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Carl Spackler Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:41 PM
Original message
Really stupid question - war for oil
Is the idea that bush fought the war so he and the bush evil empire would personally benefit from iraqi oil? If so this would seem to be counter to logic as the more oil on the market, the less valuable the oil they (the bushes and, let's say, their backroom buddies the saudis and kuwaitis) produce would be worth. If the goal were personal enrichment wouldn't they want to continue the embargo and keep oil prices up?

Or is the idea that they fought the war to keep oil prices low to boost the US economy and gain a lock on political power?

Any help on understanding this would be welcome as I am at a loss to answer my dad on this. I might also mention that I've ALREADY taken care of calling myself stupid in the topic title, so you needn't repeat it in your responses.
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KissMyAsscroft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not just that...

The more oil they have control over, the more contracts for Halliburton, the more weapons for GE, the more security for Israel, the more payback for Bush...

Lots of reasons, except for the ones stated of course.
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Sliverofhope Donating Member (858 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's not so much control of the oil as commodity
Edited on Sat Jan-31-04 06:50 PM by Sliverofhope
It's control of the oil as power projection. We have our hands on the spigot. So in essence we become more powerful than the market. We control the oil flow itself.
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. well, remember the only two reasons BUsh does anything
1. photo ops

2. corporate interests

Corporations want Iraqi oil. And in case you haven't noticed, oil prices have remained higher than ever throughout the Iraqi occupation. They will continue to remain high. The oil companies have no problem figuring out ways to charge high prices for oil no matter how much of it there is.

That's because there are only a few big oil companies.

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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Don't look for Iraqi oil to be on the market anytime soon.
And we've got to keep buying those SUVs too.
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
34. Iraqi oil hit the markets months ago
Right here in the Los Angeles area.

I've probably burned through the blood of several dead Iraqis by now.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. They were also making a fortune from the war itself.
Until last month, Bush Sr. was an employee and investor for the Carlyle Group - #11 top defense firm. The Bush family was making a fortune. Bush quit Carlyle as an employee. Not sure inf he is still an investor. It's a private firm so we'll never know. The bin Laden family supposidly sold their shares after 9-11. Again, we'll never know for sure.

Then there is the contribution for his reelection campaign. Watch how much they give Bush this time around. To say nothing about a possible job to replace Bush Sr. after he is finally out of office and not in prison.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. Exactly!
Remember, the president's grandfather was a senator who also ran an oil-related industry, similar to Halliburton. Go back a generation, and find the great-grandfathers were early industrialists in the beginning of the "modern" military-industrial complexe. Since 1860, oil production has been the #1 industry in the world. The military industrial complexe runs on oil. Oil industries' budget is larger than the m.i.c., or the US government. Next: US interests still controil about 80% of the global oil industry. So, properly understood, George W. is NOT there for the US, or even the m.i.c., as much as for oil. We have a petroleum by-product acting as president.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. the goal, as I understand it, is control over the oil
they get to decide whom to sell it to, they get all the profits, and none of that sneaky Euro-based stuff Saddam was thinking about. Why let Iraq sell oil to them, when they can sell it themselves? Then they are free to increase or decrease the oil flow, however the pricing demands.

they'll be going after Chavez next
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. They're already after Chavez
tried a coup, that failed, now they're trying a simple counter-insurgency
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. Chavez kiss of death was when he followed Sadaam in dumping the dollar
and we can't be having that!

Did you see the film "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"? It's an absolute "must see"!

Peace to you and your guitars ;)
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Oil infrastructure.
I probably could find sources for you, but my theory a year and a half ago always had to do with the infrastructure. Who was going to own and operate the pipelines, refineries, and ports. Think about the bonanza for corporations who support the president to have US tax payers funding the upgrades to facilities and then these same corporations get to operate them.

Back in September, I was listening to a story on NPR about L. Paul Bremer signing something that said that there would no longer be any government-owned companies in Iraq; that these companies would be sold and could be owned 100% by foreign entities. They interviewed the manager of an OIL REFINERY that was on the block. Now, who has enough money to buy these Iraqi businesses. Iraqis? I don't think so.

I'm not sure where that "mandate" from the US viceroy has gone, but if you just follow logic, it seems to me that the oil is all about control. Our tax dollars at work.
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Sliverofhope Donating Member (858 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That's right
The whole privatization thing. Offering resources up to international corporations, a large number of which happen to be US-based, though they owe no real allegience to the country in any ethical or patriotic way.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. About Oil
The US is NOT dependent on ME Oil. Most of the oil we use comes from Venezuela (which makes the Chavez situation take on a new light), the US and other areas. BUT Europe and Japan ARE dependent on ME oil. Iraq controls a good 40%+ of the World's oil reserves, and just as much of France, Germany and Russia's opposition to the war came from the fact that they like their existing cheap oil contracts. Now, the US (specifically Halliburton, Harken and Unocoal) is in control of the Iraqi markets and can decide who gets the contracts. We basically have set ourselves up with an Afghan Pipeline for natural gas and lots of Oil in Iraq that we are now the controlers of. They can charge whatever they want for it, keep the supply low or high and have a bargaining chip against the Saudis.

Now the money is in US hands, not that of the Iraqis, Saudi's Kuwaitis or in the hands of the Stans.

