Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lest We Forget

The US/UK alliance continually use smoke and mirrors to spin the motives for the Iraqi war , but this article from Z-Net focusses us once more on the true reason for the war . It is also a reminder that the architect of the war was not necessary Bush and the Neo-cons , but has been an integral part of American and British foreign policy regardless of what administration is in charge . From simple domestic tinkering such as U.S. officials' secretly writing tax laws in the 1950s (so the Saudi royal family could collect more money from the sale of its oil and American companies could write off the added payments on their tax returns) to the overthrow of Iran's Mohammed Mossadegh and the installation of the Shah in the 50s

In 1977 the CIA sounded an alarm on the Soviets' faltering energy prospects in a secret 14-page memo titled "The Impending Soviet Oil Crisis." The agency concluded that the Soviet Union, which had been self-sufficient in oil, was running out and would soon become a major importer. "During the next decade," the report said, "the U.S.S.R. may well find itself not only unable to supply oil to Eastern Europe and the West on the present scale, but also having to compete for OPEC oil for its own use." Two years later, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. President Jimmy Carter, concluding that the Soviet army was passing through Afghanistan to seize the Middle East oil fields .

When President Carter issued this edict, "An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." quickly dubbed the Carter Doctrine, the United States did not actually possess any forces capable of performing this role in the Gulf. To fill this gap, Carter created a new entity, the Rapid Deplyment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), an ad hoc assortment of U.S-based forces designated for possible employment in the Middle East.

When Ronald Reagan replaced Carter in the White House a year later, he turned up the heat. Administration officials insisted that the Soviet Union's interest in Afghanistan was a prelude to a communist takeover of the Middle East oil fields. The CIA report on the Soviets' running out of oil gave the Reagan Administration the ammunition to secure more money from Congress to arm Afghan insurgents and establish a permanent military presence in the Persian Gulf. Soon after Reagan took office, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger announced that it was essential for the U.S. to establish bases in the Persian Gulf region "to act as a deterrent to any Soviet hopes of seizing the oil fields."

In 1983, President Reagan transformed the RDJTF into the Central Command (Centcom), the name it bears today. Centcom exercises command authority over all U.S. combat forces deployed in the greater Persian Gulf area including Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. At present, Centcom is largely preoccupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has never given up its original role of guarding the oil flow from the Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine.

It is easy to blame individuals and personalities when the true culprit is the Capitalist system .

The report that Russia was running out of oil was very much a "failure of intelligence" , more so than the pretend intelligence failures to determine in Iraq possessed WMDs or not . Soviet oil production was trailing off. But the Soviets were not running out of oil. Nor would they become dependent on imports. Rather, they were using primitive technology and needed to improve infrastructure . Russia ships 3 million bbl. a day to other countries, including the U.S. make investments in their infrastructure. In fact, Russia today is the world's second largest oil producer .

No comments: