[FoRK] invasion was much better than Cats lets do it again and again

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Thu May 24 14:43:20 PDT 2007

On May 24, 2007, at 4:11 PM, Albert S. wrote:

> Don't both the camps that you describe essentially
> amount to securing/capturing oil for western
> consumption/profit over the long haul(#1 on your
> list)?

Actually, no.  State / Baker / Saud / Big Oil wants that oil to stay  
in the ground as long as possible.  End of story.  (State has complex  
motivations in that game;  for everybody else, it's a purely non- 
ideological bottom-line sort of issue...)

> As you say, over the short term, the war
> destabilizes the region leading to a less reliable
> source of oil,

Actually, the State / Baker / Saud / Big Oil interest was partially  
in *stabilizing* prices at that time;  indeed this was the proverbial  
final straw for the House of Saud.  In the couple of years before the  
invasion Saddam was jerking the oil market all around though gaming  
the so-called "Oil for Food" program.  One week, he'd be lashing out  
at the US and refuse to pump anything;  the next week he'd run the  
pumps at full blast, pumping as much as he was allowed to sell under  
the sanctions program (and then some, traded illicitly.)  The whole  
system is so delicately balanced that despite being a relatively  
small part of daily global production this actually caused extremely  
unpredictable and significant fluctuations in pricing, which made  
everyone involved a bit irritable. ;-)

> but a long term aim could still be a
> secure oil supply(remains to be seen). The two camps
> you describe only differing on how to achieve that
> long term goal.

Not at all, sorry if I set that impression.  Please understand,  
here's the synopsis:  one camp (Saud, Baker, State, Big Oil) wants  
that oil dead and buried for as long as is possible.  The other camp  
(neo-cons, Pentagon) wants to pull it up as fast as possible and use  
the revenue generated to break the economic hegemony presently and  
historically enjoyed by the first camp, first and foremost by  
effectively busting up OPEC.  The agendas are barely differentiable  
--- indeed the individual lower-level actors are barely  
differentiable, with overlapping affiliations --- until you at last  
come to the question of whether to privatize the oil fields or leave  
them in a state-run monopoly that toes the OPEC quota line.  From  
there, they diverge completely.

And we've been flip-flopping back and forth between who's in charge,  
and which strategy executed, over there since before "Mission  
Accomplished."  We could almost certainly have gone in and  
accomplished our goals and been long gone --- if there was  
fundamental agreement at the top on what those goals actually *were.*

Clearer, I hope?

(Things get even more muddled when one talks about the dollar  
valuation issue;  there *at least* three points of view and several  
overlapping camps on that one.  But for the purpose of understanding  
the quagmire of Iraq over the last several years, it's quite simple,  
with two very distinct camps:  it's OPEC and cronies including the US  
State Department, vs. the neo-con cabal and Pentagon.)

> How does the Bush policy of aggressive substitution of
> gasoline with ethanol fit into your theory?

I've seen absolutely no evidence that this is real "policy" rather  
than rhetoric...  in general, though, talking about the desperate  
need for alternate energy sources, strategies, infrastructures, etc.  
is a good way to arouse trepidation in the public, which then serves  
as a useful smoke-screen when raising profit margins.

We'll see if this price-gouging legislation that's knocking around on  
Capitol Hill this week actually has any teeth...


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