Sunday, July 02, 2006

Oil and deceit

This comment from trouvere refers me to this amazing column by David Frum, in which he concludes that it is morally acceptable for Jews to engage in lies and deceit in order to protect Israel.  I have no problem with that, but in the current context in the United States, where there is some debate whether agents for Israel deceived the United States into entering a disastrous war in Iraq entirely to further right-wing Israeli goals, and where further deceit by the same people is trying to force the Americans into an even more disastrous war for Israel against Iran, the timing of the public expression of Frum’s phony ethical scruples is simply bizarre. 

Greg Palast has entered into the same debate, and performs that most dangerous of maneuvers, the Full Chomsky.  That’s when you sacrifice your entire reputation in a vain attempt to protect Zionism.  Palast’s trick is to ask “Did the Jews do it?”, determines that Grover Norquist isn’t a Jew, and concludes, without breaking a sweat, that it couldn’t have been the Jews.  Of course, no reasonable person would look for a Jewish conspiracy.  It’s a Zionist conspiracy, both Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists.  Norquist is a Christian Zionist.  If Palast had asked the reasonable question, “Did the Zionists do it?”, he would have had a lot more difficulty with his attempted slight-of-hand.  Of course, it was the Jewish Zionists who did almost all of the leg-work, as the Christian Zionists simply weren’t up to the intellectual challenge.

Palast goes on to play the oil card, concluding that everybody, including the neocons, was suckered by the crafty American oilmen, who staged the whole thing for their benefit.  He doesn’t mention the fact that the reason we know about the oil machinations is due to Richard Mellon Scaife’s Judicial Watch.  He also fails to mention the following facts:

  • the oilmen are all on record as opposing the attack on Iraq;
  • the oilmen are all on record as opposing any future attack on Iran;
  • the United States has taken absolutely no steps, other than a theatrical guarding of the Iraqi oil ministry building while the rest of Baghdad burned, to secure any Iraq oil supplies.   

In fact, the most notable thing about the Bush Administration is how utterly unconcerned it is about oil.  Note this article by F. William Engdahl, in which he wonders at the peculiarity that the United States is losing every single oil battle around the world.  Engdahl won’t let go of his thesis that the motivations of the Bush regime are all oil-connected, and has to fall back on the incompetence excuse.  But what if the Bush Administration has never really been concerned about oil?  What if I’m right, and the attack on Iraq was entirely for three reasons:  keeping Republicans in power, personal corruption of members of the Bush Administration and their friends, and Israeli right-wing interests?

Of course, oil plays a role, but not the obvious one.  There are a lot of Republican supporters who support the party because they feel it is mean enough to look after American interests, especially ensuring there will always be enough cheap gas to fill the SUV.  The Republicans play to this constituency by pretending to care about oil, and stating that Democrats are too weak to look after the interests of Americans.  The Republicans do care, but only to the extent that they intend for the oil supplies to come from oil sands projects in the United States, Canada, and Venezuela.  Since China’s job is to continue to manufacture American consumer products, the Bush Administration doesn’t care if China seals up all the rest of the world’s oil, and hasn’t done anything to stop it.

The other way in which oil plays a role in Israeli-dominated Washington is that it provides a thin window through which the Zionists can slip warmongering arguments.  A small conspiratorial group like the Zionists, with power derived from the fact that it is dedicated to one issue only, needs a hook on which to finesse the various power factions.  The main oil interests – not to mention all those concerned about the real interests of the United States - were against the Iraq war, but weren’t sufficiently sure of themselves, and sufficiently ready for the Zionist tricks, to mount a proper defense to the concerted attack of the Bush Administration.  The pretense that the attack was really about oil – a private nudge-nudge, wink-wink reason – provided the front behind which the real reasons could be hidden.  The Republican interests were captured by the fact that war is perceived as a way to keep political power, and the Bush Administration was captured by nothing stronger than sheer corruption.  Forget about oil – every single piece of hard evidence points against it as a motive for Bush Administration actions.  It was power, corruption, and Israel.  

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