Home > Uncategorized > >Oil Addiction: The World in Peril – 33

>Oil Addiction: The World in Peril – 33

>by Pierre Chomat (Universal Publishers, 2004)

translated from the French by Pamela Gilbert-Snyder

Part IV. Our Suicidal Quest for Energy

Chapter 33. Terror in Baghdad

The American military invasion of Iraq, followed by the feigned attempt to install a democratic regime in Baghdad, did not put Iraq on the road mapped out for it by the “Empire”. The “Empire” had gone a long way at great expense to force a country to empty its petroleum reserves for the benefit of the American oil egosystem. The operation’s next phase proved to be much more complicated.

And just how had the “Empire” proceeded with its mission to take over Iraq? To get the full story, the operation must be viewed from both sides: that of the coalition with its puppet Governing Council and that of the Iraqi man on the street.

Let’s start with the Council.

Bechtel and Kellogg-Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, were the main companies in charge of the “reconstruction of Iraq”, which amounted first to rebuilding what the American army had just destroyed. These corporations could not get to Iraq fast enough! They needed industrial partners, so the Council immediately privatized a few national companies to serve as “free enterprise” relays for the Iraqi-American egosystems, which were to be organized as quickly as possible, the sooner to exploit the country and its resources. Of course, the most important resource was petroleum, the sole driving force behind the winds of democracy that were buffeting the Iraqi people in the fight to save them from an outlaw regime!

At a meeting of the “Who’s Who of International Finance” in Dubai in late September 2003, Iraqi finance minister Kamal Al-Kilani, an American loyalist, obliquely confirmed the installation of the Iraqi cog in the machine of the Western economy: “These reforms will significantly advance efforts to build a free and open market economy, promote Iraq’s future economic growth and accelerate the country’s re-entry into the global economy”. {57}

Oil development contracts concluded between the previous regime and foreign companies – including those of France, China, and Russia – were immediately suspended. The American government would ensure that these types of contracts were prepared with greater “discernment” in the future. Under its guidance, the Iraqi oil ministry developed a plan to produce, as a first step, 2.8 million barrels of crude oil a day by April 2004. But by July 2004, production barely surpassed two million barrels a day. Had the target amount been met, however, production would still have been less than what was needed to satisfy the requirements of the giant American oil addict, who ultimately hopes to obtain six million barrels a day from Iraq, that is to say, more than twice the amount that Iraq has been able to produce so far.

At the OPEC meeting in Vienna on September 24 2003, the new Iraqi oil minister, Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, another American loyalist, announced that Iraq would remain a member of OPEC. This marked the achievement of one of the important goals of the take-over of Iraq. Its continued membership in OPEC would guarantee the United States’ ability to influence the decisions of the oil-producing nations for the immediate term.

Of course, the United States has paid a price for this first tangible result. The military operation in Iraq was very costly. But the corpocrats viewed this expense as normal, although it means that every American is currently contributing around $2,000 a year to “defense”, an average of $8,000 per family! After all, an empire has to do what it takes to maintain power. Weapons are also one of the corporate world’s most profitable egosystems. In a successful consumer society, throwing away is as important as buying, and in this regard, the army is second to none!

Now let’s look at what happened to the man on the street in Iraq.

First, the takeover of Iraq sought by the corpocrats was nothing like the Western transformation of the Arabian Peninsula of the previous century, during which ersatz Western-style cities sprang up like movie sets across Saudi Arabia. Neither did it resemble the West’s intervention in Iran under the Shah. The takeover of Iran for the benefit of the West, which resulted in plundering on an almost unimaginable scale, had not been easy to implement; it had been even harder to maintain. Between 1953 and 1978, the SAVAK police had had to silence, sometimes permanently, every Iranian who showed the slightest sign of opposition to the ruling regime. Many antigovernment demonstrations had ended in bloodbaths in the bazaar of Teheran.

There were two reasons for believing that Iraq would be more difficult to plunder than Iran. A significant percentage of Iraqis are educated; in the Shah’s kingdom, education had been reserved for the elite. In addition, Iraq is traditionally very nationalistic. Under Saddam Hussein, most of the profiteers had been forced to leave the country. To create an Iraq that would function for the exclusive benefit of Iraqi-American “free enterprise”, the corpocrats would have to install a police force even more “persuasive” than the one that had existed under Saddam. The American undertaking would not be able to “succeed” without it. But the Iraqi people turned out to be savvy enough to prevent this from happening.

