"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gulf War III. It's All About The Oil...Still!

Burning oil wells in Kuwait. Circa 1990
Well Citizen Stephen has got us involved in yet another war. Canada has been at war now for almost all of Mr. "H"s entire tenure. He came to office waving the bloody flag of nationalism and it appears he intends to go out in very much the same manner. 

Granted, His Harperness didn't get us into Afghanistan. That was Jean Chretien's doing. That was the so-called "righteous" war, the response to the 9-11 attack. But Stephen kept our Men and Women in uniform in Afghanistan long past their best-before date. Our involvement there just ended a mere six months ago. 

Of course, before that, there was Libya and prior to that, Gulf War II. If Herr Harper had been in power then, we would most certainly have been involved in that  disastrous debacle that commenced in 2003 and only just wrapped up (at least from the U.S. standpoint) in 2011.  

And long before that, there was George Bush Senior's Gulf War I which of course, Canada did participate in. Brian Mulroney was responsible for our presence there. 

While the Western coalition involved in the first Iraqi conflict used that country's invasion of Kuwait as an excuse for military action, we all know that war was about the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. It is telling that as his forces withdrew under fire, Saddam Hussein's army chose to torch oil wells, not town's, villages or other strategic locations that might have been of service to his enemy. He wanted to deprive the West of its life's blood. 

It was only once Saddam had been effectively neutered as a threat to the West's supply of oil that the Americans backed off and sent in their "wildcatters" to douse the burning wells. Big Oil's interests in that area were safe for the time being. 

Sometime after that, huge deposits of oil were discovered in the Caspian Sea/Turkmenistan area. This was a huge deposit. An estimated 60 billion barrels of crude. It was SO huge that the two planned pipelines to the west via the Black Sea were not deemed to be sufficient to move all that much needed oil to Western markets. Also, the belligerent nature of bordering Iran at the time made the continuous flow uncertain via those two lines.

So in response to this dilemma, the U.S. attempted to negotiate with the Taliban Government in Afghanistan for a third pipeline that would run north to south through that country, through Pakistan and finally ending at the Indian Ocean. 

Negotiations between the Taliban and an international consortium led by Unocal of California were going swimmingly until the bombing of two American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, allegedly by Osama Bin Laden who claimed to have had the blessing of the Taliban regime. Negotiations ended at that point.

Three years later came the 9-11 attack in New York, also allegedly perpetrated by Osama and his Al Quaida network who happened to be based in Afghanistan. 

America and the Western world as a whole were terror struck. They
Map of the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline.
To be completed in 2017. 
now had the moral excuse to go into Afghanistan in force to hunt for the terrorist general... and to make sure that pipeline got built. Of course, Canada was also there to help fight the good fight against evil and tyranny... and to protect that pipeline. 

It is interesting to note that the puppet president that the U.S. installed to lead the new Afghan government was Hamid Karzai, a former Unocal employee. And as Uri Averny of the Daily Ma'Ariv in Israel pointed out, it was quite telling that the majority of American operational bases in Afghanistan were located along the same route as the proposed Tran-Afghanistan pipeline. 

So while Canada was helping to fight the war on terror by putting "boots on the ground" in Afghanistan, it is coincidental that we were also helping the best interests of Big Oil and the West's insatiable thirst for petroleum. 

Then came Gulf War II. Riding on the coattails of the "Righteous War" farther to the east, George Bush Junior invaded Iraq, supposedly to finish off his father's work. 

He used the pretext that Saddam Hussein was supporting the terrorists and was producing weapons of mass destruction. Of course, Saddam had no tolerance whatsoever for the terrorists and wouldn't let them operate in his country. And as we now know, there WERE no weapons of mass destruction. It was all a flimsy excuse for going back into the region. 

Whether it was because the Americans felt that Saddam was growing too unreliable once again or because it feared neighbouring Iran's belligerence, or both, they needed to ensure the  continued flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. And they had their excuse. Thus began an ugly eight year war to protect the flow of crude to the West.

Mercifully, Canada took a pass on that whole affair. Chretien and subsequently, Harper, were content to stick with the "Holy" pipeline war in Afghanistan.

But then came yet another despotic ruler to self righteously topple. Muammar Gaddafi, ruler of Libya which is home to the fifth largest oil reserves in the world. Gaddafi had been a thorn in the West's side for decades and It was rumored that the U.S. had plans to take him out shortly after 9-11. 

But after 9-11, Gaddafi made efforts to mend fences with the West and actually denounced the New York attack. There was then, no mask of righteous indignation for the Americans and its allies to hide behind until the Arab Spring came along  in 2011.  The West finally had an excuse to send in their bombers. 

And Canada was there to help keep the oil spigots open. 

Now we have Gulf War III. ISIS, an Islamic army that was born and funded covertly by the Americans in order to topple the regime in Syria have marched into Northern Iraq and are threatening the oil fields there. 

Map of Exxon holdings in Northern Iraq.
ISIS operations in Iraq are concentrated in the Northern area known as "Kurdistan". Oil reserves there are so large that if that region were ever to declare it's independence, it would be home to the ninth largest reserves in the world. America's first bombing missions in this new war against "terror" where to defend the city of Erbil which is considered to be the nerve centre of the Kurdish oil fields and home to Exxon, Chevron and Mobil's local operations. 

So while the fight against terror is once again the impetus for war - ISIS having circulated videos of various Westerners being beheaded by an operative who curiously, has an English accent - one has to look no further than the interests of Big oil and the West's continued need for vast amounts of petroleum in order to keep their societies running. 

And Canada is there once again, helping to save the day from "Islamic Radicals", much like the Government of Harper is keeping close tabs on "Environmental Radicals" here at home. It's all about serving the best interests of Big Oil and fueling our ongoing lust for crude. 

So don't for a minute buy the nationalistic clap trap and fear mongering that Citizen Stephen and leaders like him are foisting upon us in order to justify our colonial misadventures. The wars of the 21st century are- always have been - and until the world breaks it's addiction to petroleum - always will be, about oil.