Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oil wars 

Once in a while it is interesting to see that the name of this blog really is relevant to what is going on around us in the world today. I guess I may be a little behind on the news but I do need to thank President Bush in that respect for some clarifying comments he made last week:

We can't tolerate a new terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, with large oil reserves that could be used to fund its radical ambitions, or used to inflict economic damage on the West

Of course, the first part of that sentence in non-sense. There was no terrorism in Iraq, or really even eminating from it, until the U.S. invaded in 2003. Further, should the U.S. leave, its puppet regime fall, and some of the various insurgents in Iraq take over it is unlikely there would be any "terrorism" coming out of Iraq. The overwhelming majority of those fighting in Iraq are fighting for control of their own cities and towns, not so they can later blow up shopping malls in Kansas City.

But it is nice to see him come clean in the second half of the sentance - the U.S. won't "tolerate" states using large oil reserves funding "radical ambitions" or inflicting "economic damage on the West". So I guess if the "terrorist" state was in the middle of a desert or jungle and had no oil that would be ok. Once again we see it really is about oil - the ability oil has to magnify the power of countries and the ability it has to hurt the U.S. economy is something that is a key driver of U.S. foriegn policy.

The last thing the U.S. wants are countries that have hawkish pro-OPEC oil policies, use oil to stand up to the U.S., and even worse use oil to help others stand up to the U.S. And it is prepared to fight to keep that from happening in the Middle East.

Their willingness to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives fighting to make sure people they don't like in the Middle East don't get control over oil makes me think they are probably willing to at least spend a few tens of millions of dollars undermining other oil-rich governments, in their own hemisphere no less, they view as unfriendly. Some decades from now when the archives are opened it should be interesting to see all the assistance the Venezuelan oppoistion got courtesy the U.S. tax payer.


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