You may have heard – there’s some sabre rattling in the Middle East, and this time there’s a serious risk of International War thanks to multiple countries deploying naval forces into the region, and the U.S. trying to act as a quasi-unilateral police force. President Obama is threatening the Syrian government over what appears to be their horrible acts upon their citizens, but he’s proposing to do this without going to the UN for approval, nor to Congress for approval, and even other governments are refusing to go along. You might, however, be wondering how this relates to transportation issues?
Why is Syria important enough for the U.S. to take this sort of action against their government? There are lots of countries that are mean to their citizens, and the U.S. doesn’t deploy huge navies off their shore and threaten to bomb them to smithereens. There’s something about Syria that makes them important enough to do this.
I think there’s a case to be made this is about controlling Middle East Oil just as Iraq was clearly about access to Oil supplies. However, it’s not directly about control over the oil itself, but about control of the governments in the region, ensuring they’re friendly to the idea of Western companies mining Oil from beneath their sands. (“How did Our Oil get under Their Sand?”)
In the case of Iraq there was a clear connection to transportation issues – Iraq has a lot of oil. Our collective need for gasoline caused the Iraq war. To a lesser extent this is also true for the Afghanistan war, because there were oil pipeline proposals which were to go through both Afghanistan and Pakistan, requiring that the U.S. make some kind of arrangement with both those countries. But Syria doesn’t have Oil themselves, but that country is still part of the story about controlling oil supplies.
However, during the 1990’s the Rumsfield’s and Cheney’s of the world were involved with the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank we also called The Neocons. They concocted this scheme that would impose a Pax Americana upon the world, by installing Moderate Democracy in the Middle of the Middle East. They would first depose Saddam Hussein, then-President of Iraq, and we would be welcomed with open arms by a grateful population for freeing them from their oppressor. We would then turn either to Syria or Iran and do the same. By having moderate Democracies in the middle of the Middle East, the political status of neighboring countries would change, and we would have a peaceful Middle East. One in which we would be easily able to extract Oil to ship to the U.S. because we can’t solve our Oil Dependency.
That was the theory. As we now know, the result came out completely differently and has inflamed the Middle East beyond belief. And the thought of pointing guns and bombs at people and forcing them to embrace Democracy, well, that just sound ludicrous beyond belief.
But – the point of raising all that was to point out that Syria is just as much the Middle of the Middle East as is Iraq. Syria was identified back in the 1990’s as a country that needed to be toppled for this grand scheme to work.
Because it’s ludicrous to install Democracy by pointing guns at people – there was some other goal they had in mind. Namely, to establish control over the Middle East by choosing the governments in the Middle of the Middle East, and ensuring those governments were friendly. Just like in the early 50’s when the CIA installed the Shah of Iran. That worked out well, didn’t it?
The need for control of the Middle East is about the need for control of Oil supplies.
Earlier today I was thinking about this mistaken idea that President Obama is anti-War. During the 2008 election cycle he made it clear he’s not anti-War. He talked at length about Just War and Unjust War. He called the Iraq war Unjust and the Afghanistan a Just war. The latter was a clear response to an attack, while Iraq clearly was not. Obama is not anti-War, he is in support of “Just Wars” and against unjust ones.
His speech to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2009 was very much about this. Here’s a few excerpts, and I think it’s worth pondering what he said then versus what’s actually going on now. Oh, and remembering – it’s all about the Oil. At the end of this I have some links to blog posts I’ve written giving background information on that and the Iraq war in particular.
Obama’s speech receiving the Nobel Peace Prize
But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries — including Norway — in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.
Still, we are at war, and I’m responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict — filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.
Of course, we know that for most of history, this concept of “just war” was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations — total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of 30 years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it’s hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.
I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.
We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America’s commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. (Applause.) And we honor — we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it’s easy, but when it is hard.
First, in dealing with those nations that break rules and laws, I believe that we must develop alternatives to violence that are tough enough to actually change behavior — for if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure — and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one.
One urgent example is the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy. And I’m working with President Medvedev to reduce America and Russia’s nuclear stockpiles.
This brings me to a second point — the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.
It was this insight that drove drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War. In the wake of devastation, they recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.
Here’s a few blog posts I wrote in the early-mid 2000’s about the Iraq war
Background material for the second Gulf “War” – Background behind the Neocons who became the Bush Administration and their pre-determined plan to topple Iraq etc
Pipelineistan: Or, it’s the Oil Stupid – Pipelines
Is Syria (or Iran) next? – Some news a few years ago that looked like the beginning of moves against Syria
Senate Report: Bush Used Iraq Intel He Knew Was False – Lies lies lies
Building pressure for a world war to secure oil supplies? – It’s all about the Oil
Secret U.S. Plans for Iraqi Oil – It’s all about the Oil
US Invasion of Iraq officially FRAUD – It’s not what they told us it was about
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