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Iraq 4-eva!

Chaos was the plan; oil is the prize, just like Henry Kissinger said. Jim Holt in the London Review of Books does the math:

Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.

Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources. The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would be of the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.

Well, if all this is true, it's going to be the first business venture that George W. Bush has ever succeeded in.

And, er, if the Iraqis want their oil back?

And about those Cheney Energy Task Force records....

NOTE Via No War blog.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

"Over the years, the real purpose of many of these overseas bases has changed from tactical and strategic locations of military value to elaborate American housing and logistic installations away from home. They provide locations and facilities for some units that would have no reason for existence if based in the United States, and they furnish justification for interesting and attractive overseas travel and adventure for the troops and their families." - Colonel James A. Donovan, USMC (Ret.); 1970.


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

that ever made ANY fucking sense for this fucking debacle, fuck it all anyway. And to look at it from the perspective of The Top Of The Heap Big Guys Who Run The World, it makes perfect sense. And to be down here in the trenches with the rest of us little people it at least has a bit of For Our Own Good to be said about it.

Ol' Dr. Potts my history prof during my last stint in college had the explanation for the last "Arab Oil Cutoff" of the 1970s that made sense. The problem was that oil was too cheap. It has always been too cheap, in ways that benefited neither those who owned it, or the land that it was under, nor the people who drilled it out and sold it to us, nor to us.

"That which we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly," as Jefferson (iirc) said of liberty. So too of oil.

As long as gas is cheap enough to use for 50 mile/day commutes, we will use it for such. And kill ourselves with it. Rationally of course the government should have taxed it in increasing percentages, charged heavy fees for road construction and maintenance, and otherwise fixed the price of the asset at its actual expense all along. If we had kept the various fractional products of petroleum restricted to the uses for which it was truly irreplaceable it would last us forever or damn near.

We are now paying to oil companies prices which--if they had been imposed by the government in the form of taxes--would have caused riots in the streets. Damn shame we were such idiots but the results will likely work out the same in the end.

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

See four years of Iraq oil being delay will dovetail nicely with the Saudi going over the top of their curves. As Saudi oil starts to suffering from the law of diminishing returns, Iraqi oil can be brought back online to add to global supply. If the tightly control the roll out of more supply the temporary artificially induced shortage can be maintained and price optimized.

hobson's picture
Submitted by hobson on

I can't help feeling you give these guys too much credit. I always felt a little trouble would be good for the admin so they would have a reason to stay in Iraq. But I have to think that a Naomi Klein kind of analysis is more to the point.

If the Iraqis had not been so impervious to shock and awe, Bushco could have set up a model of a free market economy imposed on one country by a more enlightened one. Iraq's oil could have been divvied up among western companies and used now to pressure and control OPEC countries.

The US and Bush would not be universally despised and an imperial Amerika would not be so discredited. The one place I would give them credit is in their ability to capitalize on their own incompetence. But the media in this country just give them a pass, as we all know. That's really what makes this possible.

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

"Iraq’s oil could have been divvied up among western companies and used now to pressure and control OPEC countries."

Since when was that the goal? Umm... Saudi hijackers, saudi money to Bush family, Bandar Bush, saudi royals flown out of the country on 9/12...

Western oil companies profit indirectly from the high gas prices. Actually, record profits. But I think this is more about doing the bidding of certain religious fundies (and I don't mean Bush voters). Why do you think there is still sectarian mess? It's because the Saudis and Iran would love nothing more than to split the country in half and each take their own.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

The problem with that article is that it assumes at some point we can produce oil in Iraq. We can't. Not as long as we insist on pissing off the Iranians. Oil refineries and pipelines are the easiest things in the world to sabotage. A smart 12 year-old kid with a bike and a BB gun can do the job. The most likely outcome of this fiasco is more power for Iran. That was obvious 5 years ago.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

While the plan is MUCH more complicated than can be explained in this forum, this "fiasco" in Iraq is actually a detailed, pre-planned event in a series of them designed to allow for Banking and Energy interests to eventually hold real influence over every single person in every corner of the Earth.
Iraq's ongoing instability has provided Bush and co./ Council Foriegn Relations/ Tri-Lateral group a permanent excuse to remain in Iraq, the center of the Middle East, indefinately.
Bush is just another operative for interests that are so powerful most people have only heard of them in movies.
Eventually, the US and it's tentacles will control virtually all of the world's main Oil reserves, right after the next big terrorist attack "persuades" Americans to simply offer their necks to a powerful protector government, and applaude as the Bill of Rights goes up in flames.

One has to be an imbecile to know history and not see the writing on the wall. After Millenia of human tragedy and drama, there's really nothing new to do, only reinventions of older acts occur.
False Flags and the usurping of power are nothing new. An American from 1997 would not recognize the America of 2007. He wouldn't believe that we are in 2 wars for conquest. It would be an alien thing to know that we detain the innocent because we can, without ANY recourse.

Sometimes it's helpful to step outside the day to day and see things for how they really are.