Imperialism is always profitable to business and costly to governments. But business don't have to pay for the cost when the government (especially friendly government) will do the grunt work
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
11. "peak oil"
Indicators are now pointing to global oil production having peaked in 2000, though Middle East production will not peak for two or three decades (that is, if reserves have been accurately reported). Demand will continue to grow as supply dwindles.

"The Fuel That Fires Political Hotspots" by petroleum geologist Colin Campbell, May 17, 2002:

"Future historians may look back and identify a degree of choreography in the present war on terror. At all events, the US is paying for troops to defend a Colombian export pipeline; it was implicated in a failed coup to depose the Venezuelan president, who was taking a tough line on oil; it has overthrown the government of Afghanistan on a proposed pipeline route; it has established military bases around the Caspian oilfields; and it threatens to invade Iraq, one of the last places left with substantial oil."
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
12. Oil field services are as lucrative as oil products
Edited on Sat Jan-31-04 07:12 PM by jpak
Halliburton has a monopoly on that in I-raq. Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock and options have increased in value since the invasion.

The US and the UK have control of all I-raq's oil revenue. That revenue will be in dollars - not euros.

The US has resurrected I-raq's state owned oil company.

The US will seat a hand-picked puppet government on July 1 2004 that will control that state run oil company as the US sees fit.

That puppet government will be protected by an I-raqi secret police force established by the CIA at a cost of $3 billion.

The US has also established an I-raqi "Army" .

The new I-raqi "Army" is incapable of repelling an attack against I-raq - it is, however, quite capable of quelling internal dissent, and protecting Cheney's investment in the I-raqi oil industry.

So there you have it - the US controls I-raq's oil and Cheney has profitted handsomely from his splendid little war.

Oh - BTW - your "dad" is right - it's not about oil...

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mn9driver Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. US Economy is oil dependent. We use fossil fuel for
just about everything. The Middle East is a tinderbox: the Saudi Monarchy is teetering on the edge of a knife and the government which will replace it won't be too friendly to us (say Wahabi Islam three times really fast). Iraq is a foothold, a potentially friendly pro-western government (good luck with that one, boys!) and a message: Don't be thinking about messing with our oil supply.

Like most wars, this was probably a Resource war(a proactive one), but that wouldn't play too well on Main Street, so they lied about why they were doing it. After all, they know what's really best for the country.... don't they?


Don't they?
(sarcasm intended here).
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. pssst Oil IS a fossil fuel
you mean we use Coal and Natural Gas not petro oil.

The rest of it you're right about
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MikeG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
14. I think it has more to do with projecting American power into the
Middle East. These Bush people think that there has to be a price paid for attacking the U.S.

None of the war for oil arguments convince me.

I think it is more likely that these people feel that if we do not use our power some other country will become stonger than us and treat us like we have been treating them.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. "A price paid for attacking the US"?
Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. If Bush's gang had cared about that, they probably could have prevented it.

The attack provided a good excuse for conquering Afghanistan & shoving the Patriot Act through. By intoning "since 9/11"--not really saying Iraq was guilty but implying it--they added another excuse (besides the non-existent WMD'S) for the invasion of Iraq. The profitable contracts for Halliburton & other cronies were icing on the cake.

Yes, it was partly for projecting power into the Middle East. But it's mostly power over the oil supplies. They're eager to get a puppet government in place (before the election) but an American military presence will continue in Iraq--a strategic location for further power grabs.

Not today's oil, but they're planning for the future.

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MikeG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I think that 9/11 was a major embarrassment for the U.S in these people's
eyes. You underestimate how much of a "pantsing" this was to the Bush people. It struck deeper than you think. This is how the Bush people think. You don't let an attack like that go unpunished. They needed to attack a Muslim country to show they could and would do it. This is what I mean about the price paid for 9/11. I am not saying it was right. Read the PNAC paper. This thinking is in there.
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Carl Spackler Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. The only country in a position to become more powerful than the US
in our lifetime would be China, if they can hold together and continue their industrialization. I can't see the EU becoming cohesive enough to project unified power. And the islamic countries are so completely bass-ackwards in everything from industrialization to education to administration that even with all the oil money in the world (oops - they kinda have that) they can barely function to supply their own needs.
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MikeG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. PNAC - Project for the New American Century.
Century is the operative word. These people are planning decades in advance.
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Carl Spackler Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
15. Oil services for personal enrichment, oil stability for political gain
is that pretty much it?
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. Oil, OPEC, the dollar, & the Euro / Not oil- our entire way of life
Edited on Sat Jan-31-04 07:47 PM by Tinoire
It will not come as news to anyone that the US dominates the world economically and militarily. But the exact mechanisms by which American hegemony has been established and maintained are perhaps less well understood than they might be. One tool used to great effect has been the dollar, but its efficacy has recently been under threat since Europe introduced the euro.

The dollar is the de facto world reserve currency: the US currency accounts for approximately two thirds of all official exchange reserves. More than four-fifths of all foreign exchange transactions and half of all world exports are denominated in dollars. In addition, all IMF loans are denominated in dollars.

But the more dollars there are circulating outside the US, or invested by foreign owners in American assets, the more the rest of the world has had to provide the US with goods and services in exchange for these dollars. The dollars cost the US next to nothing to produce, so the fact that the world uses the currency in this way means that the US is importing vast quantities of goods and services virtually for free.

