The conflict with Iraq is about weapons of mass
destruction. It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing
to do with oil. It has nothing to do with the religion (Defense
Minister Donald Rumsfeld November 14, 2020 CBS News)
Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated
differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction
had been found, the (US)deputy defense minister (Paul Wolfowitz)said:
"Let's look at it simply. The most important difference
between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had
no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
(Guardian /UK June 4, 2020)
August 8, 1827.Edwin Drake drills the first oil well, setting
the hydrocarbon age into motion. The 69 feet deep well set off
a frenzy of drilling and land speculation. First a little about
land speculation. The funny side of capitalism. A farmer sold
a plot for one million dollars. It was resold for two million
dollars. Once the frenzy was over, the same plot was sold for
Many went to oil business. Some became millionaires.
And why not? Oil had revolutionized the human life. For the
first time, human beings could light their houses cheaply. Prior
to cheap oil, the working masses were living half their lives
in darkness. The oil discovery consequently let to powerful
auto industry that today produces from motorcycles to jumbo
planes. Plastic industry developed out of the oil discovery.
But oil also revolutionized war. Even worst: oil becomes cause
of wars. Imperialist wars, to be exact
Well, it was not oil that made imperialism to
go for wars. War and imperialism have been concomitants from
the beginning. First, imperialism imposes war on the land it
intends to colonize. Second, it needs war against imperialist
rivals to 'defend' its colony. The Anglo-French wars on Indian
sub-continent are just one such examples.
The discovery of oil and its development, added another element
to the imperialist wars owing to the fact that oil 'revolutionized'
Just one example: At the earlier stage of imperialist
expansion and colonization, navy used to play instrumental role.
Today, air force is vital. This is due to oil. In modern times,
on needs oil (stored solar energy) and machines ( stored human
energy) besides human beings to win a war. Mobility is always
the essence of war strategy. More advance and high tech war
machines the army has, means it has more mobility and an edge
over the rival.
It was this consideration that led British navy
to conversion of coal fired ships to oil ships in the second
decade of the 20th century as the rivalry with Germany grew
stronger. The advantage of oil fired ships was : they could
go faster, were more maneuverable, required less manpower, and
could go further without refueling. World War 1 saw the rise
of tank warfare ( as the antidote to trench warfare), trucks,
and cars. In all these 'machines', the Allies had an edge. They
had more 'machines' in umbers and their 'machines' were more
mobile. At the same time, they had a better access to oil to
run these 'machines.'
In contrast, Germans and Turks had limited access
to oil. Though the German and Turkish strategy was to reach
oil regions but their failure to do so led to their defeat.
It was perhaps this aspect that made British Lord Curzon say:
'The Allied cause had floated to victory upon a wave of oil.'
French Senator, Berenger, was even more clear.
This is how oil historian, Daniel Yergin, describes the scene:
'Speaking in French, Berenger said that oil 'the blood of the
earth' was the blood of victory.....Germany had boasted too
much of its superiority in iron and coal, but it had not taken
sufficient account of our superiority of oil'.
Hitler perhaps had taken into account what Berenger had said.
Hitler captured Romania in 1939. The consideration was supply
of oil. The German plan was to capture Iran in 1941 and Baku
by 1942. When German troops in Stalingrad got bogged down, Field
Marshall Manstein was pleading with Hitler for reinforcements
from the divisions in Caucasus. Hitlers blunt reply was: Until
we get the Baku oil, the war is lost.
He was right. Hitler's tank in Stalingrad did
not have enough fuel to fully enter to war nor to escape the
Russian advances. This was a key element of German defeat there.
The Nazis also sought another route to Baku - through northern
Africa. Led by Rommel, the Germans in northern Africa made startlingly
rapid advances. So rapid was Rommel's advance that the issue
of supply lines (including fuel supplies of course) became a
major problem. At one point, his supply lines were so long that
the fuel trucks were burning more fuel than they could carry
to the troops. Lack of fuel played a key role in Rommel's ultimate
defeat and determined some of his military tactics in the key
battles with British
Back on German soil, the German Luftwaffe (air
force) was almost without fuel. Germany was considerably advanced
of the Allies in the development of jet engines and building
of fighter jets. One little problem: By the last years of the
war, they were without jet fuel. So it was that the Allies completely
dominated the German skies; the Nazis simply lacked the fuel
to send up their planes to contest with the Allied planes. The
famous Pearl Harbour incident was directly related to oil supply
as well. The USA had embargoed oil supply to Japan. It was embargoed
oil ships at Pearl Harbour that Japan attacked.
Much of Japan's rising rivalry with US imperialism
centered around oil. As Japan sought to carve out an empire
in Asia, it needed oil to fuel its shipping industry and of
course a navy to protect the oil supplies. Thus, a naval race
developed with the US. This race was what dictated attack on
Pearl Harbor. Despite the large scale destruction of the US
Navy at Pearl Harbor, the US was still able to disrupt Japanese
fuel supplies through submarine warfare. Oil supplies became
so scarce that Japan turned to developing pine root oil from
Pine Trees in Japan. Entire mountain and hill sides were denuded
for this, but it was nowhere near an adequate substitute for
the energy that had been stored in fossil oil over millions
of years. Fuel supplies were so low that there was not enough
fuel to properly train Japanese air force pilots, nor enough
fuel to send bombers out and back. The "solution"
to this was to send them on a one way trip - the Kamikaze pilots.
