Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's Still About Oil. All The Rest Is Subterfuge

If Basra in Iraq is any indication of what Iraqis will do to each other when they are given control over their own territory(read about it here), then we should stop wringing our hands about protecting them with the our military. We are not protecting them from armies of other countries we have been protecting them from themselves.

Clearly they want to fight and will fight each other, at the tribal level, at the religious level, at the territory level, and on any level which they can use as an excuse to fight. It's hatred at its worst, and nothing we can do, or anyone else can do, is going to stop it, now or in the future. It's bound to come. It's a powder keg which was kept safe from blowing up only by the heavy hand of Saddam. We have replaced him as that heavy hand in his demise.

The idea of the surge, we were told, was to give Iraqis the cover they needed from violence to get a so-called unity government up and running.

That not only hasn't happened, but in Basra at least it's blown up into gang warfare of the most violent nature. And today we read that a hail of mortars or rockets has hit the Green Zone again.
Few people still argue against the claim that oil in Iraq was and still is the huge prize for which Cheney/Bush decided to invade the country. Getting Saddam and destroying WMD were the red herrings they used to strike fear in the hearts of their countrymen.

But there is a legitimate need for our military to stay in Iraq for some time to come, and that is the need to protect, not the Iraqis who want to kill each other, but the oil there and the infrastructure to get it out of the ground and ship it to market.

I do not expect that we will withdraw all of our troops anytime soon. Iran is trying to wait us out so they can move into the vacuum that would be Iraq, and control its oil. Iran is second only to Saudi Arabia as having the largest known oil reserves on the planet. Iraq is third in that count.
If Iran were to control both their own reserves and those of Iraq, they would become the new king of the jungle that is the global oil market. Whatever one's politics and disgusts about what's done in our name, there is a real and serious need to keep Iran from becoming that new King. That means military protection for the oil industry in Iraq.

Repeated reports that fourteen hardened military bases are being, or have been, built in that country, plus the existence of the world's largest Embassy, ours in Baghdad, confirm for this writer that these are the makings of the infrastructure essential to protecting Iraq's oil industry.

At least on this score I doubt that we will see much if any difference in policy and behavior toward Iraq after January 9, 2009, regardless of which party wins the White House, and even if the Dems gain a bullet proof Congressional majority.

Since the invasion began Iraq has been a hole in civilization, completely surrounded by bad guys, into which we've poured the blood of untold thousands of human beings, including thousands of Americans, and tried to bury them under billions of dollars.

But it's still the oil people. We need to protect it from those who would loot it and use it against, not just the USA, but against what is the global economy and civilization.

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