Since so many foreign-owned dollars are not spent on American goods and services, the US is able to run a huge trade deficit year after year without apparently any major economic consequences. The most recently published figures, for example, show that in November of last year US imports were worth 48% more than US exports1. No other country can run such a large trade deficit with impunity. The financial media tell us the US is acting as the 'consumer of last resort' and the implication is that we should be thankful, but a more enlightening description of this state of affairs would be to say that it is getting a massive interest-free loan from the rest of the world.

<snipped / please read>

All of this is bad news for the US economy and the dollar. The fear for Washington will be that not only will the future price of oil not be right, but the currency might not be right either. Which perhaps helps explain why the US is increasingly turning to its second major tool for dominating world affairs: military force.


  1. Anon., 'Trade Deficit Surges to a Record High', Reuters, (January 17, 2003), .

  2. Recknagel, Charles, 'Iraq: Baghdad Moves to Euro', Radio Free Europe (November 1, 2000), .

  3. Anon., 'A Look At The World's Economy', CBS Worldwide Inc., (December 22, 2000), .

  4. Anon., 'Iran may switch to euro for crude sale payments', Alexander Oil and Gas, (September 5, 2002), .

  5. Hazel Henderson, 'Globocop v. Venezuela's Chavez: Oil, Globalization and Competing Visions of Development', InterPress Service, (April 2002), .

  6. Javad Yarjani, 'The Choice of Currency for the Denomination of the Oil Bill', (April 14, 2002), .

  7. The Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Newsletter 26, (February 2003), .

William Clark, 'The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth', (January 2003), .


There a lot more to it than Halliburton's greed and Bush. There is nothing new going on here. Why oh why do people think Clinton went to war against Yugoslavia? Oil. Pipelines. The emincence of the dollar. Our entire way of life- the same one Bush and the neo-cons are fighting FOR.


June 10, 2000 International Tribunal for U.S./NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia

Caspian Sea's Oil Reserves

By Michel Collon

Michel Collon of Belgium is the author of two books on the Balkans, Liars Poker, and Monopoly. He is a regular contributor to, Solidaire, the weekly newspaper of the Workers Party of Belgium, on the geo-political aims of NATOs war. He spoke of the attempt to gain control of the Caspian Seas oil reserves and the pipelines used to distribute this oil.

Why Dont They Ever Talk abaout the "8th and 10th Corridors"?

Three weeks after the beginning of the war, General Michael Jackson, commander of KFOR in Macedonia and soon in Kosovo, confided to the Italian daily, Sole 24 Ore: "Today, the circumstances which we have created here have changed. Today, it is absolutely necessary to guarantee the stability of Macedonia and its entry into NATO. But we will certainly remain here a long time so that we can also guarantee the security of the energy corridors which traverse this country."

The Italian daily went on to say, "It is clear that Jackson is referring to the 8th Corridor, the East-West axis which ought to be combined to the pipeline bringing energy resources from Central Asia to terminals in the Black Sea and in the Adriatic, connecting Europe to Central Asia. That explains why the great and medium-sized powers, and first of all Russia, dont want to be excluded from the settling of scores that will take place over the next few months in the Balkans."

Why have they buried the economic importance of this conflict? Why present the undertaking, which began in the summer of 1999 in Albania, as "reconstruction" and "support for good and faithful service," since its all about the beginning of the 8th Corridor, which has been financed and in development for a long time already? Why conceal the projected pan-European energy transport system, which forms the crux of the strategy of all the great powers?

<reluctant snip>

The United States does not conceal its desire to control the strategic knot of corridors situated in the Balkans. They vetoed a project for Corridor 10, which passes through Serbia. They offered $100 million to Romania in order to route pipelines father north (across Hungary).

<reluctant snip>

The wars of the future will still carry a strong odor of petroleum.


These reserves are a long way from the Balkans, but the routes by which this oil must come west aren't. In April, a new pipeline was opened carrying Caspian Sea oil through Azerbaijan and Georgia. The oil will continue its journey by tanker through the Black Sea, the Bosphorus, and on past the Turkish and Greek coasts. Other possible western pipeline routes lie through Turkey to the coast near Cyprus or through the Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Greece -- which are, respectively, a GUUAM member, an aspiring member of NATO, and an existing NATO member. The Economist reports that NATO "says it may advise the GUUAM club on security --especially for the pipelines."

All these routes give the necessity of security in the Balkans an additional direct economic importance, adding to the primary strategic concerns that stand behind NATO's war. The Financial Times reports that an oil find by the OKIOCA "could support the construction of a big export pipeline, such as the trans-Caspian link to Baku in Azerbaijan and then on to Ceyhan, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Such a pipeline is a US foreign policy priority, as it would help wean the former Soviet republics along the Caspian away from Russia while undermining growing commercial interests in using Iran as an oil export route."

US energy secretary Bill Richardson explained last November, "This is about America's energy security ... . It's also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We are trying to move these newly independent countries toward the west. We would like to see them reliant on western commercial and political interests. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian and it's important that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."

