Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Israel, Iraq, and Oil

We keep hearing from certain quarters that the US invaded Iraq — and is rattling its saber at Iran — purely because Israel is putting the US up to it, and that the invasion had nothing to do with oil. Anyone who knows anything about energy and oil knows that to hold such a belief one has to ignore reality. And that reality is that modern economies (even developing economies) and military forces are nothing without oil, whose production has to all indications peaked. The US neocons and their Democratic brethren see this; the Chinese see it; the Russians see it — all the big players and then some see it. That is why everyone is jockeying for position to secure energy resources and keep them from other players. So it’s even more amazing that the “nothing-to-do-with-oil” school doesn’t see it. Geopolitics has always to an extent been defined by energy, but now energy has become absolute. Anyone with half a brain — although they might not admit it publicly — knows that there is no replacement for oil, the deceptive propaganda about biofuels and hydrogen notwithstanding.

So, what’s Israel after? Let’s look at some numbers. According to the CIA Factbook, in 2006 Israel’s oil production was a measly 100 b/d, while its consumption was a whopping 249,500 b/d. How’s that for starters? It imports 214,000 b/d, and has proven oil reserves of only 4 million barrels, which in today’s world is not even a drop in the bucket. Obviously, without copious oil imports, Israel would be toast — nothing but a patch of land, half desert, with people living in destitution. In particular, its military would be set back 100 years. With virtually no oil of its own, Israel’s situation is as precarious as that of Japan, and it’s in even worse circumstances than the US, which still has some domestic production.

As such, it is not at all surprising that to find that oil might be piped from Iraq to Haifa. Indeed, it is my belief — based on the above-described circumstances and the safe assumption that Israeli leaders know how desperate their situation is — that Israel has had Iraqi oil in its sights from the very beginning, especially considering that this plentiful source is practically next door to Israel. The Israeli leadership would have to be geopolitically illiterate and stupid to overlook this.

So, do you still think that attacking Iraq had nothing to do with oil? As the reader can see, this alone is powerful circumstantial evidence suggesting that Israel goaded the US to attack because of its own desire to slake its desperate energy thirst with conveniently close Iraqi oil. It’s either get the oil, or wither and die.

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