War on Iraq: the Peak Oil motive

US did not invade Iraq to control olive oil


"we are witnessing a sequential war to control the largest reserves on a planet that is running out of oil."
-- Michael Ruppert
, From the Wilderness

"The poor countries will bear most of the burden [of high oil prices]. But the United States will be in serious difficulties. There is, I fear, a strong danger of some ill-considered military intervention to try to secure oil."
-- Colin Campbell,
Association for the Study of Peak Oil
, December 2000

"This whole damn thing was about oil, wasn't it?"
-- Robert Redford's character "Condor," to the CIA Deputy Director of Operations, Mideast Division, in the movie "Three Days of the Condor" (1975).

"Why do you rob banks?"
"That's where the money is!"
-- comments attributed to Willie Sutton, famous bank robber

Why did the US invade Iraq?
That's where the oil is!

The US invaded Iraq -- part of a larger plan to take over the entire Middle East -- to seize the oil fields and to boost the permanent war economy.

August 26, 2007
Cheney video warning against seizing Baghdad

Why Dick changed his mind
This is a guest article by David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock.

In a widely viewed You Tube clip, taken from a C-Span interview conducted in 1994, Dick Cheney argues persuasively that the United States was right not to topple Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. He cites the potential disintegration of the country and the risk of American casualties as good reasons for the decision not to take Baghdad. So what was it that changed his mind by the turn of the century? An acute awareness of impending peak oil.


Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it -- eastern Iraq -- the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.



Video of Cheney on Gulf War 1 - Surprise?!?
Fri, 17 Aug 2007
by Michael Kane

... war is profitable for the military industrial complex and international (central) bankers. This is always an underlying cause for war. So it really should be no surprise that Cheney and his backers would be willing to walk into a war that they knew would be a “quagmire.” That quagmire is very profitable in the short term and in the long term the battle is for control of the profit game (oil) for decades to come


Is this video of Cheney talking about why the U.S. did not take Baghdad in Gulf War I really a surprise? What interests me about this video is that people seem to believe Cheney changed his mind from 1994. He has not.
Most of the Neocons knew exactly what Cheney said in 1994 was the truth, and the main point he made was that overthrowing Saddam would lead to Balkanization. Mike Ruppert called this at the outset of the war. This was always part of the plan (more on this in a moment).
Sure, the Necons would have loved if the Iraqis welcomed us with open-arms and flowers into their country but they did not believe this was going to be the case (maybe Wolfowitz believed this but I doubt it). The Iraq plan is a multi-decade plan that is 100% about oil. No matter what happens the U.S. will set-up permanent military bases in Iraq and will do everything in their power to get U.S. dominance of the oil.
The main benchmark that the Iraqis must impose before the U.S. backs off (a little) is a guarantee that the oil industry in the country will not be state dominated. Privatization (at least partially) is a requirement, and until that happens we will not leave. Iraq sits on the 2nd largest proven oil reserves on the planet. World oil production is nearing its all time peak (now at 85 million barrels per day, and flat) and once that happens economic growth on a global scale is impossible.
If you don’t know, check out Peak Oil facts here for starters
Whoever controls the last remaining oil reserves on the planet controls economic growth. There was a scene in Syriana where an American oil executive says, “China’s economy is not growing as fast as it can because they don’t have access to all the oil that they need and I’m damn proud of that fact.” The economic End Game (20, 30 years down the line) is China.
Everyone (Cheney included) knew Iraq would be a quagmire, but it was deemed to be worth the trouble for the reason I just stated. Democracy in Iraq means Shia rule, since they have the majority. Shia rule left open a very real possibility of Rapprochement with Iran, and that turned out to be the case. There are many deals in the works between Iraq and Iran now – trade, agricultural, pipelines, oil infrastructure, etc…
The Shia win and the Sunnis lose. But who is it in the region that does not want to see a Shia strong-hold? Saudi Arabia. So it is the Saudis who will/are aid(ing) the Sunnis. This is a delicate and volatile game, and the entire time we still have the Israeli/Palestinian situation at an all time low: Ever more volatile.
The U.S. will not invade Iran
We can’t even if we wanted to, which we don’t. The saber rattling will continue as Bush and Ahmadinejad both need to pander to their constituencies. But signs were clear as hell that there would be no invasion (or even bombings) when Rumsfeld was sacked and Gates was appointed to Secretary of Defense. Gates co-authored a report with Zbigniew Brzezinski on pulling out of Iraq and engaging Iran in negotiations. Brzezinski authored a critical book published in 1997 called THE GRAND CHESSBOARD that laid out the exact plans the Neocons ended up implementing four years later. Now he has turned his back on the Neocons completely, going so far as to say the Neocons might stage a false flag attack in Iranian waters to create the cause for invasion. Brzezinski is a major player amongst the global elite – registered Republican, former national security advisor to Jimmy Carter, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-founder (with David Rockefeller) of the Trilateral Commission. Brzezinski is far more powerful than Dick Cheney – so much so he was able to get his man (Gates) to replace Rumsfeld. TO REPEAT – NO INVASION OF IRAN.
Look at what the Democrats are saying:
Edwards would open talks with Iran if elected
Ultimately this will be Hillary Clinton’s position too – and she will be our next president.
The main reason there will be no Iranian invasion is because they supply 4 million barrels of crude to the market everyday, and there is no where on the planet that this 4 million can be replaced if an invasion disrupts the oil market. Europe, Britain and China all get oil from Iran and can’t afford to have that source cut off – that is why Britain won’t back the U.S. on an Iran invasion and our only ally in that escapade is Israel.
That is the geo-strategic game right now and Cheney knows it, and knew it. Just because these guys have to package their rhetoric around the “war on terror” does not mean that is what their true motives are.

