Why there is no exit plan from Iraq…

“There is to be no withdrawal from Iraq, just as there has been no withdrawal from hundreds of places around the world that are outposts of the American empire. As UC San Diego professor emeritus Chalmers Johnson put it, “One of the reasons we had no exit plan from Iraq is that we didn’t intend to leave.”

The United States maintains 737 military bases in 130 countries across the globe. They exist for the purpose of defending the economic interests of the United States, what is euphemistically called “national security.” In order to secure favorable access to Iraq’s vast reserves of light crude, the United States is spending billions on the construction of at least five large permanent military bases throughout that country.”

The rest of the story is here. It points out that the new oil law cedes control of Iraq’s oil reserves to western oil conglomerates for thirty years. If you believe that we are close to an all-time peak in oil production, you’ll note that this leaves the USA in control of the second-largest oil reserves in the world long past the peak, and we don’t give up control until we’ve extracted every last bit of profitable hydrocarbons out of there. I’m sure the Iraqi people would be thrilled to regain control over a bunch of depleted fields and heavy, sour crude. We may pull out of Baghdad and other large population centers while the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds wrestle for political dominance, but whomever comes out on top will have to deal with a long-term US Military presence while we supervise and safeguard the processing of Iraq’s oil reserves.

Like it or not, this is the reality of the situtation over there, and it’s why the Democratic leadership in Washington D.C. appear to be dithering and delaying on troop pullout timetables and the like. We’ll see plenty of symbolic gestures like the non-binding timetable in the recently-vetoed war funding bill, but I doubt we’ll see any real talk about a true pullout. More likely it will be ‘restructuring’ or ‘redeployment’ to these large military bases in the hinterlands of Iraq, where we’ll be relatively safe from the chaos we’ve helped cause.

Large gas-guzzling SUV’s with “Support Our Troops” magnets plastered on them are a mobile oxymoron.


8 Responses to Why there is no exit plan from Iraq…

  1. Jim says:

    This article generally sums up my opinions on the matter:

  2. Funny you should mention Greg Palast, Jim. He doesn’t think Peak Oil is a valid phenomena—see Richard Heinberg’s open letter to Greg over on EB.

  3. Bart says:

    Yeah, I like a lot of Palast’s work, but find his views on peak oil interesting… There are plenty of folks who dispute the theory, of course, but if you believe the US went into Iraq to control the oil, what’s the point if there’s plenty of the stuff left?

    Another alternative media guy with similar views on peak oil is Alex Jones. He sees the NWO behind every move government makes, and both peak oil and climate change are lumped in with that as government-fabricated scams to control people.

  4. Jim says:

    From what I gather from Palast regarding PO, he distinguishes between a peak in oil production, and a peak in cheap oil. It’s a moot point if you ask me. But it does explain his concept of the war in Iraq, which may well be the last of the cheap oil.

  5. Bart says:

    Jared: Your comment got caught in the spam filter for some reason and it got blown away while I was cleaning up things. I thought I’d marked it non-spam, but it went away anyway.

    I apologize, and please repost if you like. Not sure why you got caught in the first place…

  6. Bart says:

    Here’s Jared’s comment…

    I’m fairly certain that Greg Palast investigated the monopolization of utilities in one or another of his books. The one that I remember touching on that subject is “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”. Highly informative.

  7. Rebecca says:

    This blank blankety blank blank fing war just got a whole lot more real for me today. My kid brother is going to Iraq. What a nice way to get an education.

  8. Bart says:

    Sorry to hear it… I have a feeling a lot more Americans will be heading over there before this thing ends… As the economy goes south, the military will be one of those vocations that are always hiring. Sad, but true.

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