The Bush Middle East Oil Gambit

TPM  reports that the Kurd's in Iraq have signed an oil agreement:

Texas' Hunt Oil Co. and Kurdistan's regional government said Saturday they've signed a production-sharing contract for petroleum exploration in northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurds passed their own oil and gas law in August.

Hunt has ties to the Bush administration:

"In October 2001 and again in January 2006, Mr. Hunt was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in Washington, D.C."

Welcome to the Bush administration's Middle East oil gambit...

First, ask yourself why President Bush would appoint an oil man to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board?  What could an OIL MAN bring to the table concerning FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE?  The answer to this is found in the report issued by the GAO concerning peak oil:

According to IEA, most countries outside the Middle East have reached their peak in conventional oil production, or will do so in the near future. The United States is a case in point. Even though the United States is currently the third-largest, oil-producing nation, U.S. oil production peaked around 1970 and has been on a declining trend ever since. (See fig. 1.) (emphasis mine)

This needs to be repeated:  oil production in the United States peaked 37 years ago!  Most countries, outside of the Middle East, have already reached their peak in oil production or will do so soon.  How soon?  Eight out of twenty-one studies examined by the GAO predict that the world oil reserves will peak on, or before, the year 2020.  Thirteen out of 21 studies put that timing on, or before, the year 2040.  How essential is controlling the Middle East to oil baron's?

"On the basis of Oil and Gas Journal estimates as of January 2006, we found that of the approximately 1.1 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves worldwide, about 80 percent are located in the OPEC countries, compared with about 2 percent in the United States."

OPEC agrees:

According to current estimates, more than three-quarters of the world's oil reserves are located in OPEC countries. The bulk of OPEC oil reserves is located in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq contributing 56% to the OPEC total.

We now see the reason that President Bush pushed so hard to invade Iraq and is pushing just as hard to find some justification to attack Iran.  Saudi Arabia (already friendly to the U.S.), Iraq and Iran, constitute 56% of OPEC's total oil reserves.  So, who are the top five countries in OPEC concerning oil reserves?  Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran , Kuwait and Venezuela.  

I doubt many would argue that the focus of President Bush was on oil from day one.  As the BBC noted in January, 2001:

The president, vice-president, commerce secretary and national security adviser all have strong ties to the oil industry.

But, the BBC also wrote:

There are also questions about how energy policy decisions may be affected by the private financial interests of so many senior cabinet members.

So, how might our "policy decisions" have been manipulated by private interests?

Cheney Energy Task Force Eyed Iraq Oil

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq's oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled "Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."

The papers also included a detailed map of oil fields and pipelines in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates and a list of oil and gas development projects in those two countries.

The papers were dated early March 2001, about two months before the Cheney energy task force completed and announced its report on the administration's energy needs and future energy agenda.

Venezuela Coup Linked to Bush Team

The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in Central America at that time.

The Iran Plans

"This is much more than a nuclear issue," one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. "That's just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years."

The evidence is quite clear; the Bush administration planned all along, knowing peak oil was coming, to seize control of the worlds major oil reserves.  In 2005, President Bush all but confirmed it when he stated:

CORONADO, Calif. -- President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

Except... that was just another lie to cover the truth:

In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists".

"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant, Falah Aljibury, says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.

Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.

Sounds all "tin-foil hat" doesn't it?  An oil industry consultant interviewing potential successors to a government?  Unfortunately, the coincidences keep mounting:

Two geological basins in northern Afghanistan hold 18 times the oil and triple the natural gas resources previously thought, scientists said Tuesday as part of a U.S. assessment aimed at enticing energy development in the war-torn country.

Nearly 1.6 billion barrels of oil, mostly in the Afghan-Tajik Basin, and about 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, mainly in the Amu Darya Basin, could be tapped, said the U.S. Geological Survey and Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines and Industry.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai described the estimates as "very positive findings," particularly since the country now imports most of its energy, including electricity.