denials of oil angle in Iraq conflict hard to believe

When President Bush says "We have no territorial ambitions; we don’t seek an empire," he is telling half a truth. Certainly the United States isn’t looking to make Iraq the 51st state. But that’s not the way of empire today -- it’s about control, not about territory. ....
The key is not who owns the oil but who controls the flow of oil and oil profits. ....
In a world that runs on oil, the nation that controls the flow of oil has that strategic power. U.S. policymakers want leverage over the economies of our biggest competitors -- Western Europe, Japan and China -- which are more dependent on Middle Eastern oil. From this logic flows the U.S. policy of support for reactionary regimes (Saudi Arabia), dictatorships (Iran under the Shah) and regional military surrogates (Israel), always aimed at maintaining control.
This analysis should not be difficult to accept given the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy report released last fall, which explicitly calls for U.S. forces to be strong enough to deter any nation from challenging American dominance. U.S. policymakers state it explicitly: We will run the world. Or, in the words of the first President Bush after the first U.S. Gulf War, "What we say goes."
Such a policy requires not only overwhelming military dominance but economic control as well. Mao said power flows from the barrel of a gun, but U.S. policymakers also understand it flows from control over barrels of oil.


"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."

March 11, 2003
The Gangs of DC - Bush Bruisers Cast Eyes on the Pearls of the Orient

The ultimate goal is not Iraq--that bombed, blockaded state partially controlled by a witless thug whom the gang once succored--but domination of the world's oil supplies in the coming century, when the surging nations of China and India will reach their economic peak. These vast entities could eventually tilt the imbalance of world wealth away from the Anglo-American elites who have for so long held the high and palmy ground of privilege. But the voracious economies of the Asian behemoths will require unstinting draughts of the oil reserves now locked under the sands of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. There is oil elsewhere, yes--but nowhere else in the world are there reserves deep enough to satisfy the thirsts of China and India as they come into their own.


TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008

Exclusive: Ex-UK Army Chief in Iraq Confirms Peak Oil Motive for War; Praises Fraudulent Reconstruction Programmes

A former senior British Army official in Iraq, James Ellery, admits the link between peak oil and the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq. Currently director of British security firm and US defence contractor, AEGIS, Ellery also whitewashes the massive corruption in Iraqi reconstruction projects.