It is the "pipeline map" that connects the Caspian Sea oil reserves to the security of the area between Turkey, Greece, and the other Balkan states. As the International Herald Tribune points out, "Profound economic and geopolitical consequences" stem from the decisions about the routes by which the oil will come west. "Rivalries played out here will have a decisive impact in shaping the post-Communist world, and in determining how much influence the United States will have over its development."


Logic of Empire

The New World Order promised 10 years ago will not be delivered. The imbalance between US military power and that of every other state, once touted as the guarantee of a more peaceful world, now stands exposed as a source of greater instability. US military spending is greater than all the military spending of the next 13 countries ranked beneath it. Yet the US share of world trade and world manufacturing is substantially less than it was during the Cold War. This is one central reason why military might is so often the choice of the US ruling class.



A discreet deal in the pipeline

Nato mocked those who claimed there was a plan for Caspian oil

Special report: the petrol war

George Monbiot

Thursday February 15, 2001

Gordon Brown knows precisely what he should do about BP. The company's 10bn profits are crying out for a windfall tax. Royalties and petroleum revenue tax, both lifted when the oil price was low, are in urgent need of reinstatement. These measures would be popular and fair. But, as all political leaders are aware, you don't mess with Big Oil.

During the 1999 Balkans war, some of the critics of Nato's intervention alleged that the western powers were seeking to secure a passage for oil from the Caspian sea. This claim was widely mocked. The foreign secretary Robin Cook observed that "there is no oil in Kosovo". This was, of course, true but irrelevant. An eminent commentator for this paper clinched his argument by recording that the Caspian sea is "half a continent away, lodged between Iran and Turkmenistan".

For the past few weeks, a freelance researcher called Keith Fisher has been doggedly documenting a project which has, as far as I can discover, has been little-reported in any British, European or American newspaper. It is called the Trans-Balkan pipeline, and it's due for approval at the end of next month. Its purpose is to secure a passage for oil from the Caspian sea.

The line will run from the Black sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic at Vlore, passing through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. It is likely to become the main route to the west for the oil and gas now being extracted in central Asia. It will carry 750,000 barrels a day: a throughput, at current prices, of some $600m a month.

The project is necessary, according to a paper published by the US Trade and Development Agency last May, because the oil coming from the Caspian sea "will quickly surpass the safe capacity of the Bosphorus as a shipping lane". The scheme, the agency notes, will "provide a consistent source of crude oil to American refineries", "provide American companies with a key role in developing the vital east-west corridor", "advance the privatisation aspirations of the US government in the region" and "facilitate rapid integration" of the Balkans "with western Europe".


And now- if you really want to feel sick. Check out Freeper comments from 1999. I just found them while googling "yugoslavia kosovo pipeline map". Their comments break my heart. On that day they were DUers.


Foreign Affairs Opinion (Published) Keywords: KOSOV NATO CASPIAN
Source: Toward Freedom On-Line Magazine
Published: July 1999 Author: JOHN REES
Posted on 07/16/1999 12:38:14 PDT by dirtboy

Over 20 wars are raging around the globe. Why then was NATO so concerned with the Balkans? The plight of the refugees is the stock pro-war answer. Yet, 15.3 million refugees were made homeless by war in 1995 alone. So, again, why did the war in Kosovo, where US military might was 99 times greater than that of the state it opposed, command the attention of the world's great powers?


The other reason is the economic enfeeblement of Russia. But the policy of using this weakness to carry Russia reluctantly along with NATO objectives has its limits, as the course of the Balkan War shows. Moreover, as NATO encroachment comes ever closer to Russia's borders, the still enormous military machine of the Russian state may once again begin to look to the country's leaders like its one real asset in a threatening situation. When we see the Balkan War in context, it's no surprise to find that the 1990s have been one of the bloodiest decades since the Second World War. Most of those killed have been civilians. Fifty years ago, half of war deaths were civilian. In the 1960s, civilians accounted for 63 percent of war deaths, and in the 1980s that figure rose to 74 percent. In the 1990s, the figure is higher still. Only the destruction of the imperialist system will stop this carnage. -- John Rees is the editor of and a contributor to the book Marxism and the New Imperialism (London, 1994), and the editor of the London-based quarterly journal International Socialism.


And I LOVE the first comment in that thread:

Notice that only the far-left and far-right bother with details any more?
1 Posted on 07/16/1999 12:38:14 PDT by dirtboy

Here's the link:

On that day, those freepers were DUers.

WHY KOSOVO? - NATO and the new imperialism
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Carl Spackler Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. So Clinton's wars were for oil as well?
except for Haiti, I suppose.
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Yeah- just updated that post. If you want more, I have plenty.
Edited on Sat Jan-31-04 08:03 PM by Tinoire
When people called Clinton a Republican, I used to get really angry. After looking into Yugoslavia, NAFTA, WTO, GATT, welfare reform... I am understanding. For 8 years he starved and bombed Iraq too. Never forget that- I know I never will. I am ashamed I voted for him.

This is all so troubling. Check out the FreeRepublic thread in my updated post... Their posts trouble me too because on that issue, they sound so much like us.

I am trying to find a map for you. One I found a few weeks ago that CLEARLY shows the piplelines, the Caspian Sea, Kosovo, the new republic of Albania and from there your imagination can fill it all in. Bush is just carrying on step 2 of what was started.