"Knowing more about our country's petroleum resources will enable us to take steps to develop our energy potential, which is crucial for our country's growth," said Karzai, whose government was created after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 and later won national elections.

President Karzai signed the pipeline deal that oil companies had been seeking for decades in December, 2002.  And Iraq?  In 2002, this article appeared:

"What they have in mind is denationalization, and then parceling Iraqi oil out to American oil companies," says James E. Akins, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Iraq in 2005?

Chalabi Named Iraq Oil Minister

Chalabi, whose government portfolio already includes heading the country's energy committee and overseeing security for oil infrastructure such as refineries and pipelines, will temporarily take the reins of Iraq's only major industry. He had briefly led the Oil Ministry earlier this year while the current government was being assembled.

Amazingly, there is this quote:

In June 1997, Chalabi spoke to JINSA's board, which includes, not surprisingly, Perle, Woolsey and key hard-line backers of Israel such as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Max Kampelman, Eugene Rostow and former Rep. Steve Solarz (D-N.Y.). "The INC plan for Saddam's overthrow is simple," Chalabi told JINSA. From its base in northern Iraq, the INC would begin to confront Iraqi forces with only political and logistical support from the United States, including U.S. efforts to "feed, house and otherwise provide for the Iraqi army as it abandons Saddam." Then, Chalabi concluded, "With U.S. political backing and regional support for a process of gradual encirclement, Saddam can be driven into hiding in Takrit and eventually removed."

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein was being pushed as far back as 1997 by Chalabi.

3,776 dead American soldiers and counting, and yes, the "noble cause" President Bush spoke of was control of the oil in the Middle East.

< The Merry-Go-Round of Iraqi Sectarian Violence | Coming to America - Two Tales and Two Methods >
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  • Display: Sort:
    but "support" in what proportions? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Michael Gass on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 03:40:07 PM EST
    Consider, as the Ayatollah speaks out, basically giving his support to Ahmadinejad, Iranian support would likely be close or over 90% (the 10% dissenters the U.S. paid groups and NGO's in Iran).

    Consider, as every rationale to invade Iraq changed and continues to change, as every rationale to attack Iran has been floated and failed to whip the public into the frenzy expected, American support would likely be close or less than 40%.


    Bush already tried to float WMD in Iran (nuclear program)... and has largely failed.

    Bush already tried to float terrorists in Iran (Al-Qaeda and others)... and has largely failed, prompting him to MAKE a new terrorist organization (Iranian Guard).

    But... another attack on U.S. troops, embassies, or soil BLAMED on Iran?  That could push Bush support up... and is the real threat.

    Will America use a false flag to attack Iran?

    Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretart of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, publically declared on July 16, 2007, in a column:

    "Bush as put in place all the necessary measures for a dictatorship in the form of "executive orders" that are triggered whenever Bush declares a national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might expect a series of staged, or false flag, "terrorist" events in the near future.

    Many attentive people believe that the reason the Bush administration will not bow to expert advice and public opinion and begin withdrawing US troops from Iraq is that the administration intends to rescue its unpopular position with false flag operations that can be used to expand the war to Iran."

    Re: Iranian support (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 04:15:00 PM EST
    Yes, It's higher now for Ahmadinejad than it was. My comment above was a repost - I originally posted it back in February, to Big Tent's story: Taking The  Bait: War With Iran Would Only Come If We Stay In Iraq

    when ex-government officials worry about things (none / 0) (#6)
    by Michael Gass on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 11:20:24 PM EST
    ... it goes from "tin-foil hat" to "oh sh@t" real quick.

    The problem, as I see it, is that there are now very prominent ex-government officials that are worrying about things that we, the public, would never had heard about during other administrations.

    That alone should give us pause...


    Heh. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 16, 2007 at 04:50:21 AM EST
    And now they want to build a base on the Iraq/Iran border?

    Utter craziness.


