Responsibility to Protect or Justifying the Right to Project Power? By William Bowles

7 March 2012

Frankly, it’s not easy defending the Ba’ath regime in Syria, after all not so long ago the Communist Party in Syria and other left groups were suppressed by the ruling Ba’ath Party, its members thrown in jail and even killed[1]. But I make no apology for defending the Assad regime’s right to independence and to resist foreign subversion and an attempted takeover by the Empire under the guise of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’.

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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]

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The BBC back-peddles big time or how to completely rewrite history before the ink’s even dried By William Bowles

29 October 2007

Question: When is a Plan not a Plan?

Answer: When the Plan is not a Plan, Plan

The BBC is currently flighting a programme in two parts entitled ‘No Plan, No Peace – the Inside Story of Iraq’s Descent into Chaos’ (28 and 29 October on BBC1).

Way back and many times inbetween I have asserted that there was never meant to be a plan (at least in the generally accepted sense of the word) and indeed in 2003, the Bush regime stated that deposing Saddam was never about ‘nation-building’:

‘To make it clear that a post-war U.S. military operation in Iraq is not a nation-building exercise, the Bush Administration should state that the U.S. military will be deployed to Iraq to secure the vital U.S. security interests for which the campaign is undertaken in the first place. Specifically, these war aims should be to:

‘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.’ – In Post-War Iraq, Use Military Forces to Secure Vital U.S. Interests, Not for Nation-Building by Baker Spring and Jack Spencer. Backgrounder #1589, September 25, 2002

(See also Independence Day by William Bowles – Sunday, 4 June, 2006

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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

Crisis Management By William Bowles

30 October 2006

Perhaps the most difficult thing to do when dealing with current events is to establish the link between economics and politics. Thus the corporate press never, ever present an event, the invasion of Iraq for example as having any connection with economics, indeed any attempt to do so is ridiculed (eg it’s not all about oil). The modus operandi is, keep it simple stupid, it’s good versus evil, don’t confuse the public’s mind with the complexities of real life for once you do so, an awful lot of explaining has to be done as to why countries act the way they do, none of which is in accord with the way events are portrayed in the MSM.

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Leaving the scene of the crime? By William Bowles

27 October 2006 

“The Armed Forces Press Service recently quoted Army Chief of Staff General Peter J. Schoomaker as saying that the current level of soldiers in Iraq could remain constant through 2010.” — ‘Iraq and Afghanistan: Staying Until the Fight is Over’ October 25, 2006

The Independent’s front page head for Wednesday 25 October proclaimed loudly “We’re out of here” purportedly the words of General George Casey, the US’s head military honcho in Iraq. Of course the devil lives in the small print as any reading ‘between the lines’ reveals. And in any case, Casey’s comments are designed precisely to give the impression that a pullout is imminent when in reality, there is no way the US can leave voluntarily, there is simply too much at stake.

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Been there – done that By William Bowles

11 July 2006

In 1881 British Redcoats got their arses well and truly kicked in Afghanistan and had to withdraw. It was one of the worst defeats British colonialism had experienced. The similarities don’t end there least of all the real reasons for being there in the first place. In 1881 it was, according to the government of the day, to guarantee access to India. Today, it’s oil of the Caspian Basin and the strategic locations of the former Soviet states that is the real reason for USUK presence. Forget all that crap about the Taleban, the Taleban government was supported by the US up until it became expedient to dump on them just like any and all so-called US allies when the circumstances warrant it.

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Connecting the dots by William Bowles

29 June 2006

Conspiracies are factions, minority factions that see all non-members of the conspiracy as opponents and their secrecy is to prevent all opponents from even knowing of their existence. Hence by this definition, political lobbying groups, corporations that seek to defraud the public, politicians planning a coup d’etat, criminals planning a robbery, all are conspiracies. – Dr Ralph Bunch

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, I quoted from a piece in the Independent that attempted to discredit opposition to the invasion with the following:

“Conspiracy theories abound … Others claim it was inspired by oil … [This] theor[y is] largely nonsense.” – The Independent, April 16, 2003. ‘AHMED CHALABI – OIL MAN IN BAGHDAD’ William Bowles (18/04/03)

One has to ask the question why the media feels it necessary to ridicule the idea of a conspiracy, especially a government-inspired one. Could it be because it’s just too close to home?

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Nigeria’s hidden history By William Bowles

24 June 2006

“You know why you’re here, Smith. And I want you to know that all your worst fears and suspicions are absolutely correct … I am telling you this because I want you to know how much trouble you are in … Smith, I want you to know that I personally gave the orders regarding the elections to which you objected … If you will keep your mouth shut, I can promise rapid promotion and a most distinguished career elsewhere … but you will not be allowed to work in the UK. You must understand that you know too much for your own good. If you don’t give me your word, means will be found to shut you up. No one will believe your story and the press will not be allowed to print it.” – Sir James Robertson, the then governor-general of Nigeria to Harold Smith in 1960.

Y’know it astounds me (though I know it shouldn’t) that ‘our’ governments have gotten away with so many lies over so many decades and we’re not talking about little fibs here, we’re talking about events that determine the lives-and deaths-of millions of people. Indeed, the fate of entire continents hinged on the engineering of massive lies about events and their causes.

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The US-Iran ‘crisis’ – it’s the oil stupid By William Bowles

17 January 2006

In essence, petrodollar hegemony is eroding, which will ultimately force the U.S. to significantly change its current tax, debt, trade, and energy policies, all of which are severely unbalanced. World oil production is reportedly “flat out,” and yet the neoconservatives are apparently willing to undertake huge strategic and tactical risks in the Persian Gulf. Why? Quite simply – their stated goal is U.S. global domination – at any cost. – Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse by William Clark

Anybody who doesn’t think control of energy sources is at the root of USUK actions in Iraq and elsewhere is suffering a serious (but hopefully treatable) delusional disease of denial. Even the most cursory exploration of the 20th century reveals the centrality of oil to pretty well every event of any significance, and in no small part goes a long way toward explaining why the corporate/state media won’t go near the subject with a length of oil-drilling pipe—except to deride the idea.

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