Brigadier-General James Ellery CBE, the Foreign Office’s Senior Adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad since 2003, confirmed the critical role of Iraqi oil reserves in potentially alleviating a “world shortage” of conventional oil. The Iraq War has helped to head off what Brigadier Ellery described as “the tide of Easternisation” – a shift in global political and economic power toward China and India, to whom goes “two thirds of the Middle East’s oil.”

After the 2004 transfer of authority to an interim Iraqi civilian administration, Brigadier Ellery set up and ran the 700-strong security framework operation in support of the US-funded Reconstruction of Iraq. His remarks were made as part of a presentation at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, sponsored by the Iraqi Youth Foundation, on 22nd April.

World Oil Shortage

“The reason that oil reached $117 a barrel last week”, he said, “was less to do with security of supply… than World shortage.” He went on to emphasise the strategic significance of Iraqi petroleum fields in relation to the danger of production peaks being breached in major oil reserves around the world. “Russia’s production has peaked at 10 million barrels per day; Africa has proved slow to yield affordable extra supplies – from Sudan and Angola for example. Thus the only near-term potential increase will be from Iraq,” he said. Whether Iraq began “favouring East or West” could therefore be “de-stabilizing” not only “within the region but to nations far beyond which have an interest.

The real casus belli: peak oil
In a world of looming fuel shortage, Britain and the US formalised their energy fears with a war

David Strahan
Tuesday June 26, 2007
The Guardian

Even as one of the principal architects of the Iraq war washes his hands of the whole bloody mess, there is still only a vague understanding of the real reason behind the invasion, but evidence of the intense interest of the international oil companies continues to build. Only last week, ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson said in London: "We look forward to the day when we can partner with Iraq to develop that resource potential." Despite their interest and influence, however, the decision to attack was not taken in the boardroom. Iraq was indeed all about oil, but in a sense that transcends the interests of individual corporations, however large.

The elephant in the drawing room was the fact that global oil production is likely to peak within about a decade. Aggregate oil production in the developed world has been falling since 1997, and all major forecasters expect world output excluding Opec to peak by the middle of the next decade. From then on everything depends on the cartel, but unfortunately there is growing evidence that Opec's members have been exaggerating the size of their reserves for decades.

Oil consultancy PFC Energy briefed Dick Cheney in 2005 that on a more realistic assessment of Opec's reserves, its production could peak by 2015. A report by the US Department of Energy, also in 2005, concluded that without a crash programme of mitigation 20 years before the event, the economic and social impacts of the oil peak would be "unprecedented". The evidence suggests these fears were already weighing heavily with Cheney, Bush and Blair.

In a world of looming shortage, Iraq represented a unique opportunity. With 115bn barrels, it had the world's third biggest reserves, and after years of war and sanctions they were the most underexploited. In the late 1990s, production averaged about 2m barrels, but with the necessary investment its reserves could support three times that. In a report to the security council, UN inspectors warned in January 2000 that sanctions had caused irreversible damage to Iraq's reservoirs. But sanctions could not be lifted with Saddam still in place.

Cheney knew, fretting about global oil depletion in a speech in London the following year, where he noted that "the Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and lowest cost is still where the prize ultimately lies". Blair too had reason to be anxious: British North Sea output had peaked in 1999, while the petrol protests of 2000 had made the importance of maintaining the fuel supply excruciatingly obvious.

Britain's and the US's fears were secretly formalised during the planning for Iraq. It is widely accepted that Blair's commitment to support the attack dates back to his summit with Bush in Texas in April 2002. What is less well known is that at the same summit, Blair proposed and Bush agreed to set up the US-UK Energy Dialogue, a permanent liaison dedicated to "energy security and diversity". Its existence was only later exposed through a freedom of information inquiry.