Before launching military operations in March 2003, the White House rejected the notion that the Iraqi people might oppose the American invasion. On the contrary, the United States assured its citizens that their sons and daughters, soldiers from a great and beneficent America, would be welcomed with open arms as saviors of the Iraqis living under an oppressive regime, as American soldiers were welcomed in Normandy in 1944. This perception of the attitude to the war by Iraqi society turned out to be manifestly false. Resistance to coalition soldiers began appearing as early as May 1 2003, as soon as the country came under the coalition army’s control, and it increased with each passing day until it became a guerilla movement, which has grown more and more violent. Within six months, the attacks were so frequent and so vicious that they were soon intolerable even to the greatest army in the world. Iraqis were sacrificing their lives to prove that they were not willing to sell their country’s soul to the United States. At first, those who participated in the violence were referred to by American newspapers as “outlaws” and “Saddam loyalists”. The most serious attacks were attributed to al Qaeda (don’t forget the catapult!). By early 2004, however, the rhetoric had softened and the term “Iraqi resistance” began appearing, even in official press briefings. By the spring of 2004, the number of coalition soldiers killed in ambushes was four times the number who had died in the initial invasion. After fifteen helicopters had been shot down, the army stopped sending them into major urban centers altogether. America had failed in its attempt to subdue the country by force quickly and justifiably.

For reasons most likely having to do with the upcoming presidential election, the corpocrats decided it was time to disengage from armed conflict. The troops were withdrawn from the most critical areas to avoid the continuing rise in casualties, something which the American people were finding increasingly difficult to accept. But the troops stayed in Iraq.

As a result of the American military failure to secure Iraq and establish civil order, guerilla actions also took another turn. In the streets of Iraq, now more or less a law unto themselves, various political, religious, and ethnic factions began clashing. With no one keeping internal order, the conflicts escalated, reaching the proportions of a civil war. On the second day of March 2004 alone, non-coalition bombs killed more than 200 Shiite worshippers in Karbala, Baghdad, and other cities during the celebration of the holy period of Ashma. An atmosphere of terror descended over all of Iraq.

How would this internal conflict and disorder between rival factions, which were the direct result of the country’s destabilizarion at the hands of the Washington corpocrats and their British allies, be interpreted by the coalition? Not only had American officials created the conditions that led to the “fire” sweeping through the nation, they had also eliminated the means to extinguish it! To enable the corpocrats to save face, it was never intimated that the terror reigning in Iraq was the direct result of US strategy. This was not only a crime, it was also a colossal blunder.

The tragic events in Karbala on March 2 occurred right after the official launch of George Bush’s re-election campaign. Pressed by his Democratic rival to say something about the large number of Iraqi deaths, it seemed important, if not to justify them, then at least to somehow explain them. So his political advisors pushed the President onto the stage with these words, which will go down in Iraqi history: “Laura and I and the American people were filled with … an anger at these terrible attacks of murder … We will defeat the terrorists who seek to plunge Iraq into chaos and violence, and … stand with the people of Iraq as long as necessary to build a stable, peaceful and successful democracy”. {58}

The United States government was largely, if indirectly, responsible for the terrorist attacks that had occurred in the streets of Iraq’s major cities. Yet its president exploited these deaths for political purposes! The corpocracy did not consider this a cynical ploy, only a necessary means to an end.

The President had not bothered to learn what had been happening in many Muslim countries during the past fifty years. Recent history has shown that importing elements from a foreign culture into the Muslim world can have irreparable consequences. Algeria is a perfect example. It has tried without success to find a way to re-establish itself after it gained independence from France in 1962. Its culture destroyed by years of foreign intervention, it is now being devoured by an internal fire raging amongst its people that it seems unable to put out. Terror is now a part of daily life. It may be a century before Algeria regains some form of social unity and a political system that can exist without violence.

