You Are Here: Home » Media » Why is Democracy Now shielding “war for oil” against reality?

Why is Democracy Now shielding “war for oil” against reality?

By M. Idrees - 12/15/09

In its headlines for December 14, Democracy Now followed the report on Blair’s confession about his committment to regime change in Iraq regardless of the absence of WMDs, with this:

Iraq Signs Oil Deals with 10 Foreign Companies

Blair’s comments come just as Iraq has signed a series of major oil deals. A two-day auction ended Saturday with ten foreign companies winning access to Iraq’s massive reserves. The oil giant Royal Dutch Shell won the rights to the Manjoon oilfield near Basra, one of the world’s largest. The US-based Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum also submitted winning bids.

The wording is careful: it appears to suggest a connection between what Blair said and the Iraqi oil contracts. The war in other words was for oil. That is a remrkable conclusion to draw from news about an auction in which US companies were the big losers (hence DN’s careful choice of the words ‘foreign companies’). Unless Democracy Now is suggesting that the US waged a war for Russia, Norway and China — biggest winners in the auction — it is not clear why it continues to insist on the discredited “war for oil” argument? Why is it so difficult to admit who actually conceived the war?

But some could argue that … continue

Print Friendly

About The Author

Number of Entries : 22
  • HenryW

    I’m not sure why it isn’t obvious that the motivation for war was at least in part the promise of oil contracts for Bush buddies. The other huge part was to drive up the price of fuel and many corporations, including Exxon, made all time record profits. That money is already stolen.

    The Zionist argument is certainly true at least in part given some of the actual personalities in the Neo-conservative movement, but the theory also rests on a bedrock of “New World Order” antisemitism which ignores the fact that the big profiteers have been multinational corporations like Exxon and Shell and not the State or people of Israel.

  • atheo


    I’m not sure why it isn’t obvious that the motivation for war was at least in part the promise of oil contracts for Bush buddies.”

    The reason it’s not obvious is because it simply never happened and even if it had the magnitude of the possible take would not be relevant anyhow.

    Short term gains from an oil price spike that resulted partly from disruption of global production were fleeting, long term US oil firms have seen their share of the industry in the M.E. crater. Big oil has taken a huge loss long term due to the US foreign policies directed by Israel. For decades they have been restricted from doing business in the M.E. through various sanctions applied against Iraq, Iran, Sudan, or Libya. Whatever enemy Israel wants to have leverage over or where ever Palestinians have been harbored.

    It seems that the notion that Big Oil runs US policy is just “obvious” in your filtered view, not in historic reality.

    Your further suggestion that “personalities” including “Bush” explain US policy, borders on simple mindedness unless it is just an attempt to distract or redirect the question.

  • HenryW

    Bush holds hands with Saudi Princes. He offerered Blair a position with the Carlyle group. You think his allies are limited to multinational corporations supposedly based in the US? Ridiculous.

    You are so stuck on nationality that you fail to see the picture. These silly ethnic/national distinctions mean little.

    Why is this auction taking place at all? Who has the right to auction this asset away to a Dutch/Malaysian multinational energy conglomerate?

    The “short term spike” did indeed shatter records despite your attempts to play that fact down. 45.2 billion just in profit just last year.

    Did Israeli politicians use the Iraq war as cover to perpetrate more violence against Palestinians? Sure. Did prominent Jews advocate the war in the US because they hate Muslims? Sure, many did.

    But if you follow the actual money interest, these are not in the Palestinian territories. The US engines of war were pointed at Iraq not to serve Israel, but to profit multinational oil conglomerates.

    Once the extent of Iraq’s oil wealth was discovered, the multinationals had Saddam removed because they considered themselves more worthy thieves than he was.

  • HenryW

    Not to mention the fact that only fields in the south were even bid on, despite the fact that others were offered, and that the bids generally were fewer and lower than the Iraqis had hoped for. As questions about Iraq’s “security” persist, many companies aren’t getting involved yet. It would also have made huge headlines if all the American energy companies had bought up all of Iraq’s oil on one day.

  • atheo


    “Bush holding hands with Saudis” is your explanation for the US invasion of Iraq? Please try to formulate a coherent argument.

    Big oil’s global profits during one year equaled a month’s occupation costs and this to you was the motive behind the six year occupation?

    Sorry that just wont fly.

    My, my… all this conjecture to avoid facing the well documented paper and ink facts, the US invasion of Iraq was done as a response to DEMANDS made publicly and daily for years by powerful Israel first architects of foreign policy entrenched within the US political system. The same entity that is currently demanding that we bomb Iran.

