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How Did Our Oil Get Under Their Sand?

by Paul Donahue Sunday, Jul. 20, 2003 at 10:17 PM
aracari@ptc-me.net

Are the hawks in the Bush-Cheney Oilygarchy the only ones to blame for the war?

How Did Our Oil Get Under Their Sand?

Oil is our civilization and we will never permit any demon to sit over it. - then-US Secretary of State James Baker speaking to India's foreign minister in 1990.


At least for now, the worst of the fighting and killing in Iraq seems to be behind us. And, as predicted by many, the US has assumed control of Iraqi oil production and distribution. At a massive cost to the Iraqi citizenry and infrastructure, the archives of human history, American taxpayers, our credibility around the globe, the credibility of the United Nations, and our relationships with our allies, the US has effectively gained control of between 11% and 25% of the world's supply of oil. So, as it becomes more clear by the day that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz and others in the Oilygarchy lied to Congress, the United Nations, and the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and Saddam Hussein's connections with al-Quaeda, more and more Americans are forced to face the ugly truth about their government. But are the hawks in the Bush-Cheney Oilygarchy the only ones to blame for the war?

While it is a safe assumption that most Greens were opposed to a war against Iraq from the outset and believed that representatives of the Bush-Cheney Oilygarchy were lying to us about the justifications for a pre-emptive war, unfortunately, the same can not be said of Americans as a the whole. Even among those opposed to the war all along, there are still many who do not grasp the importance of the oil connection.

How can that be? With the road signs leading to this war being so large and clear, how could so many Americans be fooled into believing that a war against Iraq would be about WMDs and fighting terrorism and not simply about oil and imperialism?

To briefly touch on a few of the many big clues that the war was about oil -
Iraq holds the second largest proven reserves of oil in the world.
The US and Great Britain have a long and nasty history, dating back to the late 1800's, of maneuvering for control of Iraqi oil.
US and British oil companies had a 75% share in Iraq's oil production until 1972 when Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party began taking steps to gain greater control of Iraq's oil, including the nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company.
The US ranks first in the corporate oil sector, with the United Kingdom second, and these two countries are the headquarters of the world's four largest oil companies.
At least 41 top officials in the Bush-Cheney Oilygarchy have close ties to the oil industry, including Bush and Cheney themselves.
The US National Energy Policy Report of 2001, authored by Vice President Cheney, placed a high a priority on easing US access to Persian Gulf oil reserves.
In January 16, 2003 The Wall Street Journal quoted oil industry officials saying that the Bush administration is eager to rehabilitate the Iraqi oil industry.

Of course, the biggest hint that oil was a major underlying factor in the invasion of Iraq is our US lifestyle, and herein, I believe, lies the key to the widespread denial practiced by so many Americans. We simply do not want to believe that our US lifestyle could lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis. However, it is a reality we have to face.

Summing up the situation is a statement in Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century, the report of an independent task force sponsored by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and the Council on Foreign Relations, and submitted to Vice-President Cheney in April 2001

"…the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience…"

The US leads the world in oil consumption, accounting for about 25% of the world total. In 2002 the US consumed nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day, or almost three gallons per person per day, twice as high as the consumption rate in Europe. About 60% of that oil came from imports, with 13% of it coming from the Persian/Arabian Gulf States. At the beginning of January 2003 the US Dept. of Energy announced that by 2025 oil imports will account for perhaps 70% of US domestic oil use. That could mean imports of 17 million barrels per day.

Due to our inconceivably short-sighted national energy policy, oil has come to occupy a role in our lives and our society that is topped in importance only by oxygen, water, and food. It heats and lights our homes, schools, offices and factories. It powers our industry, and runs our transportation systems. In its reincarnation as plastic, it has been molded into what at times seems like 90% of the material goods we produce and use, supplanting metals, wood and glass. As I sit here at my desk, typing on a plastic keyboard, in front of a plastic computer monitor casing, I can quickly glance around my office and easily see a hundred or more items made of plastic or incorporating plastic bits. With most of my paper now being recycled, even the discarded material in my plastic waste basket these days seems to be principally composed of unrecyclable plastics. In short, if the flow of oil suddenly stopped tomorrow, so would life in the United States as we know it. So, on the list of resources worth fighting for, oil is pretty close to the top.

However, when it comes to energy issues in general, and oil issues, in particular, many Americans seem disconnected. Many never understood the oil connection with the first Gulf War, despite Bush I publicly stating as much in the beginning. Many more have not yet grasped the oil connection with Afghanistan, despite the fact that we have been bombing and killing there for over a year and a half, with the oil pipeline now under construction. And now many of us are still missing the critical oil connection with Iraq. We just do not seem capable of comprehending the absolutely critical role that oil plays in our foreign policy decisions.

One reason we don't seem to be able to come to terms with the crucial oil connection is because, absurd as it might seem, gasoline is actually cheaper than bottled water! While Germans are paying about $4.00 US per gallon for gasoline, here in Machias, Maine (as of mid July 2003) "regular" grade gasoline is selling at the pump for about $1.56 to $1.61 a gallon. At the same time, the supermarket in Machias is selling Evian brand bottled water for $5.68 a gallon and Perrier brand bottled water for $6.60 a gallon - more than 4 times as much as gasoline!

