US Eyeing IRAQ Oil

Manila Bulletin, February 3, 2003 | Go to article overview
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US Eyeing IRAQ Oil

No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation.

Woodrow Wilson

THE truth of the matter is that there are now a good number of nations with nuclear capability, and sufficient technological expertise to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD), in particular deadly chemical and biological weapons of mass fallout.

Needless to say, the leaders in these fields of inhuman and cruel arsenal of mass devastation are no other than the United States, Israel, Britain and Russia, and the others, in differing degrees of aggressiveness and sophistication, are Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Australia, and breakaway republics from the former Soviet Empire. Without exception, they are all armed to the teeth.

The main difference between them is perception.

Who are the good guys, and who are the bad hombres in the eye of the beholder?

Having said that, whats so special about Iraq that makes that nation, in the eyes of US President George W. Bush, the mother of all evils?

First, Iraq is not only rich in oil but is also generously washed and fed by the mighty Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that produced the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World, the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Thus, if the Iraqi people under the despotic rule of President Saddam Hussein are now suffering from underdevelopment, food shortages and economic hardship, these adversities have been partly brought about by the adverse effects of the American economic sanctions imposed on Iraq after the Gulf War in spite of the fact that the United States supported Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War of the Nineteen-eighties, and in favor of Kuwait in the Gulf War vs Iraq of the 1990s.

All these beg the question: What is the national interest of the United States in these conflicts, and what personal obsession is it that drives President George W. Bush towards this increasingly unpopular and uncertain adventure and brinkmanship?

The answer is oil, and the capture of Iraq oilfields, and the continuous presence and hegemony of the United States in the Persian Gulf.

Second, it has been estimated by some analysts, notably by Shibley Telhami and Fiona Hill, that oil accounts for 40 percent of global energy consumption, and the consumption trends are expected to continue till 2020, with most of the supply originating from the Persian Gulf in spite of increasing output from the former Soviet republics and accelerated oil exploration all over the world.

That is, more than 60 percent of world oil deposits are found in and around the Persian Gulf.

Further, Saudi Arabia accounts for 25 percent of total global reserves, with Iraq alone accounting for 11 percent, while Iran, Kuwait and the Emirates combined only account for 9 percent of worlds total reserves.

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