    Once the extent of Iraq’s oil wealth was discovered, the multinationals had Saddam removed because they considered themselves more worthy thieves than he was.”

    How silly.

    Western domination of colonial oil production was abandoned as uneconomic half a century ago. You may as well claim that the invasion was about the slave trade. Why are you so unwilling to face reality Henry? What makes you insist on such imaginary views?

  • HenryW

    The argument put forward in the article is a dramatic oversimplification in its primary assertions are laughable.

    Right wing conservatives funded by multinational oil companies/military contractors/arms manufacturers pushed to invade Iraq with NO DESIGNS WHATSOEVER on its oil. LAUGHABLE!

    The other problem of course is that you are essentially asserting an “International Zionist Conspiracy” in place of a multitude of other factors that were involved and whose financial interest is much more significant. This is a bigoted argument, and therefore a fallacious one.

  • atheo

    Henry it is well documented that Big Oil was lobbying to have the sanctions lifted. Your attempt to tie Big Oil to the mostly Jewish neo-cons is without substantive basis.

    Your further claim that I am “asserting an international Zionist conspiracy” is what is inane, the power of the Israel lobby has been established beyond doubt by the meticulous work of Stephen Walt and John Mersheimer.

    The attempt you make to smear those that acknowledge the wars serving Israel as bigoted is nothing more than a feeble cover you want to provide to genocidists.

  • Idrees

    Right wing conservatives funded by multinational oil companies/military contractors/arms manufacturers pushed to invade Iraq with NO DESIGNS WHATSOEVER on its oil. LAUGHABLE!

    What a fatuous argument. We know what the position of Big Oil was: it was succintly articulated by James Baker. Don’t go to war! Bush Sr., Brent Scowcroft, Lawrence Eagleburger and Zbig Brzezinski also warned against the war. Precisely because it would be damaging to US economic interests.

    As regards holding hands with Saudis, I am not sure if you are aware that 2001 was the first year Saudis opened their fields to bidding by non-US companies because of Crown Prince Abdallah’s anger over US support for Sharon during the Al Aqsa Intifada.

    You also seem unaware of the fact that between August 2002 and the state of the war Saddam Hussein made three separate secret offers (reported in the Guardian, and by Ron Suskind) to giving monopoly control of its oil to the US to stave off war. Why commit blood and treasure if they could have had it without waging a war?

    Lastly, ever heard of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act? Do you know who were its main opponents and who managed to ram it through? When you find out, you’d have understood the US relationship with the middle east.

  • HenryW

    That conservative, anti-Muslim Jews and Christians supported the war is not disputed. This was overt from the beginning. There was never a need to hide it. Putting the entire human cost of the war at the feet of International Zionism crosses the line into outright bigotry and is also an oversimplified view of history.

    In my country this same event is being used by right wing Christian fanatics to suggest that the war was justified because Bush’s only interest was in Iraqi freedom. Each side chooses a lie to believe. The causes of the war were many, but the REAL one was the attack on 9/11 and the fact that it was replayed in the media incessantly. Our bigots were already stirred to war by that image; not just in Afghanistan but in Iraq as well (because most of us don’t know any difference).

    But the next step after that is the International Zionism was the cause of 9/11… am I correct?

    Look, I will leave you two to list dates and names. I know that both sides in this discussion love to repeat their grievances, one against the other. I’m not going to participate it from a pro-Israeli point of view, since I’m not pro-Israeli.

    I’ll leave you to your ancient ethnic and religious hatreds as well. Until there is justice for Palestine there will be no Mid East Peace. US policy toward Palestine is shameful and it will probably get worse. Israels conduct has also been a shame not just to Israelis but to all Jews. JPAC is too powerful and has a dangerous influence. I will always argue in my country against bigotry directed at Muslims, but in all honesty there is so much already.

    It seems to me that those who were truly interested in justice for Palestine would abandon Zionist conspiracy plots and work to eliminate bigotry based on religion or ethnicity since there will never be peace until we reach this point.

  • HenryW

    Excuse my error, I meant AIPAC.

  • Idrees

    Putting the entire human cost of the war at the feet of International Zionism crosses the line into outright bigotry and is also an oversimplified view of history.

    Straw man? History is never monocausal, that’s why historians use the concept of ‘proximate cause’. But you wouldn’t know what that is.

    You know there is no shame in ignorance, you can always endeavor to educate yourself. You disgrace yourself only when you try to maks it by resorting to the last refuge of the scoundrel: ad hominem accusations.

