This from an interview with Noam Chomsky featured on Alternet:
Originally the British and secondarily the French had dominated it, but after the Second World War, it’s been a U.S. preserve. That’s been an axiom of U.S. foreign policy, that it must control Middle East energy resources. It is not a matter of access as people often say. Once the oil is on the seas it goes anywhere. In fact if the United States used no Middle East oil, it’d have the same policies. If we went on solar energy tomorrow, it’d keep the same policies. Just look at the internal record, or the logic of it, the issue has always been control. Control is the source of strategic power.
The ramifacations of this idea is of course that no matter how many alternative sources of energy we cooked up, we’d still be getting bondoogled in Middle Eastern affairs. These skirmishes we find ourselves in as a nation are not “blood for oil” but part of a long term strategy. The supporting documents — smoking guns, really — are out there. Start with that infamous New American Century paper and go from there. Shame all you smart people who were 100 to 85% behind our invasion and occupation of Iraq didn’t bother to read them. At least you can be seen vindicated in one respect, the administration wasn’t obfuscating to protect oil interests per se. A small victory. Still, you can’t have control of the Middle East and no control of the oil there, so . . . well back to one.
But, as Chomsky likes to say in his old age, this should all be obvious to you. We’re interested in protecting those Middle East interests not to line our own industry’s pockets so much, but to keep the competition from lining theirs. It’s perhaps an odd policy to keep up, what with our largest competetor one of our strongest (when it suits them) allies and China kinda sorta wanting to play nice.
Or perhaps not. All the sudden we’ve got that kid Hugo Chavez, with his eeeveeelll moving Venezuela, and the rest of South America, leftward. The way the media refers to this man you’d think he’d threatened to eat the first born of every American citizen. Well, he might think Bush is the devil or whatever, but he knows how to hit where it hurts. Chavez has decreed he will nationalize oil projects in Venezuela’s richest oil region. He’s only taking a 60/40 split, still a controlling interest (he’s already in joint ventures with companies operating in other regions, for which those companies have been compensated). Now, gee, I wonder why newspapers owned by major corporations with financial interests in oil would print bad things about Chavez? I wonder why we think control of the Middle East remains such a dominant concern of our foreign policy?
Now, as we say in the film bizness, pull back to a wide shot. Is it me or does it appear is that there are little globs of countries getting together and forming bonds, increasing their region’s competitiveness with the US? First we had the EU, which was a long time comming. Now it appears that South America is moving toward a regional uniformity/union of some kind with a similar bent, lead, if he can survive the next round of US sponsored revolutions, by Chavez. What about the rest of the world?
I don’t know if the Asian/Pacific rim region can ever get over the past insults to accomplish such unity. North Korea is the obvious impediment, however, the Japanese PM’s just wont get their stories straight about war crimes and the Yasukuni Shrine. With the LDP continually propped up by the US, yakuza corruption, and general apathy, I don’t know when or if that issue will ever be resolved between Japan, Korea, and China (the LDP is the long standing ruling political party in Japan, staunchly conservative and enjoying the support of many rich old nationalist minded Japanese). I think it’s clearly in Japan’s interest to move on on this point and make nice with China before they get run over economically, but well you know we just love anime and pantyless school girls so they can enjoy continued US support, why worry about China?
And back to one. Someone somewhere in the Middle East is trying to form some kind of EU like democracy friendly union. This person or persons would like nothing more than an end to hostilities, bombings, assassinations, rock throwing, and general disruptions. They would like a place where everyone could just all chill and count ducets, FABA, with no constant rattle of American sabres. Surely we Americans could get behind that, sos we wouldn’t have to send kids who just want college tuition into battle. But then, if that happened, we wouldn’t have control of the region anymore . . .