Bush 1 had the vision of the "New World Order" and started working on it ((of course, no room for countries like Haiti in it ;) )

Clinton worked on it too. Homeland Security & all that crap was started under him.

Junior is just pursuing the dream with a vengeance.

We're totally hosed.

On edit: I am a bad person to talk to. If you listen to me too long, you'll end up slitting your wrists from disillusionment unless you can train yourself to support the lesser of two evils.
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Here's a little more
Stated US policy goals regarding energy resources in this region include fostering the independence of the new states and their ties to the West, breaking Russias monopoly over oil and gas transport routes, encouraging the construction of East/West pipelines that do not transit Iran and denying Iran dangerous leverage over the central Asian economies." - Doug Bereutter, Chairman, US House Committee on International Relations at a hearing on the strategic importance of the Caspian region.

Need for military Resources
Central Asian resources may revert back to the control of Russia or to a Russian led alliance. This would be a nightmare situation. We had better wake up to the dangers or one day the certainties on which we base our prosperity will be certainties no more. The potential prize in oil and gas riches in the Caspian sea, valued up to 4 trillion dollars, would give Russia both wealth and strategic dominance. The potential economic rewards of Caspian energy will draw in their train Western military forces to protect our investment if necessary." Mortimer Zuckerman, Editor of US News and World Report, May 1999.


A British View of American Motives in Kosovo
How have you swallowed the CIA-funded propaganda that demonises the Serbs? Are you not familiar with the duplicity and intimidation of the United States foreign policy? That Ambassador Walker, in charge of monitoring forces in Bosnia , was financing the contras? Have you no recall of that Free World crap that embraced Batista, Noriega, Syngman Rhee, Bao Dai, Lee Van Thieu and Sukarno? - The late Alan Clarke, Conservative MP, former Minister of Defence, 27 March 1999, House of Commons. He said the real causes of the war were considerations of oil brokerage, the Seven Sisters and projected pipeline routes.


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The Bush administration, with its spectacular connections to oil and energy corporations, is telling the U.S. people they need more oil, gas and nuclear power to meet the so-called "energy crisis." It is becoming unmistakeable that events in the Balkans, including the recent terrorist attacks in Macedonia, have been directly related to this drive for ever greater sources of oil and profits.

By Karen Talbot

Not only do the people of the former Yugoslavia continue to pay an enormous human price, but U.S. consumers and taxpayers are shelling out huge sums that ultimately enrich these corporations. The intensifying civil war in Macedonia is a case in point.


It is now becoming clearer than ever that a primary reason the U.S. has been so involved in Kosovo, Bosnia and throughout Yugoslavia, has much to do with the immense wealth to be gleaned from oil. Construction of a major "trans-Balkan" pipeline is underway from Burgas in Bulgaria on the Black Sea, through Macedonia, to the Albanian Adriatic port of Vlore. It is being built by U.S.-owned Albanian-Macedonia-Bulgarian Oil Corporation (AMBO) and is scheduled to be operational by 2005.

The trans-Balkan pipeline passes through what is known as corridor 8 - traversing very near the borders between Macedonia, Kosovo and the Presevo Valley (see map). Furthermore, it is to be connected with another series of pipelines, some of them Soviet-era pipelines. A major one of these will pass down the Presevo Valley - known as corridor 10 - connecting with the AMBO pipeline precisely at these same critical borders.

This system of pipelines is designed not only to transport petroleum to seaports for shipping abroad, but extends into the heart of Europe. Two branches of the AMBO line jut into Greece - one to Thessalonika, the other to a terminal on the west coast.

All of this has to do with the enormously rich petroleum fields of the Caspian Sea basin. In order to get that oil to market, one of the best routes is to pipe it to the Black Sea, ship it in tankers across the sea and then pipe it again across the Balkans to the Adriatic Sea. This bypasses the treacherously narrow Bosporous Straits near Istanbul, which Turkey claims could not safely accommodate the heavy tanker traffic from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.


"In starting the bombing one should note a similar case with Iraq where the Clinton Administration set Saddam by demanding inspection of his Baath Party files and members, the basis for his power or be bombed." --Scott Ritter, former head of the U.N. arms inspection team in Iraq, on the NBC TODAY SHOW, December 17, 1998. "The U.S. has perverted the U.N. weapons process by using it as a tool to justify military actions, falsely so. ... The U.S. was using the inspection process as a trigger for war."

Remember we started the war by giving Serbia an ultimatum to sign away sovereignty over an integral part of its territory and national birthright. Washington demanded NATO occupation of the province for 3 years after which time a plebiscite would give the territory its independence. In the meantime it would have its own government. Equally Washington undermined the moderate Kosovans negotiations with the Serbs. By promising to bomb Serbia, it reinforced the most intransigent Kosovan guerrilla leaders. Washington in effect told the Serbs that their only choice was to lose the province or change its ethnic composition. Imagine what might happen in a somewhat similar analogy if Texans and Californians were threatened with bombing unless they agreed to independence for Mexican majority parts of their states, unless they expelled all Americans of Mexican heritage.


3) "Atrocities? Who, us?"