  • HenryW

    Well if history isn’t monocausal, then why did you present only one cause while denying any other? How is it a straw man when that is exactly what the article is about, denying all other factors that caused the war?

    Dishonestly and bigotry, which you still refuse to address head on because that is exactly what you believe. Since you are the one spreading ancient bigotry, I urge you to heed your own call and educate yourself.

    Monotheists are all insane.

  • Idrees

    Dude, you’re a moron. And I won’t waste time arguing with someone who isn’t linguistically equipped to tell the difference between “another” and “any other”

  • HenryW

    Speaking of ad hominems…

  • rs

    It’s indisputable that the Israeli lobby (which of course includes the bunch of useful idiots known as Christian Zionists) asserts a disproportionate effect on US foreign policy, similar to anti-Castro Cubans in Florida.
    However, what’s driving the series of wars we’ve engaged in since Bush the elder is energy and a desire to establish a permanent military presence in the parts of the world not only where energy resources are located, but also the parts of the world where those resources are currently and prospectively transported.

  • atheo


    Your claim runs counter to every bit of empirical evidence available. Can you offer anything at all in support of your contention?

    The US has over 700 military bases throughout the world, the fact that many of them may correspond with locations of energy production or transit (which is even more ubiquitous) fails to support your claim.

  • rs

    Uh, yeah atheo- Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq have all seen the construction of major bases from which substantial numbers of troops and equipment can be housed and deployed (we’re also seeing the same phenomenon in Columbia under the auspices of the drug ‘war’). While it’s true that the US has a military presence in well over a hundred countries around the globe, to call all 700+ locations “bases” in the sense that Bondsteel, Bagram, or Anaconda are bases is nothing more than rhetoric.
    Virtually all of the large American military bases among the 700+ you mention pre-date the first Bush presidency and are vestiges of either WWII (Germany, Okinawa) or the Korean War, and their permanence was rationalized by the Cold War. That hasn’t been the case for the last 20 years.

  • Atheo


    Your point being?

  • rs

    You struggle with the obvious, atheo. Please reread the second paragraph of my comment of 12-18 and your subsequent question.

  • Atheo


    Apparently you have no argument.

    The large new bases in Afghanistan are located within strategic striking distance of Iran. There is no “energy” issue at play in Afghanistan.

    Why do you suppose we should share your fantasy?

  • rs

    Atheo, you could use some remediation in your understanding of those energy issues, insofar as they relate to not only the location of reserves, but also getting them from one place (say, the Caspian region) to another (for instance, India). While Israel-Palestine is an important dynamic, it’s not THE all-purpose explanation (or maybe it is- could you perhaps tie it into the Red Wings losing in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring?) for everything wrong in the world.

  • William

    There is an energy issue in Afghanistan called a pipeline. Any geologist will tell you that there is a wealth of minerals and some natural gas there, too.

    Events are multifactorial and there is considerable overlap, as history demonstrates. Did Henry VIII simply want a male heir? Or were Venetian banking interests keen on getting a foothold in England.

    We must take a longer view of history to understand its economic roots. Only by such an economic anlysis can we understand the true dynamics. Does religious conflict play a role? Sure. What about oil? Sure.

    If you checked both boxes you would be right.

  • Atheo

    I don’t think so rs, there is absolutely no current need to transport gas or oil South through Afghanistan. All of the Central Asian production can be transported directly East to China in the new pipelines built by Haliburton and GE. You can read all about it at the link below:

    Only ignorance or intent to dis-inform can explain the repetition of the Afghanistan energy transit mantra.

  • Atheo


    The TAPI pipeline was first conceived two decades ago. It has been eclipsed by more recent developments and would no longer be a viable project.

    I applaud your interest in economic analysis and advise you to study the issue and devise a theory that is not in conflict with reality.

  • rs

    Thanks for making my point, Atheo. There’s little chance that the US will sit idly while a major economic and (to a lesser extent) military rival detours central Asian resources.

  • Atheo


    Your contention could not be any further removed from reality. The US has absolutely no intention of interfering with the free market dynamics of China’s energy supply. Catch up with reality, Chinese firms are the fastest growing energy producers in …. North America. Yes China is big in energy right here.

    Check out the new $3 billion dollar LNG export terminal being built in B.C.

    The problem with the information that you’ve been getting rs, is that it’s all just lies.

  • rs

    Thank you for the link to your widely read and cited blog, Atheo. Whatever it takes to drum up traffic.

  • Atheo

    Actually rs my site gets about 20 times the views as this one and is generally linked to by at least 30 different sites daily. Today’s hit count is already close to 3,000.

