It’s not about Oil Stupid

by MaxPower

Ask anyone on the street, what’s the upcoming war with Iraq about? Most people in liberal minded countries will say “oil”, you’ll get some “weapons of mass destruction” or “Dubya’s ego” but mainly it’ll be oil.

That’s because it is a popular rumour spread by the media. Every agency from CNN to the BBC to the CBC here in Canada has run some stories about the conflict for oil. That kind of stuff gets ingrained in most people’s minds because they don’t pay very much attention to the guts of the article but rather are attracted to flashy headlines.

It’s akin to people crying out in a shrill voice just like Reverend Lovejoy’s wife on the ‘Simpson’s’ “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” That’s the other popular myth circulating, when the US goes in, tens of thousands of children will die, just like that – boom dead children laying everything. Huge casualties all played out by the cruel and indifferent US of A and their lackeys the UK and the UN. I hear numbers bandied about all the time about hundreds of thousands of children dead because of UN sanctions since 1991. But why is that the Americans fault? Last time I looked the continued sanctions of Iraq passed in the UN with an overwhelming majority. The UN even allows Iraq to export oil but only if the money goes to food and medicine for all those children, but who’s fooling who.

If you want cruel and indifferent you’ve got to look at old Saddam himself. Since Saddam took power 23 years ago, GDP per capita of Iraq has dropped 90%. That means people are living on 90% less income now than in the late 70’s. Where has the money from all that oil gone? To the dozens of huge palaces to the great Saddam and to highways to nowhere (no one can afford cars either with the 90% drop in income) and crappy old Russian tanks. In the first Gulf War the US destroyed 2000 Iraqi tanks and didn’t lose ONE of their own tanks. Not one. Not even from accidentally driving into a pit or sand dune. Now that’s a waste of cash. How much medicine has made it to the children? Who knows – human rights organizations and independent UN health inspectors are not allowed to operate in the country.

Regardless, IF and I state again IF the US is going to war over the economics of oil, then they should hire some new economists. It just doesn’t make sense. The expense of shipping over 150,000 troops to the Middle East for a couple years, plus all of the jet fuel expenditures, bombs used etc, will cost upwards of a trillion dollars over 2 years. Now I don’t care how cheap oil will be after the war, it won’t recoup those costs. Plus, if you believe the whole psuedo-enviropop crap about Bush only doing things for his buds in the oil industry in Texas think about this. War in Iraq means short-term high oil prices followed by a glut of Mideast oil flooding the market, which means low profits at big US oil companies. No one wants too much oil, least of all the US oil producers who produce oil at a higher cost than producers in the Mideast.

And even then, if the US really, really wanted oil, why not stay in the neighbourhood? Venezuela – which is having huge protests and civil unrest right now – has sustainable oil production capacity of 2.69 million barrels per day, while Iraq has capacity of 2.80 million barrels a day, but Iraq hasn’t been producing more than 2.4 MMbpd since 1997. Canada by comparison produces 2.9 million barrels per day and Mexico 3.9 million barrels per day. So lets travel halfway around the world to fight a war in a country in which the population will be undoubtedly hostile, the world opinion will be against us and there is a risk of a drawn out protracted period of high crude oil prices to crush the economy just as it emerges from a recession. Right. Come on, the Americans are nothing if not rational.

The two countries that border the US produce almost three times as much oil as Iraq and a third – Venezuela – which the US could enter to ‘restore peace’ produces just as much as Iraq. Why get into the whole Gulf War thing again?

Whatever the reason is behind the upcoming war with Iraq – its not oil. Don’t believe everything the popular media has to say on the issue.

  • It’s not about Oil Stupid
  • by MaxPower
  • Published on February 1st, 2003

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