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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 09/16/2002
Volume 2, Number 49

It Almost Sounds Like a Comic Strip Plot...

Last week, in this column, I said the following:

....because the oil-wealthy classes and members of a financial group, the Carlisle Group-- where the Bushes have strong interests in maintaining the current oil balance-we all know this too, do we not?-so that in their need to maintain their dominance in oil, this Carlisle Group-the plotmaster suggests-would probably do well to turn American anger against, not the Saudis, oh no-nothing so simple-but against Iraq whose oil fields, once under American control, will no longer be dependent on Saudi oil-right? A reasonable sounding twist? It has the look of realpolitik in spades. And, of course, this is how Tony Blair will convince his European colleagues-right? Does the whole complex plot make sense otherwise? Why would the Saudis, so threatened by Iraq, refuse to support such an American initiative? Does it not also make sense to see that they recognize the threat to their control of oil resources? These are all possibilities to be reckoned with. To be examined with care...

Just a few days later, my suggestion has been powerfully borne out by none other than The Washington Post.

Oil Behind Iraq War Plans

In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue
U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool

By Dan Morgan and David B. Ottaway
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 15, 2002; Page A01

"A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and leaders of the Iraqi opposition.

"Although senior Bush administration officials say they have not begun to focus on the issues involving oil and Iraq, American and foreign oil companies have already begun maneuvering for a stake in the country's huge proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of crude oil, the largest in the world outside Saudi Arabia."

The WP then goes on to show how France and Russia can be won over by promising them that their interests and investment in Iraqi oil would be safeguarded after the Iraqi regime has been toppled.

It should, of course, have been obvious from the start that all this has nothing to do with the war on terror. W. has long since abandoned any further effort to prove a connection between terror and Saddam. What we see now is what many of us have always known- that the present administration, paid for, supported by and directed by big oil, is geared to make the biggest oil grab ever. It really is turning out to be one of those obvious comic strip plots. But without a comic strip in sight. This is the real world.

Now don't misunderstand me. When our Supreme Court Appointed President told the United Nations that they'd been acting like a bunch of wimps for allowing Iraq to get away with dumping the inspectors that the Gulf War had guaranteed by treaty-he was right. The only thing is-everyone knows that invasion isn't the only solution. That there are policies such as containment, blockade, and other means that would have worked just as well. If it worked with the Soviet Union, Iraq would have been a pushover. But remember all that stuff about how the blockade was starving Iraqi children? As if it were the US and the UN who were withholding the food money from the Iraqi youngsters and not Saddam himself. But Russia and France already had their Iraq oil deals, so little pressure was exerted on Saddam. But now-with US assurances...

Also, we know that even if Saddam had atomic weapons, how would he dare to use them when it would have result in the obliteration of himself and his whole nation. Remember how careful he was NOT to use biological weapons during the Gulf War? There are enough bad guys with atomic weapons around to assure us that no one has yet nor will ever be so suicidal as to attempt a first strike on the US. So it has to be about oil.

Now I don't mind in the least that a rotten regime like the Saudis would be severely hurt by the western takeover of the Iraqi oilfields. That's not the question. The real question is-war! Already the protests are beginning in the usual places-San Francisco and Los Angeles, where all good protest movements start. And it's going to get very nasty indeed as the protests spread, for they surely will. The pattern is too much like that of Vietnam, and the excuse for this war is far flimsier than the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

So what do we do? We talk about it. We demand that congress discuss it thoroughly. We write our representatives and ask questions--lots of questions. And we continue to press for support of alternative energy sources. We conduct our own war-to get rid of carbon based , heat-trapping energy sources and subsidize the new wind and solar technologies which are now so technically advanced that they offer complete economic feasibility, a whole new and growing industry that will put an end to the economic stagnation now facing us just as the decline of the buggy whip and the rise of the auto industry brought us into a new industrial economic paradigm.

There's a certain comic inconsistency about the present situation that I particularly want my readers to appreciate. The auto industry, to a man, has consistently fought against anything that might reduce the use of carbon-based fuel. On the other hand, every auto manufacturer is working feverishly to be the first to develop the fuel cell and strike a mortal blow to big oil. Business as usual.

--Alvin

<< 09/09/2002 | 09/16/2002 | 09/23/2002 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Round Table.

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