Both governments refuse to release minutes of Dialogue meetings, but one paper dated February 2003 notes that to meet projected demand, oil production in the Middle East would have to double by 2030 to more than 50m barrels a day. So on the eve of the invasion, UK and US officials were discussing how to raise production from the region - and we are invited to believe this is coincidence. The bitterest irony is, of course, that the invasion has created conditions that guarantee oil production will remain hobbled for years to come, bringing the global oil peak that much closer. So if that was plan A, what on earth is plan B?

· David Strahan is the author of The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man


Peak Oil, Missing Oil Meters and an Inactive Pipeline:
The Real Reason for the Invasion of Iraq?

In this article I will present research that supports a rather startling hypothesis: that the USA invaded Iraq primarily to enable the secret diversion of a portion of Iraq’s oil production to Saudi Arabia. This was done in order to disguise the fact that Saudi Arabia’s oil output has peaked, and may be in permanent decline. The evidence for this conclusion is circumstantial, but it does knit up many of the loose threads in the mystery of the American administration’s motivation for invasion. ....

I have never been entirely satisfied with the unofficial explanations for the Iraq war. I do accept (as does this article) the idea that the war was somehow “about oil,” yet none of the existing explanations for why that should be so are terribly convincing. The United States could have achieved significant influence over the disposition of Iraqi oil through standard diplomatic and commercial means, without the expenditure of so many lives and so much money.

One hypothesis advanced by Canadian journalist, Linda McQuaig, in her book “It’s the Crude, Dude” argues that the US invaded to acquire the “carrot and stick” of oil ownership and sales rights in order to be better able to reward friends and punish its enemies, thereby shaping regional and global power structures. To me this seems a costly, indirect and ineffective mechanism, especially if the global oil supply is unconstrained and nations can buy from whomever they wish.

Then there is the hypothesis that invasion was staged to permit western oil companies (particularly those with close ties to the Bush administration) to take control of the fields and reap windfall profits. This speculation also comes up short in my opinion. Those oil companies were already doing very well. An invasion and occupation are very risky ventures, and are intrinsically unlikely to provide the stable environment required for a simple transfer of commercial control (neo-con dreams of flowers, candy and regime change notwithstanding). The costs seem entirely out of proportion to the potential rewards. ....

There is as yet no smoking gun to support this hypothesis. This remains a work of pure speculation, based on a suggestive convergence of events and incidents. The one feature of this hypothesis that makes it attractive is the extent to which it can accommodate all the odd and otherwise inexplicable events of the last six years. On the other hand, it can be accused of suffering from the common failing of conspiracy theories: it would take too many people to implement. The argument against that is that these events have demonstrably occurred and the binding element of the hypothesis, the peaking of Saudi oil production, would not require that many people to be aware of it in order for it to provide sufficient motivation for such a devious scheme.


Thursday, January 25, 2007
People Are Starting To Ask The Right Questions

We have to recognize the reality of the Iraq situation and call it for what it is - a calculated and intentional disaster that turned out according to plan and in fact exceeded the fascists' expectations many times over. They wanted the infrastructure in ruins - in fact water treatment plants, power stations, dams and utilities were intentionally bombed. They wanted the population to suffer unimaginable loss. They needed the various factions at each other's throats and so set about pulling off false flag attacks. They wanted an ongoing resistance which is why they didn't guard the millions of tons of munitions after the invasion. They planned for and eagerly awaited the theft of trillions from Iraq's resources and our pockets. Far from wanting an end to this shit, they want to prolong it and in fact, make it much worse.



Thursday, December 21, 2006
Why is the US in Iraq?