American goodwill has led to the deaths of millions because of the lies we believed. For the First World War, it was stories that German soldiers ate Belgian babies. For the Iraq war it was lies about 15 babies being thrown out of incubators in Kuwait. (So we went and bombed the sanitation and electric grids and now |half a million Iraqi children have died of starvation and disease>--nearly half of Iraq's electric generation is still in ruins) Then we were told there were aerial photographs of the Iraqi Army massed on Saudi Arabias border ready to attack. They were never released; they were lies too, but they triggered our attack on Iraq. The misery of the Albanian Kosovans is surely true, but take some of Washington's atrocity stories with skepticism. Pilots didn't fly below 15,000 feet.. No wonder they can't tell the difference between a farm tractor or a tank.

And there's more, When Washington kills, it's from far away by pushing buttons or by blockading (in Iraq 1.7 million dead). Foreigners don't have the resources we have, they don't kill from far away like we do. One can't compare a cluster or fuel air bomb to knifing a pregnant woman. But one can compare rape and murder to destroying sanitation, fresh water and electricity and then blockading reconstruction supplies for 8 years. Or maybe destroying a poverty stricken nation's main antibiotics factory (as we did to Sudan) so that thousands die of disease (and starvation because the plant produced nearly all the nation's animal antibiotics). Let us not forget also the greatest "ethnic cleansing" in history, agreed to at Yalta and helped by Washington, 10 million Germans expelled from East Europe to walk West. A million died in the process.

Civil wars are the most vicious of all, but once America starts to kill, it changes all the other equations. These are not our battles. Our participation favoring one side over the other only leads to worse killing, witness Kosovo. 2,000 people died before our involvement. Soon now it will be the hundreds of thousands wandering around Kosovo with their livelihoods destroyed, from starvation and disease, while Washington's generals say "Tough luck, it's Milosevic fault."




There's always a connection with Oil

Of course, no American war would be complete without the theme of securing Western access to oil reserves. This one is no different, although it took a while for someone to point out the connection. It turns out that some of the largest oil reserves in the world lie underneath and to the East of the Caspian Sea. The most secure route for this oil to reach the West would be by a pipeline that enters Europe through Turkey and the Balkans. For this route to be "protected" from terrorist or hostile geopolitical forces, it is necessary for the Americans to have a substantial presence in that region. And, of course, it's necessary for the countries in which the oil is located to have pro-Western governments. Yugoslavia's resistance to entering the Western orbit was putting a crimp in America's plans.

NATO, threat to peace and freedom

At one point a few weeks ago, the terrible reality of the New World Order suddenly dawned upon me. A collection of government leaders, operating under the mantle of NATO, had launched an undeclared war on a sovereign state in the name of humanitarian intervention. That war had turned a humanitarian crisis into a humanitarian disaster. In addition, the world moved closer to a major war than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis. We are all targets now.

Yet, this action was taken without the authorization, and in some cases, without even consulting the peoples' representatives in the various countries affected. In Canada, Chretien allowed an after-the-fact half-day "debate". (At least Mulroney had a debate over the Gulf War.) In the US, as expected, Clinton waged a devastating undeclared war against Serbia, in order to bypass the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. Subsequently, Congress voted against authorizing the strike against Yugoslavia, and after 60 days, Clinton was also in violation of the 1973 War Powers Act. Similar conditions held in other NATO countries. In the US, public support for the war never went much over 50%. By the end of the war, over 80% of the American public wanted a bombing halt, and in NATO member Greece, 96% opposed the NATO operation. And yet, the NATO juggernaut rolled on, pretty much unopposed.

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Carl Spackler Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. So who's clean in all of this?
I guess I have my weekend reading set up, but would you include those that supported the wars in Kosovo and Iraq to be complicit in this? Who does that leave? Kucinich?
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Well.... Now that you ask, yes.
That's exactly where all my research has left me- Kucinich.

And it's not just the research on wars.

Genetically modified foods ---> Kucinich

Decent treatment of working Americans --> Kucinich

Fighting the privatization of water --> Kucinich

Israel/Palestine --> Kucinich

Healthcare --> Kucinich

A living wage --> Kucinich

the list is long. Everywhere I go, I end up back to Kucinich. I assure you, it is a lonely place but we are trying with every breath in our body!

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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #28
38. A shy Kick for Tinoire...
You're brilliant.
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buddhamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. excellent, Tinoire
thank you.

i didn't see this good summery article in your post

it's thorough

The US and Eurasia:
End Game for the Industrial Era?

With the dawn of the 21st century the world has entered a new stage of geopolitical struggle. The first half of the 20th century can be understood as one long war between Britain (and shifting allies) and Germany (and shifting allies) for European supremacy. The second half of the century was dominated by a Cold War between the US, which emerged as the world's foremost industrial-military power following World War II, and the Soviet Union and its bloc of protectorates. The US wars in Afghanistan (in 2001-2002) and Iraq (which, counting economic sanctions and periodic bombings, has continued from 1990 to the present) have ushered in the latest stage, which promises to be the final geopolitical struggle of the industrial period - a struggle for the control of Eurasia and its energy resources.

My purpose here is to sketch the general outlines of this culminating chapter of history as it is currently being played out.

First, it is necessary to discuss geopolitics in general, and from a historical perspective, in relation to resources, geography, military technology, national currencies, and the psychology of its practitioners.