    Greenspan: It's about oil.... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by dutchfox on Sun Sep 16, 2007 at 05:37:10 PM EST
    Mr Gass, glad to see you doing the diary thing. :-).

    From the Guardian today:

    In his long-awaited memoir - out tomorrow in the US - Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, writes: 'I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.'

    Bush and Cheney (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 05:19:48 PM EST
    want to attack Iran. It is part of the Neocon objective of ensuring the US position as sole remaining superpower for as many years into the future as possible, and as a sub-goal to that and powering it, establishing strategic control over Middle Eastern energy production. After invading Iraq and spending 4 years clumsily and incompetently trying to steal absolute control of the Iraq oil industry, the world's second largest proven oil reserves, but instead creating civil chaos in the country that has produced a power void that Iran is moving in to fill, Bush and Cheney have their backs against the wall now and are desperate to ensure the energy control they set out to acquire.
    Control is what it's all about," one oilman told me. "It's not about getting the oil, it's about controlling oil's price."
    Only seemingly paradoxically, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also wants Bush and Cheney to attack Irans' reactors and nuclear research installations. His popularity has been waning for some time inside Iran, as the Iranian people have been increasingly becoming more liberal minded, and if he is to survive politically he needs an evil, demonized enemy as much if not more so than Bush does.
    Iran's uranium enrichment programme has been plagued by constant technical problems, lack of access to outside technology and knowhow, and a failure to master the complex production-engineering processes involved. The country denies developing weapons, saying its pursuit of uranium enrichment is for energy purposes.

    Despite Iran being presented as an urgent threat to nuclear non-proliferation and regional and world peace - in particular by an increasingly bellicose Israel and its closest ally, the US - a number of Western diplomats and technical experts close to the Iranian programme have told The Observer it is archaic, prone to breakdown and lacks the materials for industrial-scale production.

    Ahmadinejad needs to play in the big leagues to appear to his people as a big leaguer. He is playing a game of chicken with the US, and probably cares about his people probably even less than Bush does about Iranian or American lives. So he blusters and bluffs and the 26 percenters, the peasants, on both sides buy into both his and Bushs' bullsh*t:
    After decades of largely clandestine efforts, Iran is expected to declare in coming days that it has made a huge leap toward industrial-scale production of enriched uranium -- a defiant act that the country's leaders will herald as a major technical stride and its neighbors will denounce as a looming threat. But for now, many nuclear experts say, the frenetic activity at the desert enrichment plant in Natanz may be mostly about political showmanship.

    The many setbacks and outright failures of Tehran's experimental program suggest that its bluster may outstrip its technical expertise. And the problems help explain American intelligence estimates that Iran is at least four years away from producing a nuclear weapon.

    Iran's nuclear boasts come in the midst of an increasingly rancorous chess game between Tehran's mullahs and the Bush administration over the aims of Iran's nuclear programs, its role in Iraq and its ambitions to become the dominant power in the Middle East.
    Iran's very public declarations appear to contain large doses of domestic political posturing and outright bluffing.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has become the face of Iranian defiance, is under growing pressure at home because of unemployment and the squeeze of economic sanctions -- and President Bush's advisers have said he may view a nuclear standoff with the United States as a way to help his standing. That, combined with evidence of problems at the pilot plant, suggest that the industrial push may be aimed as much at enriching Iran's political leverage as enriching uranium.

    very true, Edger (none / 0) (#2)
    by Michael Gass on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 08:06:55 PM EST
    There is one difference, though:  

    - Ahmandinejad will get the support from the people if we attack Iran... Bush lost his support long ago.

    The biggest question remains; will the UN stand up or slink to the sidelines again?

    It's a very dangerous situation (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 01:50:13 PM EST
    I think Ahmadinejad will get the support he wants if Iran is attacked, and he obviously thinks so too. I think Bush also thinks that it will increase his support, and I'm not so sure that it won't, at least temporarily, similarly to the initial rally 'round the president when he attacked Iraq...