Maybe Iraq today isn't just a problem that spiralled out of control by poor planning. Maybe all those mistakes and screwups after the invasion didn't just happen by chance. It's possible that there wasn't any "bad intelligence" that "misled" the administration in the first place. Maybe the Iraq we see today is precisely what our overlords had planned from the beginning.
Decisions were made right from the opening gun that ensured there were going to be massive problems. Infrastructure was obliterated and left to rot in disrepair. The US disbanded the Iraqi army and left them to organize the resistance. At least 250,000 tons of ordnance was deliberately left unguarded and was carried away by looters. Torture at places like Abu Ghraib wasn't just a few bad apples:
"Go past the executive summaries and press releases, however, and a careful reading of the reports reveals a different story. The devastating scandal of Abu Ghraib wasn't a failure of implementation, as Rice and other administration defenders have admitted. It was a direct--and predictable--consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration."
From the beginning the Bushistas activated a favored institution, familiar from years gone by and even implemented by the same criminals who formed them the first time in Central America - roving death squads. Add the assassinations, the false flag bombings, destruction of entire cities, shortages, and on and on. We have to realize that this consistent pattern of vicious criminality isn't just an accident - it was planned. ....
If we're going to believe that our miserable quagmire was planned we have to put ourselves in the fascists' shoes and determine what we would have done differently. That's pretty easy - leaving the infrastructure alone then improving it, giving far more initial effort to integrate the various political and religious entities, securing the borders and those ammo dumps, observing strict oversight on contractors, delivering massive aid to the people. Of course this is assuming we had any goddamn right to do what we did in the first place.
But the biggest question of all is - why did the US invade Iraq? After all, the stated reasons were all huge lies, every one of them.
With an almost four year track record to observe I think the answer is obvious. The complete and utter disintegration of a once proud and prosperous Arab neighbor of Israel. The theft of natural resources and the theft of our tax money. Endless civil strife to ensure destruction. Permanent presence in the heart of those resources to extend the Empire's reach.


Thursday, December 14, 2006
Best Two Out Of Three?

Tom Engelhardt reminds us of a prior Iraq war, one that was fought in a virtual universe back in July of 2002. The US military decided to drop a cool $1/4 billion on a war game with an unnamed middle east country, meaning Iraq, and things didn't start to turn out too well for the yankees:

"At the cost of a quarter-billion dollars, the Pentagon launched the most elaborate war games in its history, immodestly entitled "Millennium Challenge 02." These involved all four services in "17 simulation locations and nine live-force training sites." Officially a war against a fictional country in the Persian Gulf region -- but obviously Iraq -- it was specifically scripted to prove the efficacy of the Rumsfeld-style invasion that the Bush administration had already decided to launch.
Lt. Gen. Van Riper commanded the "Red Team" -- the Iraqis of this simulation -– against the "Blue Team," U.S. forces; and, unfortunately for Rumsfeld, he promptly stepped out of the script. Knowing that sometimes the only effective response to high-tech warfare was the lowest tech warfare imaginable, he employed some of the very techniques the Iraqi insurgency would begin to use all-too-successfully a year or two later.

In other words like the inventive misfits at a war game in the movie "The Dirty Dozen", the red team was fluid and innovative and used their strengths against the enemy's weaknesses with devastating results.

Such simple devices as, according to the Army Times, using "motorcycle messengers to transmit orders, negating Blue's high-tech eavesdropping capabilities," and "issuing attack orders via the morning call to prayer broadcast from the minarets of his country's mosques." In the process, Van Riper trumped the techies.
"At one point in the game," as Fred Kaplan of Slate wrote in March 2003, "when Blue's fleet entered the Persian Gulf, he sank some of the ships with suicide-bombers in speed boats. (At that point, the managers stopped the game, ‘refloated' the Blue fleet, and resumed play.)" After three or four days, with the Blue Team in obvious disarray, the game was halted and the rules rescripted. In a quiet protest, Van Riper stepped down as enemy commander."

So there is one out of two reasons why america is flushing itself down the toilet with it's bloody shitheap in the middle east - the military is as dangerously incompetent and stupid as it's commander in chief, or war game outcome or no, the situation over there was planned to turn out this way.
I believe the latter. There's such a laundry list of conscious steps to get to this unholy hell that I can't even begin to list them all. I believe it was deliberate policy to destroy Iraq and to dangerously destabalize the entire region. Why else would you have the most elaborate war gaming in military history and not learn from or give a shit about the outcome?
And then stroll right into the real thing?


Published on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by TomDispatch.com
"Fixing" the War
by Tom Engelhardt