The Biggest Gas Station on Earth
By Mike Whitney
-- -- Oil finished at $72.35 at the close of the
market on Tuesday.
The current price per barrel is just one more damning bit of
evidence that the Iraq war was waged on a mountain of lies. The
oil industry is built on projections; they pride themselves on
knowing where every drop of petroleum is located across the
planet. They knew this day was coming. They knew that the world
was facing shortages and that they’d have to hoodwink the
American people into a war.
They also knew they could count on Bush to mobilize public
opinion behind a smokescreen of fabrications about “mushroom
clouds” and Niger uranium.
Here’s something to think about while President Buffoon goes
through his “conservation” gyrations on national TV.
In 2001, Bush family consigliore, James Baker, presented a
report to the powerful Council on Foreign Relations which found
that “a new era of energy scarcity was upon the world…presenting
fundamental obstacles to continued growth and prosperity.”
(Lawrence Shoup “The CFR Debates Torture” Z Magazine March 2006)
Baker’s conclusions resulted in the formation of the White House
Energy Policy Development Group headed by Dick Cheney. This was
the secretive group of oil executives which divided up Iraq’s
enormous oil reserves before the first bomb was dropped. The
plan was clearly endorsed by American elites at the CFR who must
have known the WMD-scare was a ruse from the very beginning.
The plan to steal Iraq’s oil puts Bush’s farcical “on-air”
burlesque into perspective. US foreign policy is driven by the
oil industry, just as the decision to invade was decided on the
basis of peak oil, not WMD.
Now that gas is topping $3 per gallon, we should consider the
heavy price the American people have paid to ensure that profits
continue to soar for the oil giants.
In 2002, before the war, Saddam was producing 2.6 million
barrels of oil per day even with the debilitating sanctions
still in place. Currently, (given the success of Iraqi
resistance attacks on pipelines) Iraqi oil production has
dropped to a meager 1.1 million barrels per day. In other words,
Bush’s war has taken 1.5 million barrels a day “off line”; the
precise amount the global market requires to reduce prices to
the $45 per barrel range.
Consider this: the United States has spent roughly $300 billion
on the war so far. At 1.1 million barrels per day (396 million
barrels per year) we are currently spending $274 per barrel
which translates into $12 per gallon at the pump.
$12 per gallon!!!
This represents the greatest surcharge on petroleum the world
has ever seen. Think of it as the Bush Gas Tax, a boondoggle
that quadruples the price of gas while killing 2,400 American
servicemen and 100,000 Iraqis in the process.
Bush’s ruminations on “price gouging” are ludicrous. It was Bush
who spearheaded this monstrous rip-off, now he’s pretending to
defend the common man by playing “consumer-advocate”.
His record on conservation is nearly as abysmal as his guru Dick
Cheney who said, “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue
but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound comprehensive
energy policy.” (April 30, 2001)
Cheney is wrong. He saw the Baker report; if he had America’s
interests in mind, he would have initiated an massive
restructuring of the economy focusing attention on conservation,
rapid-transit, hybrid cars, and green technologies. Instead, 5
years later the American public is still lumbering around in
their coal-powered SUVs choking the atmosphere, depleting the
ozone, killing the ecosystem and scalding the planet. The
administration’s inaction has put the country on the path to
The Bush-Cheney plan is predicated on the belief that we can
steal enough oil to keep the economy chugging along while the
other, weaker countries flounder. It must be shocking for him to
see that the Iraqi resistance has other plans.
But, Cheney isn’t alone in his shortsightedness or his
intransigence. The main contenders in the Democratic Party
(Clinton, Kerry, Dodd, Biden, and Lieberman) still support the
ongoing occupation; defending America’s free access to dwindling
oil supplies to the bitter end.
Presidential elections will not resolve this issue, the system
is broken. There are no political solutions. We should be
looking at developments in Nepal to understand how this dilemma
will eventually be decided.
In Iraq, we see a nation that has been utterly destroyed to
service the energy needs of a foreign economy. Hundreds of
thousands of innocent people have been killed, maimed, displaced
or traumatized. The water and soil has been poisoned with
depleted uranium, malnutrition has grown to epidemic levels,
academics and intellectuals have been assassinated by death
squads; museums, graveyards, war memorials and mosques have been
looted or demolished in a wanton act of cultural genocide. The
entire civilization is being decimated to fill the coffers of
oil magnates, plutocrats, and corrupt politicians.
Presently, the finishing touches are being put on an $800
million American embassy in Baghdad, a “fortress-like compound
the size of Vatican City”. It symbolizes America’s determination
to subjugate the Iraqi people and pilfer their resources. It
will be the biggest gas station on earth; a fitting testimonial
to George Bush and the Washington war-mongers.
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