The Bush Era has been good for Big Oil, and vice versa. Record oil profits are the reward for the massive cash infusions Big Oil pumped into Republican coffers - $27 million in 2000 alone – and Congress’ limp-wristed response to voters’ complaints is customary.
In case you haven’t figured this out yet, the ultimate goal of our mid-east misadventure is the vast, untapped ocean of oil that allegedly lays like a waiting virgin beneath the Caspian Sea. Mini-Mussolinis like this guy and this guy and this guy can’t wait to pimp their constituents and natural resources to these overpaid johns. All that stands in their way is access to international shipping lanes.
The first attempt to bring Caspian Sea oil to market began in the early ‘90s. Unocal led a multinational consortium of public-private entities called CentGas, which was determined to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to the Pakistani port city of Gwadar.
Desire for stability among Afghanistan’s bickering factions triggered CentGas’ support of the Taliban. When, in 1998, the Taliban balked at the proposed financial arrangements, CentGas pulled out of the deal. In repeated public statements, Unocal blamed the Taliban’s poor treatment of women for the deal’s failure, but the real reason it collapsed is that the Taliban wanted more money for the many services they would be providing, including protecting the pipeline from northern warlords. In 2000, President Bush tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the deal. Shortly thereafter, oil industry support shifted to the so-called “Northern Alliance.”
At the same time, Big Oil turned its greedy eyes to Iraq, which had been weakened by years of sanctions and constant harassment from American and British warplanes. The US and British invasion and subsequent manipulation of ethnic rivalry has produced a power vacuum soon to be filled by a feudal corporate dictatorship disguised as democracy. A succession of pseudo-democratic puppet governments will be the public face of a Halliburton-led borg collective whose goal is the complete assimilation of the Mid-east, or at least the oil-rich portions thereof.
Next stop, Iran.
Plans for the inevitable invasion of Iran have been accelerated due to Big Oil’s fear of losing its grip on Congress in the November mid-term elections. Military preparations for an Iran attack are already in place; all that remains to be done is the production of an adequate bullshit story to justify the action. Be prepared for another massive terrorist attack designed to galvanize public support for military action against Iran. The WMD meme probably won’t work twice – even on America’s bovine press.
Of course, there’s nothing new in any of this. America has a long, long history of incidents in which powerful corporate interests duped the public into supporting nefarious foreign policy. Click here to learn how Panama was created by Wall Street, and here to learn how Big Oil toppled the democratically elected government if Iran once before.
President Eisenhower recognized the threat posed by Big Oil many years ago, but he underestimated their power, writing in a letter to his brother, “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Unfortunately, as Ike was writing this, his friends the Dulles Brothers were doing Big Oil’s bidding in Iran and Big Fruit's in Guatemala. But if Ike was right, we won’t be hearing much from the Big Oil Republicans after 2008.
If the last three elections are any indication, however, Diebold, ES&S, GE and Fox have more to do with choosing our leadership than do the voters. But that’s a discussion for another post.