Is the Iraq war
about oil? Oil Pricing
and the Price of
The short answer is yes. "This
war, say analysts, is about power and oil. It's about control of the
Gulf states by means of strategic Iraq and, by extension, a final post-Cold
War shakeout to give the U.S. more economic clout over China and Russia by
controlling the oil spigot."
The players have moved
steadily through the Republican presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Bush's
father, George H.W. Bush and Bush himself.
They include: Vice-president Richard
Cheney, a former oilman, like Bush, and defense secretary during his
father's Persian Gulf War in 1991; Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, once
Reagan's personal emissary to the Middle East when Saddam was a U.S. friend
and staunch ally; Rumsfeld's deputy Paul Wolfowitz, who began publicly
calling for war against Iraq after the 9/11 terror attacks; and Richard
Perle, chair of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, nicknamed the "Prince
of Darkness'' for his political stick-handling.
They are joined by think-tankers, from
fellows at the
Project for the New American Century and the military and
intelligence-oriented Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Bush recently chose a CSIS forum, rather than the White House, to deliver a
major prime-time speech to the American people to make the case for war. The
CSIS board includes, among other heavy-hitters, Kissinger, former national
security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA director James
Hard to Deny: Iraq is All About the Oil By Michael Schwartz, Tomdispatch.com How the U.S. is working to
secure Iraq's oil -- one of the most important sources of
petrochemical energy on the planet -- and how the Iraqis are
will invoke a rarely used House rule of personal privilege to gain one hour of time in Congress for the purpose of discussing in
the Congressional and White House efforts to privatize the oil of Iraq.
Oil was the primary reason for the invasion of Iraq. There were,
course, no weapons of mass destruction, no connection between Iraq
and 911, no connection between Iraq and Al Queda’s role in 911.
Despite that, the Bush-Cheney Administration, with the approval of a
Democratic-controlled Senate and the Democratic leader of the House,
supported and commenced a brutal campaign of shock and awe, of
invasion and then occupation of Iraq.
President Bush and his cabinet were planning a
attack on Iraq
to secure 'regime change' even
before he took power in January 2001.
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday
Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick
(now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's
deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief
of staff).....The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military
control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It
says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent
role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq
provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American
force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam
Hussein." Bush planned Iraq 'regime change'
before becoming President Sunday Herald, 15 Sept 2002
"Controlling Iraq is about oil as power, rather than oil as fuel,"
says Michael Klare,
professor of peace and world security
studies at Hampshire College and author of Resource Wars. "Control over the
Persian Gulf translates into control over Europe, Japan, and China. It's
having our hand on the spigot."
Ever since the oil shocks of the 1970s, the
United States has steadily been accumulating military muscle in the Gulf by
building bases, selling weaponry, and forging military partnerships. Now, it
is poised to consolidate its might in a place that will be a fulcrum of the
world's balance of power for decades to come. At a stroke, by taking control
of Iraq, the Bush administration can solidify a long-running strategic
design. "It's the Kissinger plan," says James Akins, a former U.S. diplomat.
"I thought it had been killed, but it's back."
US oil about to 'win' Iraq war
Topeka Capital Journal
(subscription), KS - Feb 17, 2007
Recent drafts of the bill would give private companies
(including foreign ones) control of Iraq's oil production and 70
percent of the profits, ...
The oil companies currently hold 10,000 drilling permits right now, and
have leases to 68 million acres of land that is going undrilled -- no
need to "open up ANWR or the Gulf Coast right now" as Newt Gingrich
would have everyone believe. (Drilling permits are apparently what
happens right before the drill bit hits the ground -- so oil companies
are confident that oil is there.) Check out this
June 2008 report from the Committee on Natural Resources.
Among the most interesting points:
Drilling on federal lands has steadily INCREASED since the 1990s
Drilling permits have gone from 3,802 five years ago to 7,561 in
Oil and gas companies have shown that they cannot keep pace with
the rate of drilling permits (so opening the Gulf and ANWR would
help how, exactly?)
Although permits have gone up, the price of gas has ALSO gone
up, refuting the idea that more drilling will automatically reduce
The Bureau of Land Management has issued 28,776 permits to drill
on public land; yet, only 18,954 wells were actually drilled (a
difference of 9822)
Of the 47.5 million acres of on-shore federal lands that are
currently being leased by oil and gas companies, only about 13
million acres are actually in production
Offshore, only 10.5 million of the 44 million leased acres are
currently producing oil or gas
According to the Minerals Management Service, of all the oil and
gas believed to exist on the Outer Continental Shelf, 82% of the
natural gas and 79% of the oil is located in areas that are
currently open for leasing
Nearly 91 million acres are currently open to leasing in the
Arctic region of Alaska, including onshore and offshore lands. Oil
and gas companies have leased only 11.8 million of the 91 million
The report goes on to say that just drilling in these 68 million acres
(this excludes the Alaska acreage, because much of it is still unleased
by the oil companies even though it is available to lease) of untapped
areas without drilling anywhere else would likely produce six times the
amount of oil in ANWR. Yes, that's right: SIX TIMES what ANWR is
estimated to be able to produce at peak production. And if they'd bother
to lease the Alaska areas that are available, that number would
undoubtedly go much higher.
There's much more in the report, but suffice to say, the next time one
of us hears the claim that we need to drill in ANWR or off the coast of
Florida to reduce our oil dependence and affect pricing, we should
(confidently!) ask why in the world we aren't making use of the 10,000
permits already issued and the 68 million acres of unused, currently
leased land to drill on first, and why the additional drilling we've
already done since the 90s hasn't reduced prices at all.
"The spread of evil is the symptom of a
vacuum. whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral
failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no
compromise on basic principles."