We always maintained Bush and his gang want high oil prices, not low. But Greg Palast, as usual, is long on hype and short on information and analysis. He won’t even quote the full sentance of his leaked document before he condescendingly tells us “There you have it.” And he is overlooking the fundamental question of control of oil. The price, the buyers, the sellers—all that is peripheral compared to the question of control which determines the rest. And as long as the US is in control of Iraq, no other world or regional power will have access to that oil except on Washington’s terms. So the critical factor behind the Iraq adventure is not the price of oil any more than it is AIPAC’s notorious “influence.” Look instead to: 1.) the longterm threat to US global dominance represented by China’s military-industrial rise, 2.) continued rivarly with Russia (watch Belarus), and 3.) the rift with the Saudis since 9-11, and the need to have a counter-balance to Arab-OPEC petro-hegemony (Palast’s secret document notwithstanding). And while the Bush gang may not care about oil going to waste in insurgent attacks, they are assuredly not happy about the prospects of increasing chaos that could pose a challenge to US control of Iraq…
Bush Didn’t Bungle Iraq, You Fools
THE MISSION WAS INDEED ACCOMPLISHED
Monday, March 20, 2006
by Greg Palast
Get off it. All the carping, belly-aching and complaining about George Bush’s incompetence in Iraq, from both the Left and now the Right, is just dead wrong.
On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq’s border, most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.
But don’t kid yourself — Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you’ve forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher’s original announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called,
O.I.L. How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to “OIF” — Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn’t sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq’s OIF.
“It’s about oil,” Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA’s top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam’s former oil minister to finalize the plans for “liberating” Iraq’s oil industry. In London, Bush’s emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq’s crude.
And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq’s oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq’s oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn’t matter. The key thing is what’s inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will “enhance its relationship with OPEC.”
Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude.
Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq’s oil production — limiting Iraq’s oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.
There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil — not to get more of Iraq’s oil, but to prevent Iraq producing too much of it.
You must keep in mind who paid for George’s ranch and Dick’s bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil — and their buck-buddies, the Saudis — don’t make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping less of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.
It’s Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an “oligopoly” — a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there’s less oil, not more of it. So, every time the “insurgents” blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just love it.
Dick and George didn’t want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you, no matter what I write, insist that our President and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so you can cheaply fill your family Hummer; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the USA is bumping up to $3 a gallon.
Not so, gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick’s ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion in profit in 2005 — compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other words, it’s been a good war for Big Oil.
As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq’s occupation oil minister; the conquered nation “enhanced its relationship with OPEC;” and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.
In other words, on the third anniversary of invasion, we can say the attack and occupation is, indeed, a Mission Accomplished. However, it wasn’t America’s mission, nor the Iraqis’. It was a Mission Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.
See our last posts on Iraq and the struggle for control of oil.