22 April 2003
I’m getting really fed up with being marginalised by the so-called media professionals who would decry all who oppose their spin on the facts regarding oil and its centrality to USUK foreign policy, so I thought it would be instructive to spend a couple of hours doing a little research of my own on the issue. Below are just some of the results.
It’s a conspiracy
It’s fashionable to decry opponents of the invasion of Iraq (and other points East) who cite oil as the basic rationale as ‘conspiracists’. Indeed, in line with this approach, the BBC still insists in putting out the odd comment in its ‘news’ commentaries on an almost daily basis, ridiculing this argument (eg BBC Radio 4, ‘Today Programme, 28/4/03). Odd that if it is such a ‘ridiculous and loony’ idea, why does the mass media consider it worthy of such on-going attention? This is akin to the media continually citing people who believe the earth is flat, when considering opponents of the space station programme.
Yet those who cite this as a fundamental element of the USUK strategic plan are not only huge in number, they come from a wide range of backgrounds. Most are academics, oil industry insiders and analysts, historians, economists and political experts of one persuasion or another. Indeed, few if any, come from the ‘traditional’ conspiracy corner.
I thought I’d do a little research on this issue (something the mass media, with all the resources at its disposal are apparently unable or are unwilling to do) starting with an Indian source sent to me by the editor of the Blackcommentator.com which also has an excellent piece on this issue at:
‘Why Black Americans Should Oppose the War.’ http://www.blackcommentator.com/30/30_analysis.html
This well researched article supplies a comprehensive, historical overview of oil and its strategic significance to the West. In particular, it looks at the relationship between major competitors and the USUK with an emphasis on China. There’s nothing ‘nutty’ about this research, indeed if half the so-called news articles we’ve been bombarded with over the past months, came even close to this kind of analysis, many of us would have a better understanding of what the real issues are.
The Petro-dollar versus the Euro http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html
I’ve already cited this piece in earlier articles and its an analysis that is duplicated by many other writers (see below).
Oil in Iraq: the heart of the Crisis by James A. Paul http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2002/12heart.htm
Paul’s piece is authoritative and again, well researched with citations and links to other sources.
US backs attempted Venezuelan coup Slightly but only slightly, off the issue of oil is the following piece on the US-inspired attempt to overthrow the government of Venezuela, fourth largest producer of oil in the world.
The foreign Policy in focus Website has a number of interesting links including the following;
The Nigeria connection, http://www.fpif.org/commentary/2002/0207nigeria.html
‘US eyes Caspian oil’ http://www.fpif.org/outside/commentary/2002/0204oil.html
‘Oil and Venezuala’s failed coup’ http://www.fpif.org/outside/commentary/2002/0204venoil.html
‘US oil policy in the Middle East’ http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol2/v2n4oil.html
USUK deny ‘oil conspiracy’ http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/iraq.html
This is an interesting piece because it deals directly with the idea ‘that [the war] has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.’ Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02 told to CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/11/15/world/printable529569.shtml
Or speaking to British MPs, Prime Minister Tony Blair was just as explicit: ‘Let me deal with the conspiracy theory idea that this is somehow to do with oil. There is no way whatever if oil were the issue that it would not be infinitely simpler to cut a deal with Saddam….’ (London Times 1/15/03)
There are many sources which highlight the centrality of oil to US foreign policy eg:
Or check out this source on oil as being at the heart of the US policy on the Middle East:
In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/iraq/20020924_362.html
Peter Dale Scott’s book ‘Drugs, Oil and War, http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/opec.html
Yet another well researched and documented book on the centrality of oil to USUK foreign policy objectives.
Henry CK Liu, an internationally respected economist has written many articles on the role of oil including this piece from the ‘Asia Times Online’:
US dollar hegemony has got to go http://www.atimes.com/global-econ/DD11Dj01.html
Or, check out this piece in ‘The Nation’ magazine:
‘The End of Empire’ http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020923&s=greider
And just in case you think I’m only citing ‘left-wing’ opinions on this issue, check out this Website, ‘Web Today, your daily conservative news alternative’:
ANALYSIS: OPEC Will Switch From The Dollar To The Euro. A Reemergence of the Ancient Roman Empire? http://www.888webtoday.com/joyce8.html
And in the same vein on the Euroversus petro-dollardebate:
Iranian financial news http://www.payvand.com/news/02/aug/1080.html
‘The Choice of Currency for the Denomination of the Oil Bill by Mr Javad Yarjani, Head, Petroleum Market Analysis Dept’ http://www.opec.org/NewsInfo/Speeches/sp2002/spAraqueSpainApr14.htm
And check out what the oil industry itself has to say about things at, http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntn24886.htm
And finally, an extensive rebuttal of Bush’s press spokeman, Ari Fleischer’s denial of the oil connection can be found at:
A search using Google returns over 2500 links on the US and its foreign policy and the relationship to oil, of which obviously I’ve only cited but a few (26 to be precise, each of which contains many more sub-links to related sources). The point is, we must bury the idea being put about by the corporate and state-mediated media that anybody who alleges that oil is at the heart of USUK foreign policy is some kind of loony. The facts speak for themselves and can be well documented by over more than fifty years of analysis of Western foreign policy going back to at least WWII, with many well before.
It’s time to challenge the hegemony of the Big Lie and call out these smug people who sit comfortably in the studios of the BCC, NBC, CNN et al and who pour scorn on ideas and analysis which contravenes the ‘received opinion’ created by these spin doctors of the dominant culture.