Rerun: The New Imperialism or the Iron Heel By William Bowles

16 March 2003 — Investigating Imperialism

Welcome to the World of Double Standards

“The challenge to the post-modern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the post-modern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself.

Continue reading

Sign the petition – Blair must be held to account

20 August 2016

Well, clearly not that many people feel it’s important enough to haul the sociopath and war criminal Tony Blair into court for his crimes against humanity, as almost a month later and the count is now only around 16,800 people. A depressing reflection on our times don’t you think?

A new petition has been launched to bolster the campaign to hold Tony Blair to account by obtaining a House of Commons’ vote holding him in contempt of Parliament. Get 10,000 then Parliament has to respond (no response so far). Get 100,000 signatures and they have to debate it in Parliament.

William Hague: Following in Churchill’s footsteps By William Bowles

16 June 2011

“I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.” — Winston Churchill in 1920 when referring to Iraqi tribes people.

Now let me get this straight: In order to save civilian lives (the infamous ‘Right to Protect’), the Empire, through its Rottweiller NATO, not only deindustrializes Libya but it also causes a mass exodus of refugees hundreds of whom drowned and many thousands more were left stranded, attacked and abused. The Pirates attempted to assassinate Gaddafi but succeeded in killing women and children instead. The Pirates bomb educational infrastructure, communications, power, agriculture and terrorize the population from the air and sea with the combined military might of the most powerful countries on the planet. So this is what humanitarian intervention looks like?

Continue reading

Depleted Uranium: A War Crime Within a War Crime By William Bowles

21 March 2010

Destroying Iraq’s Future, Its Children

As if destroying a country and its culture ain’t bad enough, how about destroying its future, its children? I want to scream it from the rooftops! We are complicit in crimes of such enormity that I find it difficult to find the words to describe how I feel about this crime committed in my name! In the name of the ‘civilized’ world? Continue reading

Bilderbergs of the world unite! By William Bowles

31 December 2009

“In Post-War Iraq, Use Military Forces to Secure Vital U.S. Interests, Not for Nation-Building” — The Heritage Foundation

And just in case you still haven’t got the point, the same Heritage Foundation document, dated 25 September, 2002 went on to tell us,

“Protect Iraq’s energy infrastructure against internal sabotage or foreign attack to return Iraq to global energy markets and ensure that U.S. and world energy markets have access to its resources.”[1]

Continue reading

The Chilcot ‘Inquiry’: A Theatre of the Absurd By William Bowles

16 December 2009 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Why does the extermination of an entire culturecause not a ripple in our public discourse? The answer is obvious: we don’t have any kind of discourse with those who wield power. The Chilcott ‘Inquiry’ demonstrates this down to a tee. It’s brazen in its disregard for the reality of the crimes the British state has committed in Iraqand continues to commit in Afghanistan. And brazen in the way it scoots a lot of very guilty-looking ‘witnesses’ through the process as painlessly as possible. How has this come to pass?

Continue reading

Covering (up) the coup in Honduras – the BBC does its bit for the Empire By William Bowles

1 July, 2009

The devil lives in the small print, the devil in this case being the BBC in its coverage of the coup d’etat that ousted President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras on 27 June, 2009.

Take the following para from a BBC piece titled ‘US treads careful path on Honduras’ (30 June, 2009)

“So while Washington’s reaction has been strong and swift, when it comes to statements, its actions have so far been measured.

Now you may wonder why the BBC chose the word ‘measured’ to describe the US’ response to the military coup d’etat? Not only why but how? The following para explains,

“This is a signal that Washington is not keen to use its clout to help Mr Zelaya return to power, shying away from any action that could be seen as interventionism in a region where the US has a long, complex history.”

Continue reading

Is it the 1930s all over again? By William Bowles

6 September 2008

The parallels with the situation in Europe prior to the outbreak of WWII surely cannot be avoided, for not only do we have an economic crisis that closely resembles the ‘29 Crash in its magnitude, the US-engineered invasion of South Ossetia could very well be a prelude to more dangerous provocations on the part of the US, in much the same way that German support for the fascist coup in Spain served as a testing ground not only for Hitler’s military machine but also to sew chaos and to test the reactions of two of the leading imperialist powers of the time, Britain and France. For what they all shared was a hatred of Bolshevism and ultimately, that’s what WWII was really all about, the destruction of the Soviet Union.

