Iraq and world oil strategy
Moeraki (Otago) resident Stan Lusby suggests the real reasons for another war in the Gulf. (See also The Death of the Oil Economy on this site.)
A version of the article on this page was printed (under a different headline) in the Otago Daily Times of January 29, 2003.
I spent years exploring for oil. It will help if you look at a modern world atlas as you read this item
The basin between Argentina and the Falkland Islands is considered to be potentially highly productive. Under the medianline boundary setting, British oil interests would get half. Also, the loss of the Falklands could have seen the demise of British control of the wedge of territory to the South Pole, known as the Falkland Islands Dependency. The suffering in the Falkland Islands War went the way of the Argentinian poor.
At the breakup of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, the British and French oil interests could not plausibly take over Iraq, so they formed a buffer state, which had never existed before, called Kuwait. I have carried out unauthorized seismic oil exploration, as the navigator of an American oil exploration vessel, up some of the slippery mud flats that were left as the coastline of Iraq. Nowhere could you possibly build a supertanker port. Just prior to the outbreak of the first (for the second now seems certain) Gulf War, Kuwait leased a hard rock island to Iraq for such a purpose. British, French and American oil interests objected. Kuwait reneged.
Now, take a look in your atlas at areas with names like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. A great oil basin of dollars of Texas oil money has been poured into exploration of this region, but to get that oil out, a pipeline has to reach a new port on the coast of friendly Pakistan. It cannot go through unfriendly Iran, so an excuse had to be found to control the only available route, and that meant war with Afghanistan.
Got the picture? Not quite, for when those little boats in the Gulf were shooting up supertankers some years ago, an Americanled force knocked out all of Iran's offshore oil production platforms, but the news never made the world's press. This did, however, take a lot of Iran's oil off the world market. Thinly disguised American companies have rebuilt them. If Iranian, and more particularly, Iraqi oil gets back, there wll be a world oil glut, for which the losers will be from Texas. The new oil found in Uzbekhistan is less efficiently productive, and that pipeline has not been built yet! It is, therefore, essential that the poor of Iraq suffer, yet again. Now have you got the picture? An atlas is like an extension of our eyes when it comes to understanding the real reasons for war.
Please remember, also, that the Germans did not fight the British; they fought Winston Churchill. In the same way, the British and their allies fought Hitler. There are better ways of getting at Saddam Hussein, if that is all it takes. It is, however, so much easier for the propaganda machine to build up hatred against one man if control of territory and resources is the real objective.
As a Quaker, I am dedicated to peace and justice. What value is my Quaker witness to my fellow New Zealanders at this time in world history?