The Ends and Means of Geopolitics
It is never enough to say that geopolitics is about "power," "control," or "hegemony" in the abstract. These words have usefulness only in relation to specific objectives and means: Power over what or whom, exerted by what methods? The answers will differ somewhat in each situation; however, most strategic objectives and means tend to have some characteristics in common.
Like other organisms, humans are subject to the perpetual ecological constraints of population pressure and resource depletion. While it may be simplistic to say that all conflicts between societies are motivated by the desire to overcome ecological constraints, most certainly are. Wars are typically fought over resources - land, forests, waterways, minerals, and (during the past century) oil. People do occasionally fight over ideologies and religions. But even then resource rivalries are seldom far from the surface. Thus attempts to explain geopolitics without reference to resources (a recent example is Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations) are either misguided or deliberately misleading.

The industrial era differs from previous periods of human history in the large-scale harnessing of energy resources (coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium) for the purposes of production and transportation - and for the deeper purpose of expanding the human carrying capacity of our terrestrial environment. All of the scientific achievements, the political consolidations, and the immense population increases of the past two centuries are predictable effects of the growing, coordinated use of energy resources. In the early decades of the 20th century, petroleum emerged as the most important energy resource because of its cheapness and convenience of use. The industrial world is now overwhelmingly dependent on oil for agriculture and transportation.

Modern global geopolitics, because it implies worldwide transportation and communication systems rooted in fossil energy resources, is therefore a phenomenon unique to the industrial era.

The control of resources is largely a matter of geography, and secondarily a matter of military technology and control over currencies of exchange. The US and Russia were both geographically blessed, being self-sufficient in energy resources during the first half of the century. Germany and Japan failed to attain regional hegemony largely because they lacked sufficient indigenous energy resources and because they failed to gain and keep access to resources elsewhere (via the USSR on one hand and the Dutch East Indies on the other).

Yet while both the US and Russia were well endowed by nature, both have passed their petroleum production peaks (which occurred in 1970 and 1987, respectively). Russia remains a net oil exporter because its consumption levels are low, but the US is increasingly dependent on imports of both oil and natural gas.

Both nations long ago began investing much of their energy-based wealth in the production of fuel-fed arms systems with which to expand and defend their resource interests globally. In other words, both decided decades ago to be geopolitical players, or contenders for global hegemony.

Roughly three-quarters of the world's crucial remaining petroleum reserves lie within the borders of predominantly Muslim nations of the Middle East and Central Asia - nations that, for historical, geographic, and political reasons, were unable to develop large-scale industrial-military economies of their own and that have, throughout the past century, mainly served as pawns of the Great Powers (Britain, the US, and the former USSR). In recent decades, these predominantly Muslim oil-rich nations have pooled their interests in a cartel, the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC).

While resources, geography, and military technology are essential to geopolitics, they are not sufficient without a financial means to dominate the terms of international trade. Hegemony has had a financial as well as a military component ever since the adoption of money by Bronze Age agricultural empires; money, after all, is a claim upon resources, and the ability to control the currency of exchange can effect a subtle ongoing transfer of real wealth. Whoever issues a currency - especially a fiat currency, i.e., one not backed by precious metals - has power over it: every transaction becomes a subsidy to the money coiner or printer.

During the colonial era, rivalries between the Spanish real, the French franc, and the British pound were as decisive as military battles in determining hegemonic power. For the past half-century, the US dollar has been the international currency of account for nearly all nations, and it is the currency with which all oil-importing nations must pay for their fuel. This is an arrangement that has worked to the advantage both of OPEC, which maintains a stable customer in the US (the world's largest petroleum consumer and a military power capable of defending the Arab oil kingdoms), and of the US itself, which receives a subtle financial tithe for every barrel of oil consumed by every other importing nation.

These are some of the essential facts to bear in mind when examining the current geopolitical landscape.

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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #29
37. Good stuff, Tinoire
thanks for the info. There's a lot to digest here.

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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
20. I would say
it's now about the actual oil; It's about control of the oil. They don't necesarily want to pump; They want to control it.
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Nlighten1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
27. 60% of the world's oil is...
stuck in an area near the size of the state of Indiana. Oil is probably the most important product on this planet...
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #27
36. yes, especially considering that it now takes over a calorie of oil
to produce a calorie of food.

Processed foods are way higher than that.
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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
31. As Nlighten1 implies: It's time for everyone to get a map
The Golden Triangle: There is more gas under the peninsula
of Qatar than the entire Western Hemisphere.
JudiLyn's post on the new $5B Bechtel Int'l in Qatar got
me onto this.

Tinoire is right on tactics. Here's the strategy.
Three Days of the Condor

And an invitation to one and all to come over
to DU Environment/Energy/Science
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-04 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
32. John D. Rockefeller was the first
to realize that wealth and power does not come from owning the oil wells; it comes from controlling the marketing and distribution of it once it leaves the well head. Its still true today. Any country that has oil is going to sell it. As the posts above explain in lucid detail, oil was at the core of the Iraq invasion but the geostrategic reasons for the war go much further.