Our current Western civilization, based primarily on developing egosystems for the sole purpose of generating individual profits, is not necessarily appropriate for the Muslim nations of the Middle East. Nevertheless, in early 2004, the proconsul arranged for the 25 puppets of the Iraqi Governing Council to approve a basic law that would establish the outline of Iraq’s future constitution. Prior to that, he had pushed the Council to pass a law “opening up Iraq’s economy to foreign ownership” (read: foreign egosystems), “a law that Iraq’s next government is prohibited from changing under the terms of the interim constitution”. {59} What is more, the proconsul requested assistance from the United Nations – that’s right, the United Nations! – to organize Iraq’s future national elections. This request revealed the fact that the United States did not control the chain of events it had unleashed in Iraq. This admission of failure was packaged as a desire to work within the framework of United Nations principles. Still more cynicism!

After deliberately destroying Iraq’s society, the American corpocrats had apparently decided to abandon the Iraqis to their own fate, while still maintaining enough troops in the country to keep order around the oil wells and along the nation’s pipelines! This is an old strategy, one used throughout the Middle East wherever Americans have set up their egosystems. Iraqi hospitals were not considered by Washington to be profitable egosystems and, therefore, on March 27 2004, the proconsul “announced that he had withdrawn the senior US advisers from Iraq’s Health Ministry, making it the first sector to achieve ‘full authority’ in the US occupation”. {60}

We do not know what kind of society will emerge in Iraq in the years to come. A true democracy would be antithetical to corpocratic designs, for a democratic government would never tolerate egosystems operating on its soil for the sole benefit of the West.

Before the American attack in March 2003, few Iraqis, if any, could be counted in terrorist brigades. But, in fact, America’s actions have given birth to a deep hatred of the United States in this region and a hatred of other countries that have profited from Iraq’s weakened state. Violence on the part of the invader can only give rise to equally violent resistance and the formation of what the occupier calls “terrorist cells”. The corpocratic movement that has been imposed on the Middle East is a sower of terrorism.

Today we are only a few years away from the global ergamine production peak. Each passing day brings us closer to that fatal juncture. The Bush-Blair duo created the conditions for war with Iraq in order to take control of the final flow once that peak is reached. The corpocrats are as determined as ever to control the Middle East’s energy.

According to Western logic, Iraq’s future government, whatever it turns out to be, will need funds to successfully develop its country and will therefore have no choice but to open up the valves to its oil wells. But Western logic is limited. Our egosystems are almost always designed to exhaust the natural resources that nourish them – and as quickly as possible. Our egosystems are the basis of our progress, and we are definitely advancing!

We can expect to see more internal fighting between the “moderns” and the “conservatives” throughout the Middle East. These conflicts may be more intense in Iraq because the country has been more destabilized politically and the giant American oil addict has its tentacles sunk deeply into its petroleum reserves.

These are grave issues. It is very difficult to gauge how far Iraq will be diverted from its natural path, the path of independence. We must remember that in 1978, the Shah of Iran finally had to give way to the Iranian revolutionaries after he lost the support of the European governments and President Jimmy Carter.

If American egosystems do succeed in freely pumping away Iraq’s resources for the benefit of the West, the “Axis of Oil” will send the American army next to Iran. At the end of 2003, “speaking at the National Endowment for Democracy, President Bush noted that Iranians’ ‘demand for democracy is strong and broad’ and warned, ‘The regime in Tehran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people or lose its claim to legitimacy'”. {61} But Iran is no longer a vassal nation. The quality of the relationship between its leaders and its citizens may always be open to debate, but the country cannot be removed from the list of nations to satisfy the United States. It is free to sell its oil according to whatever terms it contracts. No other country can legitimately force it to increase production – at least, in theory, because in practice things can be quite different. And the corpocrats will not be the ones who will remove the “Axis of Evil” label that has been pinned on Iran!

Another takeover of Iran by the United States, and perhaps a few allies needing energy, is always a possibility. The date of peak production from the Global Reserves is fast approaching. For the United States and many other governments, it is a deadline of incalculable consequence!

Notes

{57} “Iraq adopts sweeping reforms”, BBC News, 21 September 2003.

{58} “Weekly radio address of President Bush”, electronic document, AOL News from Iraq, 6 March 2004.

{59} Naomi Klein, “Let’s Make Enemies”, The Nation, 19 April 2004.

{60} Ibid.

{61} Jeff Jacoby, “Time for regime change in Tehran”, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 March 2004.

Bill Totten http://www.ashisuto.co.jp/english/

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