How can water, which is simply filtered and poured into bottles, cost 4 times as much as oil? (If oil is "black gold", what should we call bottled water?) In contrast, the sticky black liquid is pumped up from below ground, at great expense, in some foreign land that is left polluted and contaminated by the oil operations. As likely as not, indigenous people have been displaced in the process. The crude oil may then have to travel along a pipeline that was very expensive to construct, and which caused the displacement of more indigenous peoples as well as more environmental damage. The crude oil is then transported at further expense across the oceans in oil tankers that regularly cause devastating oil spills, fouling coastlines and destroying fishing grounds. Next, it is refined in some huge petrochemical plant that pollutes the air and causes cancers in the local population. Finally, it is transported yet again at great expense by more tankers and trucks before finally arriving at some gasoline vending machine near you. And if all that is not enough, the burning of oil causes another set of serious environmental and health problems - global warming, air pollution, acid rain, asthma, etc. Yet it is less expensive to buy than bottled water?!

One reason that gasoline is so cheap is because we subsidize the oil industry to the tune of $86 billion a year. It is the most subsidized, most profitable and yet least taxed industry in the world. That $86 billion does not even include the immense cost of maintaining the massive military machine required to defend our access to large reserves of oil.

So, if we are looking for someone to blame for the death of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, there is plenty of blame to go around. Certainly blame Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz and their friends. The members of the Bush-Cheney Oilygarchy deserve impeachment for their mendacity and illegal actions. However, we then need to start looking around closer to home. We need to examine our own lifestyles and consider the impact they have on peoples and natural habitats around the globe.

We all played a critical role in the Iraq war as it is our extremely consumptive and wasteful lifestyle that drives the search for oil profits. Until we come to terms with that and begin to make significant changes in the American lifestyle, we can expect more oil wars to come.
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sad, very sad and true

by walker Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 6:22 AM

-We simply do not want to believe that our US
lifestyle could lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis. However, it is a
reality we have to face. -
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Paul Donahue = Your Basic Saddam Supporter

by Bush Admirer Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 6:44 AM

In addition to being a complete dumb ass, Paul Donahue is also your basic Saddam Supporter.

His fairy-tale delusions that this was about oil are too ridiculous to debate.
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WAR FOR OIL?

by Rob F. Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 7:18 AM

So far the U.S. has spent $48 BILLION DOLLARS on this war. And that number goes up by $4 billion a month. If this we just needed the oil, we could have bought it. There certainly is no shortage. There are plenty of people who would love to sell us their oil. Before the war we were not facing an oil shortage. Anyone care to clear up this glaring inconsistancy?

Based on that simple observation the claims that this is a "war for oil" ring hollow.
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follow the arrow>>>>>>

by Sheepdog Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 9:06 AM

I'm sure that eurodollars challenging the waste paper our federal reserve prints as money and the CONTROL of the oil plus the mammoth
contracts to corporate pirates had nothing to do with it. That couldn't be it.
That kind of thinking is cynical......
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Saddam needs more money

by Oil is Black Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 9:09 AM

Damn right oil played apart in this war. In case you’re unaware, the Middle East actually has a large part of the world's oil. To bad it all ruled by oppressive regimes.

So which "bad" government would you like the US to "support"? We can buy the oil from the Saudi's, or from Saddam. Sure their subjects will suffer. But they will never attack America and after all they are only killing Arabs.

Otherwise, you have to get 1/4 of Americans to give up their cars and their indoor heating. That's about the same people who were protesting getting rid of Saddam. Start there. To bad you’re all decadent.

Or we could just get rid of Saddam and replace it with a new government. Say like the evil American army did to Germany and Japan. Although this is perhaps best for the Iraqi’s, we must remember that they are Arabs, and they don’t WANT our crazy western values like our basic freedoms and women drivers. They ALL really want to live in the stone age.

P.S. Our oil got under there sand when WE found it and WE actually came up with a use for it, unlike them.
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Eurodollars

by Eddie Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 9:19 AM

Sheepdog,
I should allow you to continue to look stupid in this thread, but I'll throw you a bone. Eurodollars are printed by the US Federal Reserve.
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Roxdog

by Kevin Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 9:30 AM
roxthedog@hotmail.com

It will take more energy to pump and process the oil than the energy we will get from it......will be out of oil in less than 50 years.....
www.copvcia.com
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ahh..an economist

by Sheepdog Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 10:03 AM

- On February 28, 1957, the Moscow Narodny Bank in London put out to loan, through a London merchant bank, the sum of $800,000. This minuscule amount was borrowed and repaid outside the American banking system. The Soviets also owned a bank in Paris, called the Banque Commercial pour l'Europe du Nord, whose Telex address was "Eurobank." The Paris Russian bank took some Narodny dollars and lent them; the dollars were known as Eurobank dollars, and finally Eurodollars.

The capitalist bankers all loved the idea of the Eurodollar. The charm of Eurodollars, to bankers, was that they didn't belong anywhere and owed no allegiance to anyone; therefore, nobody regulated them. They were beyond the reach of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bundesbank, and all the other government authorities. The Federal Reserve can require banks to put up a portion of their deposits as reserves; other agencies govern the character and size of loans. But not in Eurodollars; these dollars could be deposited, lent, and repaid, all while the Federal Reserve looked on from afar.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/ess_currenciesfloat.html

**then could you explain this to me?**
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Eurodollars

by Eddie Monday, Jul. 21, 2003 at 10:10 AM

A eurodollar is an American dollar held by a foreign institution outside the U.S., usually a bank in Europe, often as a result of payments made to overseas companies for merchandise.

The paragraph you copied and pasted explains it well. Is there a part you don't understand?

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