Oil is the single most important commodity in the world today. It is the "life blood" of modern civilization. Look around yourself: petrochemicals are present in about 99% of the things you see. Its the single most important component in manufacturing, food production, transportation, and many other common aspects of our lives. It is the most important resource in warfare. Controlling the distribution of oil allows one to determine which nations will develop industrially and at what pace.

I can't really add anything to what has already been posted, but I can offer a brief summary. The world is at or nearing Peak Oil. As oil is the main factor in the US' economic and military hegemony, it invaded Iraq to strengthen its presence in the region of the world that possesses the most abundant reserves of oil left. It is also an attempt to prevent the usurpation of the Dollar as the chief currency in the world. The US intentionally disregarded the world community as a show of its strength and its resolve. I predict American soldiers will be in Iraq for a long, long time...
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
35. don't forget Iraqi oil is some of the cheapest to produce
So for a buck spent, you get several times more oil for your buck than you do anywhere else in the world.

Can you say "profit" motive?
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Seldona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 05:21 AM
Response to Original message
39. It is about strategic control.
Long term.

As our existing sources run out, we will be looking for more places to 'buy' it.

With Saddam in power, and planning on switching to the Euro for oil payments which is a whole other topic really really, American oil concerns couldn't have a anti-US dictator in charge of that oil.

With our history of Iraq, that oil would have gone to everyone in the world EXCEPT America.

I really believe that is the reason for the war.

No way Saddam would have been selling his oil to America. More likely to whomever our biggest enemy is.

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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. As existing sources run out we will be looking for more places to 'buy
Edited on Sun Feb-01-04 11:28 AM by jmcgowanjm
Oil is inelastic
This contradicts our usual expectation that rising prices will quickly result in greater supply. Higher prices, no matter how high they are, will not create enough new supplies

Oil is inelastic
Contango-bearish-out months $increase
Backwardation-bullish-out months $decrease
Start looking at crude oil futures. And aluminum(energy intensive). And paper(water intensive)
LTI-Research Group in Mannheim in 1998. It found that, if the development of renewable energy systems were supported by decisive, well-coordinated action by governments, in a sustained programme lasting for 50 years, renewable sources could provide 35 per cent of the energy used at present.

World population will have to adjust to lesser food supplies by a reduction in population. Pimentel and Pimentel (1996) state: ... the nations of the world must develop a plan to reduce the global population from near 6 billion to about 2 billion.
In 40 years max.

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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. On backwardation, this Shell price chart, Jan 23, 04
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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. to Tinoire, the Caspian has peaked and Russia is taking Kazakoil
The BakuTurkCeylan pipeline will not be filled.

And there is no Plan B. Our leaders know only force
and taking, which they are now attempting to do.

And watch the pipeline Russia is building to either
China or Japan. Russia is building only one and it
can only go to one or the other.

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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. Caspian overestimated
Shortly after the overthrow of the Taliban, the first extensive survey of the Caspian region showed that early estimates were off by a factor of 10.

Some ask why the Bush* administration fiddled the first 9 months after taking office while al Qaeda plotted. There's evidence that we were negotiating a pipleine deal with the Taliban in exchange for recognition and aid. As talks dragged on our emissaries began talking tough, threatening a military intervention. The Taliban walked away from the table and six weeks later two planes crashed into the WTC.
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
43. The point of the Iraq war...
Edited on Sun Feb-01-04 11:57 AM by Darranar
was to hurt the aspirations of the European oil corporations in the Middle East.

If the US controls the oil, they control who gets it. Right now, it appears that US corporations are getting it. There is no reason to suspect that this will change.

The euro/dollar thing was also a factor.

The US is beginning to recognize that their main competitors for world domination are the EU and Asia. They are acting accordingly. "Globalization" will help bring Asia to heel, and destroying any nation considering using Euros over dollars or aiding the Europeans over the Americans will help stop the EU.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
44. You're right, it is a pretty basic question.
We are approaching the end of ALL oil. They are stealing it for their use. They have no intention of giving it back to the Iraqis. It is not a short-term thing that bothers about markets. Part of the scam of their endless wars is also to blow things up so they can get the contracts to put it back together again.
The Bushes have always made their money by starting and nurturing wars. They sell the arms to opposing sides and spur the war on, make billions selling arms for the war, make billions repairing the damage make billions siphoning off our treasury funds in Pentagon and security scams because we are "at war", and then start all over. They don't give a shit which side they are on.
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Astarho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
45. It's not about bringing it to the market
it's about controlling the source. If we control the oil in Iraq, (regardless of whether we take it out of the ground right away) that means other nations don't. That gives us (the MIC anyway) a strategic advantage.
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nomatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-04 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
46. This might help you Carl

Please read this, all pages. Look at who was found guilty. The reasons given for the first Iraq war.

Iran-lraq War and U.S. Strategy

"The Bush administration has never presented any evidence whatsoever for its charges that Iraq used poison gas on its own citizens. Rather it has simply repeated the charges over and over in the press. This event is analyzed in considerable detail in a study published by the Army War College called, Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East. The authors of that study conclude that the charges were false but used by the U.S. government to change public opinion toward Iraq. They even go so far as to suggest a conspiracy against Iraq: "The whole episode of seeking to impose sanctions on Iraq for something that it may not have done would be regrettable but not of great concern were this an isolated event. Unfortunately, there are other areas of friction developing between our two countries.''
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