Continue reading

Does a leopard change its spots? By William Bowles

26 July 2008

The US government is talking with Iran, so what’s the catch? The simple answer is the November election. The move is clearly aimed at associating McCain/Republican Party with a new, kinder, softer Bush cabal although the Washington Post sees it somewhat differently. In an unabashed paean to Obama it says: Continue reading

Iraq and Oil — Why the mainstream media won’t talk about it By William Bowles

10 September 2007

‘Order 150 passed in 1987 by Saddam Hussein banned public sector workers from organizing trade unions. Oil Minister Hussein al-Sharistani declared all oil unions illegal in July 2007, using [the same] Ba’ath regime anti-union law'[1]

Ever since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the mainstream media have deliberately downplayed the role of oil in the invasion, indeed even so-called liberal newspapers like the London Independent, have poured scorn on the idea, going as far as labelling anyone who raised the issue as “conspiracists”. The closest the BBC ever gets to it is when it mentions ‘energy security’ but it never mentions the dreaded ‘O’ word when it comes to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Back in April 2003, I wrote a piece entitled ‘More about Conspiracies and Oil’, and although a little out of date in that there are now even more studies on the subject, it nevertheless contains a wealth of links to authoritative documents (from both the left and the right) on the subject, all of which reveal the fundamental importance of energy in the imperial equation, what both the state and the MSM euphemistically call ‘energy security’, which translated means the West’s literally God-given right to take whatever it needs in order to keep the capitalist system going. It’s always been this way and as long as we go along with it, it will always be this way, but I digress.

Of course one has to ask the question, given the centrality of ‘energy security’ to the West, why daring to raise the role of oil in the invasion meets such scorn and derision in the Western media? Why is it a taboo subject? What is it the state and the corporates don’t want you to know about the role of oil in imperial foreign policy?

The entire history of the 20th century is bound up with oil, driven first and foremost by the demands of the British Imperial Navy to power its fleet of ‘dreadnoughts’ (even the word reveals the reality of imperial power) and with the advent of WWI (which was in part, fought over access to oil, from Iraq to the Persian Gulf region) the centrality of the internal combustion engine to warfighting.

‘The Allies were carried to victory on a flood of oil … With the commencement of the war, oil and its products began to rank as among the principal agents by which they [the Allied forces] would conduct, and by which they could win it. Without oil, how could they have procured the mobility of the fleet, the transport of their troops, or the manufacture of several explosives?’ — Lord Curzon, Britain’s foreign minister, November 21, 1918 [2]

The archives are choca-block full of evidence, going all the way back to the 19th century, confirming the view that the demands of industrial capitalism for energy, raw materials and of course cheap labour, are the principle driving force behind our foreign (and domestic) policy objectives. To deny this is to deny the historical evidence.

Now there are those who claim that this is just history, a view of the ‘bad old days’, that now we’re citizens of a civilised country. But all that has changed are the alleged reasons for the imperium’s actions. Back in the days when the Union Jack ruled half the planet, we saw, we took, end of story. We didn’t need reasons, except to justify it to ourselves, but now we do (so something’s changed then).

Keep it complicated stupid!
What it comes down to is really quite simple: when reporting the ‘news’, just exclude anything that connects our political and military actions from economics. This is how and why the MSM never introduce the issue of oil because oil means talking about the economics of oil and hence the economics of capitalism. Thus, we never see the oil cartels dragged into the dirty waters of making war, yet without them, everything from Humvees to F-16s, don’t work.

‘The summit takes place whilst the Iraqi Oil Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are meeting with international oil companies at the Iraq Petroleum 2007 summit, sponsored by Shell, Conoco Phillips, and Total, and whilst the Iraqi government comes under increasing pressure to pass the law before the US administration reports to Congress on 15 September, on the ‘success’ of its troop surge. Passage of the law is one of the Bush administration’s “benchmarks” for the Iraqi government.'[3]

Yet it’s so fundamental to understanding how our world works, that by excluding the economics that lies behind the news from our public media shows just how important it is. Venturing into this world, where all is revealed, is strictly verboten. Read the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times, if you want to get a better handle on things economic, at least from the capitalist’s perspective (the old adage of not trying to bullshit a bullshitter would seem to be apt here).

The task of the mainstream journalist then, is to make sure that when talking about causes and reasons, the uncomfortable subject of the economics of it never raises its ugly head. And perforce, when it absolutely has to be dragged into the discourse, make sure it’s both made complicated and kept at a safe distance from where the bombs are falling and especially who is dropping them.

1. See ‘Iraq’s oil workers hold summit against oil privatization plans’, September 9, 2007, a press release issued by Naftana (‘Our Oil’ in Arabic), an independent UK-based committee supporting democratic trade unionism in Iraq. It works in solidarity with the IFOU (Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions). Naftana publicises the IFOU’s struggle for Iraqi social and economic rights and its stand against the privatisation of Iraqi oil demanded by the occupying powers. For more information see the IFOU’s website. Naftana can be contacted at:

Sabah Jawad – 0044 7985 336 886
Sami Ramadani – 0044 7863 138 748
Kamil Mahdi —

2. Quoted in ‘A Century of War, Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order’ by William F. Engdahl, Pluto Press, 2004.

3. See Note 1.

See also: ‘Iraq and Oil: The Vultures are waiting’, Index Research and,

‘New US Base on Iraq-Iran Border’, Index Research