Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Iraq war and the oil weapon

Via Wot Is It Good For,  Greg Palast interviewed by Amy Goodman:

“Is the war in Iraq for oil? Yes, it's about the oil, but not for the oil. In my investigations for Armed Madhouse, I ended up with a story far more fascinating and difficult than I imagined. We didn't go in to grab the oil. Just the opposite. We went in to control the oil and make sure we didn't get it. It goes back to 1920, when the oil companies sat in a room in Brussels in a hotel room, drew a red line around Iraq and said, ‘There'll be no oil coming out of that nation.’ They have to suppress oil coming out of Iraq. Otherwise, the price of oil will collapse, and OPEC and Saudi Arabia will collapse.”

Full credit to Palast for stating the obvious fact that nobody is supposed to notice, that the Americans didn’t go into Iraq to grab the oil.  However, his alternative makes no sense.  Remember the sanctions?  A system under the control of the United States and Britain which completely controlled the flow of oil out of Iraq.  Some oil was allowed to ooze out, but largely only if Republicans could make some money off it (American right-wingers tried to make a big deal out of alleged corruption of Kofi Annan and his son, but have been quiet about the fact that both have been cleared, and the only real crooks involved were connected to the Republican Party).  For all intents and purposes, the oil in Iraq was completely under wraps, and would have stayed that way until the Americans decided otherwise.  There was no need for a war to keep oil off the market.

The attack was indeed about oil, but not in any of the obvious ways.  It was intended to be a part of a larger plan to take the oil weapon away from the Arabs.  The larger plan, David Wurmser’s plan, is one of the main reasons for the war, and demonstrates that the war was indeed for Israel, the only country that has any reason to fear the oil weapon.  Wurmser’s plan will require more thought if we are really to understand the reasons for war.