Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oil's Critical Leverage
"Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well." 1990, the then oil man, Dick Cheney The real reasons Bush went to war

"America has major strategic and economic interests in the Middle East that are dictated by the region's vast energy supplies. Not only does America benefit economically from the relatively low costs of Middle Eastern oil, but America's security role in the region gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region." Zbigniew Brzezinski, Hegemonic Quicksand The National Interest Winter 2003/04

We are not really dependent on oil from the Middle East, according to US intelligence, the US itself will rely on more stable Atlantic Basin resources (West Africa and the Western hemisphere). The reason the U.S. is so involved in the Middle East is about control of the oil, not access to the oil.

In the 1940s, US planners recognized that (in their words) Gulf energy resources are "a stupendous source of strategic power" and "one of the greatest material prizes in world history." Naturally, they intended to control it ... That's a very powerful lever of world control, quite apart from the profits that comes from it. And the US probably doesn't intend to access the oil of Iraq; it intends to use primarily safer Atlantic basin resources for itself (Western Hemisphere, West Africa). But to control the oil has been a leading principle of US foreign policies since the Second World War, and Iraq is particularly significant in this respect.

Quite apart from yielding "profits beyond the dreams of avarice," as one leading history of the oil industry puts the matter, the region still remains "a stupendous source of strategic power," a lever of world control. Control over Gulf energy reserves provides "veto power" over the actions of rivals, as the leading planner George Kennan pointed out half a century ago. Europe and Asia understand very well, and have long been seeking independent access to energy resources. - On the US and the Middle

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