By the time you read this, the battle for Baghdad may be over for all practical purposes. The question that remains is: who won?
That may seem silly or superfluous to many, but that view overlooks the fact that this conflict is not just military, it is much more economical and political.
The currents set in motion by this conquest dictate that the U.S. must continue on a series of military missions to occupy a number of Arab states in order to control the last remaining major oil reserves on this planet.
We have crossed the line that threatens to unleash a perfect storm that will devastate not only the Mideast, but Western civilization as well.
The Dutch have a vastly different view of this adventure than U.S. media portray. Journalist Willem Oltmans was a member of the Dutch underground and fought the Nazis in World War II. He bluntly declares: Bush is an idiot and he has been suckered by Russia, Germany, France and China.
Why does he say that? He thinks those powers have walked us into a long-term trap that will diminish our worldwide respect and alliances.
George W. Bush and his little tribe of neoconservatives are gambling on being able in the near future to bring back oil at $15-$20 a barrel, thus bailing out the faltering U.S. economy and allowing Americans to continue enjoying their high consumption lifestyle. The neoconservatives think the U.S must secure and remake the Mideast and central Asia governments by any means possible.
Mike Ruppert, publisher of From The Wilderness Publications, puts it this way: While the blood is being shed, the real battle will be economic and politicalthe dollar vs. the Euro; images of bombs and tanks vs. images of reason, caution and diplomacy. In the meantime, the U.S. economy has placed all its hopes and stability on a bonanza of cheap oil which careful analysis shows is more fantasy than probable outcome.
As geologist Dale A. Pfeiffer notes, it is not how much oil is in the ground, but how much can you get to market? Back in January, the British newspaper The Guardian revealed the U.S. was buying more than 1 million barrels of oil a day from Iraq. Of course, thats gone now, and some experts estimate that about 2 million barrels per day has been removed from the world market. We import 10 million barrels from all parts of the world.
Here is the key fact behind all of this: the world is using 1 billion barrels of oil every 12 days. The remaining oil may last 30 years if were very lucky, but there is no new source of oil being found.
With Iraqi oil shut off because of war, where will we get the needed difference, and what will be the price tag? Venezuela is against us because of our attempts to influence their domestic politics. Venezuela and Mexico have passed peak production and will become increasingly protective of their remaining reserves.
Russian oil will not be easy to come by either. Russian oil companies have probably been ruled out of collecting on $40 billion worth of new oil contracts with Iraq, plus an $8 billion debt the Iraqis owe them.
Heres a blowback scenario: Russia likely will continue giving Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and the remnants of the Saddam regime arms and technical aid; France may share intelligence; China can provide tactical advice and Germany can offer also intelligence services. All of them can, by various means, foster trouble in oil-producing regions around the world. When we point to them as the cause, they will simply laugh and deny it.
As Mike Ruppert says, the trap is closing on the U.S. We have been suckered by some skillful diplomatic maneuvering, and Bush took the bait. Back to oil for a moment, whats driving the big oil companies is the survival instinct. The rate of discovery of new sources has been falling since the 1960s when 47 billion barrels were found, mostly in the Mideast.
Then it dropped to 35 billion barrels, then to 24 billion in the 1980s and lower still in the 1990s. African finds yielded only 14 billion barrels. In this country we use 20 million barrels a day and the rate is rising. We import 60 percent of that total.
North Sea oil production is down 17 percent in three years, according to a leading oil geologist. Britain, he said, will soon be a net importer. Norway says its North Sea production will be cut in two in the next 10 years. Colombias production has passed its zenith. This is the time of Peak Oil. Aside from the Iraqi fields, oil production is headed downward.
Speaking of Iraqs oil, experts calculate it is about enough to supply the worlds needs for four years. In the interim, President Bush has decided to dip into our strategic reserves; thats about enough to carry us for 70 days.
Yes, I know, there are those who say this is not about oil, but our military planners put major stress on seizing the oilfields before they could be damaged.
Still, even if we gain all the Iraqi fields, they have been harmed by 12 years of sanctions and inattention. Bringing them up to higher production will cost many thousands of dollars and take several years to achieve. The U.S., of necessity, will spend every nickel on getting the oil, leaving the surviving Iraqis to live amid a pestilential, rubble-strewn environment. Cant happen, you say? The Bush budget provides not a single dollar for nation building aid to Afghanistan. Iraq is supposed to do that itself with its oil revenues.
Iraqi oil wont furnish enough money to pay for rebuilding the country, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
How much will this conflict cost us? Cautious estimates are that it will hit taxpayers with a tab between $200 billion and $300 billion. If, on top of that, a one-two punch of sharp price spikes for oil and natural gas occurs, the American economy is down the tubes, along with the neoconservative dreams of empire.
The national debt stands at $6.4 trillion and Bush plans to crank it even higher. Ether Zone columnist Ed Henry says that means the feds cant borrow any more money because weve hit the debt ceiling. Few options exist.
The dollar is down about 20 percent against other currencies in six months time. We have a record number of bankruptcies and a record number of foreclosures, but the president wants to give the wealthy a huge tax break.
All this red ink is pouring while our elderly are, in many cases, unable to afford medicines and health care; while our infrastructure, schools, highways and railroads deteriorate for lack of money; while the American quality of life sinks ; while our industry continues to close plants and layoff workers; and while our states and cities struggle to find ways to still provide services.
Our crazy mixture of corporate fascism, media spin and economic decay, loony-tunes political correctness and fear tactics cant be maintained much longer. The economic system is on the brink of total collapse.
Reportedly, the real powers that be are indicating they are not happy with the performance of G.W. Bush and company. There are signs a major political revolt is brewing. Intelligence agencies have been leaking documents exposing the administration as lying about evidence of Iraqi wrongdoing.
Sen. John Jay Rockefeller has called for an investigation of Bush, specifically the forged documents purporting to show Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger. That was a move that sounded like a thunderclap in the corridors of Washington power. It may become the Watergate of this century. The Rockefellers are the family that launched the Bush clan to its present prominence.
These are people who have the power to remove the Bush administration, and the wheels are already turning. There are quiet meetings in Washington between certain lawyers and congressmen to discuss impeachment of the president. It wont be for sexual misconduct, either.
And the heavy artillery of the press, The Washington Post and the New York Times have begun to speak openly about impeachment. Before long, that topic may appear on national television and grow in voice.
The push very well may come after Bush has secured the Iraqi oil fields, gotten us into a never-ending World War III, crippled the U.N, and destroyed this countrys credibility and international standing.