Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chaos in Iraq? No problem as long as those profit margins go up, up, up!

This is a theme that needs to be repeated as often as possible, in the faint hope that enough folks get it. Your government does not care about how many people are killed and maimed in Iraq. Your government does not care if the infrastructure in Iraq ever gets rebuilt, or if there is some form of "democracy". If anything, there's good reason to believe that any form of genuine democracy is the very last thing your government would want (if the CPA's response to municipal elections back in 2003 is any indication). All that matters is the bottom line:
As the British government's top advisor revealed this week in a remarkably candid interview with the Observer, Western business leaders don't care how many Iraqis die -- or who kills them -- just as long as their own profits can be guaranteed. It is the oil law -- not civil war, sectarian strife, or the cynical U.S. "surge" policy of arming all sides to guarantee continuing conflict -- that is holding up Western investment.

That's the word from Michael Wareing, chief executive of the multinational consultancy firm KPMG. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has put Wareing in charge of the Basra Development Commission, the Big Business quango tasked with developing southern Iraq -- where British forces once held sway, but now hide away in a remote enclave while Shiite militias and criminal gangs battle for control of the lucrative region.

Wareing told the paper that security in the area "was no longer an issue for investors." After all, he said, you will often find a spot of bother amongst the dusky peoples who have unaccountably found themselves living on top of America and Britain's oil:
"If you look at many other economies in the world, particularly the oil-rich economies, many of these places are quite challenging places in which to do business," he said. "Frankly, if you can successfully operate in the Niger Delta, that is a very different benchmark from imagining that Basra needs to be like London or Paris."
Indeed. You don't have to bring the savages up to the level of white folks in order to get in there and grab their oil. (And certainly not to the level of London or Paris! The very idea!) Again, Wareing is quite frank on this point:
Iraq's parliament has yet to pass a hydrocarbon law setting out the terms oil companies will operate on and how profits will be split. "My sense is that many of the oil companies are very eager to come in now, and actually what they're waiting for is the hydrocarbon law to be passed and various projects to be signed off. That is what is causing them to pause, rather than the security position," he said.
And as Chris Floyd warned a last year (in what he refers as a mashup of previous articles spanning several years on the topic):
In a world of dwindling petroleum resources, those who control large reserves of cheaply-produced oil will reap unimaginable profits – and command the heights of the global economy. It's not just about profit, of course; control of such resources would offer tremendous strategic advantages to anyone who was interested in "full spectrum domination" of world affairs, which the Bush-Cheney faction and their outriders among the neocons and the "national greatness" fanatics have openly sought for years. With its twin engines of corporate greed and military empire, the war in Iraq is a marriage made in Valhalla.

And this unholy union is what Bush is really talking about when he talks about "victory." This is the reason for so much of the drift and dithering and chaos and incompetence of the occupation: Bush and his cohorts don't really care what happens on the ground in Iraq – they care about what comes out of the ground. The end – profit and dominion – justifies any means. What happens to the human beings caught up in the war is of no ultimate importance; the game is worth any number of broken candles.

And in plain point of fact, the Bush-Cheney faction – and the elite interests they represent – has already won the war in Iraq...They've won even if Iraq collapses into perpetual anarchy, or becomes an extremist religious state; they've won even if the whole region goes up in flames, and terrorism flares to unprecedented heights – because this will just mean more war-profiteering, more fear-profiteering. And yes, they've won even if they lose their majority [in November 2006] or the presidency in 2008, because war and fear will still fill their coffers, buying them continuing influence and power as they bide their time through another interregnum of a Democratic "centrist" – who will, at best, only nibble at the edges of the militarist state – until they are back in the saddle again. The only way they can lose the Iraq War is if they are actually arrested and imprisoned for their war crimes. And you know and I know that's not going to happen.

So Bush's confident strut, his incessant upbeat pronouncements about the war, his complacent smirks, his callous indifference to the unspeakable horror he has unleashed in Iraq – these are not the hallmarks of self-delusion, or willful ignorance, or a disassociation from reality. He and his accomplices know full well what the reality is – and they like it.
The reality looks great to Bu$hCo and cronies. The carnage they've left behind will likely not touch them. Yeah, there will be the occasional spectacle of one of them being shepherded off to an awaiting helicopter to avoid the gendarmes in some European country that's issued an arrest warrant. The war criminals tend to get away with it except under very extraordinary circumstances. It would take a catastrophe of epic proportions - some sort of spectacular and sudden economic and military collapse - and some outside force or forces imposing some form of justice against the Bush/Cheney gang (including their CEO buddies) to do the trick. I wouldn't rule that scenario out. I just wouldn't bet the ranch on it either. Under what we will consider "normal" circumstances, there is every reason to believe that any sort of internal solution, such as impeachment, will never even be attempted. The odds are quite favorable that the Bush/Cheney gang will be dead or practically dead before any sort of criminal proceedings even threaten to touch them, if ever. In the meantime, they can live secure in their luxuriously appointed compounds while the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

No matter what slogans your politicians utter during this year's election campaign silliness, there will be no "change" from the status quo. More and "better" Democrats in Congress will be meaningless. A Democrat in the White House? Yeah, there might be a dime's worth of difference between, say Obama or Clinton II and McCain; but a dime ain't worth much. I really don't care who you wish to support at this point. If it's one of the figureheads from the two corporate parties, I'll put it bluntly: I don't want to know. These clowns won't change anything, because deep down they really do not want to. What "change" actually occurred after November 2006? Got an answer for me? I didn't think so.

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