Lack of fuel determined naval tactics also. In one case, in
a key battle, a Japanese navy aircraft carrier had to sail directly
towards the battle, rather than take a circuitous and tactically
better route - because it lacked the fuel. The result was a
defeat for the Japanese navy. Furthermore, the Japanese had
to divide their navy in half, partly to protect their dwindling
fuel lines. This prevented a united, combined navy from moving
forward and further contributed to Japanese defeat.
Oil , Imperialism And Wars Today
Does it need any David Kay Report to prove that
recent Iraq's war was meant for Oil? US forces could find Saddam
Hussain hiding nine meters down the eartt from a hole but have
not been able to find any weapons of mass destruction. How come?
All and sundry know the answer.
Wolfowitz clearly told the objective. As cited above, though
Guardian later on took back the story. Press is in chains even
in 21st century in England.
Forget Iraq. Lets talk about the first war of
the 21st century when the most powerful and rich country on
the globe attacked the most poor country on the face of earth.
The objective was of course not to find a dialyses patient with
big beard hiding at Tora Bora caves. It was the oil and gas
rich Central Asian region that US was eyeing on. First time,
in two of the five Central Asian states, the USA has established
military bases. Afghanistan, a country that never was colonized,
today is run by an ex-CIA agent who happens to be an ex employee
of UNOCOL. Needles to repeat that it was US oil concern UNOCOL
that wanted to build a 1,271 km long gas pipeline from Daulatabad
town of Turkmanistan to Multan, Pakistan.This $ 1.9 billion
project was the main reason for bringing Taliban to power in
Afghanistan. The guy, Zalmai Khalizad, who wrote the feasibility
report for the project is now official US representatative in
In Kosovo as late as 1997-98 , the US forces have been fighting
hand in hand with Osama's boys against Sebia. The target of
course was not 'fascist' Milosovich regime. It was again the
First Gulf war imposed on Iraq by Dady Bush.
It was nothing but oil politics by violent means. Or oil business
by all means necessary. It was not just a matter of chance that
when Iraq retreated from Kuwait, the Rumaila oilfiled on the
regional map did not belong to Iraq anymore. It had become a
part of Kuwait now. And the oil rich Kurdish part of Iraq became
a no fly zone.
Not just wars.The imperialism has imposed the
most brutal dictatorships on the masses where it had oil interests.It
has crushed democracies, helped mass murders and executed killings
of popular leaders.
From Mossadeq episode in Iran to coup against
Qasim in Iraq, the reason was oil. Today the most brutal fundamentalist
regimes imposed on Gulf states since decades can only survive
with the military presence of USA in these countries. The purpose
There are two important regions for oil. The
Gulf countries and Latin America. The USA and its imperialist
allies have been playing havoc with both regions for the sake
of oil. The new imperialist strategy for the control of oil
rich regions is simple: craete a problem or 'find' a problem
in the country it intends to colonize. Attack that country in
the name of 'democracy', security, human right whatever. Following
the war, establish a permanent military base in that country.
The recent Iraq war , the Afghan war following S11 events, the
wars in ex-Yugoslavia and first Gulf War, all testify to this
Today, there is US military presence in over 120 out of 189
countries of the world. Kosovo today has the biggest US military
base since Vietnam war. Today it is Gulf in focus with Iraq
as centre of the focus. Next it would be Latin America.
In Latin America, three neighboring countries i.e Colombia,
Venzuella and Ecuador export more oil to the USA than Persian
Gulf. Colombia with almost 40 percent of its land under gurellias
control, Venzuella under Chavez and Ecuador in the grip of social
movements and civil unrest, is a disturbing factor for Washington.
Plan Columbia, coup in Venzuella against Chavez, and shameless
US support to Ecuadorian president all indicate to the likely
future wars in this region.
As the civil war draws to an end in the US in
1860s, the US government decides to forge order from chaos that
was marking the oil industry.
1870. Standard Oil is founded to forge the choas. In leass than
two years, one of the Standard Oil founders, John D Rockefeller,
seizes control of Standard Oil. By 1879, Standard Oil controlled
90 per cent of US refining capacity.
It meant 89 per cent of the world capacity. Such was Rockefeller's
grip that he was able to drive out of business any oil company
that did not want to do business with him. He was able to set
railroad rates. He set prices. In May of 1879, some independent
drillers built the world's first pipeline in order to evade
Standard Oil's grip. Within a few months, Rockefeller had bought
From now on the development of oil industry and development
of capitalism (read os expansion of imperialism)become one and
indivisible. By the turn of century, four global oil monopolies
had emerged including Standard Oil, Births Petroleum, Shell
These global monopolies still control the oil
business though they have gone through mergers, renaming and
It is these oil monopolies that keep the oil prices at exaggerated
high level. It is estimated that it costs one dollar per barrel
to pump oil from the ground. The present cost is over $ 20 per
barrel. Experts beleive that if the market demand is allowed
to operate, the oil prices at the pump may drop by 50 per cent.
Even worse. It is these monopolies that destroy
our environment. These monopolies do not allow investment in
alternative energy sectors. The oil is a reserve that is not
recyclable and is supposed to extinct. There are environmental
friendly energy resources that also will not extinct. But oil
mopolies simply do not let exploit them.
It is these oil monopolies that sell us wars.
But how come these monopolies are so powerful?
Well, US President Franklin D Roosevelt answers:
'The problem with this country is that you cannot win an election
without the oil bloc, and you cannot govern with it.'
It wasn't long ago an oil magnate namely George W Bush Jr. re-watched
White House despite he lost the election.