The New U.S.
-British Oil Imperialism

Part 2



     Once the Afghanistan portion of the "war on terrorism" is concluded--with permanent U.S. military bases in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan in place--where then will the Standard Oil-influenced U.S. government look to gain further control over oil in the world? Coincidentally, most of those places are in countries which have been branded as harborers of terrorists: Iraq, Syria, Iran, and South America, among others.

     Bush Sr.'s Gulf War in 1991 resulted in securing access to the huge Rumaila oil field of southern Iraq by expanding the boundaries of Kuwait after the war. This allows Kuwait, controlled by Standard Oil, to double its prewar oil output.

     Iraq, which recently discovered an oil field in its western desert, is widely regarded as having more oil than Saudi Arabia once its deposits are developed. Iraq is producing 3 million barrels a day, funneling most of it to world markets through a United Nations-monitored program that directs the proceeds to food and medicine for the Iraqi people. But Saddam Hussein is still exporting his oil to Syria, which is glad to resell Iraqi oil as if it were Syrian. The United States is one of Syria's biggest customers, because it likes the low sulfur content of Iraqi oil, says Nimrod Raphaeli, publisher of the Middle East Economic News, a Washington-based newsletter. Iraq earns $1.5 billion a year from oil smuggling and oil sales outside UN controls, through Syria, Turkey, and Jordan, as well as by ship down the Gulf.

     Since 9/11/01, the Bush regime has threatened to include Iraq in its "war on terrorism." But any incursion into Iraq will have to deal with the reality that American companies, such as Cheney's Halliburton and G.E. are making billions in Iraq by selling them goods and services. Also, the eradication of Saddam would seriously compromise America's establishment of bases on the Arabian peninsula on the pretext of protecting poor Arab sheikhs against the Iraqi Evil Monster.

Iraq is desperately trying to ingratiate itself with the Gulf Arab Cooperation Council (GCC) members: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to gain support for the lifting of the U.N. sanctions against it. Russia, Iraq's closest U.N. Security Council ally and a major beneficiary of contracts to purchase Iraqi oil and to sell Iraq humanitarian supplies, is demanding "a comprehensive settlement" of the sanctions issue, including steps leading to lifting the military embargo against Iraq. On January 24, 2002, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov made a formal statement that Moscow was opposed to any U.S. military operation against Iraq.

Russia's Lukoil Oil Company and two Russian government agencies have a 23-year contract to develop Iraq's West Qurna oil field. By the terms of the contract, Lukoil gets one half, Iraq one quarter, and the Russian government agencies get one quarter of the oil field's 667 million tons of crude, potentially a $20 billion deal. Iraq still owes Russia at least $8 billion from the old cold war days when Russia armed Iraq, considering it a client state.

But because of United Nations sanctions on Iraq, Lukoil has not pumped a drop from West Qurna since it won drilling rights in 1997. In 2001, Saddam gave Russia $1.3 billion in oil contracts under the United Nations oil-for-food program that allows Iraq to sell oil to buy supplies to help Iraqi civilians. In September, 2001, Saddam announced plans to award Russian companies another $40 billion in contracts as soon as United Nations sanctions were lifted.

In February, 2002, Russia's foreign minister, Igor S. Ivanov, said that Russia and Iraq saw eye to eye on questions of extremism and terrorism and that the American-backed sanctions against Iraq were counterproductive and should be lifted. He then emphasized that Russia solidly opposed "spreading or applying the international antiterror operation to any arbitrarily chosen state, including Iraq."

      Also to be considered in any plans to extend the Standard Oil/Bush oil imperialism is China's growing interest in supporting Middle-East nations in their struggle against the U.S. During Jordanian King Abdallah II's January, 2002 visit to China, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said that China wants stronger ties with Arab countries to help promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Yeah, sure, that's the reason China wants to put its foot into the Middle East, to promote peace. China has supplied military weaponry to Pakistan and is ready to intervene in the Middle East if the Standard Oil/Bush imperialists attempt to attack Iraq as Bush senior did in 1991.

'Civilization Begins at Home' NY World, Nov. 26, 1898      But the Standard Oil/Bush imperialists probably won't concern themselves with the threat of China in the Middle East. They will likely try to seize control of all of Iraq's, Syria's, and Iran's oil. Enter phase two of the war on terrorism: invading countries that Bush says harbor terrorists, with the real intent to seize those countries' energy sources. And since U.S.-British a.k.a. Standard Oil imperialism now--since 9/11--results in the killing of American civilians, we can say that the next phase of the war on terrorism will soon be at a theater near you.

U.S. soldiers will soon be guarding the north-south pipeline as it's built in Afghanistan. U.S. military weaponry  to protect the Cano Limon pipelineIn the meantime, the hypocrisy of Bush's "war on terrorism" is apparent for all to see in Colombia where Bush proposes to spend $98 million to protect Occidental Petroleum's 480-mile-long pipeline which runs from Colombia's second-largest oil field to the Caribbean coast. The $98 million will follow the $1.3 billion the U.S. has already given to Colombia, ostensibly to fight the "drug terrorists." In 2001, the Cano Limon pipeline was closed for 266 days, due to holes blasted in it. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels have blown holes in the pipeline for the past fifteen years, resulting in 2.5 million barrels of spilled oil oozing into Colombia's rivers and streams, about ten times the amount of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

If Bush enters this 38-year old conflict in Colombia which has resulted in 40,000 lives in the past decade, he'll be involving the U.S. in a dead-end power struggle among FARC, the Cuban-inspired National Liberation Army (ELN), ultra-right paramilitary groups and the U.S.-supported fascist government. The excuse for spending U.S. taxpayers' money in Afghanistan was that Bin Laden was responsible for the September 11th attacks. Now the only pretext for spending taxpayers' money in Colombia is to combat the FARC and ELN "terrorists" who only threaten U.S. oil company resources, not American lives.

