Of course, as
  18. 18. many here at Energy Resources have already pointed out, this recklesscourse of blindly fueling the growth of oil consumption only assures thatwhen the supply/demand crunch finally does arrive, it will be moreprecipitous and more catastrophic than the sane and sensible "soft pathdown" proposed by our late guru, Howard T, Odum and many others.I am NOT advocating or defending the impending war to depose Saddam --just explaining why it is going to happen and why no amount of outrage andrighteous indignation is going to stop it. I think the worlds oil gluttony isdeplorable. I do not think that consuming nations have a right to otherpeoples resources. What I am trying to explain is the relentless logic of ourblind consumption. We are at Peak but we do not understand it. We havebeen lied to by our corporations and our government. Our news media hasbeen credulous, blind, corrupted and stupid. And so the momentum of oureconomy and our society is going full-tilt to business-as-usual, which meansgetting all the petroleum we can pump into our transportation bloodstreambecause our economy and our society shrivel without it. It is far too late tochange course. We do not even know that we need to. Whats more we dontwant to know, and most of us wouldnt make the hard decisions to beginchanging our personal lifestyles if we did know.Where I depart from Minters view is that the takeover of Iraq and its oil maynot be an orderly process. The operation itself my turn into a protractedmilitary clusterfuck. Assuming that we eventually conclude it, I am notconvinced that we could control either the far-flung terrain of the oil fields orthe oil drilling equipment on it, not to mention the extremely vulnurablepipelines, terminals, and refineries. Whats more, Im inclined to believe thatour Iraqi adventure will unleash Jihad-o-rama, which may topple the Saudiregime and bring lasting disorder to much of the Middle East. eyes Iraqi oilBy Simon Wilsonin JerusalemAn Israeli minister says he wants to reopen a pipeline which has been closedfor more than fifty years to bring Iraqi oil through Jordan to IsraelsMediterranean coast.A spokesman for the infrastructure minister, Joseph Paritzky, said the movewould cut fuel costs in Israel and help regenerate the port city of Haifa.There has been no official comment yet from Jordan, but any suggestion thatIsrael might benefit from the fall of Saddam Hussein is likely to enrage manypeople in Arab countries.
  19. 19. The pipeline was built after Britain took control of Iraq, Jordan and what wasthen British mandate Palestine after the First World War.The section from Iraq to Jordan is still functioning, but the route from Jordanto the port of Haifa, which is now in Israel, was cut in 1948 when the Britishpulled out.ControversialThe Israeli infrastructure ministry says reopening the pipeline would giveeasy access to Iraqi oil, cut fuel costs in Israel and help regenerate Haifawhich has suffered badly in Israels economic recession.At the moment this appears to be a personal initiative by the infrastructureminister who is from the secular Shinui Party, rather than any official policyof Ariel Sharons coalition government.In any case, Jordan may find it difficult to align itself publicly with a projectwhich would cause outrage in much of the Arab world.