A short time ago, I submitted an article about how Chinese oil interests have been able to secure the first concession for Iraqi oil. The outlook for similar deals is good, if you are Chinese or Russian, or indeed anything except a U.S. oil executive or what are arguably the two most criminally incompetent individuals to come to light in the last fifty years.
The administration of George W. Bush and his petrodog running mate Dick Cheney came into office as a result of a fraud perpetrated on the American People by neo-conservative ideologues and the corporate interests that hold their leash. It was all the opening they needed.
Two frauds, one, a sociopath and liar, who never earned success at any time in his life, and the other sitting on a career made of disparaging government as he clung to its teat to enrich and empower himself and his cronies. Between them, they determined to perpetrate an even greater fraud to enrich their oil industry cronies by throwing the United States into the increasingly violent competition for world petroleum supplies.
Early on they started the campaign of lies that was to serve as the basis for the terror that they would impose. Unconcerned with events in Afghanistan or concerning al-Queda, Cheney conducted the meetings to “formulate energy policy” which were basically the laying of plans for the division of first Iraq’s then Iran’s mineral wealth among the cronies. Does anyone still wonder why conservationists were not invited to these “energy policy” advisory meetings?
Then came the trauma of September 11, 2001. This was their pretext, whether what appeared to neo-cons as a serendipitous occurrence or whether they actively participated in its execution, they seized it and used it. From the very outset, in the face of incontrovertible evidence of al-Queda’s responsibility they implicated Target One, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This despite common knowledge that Hussein, whatever his numerous and severe shortcomings, would have no tolerance of, let alone involvement with, al-Queda.
The event was followed by a thoroughly orchestrated propaganda campaign accusing Iraq of developing weapons of mass destruction, suggesting that they were nearly ready to target the United States with an attack that would cause the events of September 11, 2001 pale to insignificance by comparison. They indicted Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil”, and bullied and cajoled the U.N. (for which they have little other use) to pass resolutions whose enforcement could be the excuse for initiating military action.
Then, by April 2003, they struck. Iraq was invaded. In the face of such overwhelming military might, the Iraqi government and army could do nothing other than melt away into the general population. The power vacuum left behind created anarchy. Crime and looting were rampant. Treasures of Iraq’s archeological and artistic patrimony were disappearing at an astonishing rate
What did the occupying army choose to enforce? They occupied the Oil Ministry and secured the records. They did not start searching for weapons of mass destruction until after the Oil Ministry was secured. They did not even bother to secure the considerable Iraqi weapons caches that were scattered to sites around the country until after the Oil Ministry was secured, and by then it was too late.
To silence any potentially uncooperative members of the corporate press, they offered to “imbed” reporters with the troops, secure in the knowledge that the worst place to get an overview of a war that might conflict with the Brass’ propaganda is right up front with the grunts. That is where tactics are on display and strategy is invisible.
After the end of the war and beginning of the occupation democracy was introduced to Iraq. To their credit, the people of Iraq embraced it enthusiastically for the most part, though while their choices were many, as they are in a parliamentary system, the information that they received with Iraqi origins was carefully controlled by U.S. interests who paid to have the stories that they wanted put into the press. In fairness, those with satellite availability could consult al-Jazeera or other Arab language sources.
The Iraqi occupation continues to the present. The casualties continue. The metrics for success of the “surge” in troop levels are not fulfilled. After a steadily and quickly evolving litany of excuses for why we had to go there in the first place, it is apparent to even casual observers that the real reason is and has always been that we went to gain hegemony over the petroleum reserves.
According to Antiwar.com, four thousand one hundred fifty six American military personnel have lost their lives, though that count is no doubt higher since the Bush administration fudges and lies about even those numbers. The official count of American wounded is 30, 634, but estimates of the true number run as high as over 100,000. Estimating Iraqi dead from this conflict is a nebulous exercise at best, but Antiwar.com tracks several sources, and they place the number at a ghastly 1.2 million.
The U.S. citizen on the home front has spent these past five and a half years being encouraged to go shopping for the goods that aren’t much produced here any more, while their government discharges nearly $15,000.000.00 every hour, twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week, into the corrupt ether that is crony corporate no bid contracting and misspent, misdirected foreign aid.
Then a Chinese company gets the first development contract for Iraqi oil fields. There is noise from the Iraqi parliament that they prefer to award these contracts to Asian companies, and rumors that Iran is pressuring their Shiite brothers in the Iraqi government to shun American companies. Not that the United States stood to benefit from these supplies at all. Oil is fungible, and whatever U.S. Big Oil withdrew from those fields would go to the closest bourse for transshipment to the highest bidder. That is what they do with the oil that they extract within the United States. Why would we believe that anything else is possible for Iraqi oil?
You may rely, however, on an expectation that we will continue to expend blood and treasure at this same dizzying rate to ensure the security of those others around the world who will profit from Iraqi oil.
So, at last we arrive at the final abysmal failure of the incompetents who could do nothing else. Failure and ruin in the pursuit of criminal riches has been the hallmark of their lives, and here they arrive at its nadir.