Invading Colombia follows the British-U.S. oil imperialism pattern: going where the oil is. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Colombian oil production rose from only 100,000 barrels per day in the early 1980s to approximately 844,000 barrels in early 1999 -- an increase of nearly 750 percent. Colombian oil exports to the United States have also risen sharply, and today Colombia is this country's seventh largest supplier of petroleum. Colombia harbors large reserves of untapped oil and natural gas, possibly as much as 20 billion barrels (and Venezuela has 73 billion barrels in proven reserves); hence Colombia--and its oil-rich neighbor countries--become one of many new oil imperialism targets. The United States imports more oil from Colombia and its neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador, than from all of the Persian Gulf.

A revealing feature of the South American "war on terrorism" is that, unlike the Taliban and al Qaeda, the Bush administration is not destroying the numerous South American drug terrorists. Why? Because the Bush administration and its plutocratic controllers are at the center of the $1.5 trillion per year in U.S. cash transactions that result from the international drug trade.

A drug terrorist, like a Carlos Lehder, a Pablo Escobar, an Amado Fuentes, a Matta Ballesteros or a Hank Rohn, constantly has something like ten billion dollars of useless illegal money that he has to put in a cooperative bank or business venture that will launder it for him. The drug lord is then more than happy to loan the laundered money at five percent interest to underwrite the large corporations and crooked politicians throughout the world.

Wall Street and the Bush administration depend on the South American drug barons for hundreds of millions of dollars for corporate income and election campaign finances. For every million dollars of increased sales or increased revenues that a company like Enron realizes from a buyout, the stock equity of the one per cent who control Wall Street, increases twenty to thirty times.

Wall Street embracing drug terrorism

In June, 1999, Colombia's president Andres Pastrana arranged for Richard Grasso, head of the New York Stock Exchange, to meet with Raśl Reyes, the head of FARC finances, in the cocaine-producing DMZ of Colombia. The two were caught in an infamous embrace that saw very little exposure in the media.

Grasso, however, wasn't the only American big-money representative to cozy up to Colombian drug terrorists. Several months after Grasso's visit, two wealthy members of the American Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) captured world headlines by flying to a FARC redoubt in the Colombian jungles to palaver with the terrorists' founder, U.S. corporations embracing drug terrorism70-year-old Manuel Marulanda. After meeting with the communist drug terrorist, James Kimsey, co-founder and chairman emeritus of America Online Inc., and Joseph Robert, head of J.E. Robert Company, a global real estate empire, flew to Bogota to consult with Colombian president Pastrana. On returning to Washington, the CFR representatives said they were convinced that Marulanda and FARC are sincere in their claims of wanting peace and economic reform.

It may seem hard to believe that U.S. banks and corporations would be involved in laundering drug money from South American terrorists. Even the supine media have had to report some of this criminal behavior. A 1983 ABC News "Close up" on drugs and money laundering fingered Citibank, Marine Midland, Chase Manhattan, and most of the 250 banks and branches in Miami. When Ramon Milian Rodriguez, a top accountant and money launderer for the Medellin Cartel, testified before a Senate subcommittee in 1988, he implicated a veritable "Who's Who" in U.S. finance:

Citibank

"In every instance," said Rodriguez, "the banks knew who they were dealing with...." The evidence indicates that Rodriguez is right; the banks often play dumb, but they know what they're doing.

A 1998 investigation of Citibank by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) revealed that Citibank had secretly transferred between $90 million and $100 million of alleged drug money for a Mexican client, using many creative methods to camouflage the movement of the assets.

     Oil imperialism rests on our continued dependence on oil, which not only threatens the future of humanity through prolonged and bloody conflict, but through another even more insidious threat--climate change and ecological collapse.

"The oil industry has destroyed Colombia's forests, as well as the culture and subsistence of its Indigenous Peoples. A major part of the country's territory has been affected by oil-related activities, including colonization. Some Indigenous Peoples, such as the Yariguies, have been exterminated. Others, like the Motilones, the Cofanes and the Guahibos, have been decimated. Nowadays, the U'wa people find their ancestral lands threatened by oil exploitation that could destroy their forests, their lives and their culture.

"The process of territorial occupation by oil companies has been stimulated by Colombian legislation, which has provided large incentives for oil projects. Oil companies are allowed to occupy the five-kilometer area surrounding an oil well, thus displacing Indigenous and farmers' communities and destroying biodiversity-rich forest zones.

"Currently, seven million hectares of Colombian land are occupied by oil operations, and ten million more have been awarded to oil companies over recent years. Thus, 17 million hectares of forested land is currently at the disposition of transnational oil companies."

'Dogwood' by Bierstadt      Oil imperialism flourishes when a supine press cheers and a groveling congress grants unconstitutional authority to the oil-saturated Bush dynasty. Despite our grief and rage over terrorist atrocities, a "war on terrorism" cannot be fought with bombs and missiles alone. Citizens throughout the world must awaken to this new U.S.-British imperialism and reclaim their governments. Once democracy is re-established, we can start a war on homelessness, poverty, and economic and political inequalities, and begin work to achieve ecological sustainability for our planet.

Dr. Norman D. Livergood: updated: 5/18/02 -- original article: 10/29/01

Relevant Links and Updates

Bibliography

  • Rashid, Ahmed, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, 2000
  • Pilger, John, Hidden Agenda
  • Klare, Michael, Resource Wars
  • Yergin, Daniel, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, (1991)
  • Pepe Escobar, The war for Pipelineistan, Asian Times (1/26/02)



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