Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oil Anyone?: This was just posted by Prof. Juan Cole on his blog "Informed Comment." We do not always agree but I cannot match his historian's intellectual expertise in argument.

This post I believe has merit when one contemplates the why of an impending Iran hit. When one asks the omnipresent question why, think on what he says below. It is by far the most prescient rationale for the reason behind Middle East/US power politics. It does not take a genius to figure it out. All roads, of course, lead to oil and one can see that simply by the maps Professor Cole shows and the explanation in his opinion below.

For me the issue has never been an ignorance about the politics of oil but rather the ability of the US to wage permanent, never ending war killing and displacing hundreds of thousands and spending trillions of our treasury for it.

He states:

I had grabbed an earlier version of this graphic* off a Democratic Underground bulletin board from 2005. It made the point that the United States, which professes itself menaced by Iran, rather has Iran encircled by military bases. I have tried to update the map a bit, though this area is a moving target and the map no doubt isn’t perfect. It is expressive enough, however, of the reality. Iraq and Uzbekistan no longer have American bases, but the US military now has a refueling station in Turkmenistan.

Some critics complained that forward operating bases are not much of a base. But actually, this map* vastly understates the case. It shows only a few of the estimated 450 US military bases and outposts in Afghanistan, e.g. And it does not show drone bases, of which the US has 60 around the world.

Iran has 150 billion barrels in petroleum reserves, among the largest reserves in the world, but they cannot be exploited by US corporations because of ... US congressional sanctions on Iran. US elites, especially Big Oil, dream of doing regime change in Iran so as to get access to those vast reserves. Likely the most important US objection to the Iranian civilian nuclear enrichment program is that it could give Iran “nuclear latency,” the ability to construct a bomb quickly if it seemed to Tehran that the US planned to attack. That is, the real objection in Washington to Iranian nuclear know-how is that it makes Iraq-style regime change impossible and so puts Iranian petroleum out of reach of Houston for the foreseeable future. This consideration is likely the real reason that Washington does not, so to speak, go ballistic about North Korea and Pakistan having actual nuclear warheads, but like to has a fainting spell at the very idea of Iran enriching uranium to 3.5 percent (a bomb takes 95%). North Korea and Pakistan don’t have oil.

*NB: Graphics not shown
The Winds and Words of War: I was sent by the writer of "Informed Comment" Juan Cole, the University of Michigan historian, Part 1 of an an opinion written by Noam Chomsky entitled “Losing” the World
"American Decline in Perspective," at here

Part 2 of Noam Chomsky’s discussion of American decline, “The Imperial Way,” is here. I offer both as an alternative view to prevailing propaganda.

Prefacing his remarks I add: Current Cable TV Channel 192 on FIOS is the only network to call a ratcheting up of war with Iran for what it seemingly is -- the twin of Iraq. We have done this before. Some of those who are the leftovers still in Iraq and those who now fight in Afghanistan were children when 9/11 happened and often do not know the truth of what occurred after it. Many have NO idea how the Iraq War was pushed with lies, deceit, excuses and the utter complicity of the mainstream media including even the most prestigious New York Times and Washington Post. Few have any idea that we lost Iraq to the destabilization of civil war the conclusion of which we do not yet know. There is civil war violence still and millions of refugees from it. The US is probably losing Afghanistan too according to accounts of certain military heroes who would risk their careers for honesty about a failed never-ending policy of lies by men at the highest echelons of power. They whistle blow because war means death and the shattered lives of thousands. In a worst-case scenario it could cost the life of the entire fabric of our nation.

To begin another war with Iran is pure insanity as our army is spent along with our burgeoning deficit about which the conservatives claim they care so much. We would POSSIBLY need a draft for this war. We must call these brokers of war policy out who push this killing machine for what they are -- power crazed lunatics who have the corporation CEOs of war jumping up and down with glee for the money they will make while our youth is slaughtered and our weak economy lay in ruins.

It is my opinion and has been for a long time that we need to significantly rethink our Middle East policies and live with that which we loathe. We managed to get through the Soviet era of abundant nukes and, perhaps, it must be that way now concerning an Iran which does not yet have even one. I believe a strike on Iran at this time is lunacy as gas prices will go through the roof when the strait of Hormuz is blocked by the Iranian government and a weak US economy will tank again. If you think gas prices are exorbitant now wait until a war with Iran begins. Obama risks his presidency if that happens!

Thousands of lives are in peril if this policy is not SIGNIFICANTLY examined and we are told, however difficult, the TRUTH a thing unfamiliar to our Pentagon, Defense Department and various Commanders in Chief. I supported the Afghanistan War and even the Iraq War in the very beginning because I was filled with rage at 9/11 and stupidly believed my government as to Hussein possessing WMD even nukes which we now know he did not have. Looking back at 10 years of continual war I would like to know what we have to show for it. The Middle East is utterly destabilized and we still fight. Whether or not the Arab Spring would have happened without US military engagement no one can know but a foreign US occupier surely did not help NOR did it help Israel, a nation I support and not only because I am a Jew. I do NOT want to see Israel in more peril then it already is. We need call this insanity out for what it is -- the naked aggression of power hungry mad men who post WWII simply are addicted to war and the corporations they feed who make bundles of cash because of it. We stand, I believe, on the precipice of WWIII. I reserve the right to change my opinion in the face of REAL not fabricated evidence.