    You can stay ignorant if you prefer. Just keep in mind that if you make ignorant comments you make a fool of yourself.

  • rs

    I’ll remain willfully ‘ignorant’ atheo, and leave blaming Zionists for all the world ills to the lunatic Arab right and their lunatic cousins in the American right.

  • Atheo

    And I’ll leave providing cover for genocidists to you rs.

  • rs

    Well played, Mr. LaRouche.

  • Atheo


    Denying the existence of racial supremacy is not a game and your inane attempts to label or tag those who expose your re-directions amount to pathetic ad hominems.

  • rs

    And here I thought it would be LaRouche who was offended. I mean, at least he’s a man of some accomplishment to go with his delusions of Jewish omnipotence. His hate has some real heft, unlike the prissy, pseudo-intellectual stuff you offer.
    I will grant you, however, you’ve made it very clear that you suffer from feelings of the “racial supremacy” of Jews to yourself and others who share your heritage. You’ve earned my pity. It can’t be easy waking up every morning ‘knowing’ that you’re an inferior people.

  • Atheo


    You are a buffoon extraordinaire.

    The only “hate” exhibited here comes from yourself and it is highlighted by your pretension to know my “heritage”. Finally, in the end you expose your base racism. You just couldn’t keep it in. Disgusting.

  • rs

    The only “pretension” is yours in assuming I was directing that at any particular ethnic group, Atheo. Like I wrote earlier, the lunatic Arab right, the lunatic American right, yes, even the lunatic right in Israel, you’re all brothers and sisters under the skin.
    I knew it wouldn’t be too long before I could make you throw that particular stone, Atheo- however, you were even easier to manipulate than I thought. Like phony accusations of anti-Semitism, it’s the ultimate resort of the intellectually impoverished. You just couldn’t keep it in. Pitiful.

  • HenryW

    He shrieks about the omnipresent dangers of International Zionism but has the chutzpa to then turn and accuse another person of racism.

    RS’s point is clear. The bigoted right is eerily similar across cultures.

    I have often wondered whether these various groups of vicious bigots are actually working in tandem for mutual benefit.

  • Bill

    The question appears to be “Was the US just going to grab the oil? - because other countries are now getting a part of the spoils.” The US was going there to control the flow and get leverage on other economies. The fact that oil contracts have gone to some other countries doesn’t mean that the US is not a dominater. Through unprovoked war, invasion, occupation, mass murder, and systematic torture, the US tyrants are dominating Iraq. It is the US Godfather gangsters, the US military occupation that is enforcing the division of the spoils.

    I think it is short sided to think that Israel controls the United States. The tail does not wag the dog. Israel is like a land based aircraft carrier for US interests, it protects the Suez Canal, so the oil can flow from the Middle East, and dominates the Eastern Mediterranean. Part of the reason the USA started a war of aggression was to expand Israeli influence and weaken it’s enemies. Other reasons include controlling the flow of the region’s resources and dominating Central Asia, for future goals of controlling Iran and possibly attacking our brothers and sisters in Iran. Afghanistan and Iraq are on both sides of Iran. The plans to control the oil resources of the region go back to Jimmy Carter and 1976. Carter said he would go to war to protect US oil interests if they were threatened. These wars have been going on since 1991, and the first Massacre attack on our neighbors in Iraq. The US Empire had waged war under Clinton in Yugoslavia as part of the encirclement of Central Asia. There are many factors why the US is dominating that part of the globe. Much of it has to do with the break up of the former Soviet Union. Now there is a power vacuum and the USA has the freedom to try to dominate Asia. The USA is already a dominant force and Israel is their attack dog that helps them enforce domination in the region.

    We have to remember that the US Godfather (the biggest bully) is occupying Iraq and its through military might and that the US controls who gets which oil contracts. Political power grows out a barrel of a what? Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. International corporations sleep together and also fight each other at the same time.

    Right now the US is upset that Russia has an oil pipeline to Europe. This can only point to sharpen contradictions between the predator countries.

  • Atheo


    The arguments you present indicate a profound lack of critical analysis. Let’s address them one by one:

    1) “The US was going there to control the [oil] flow”

    There is no possible way to control the flow of oil through occupation of production fields. Once oil is aboard a tanker it is entirely out of reach of that force. The US does however have dominance on the high seas and if it ever chose to control the flow of oil it could easily do so with naval power, no occupation needed.

    2) “Israel is like a land based aircraft carrier for US interests, it protects the Suez Canal”

    Really? How many air force bases does Israel provide to the US?
    How exactly has Israel protected the Suez canal?
    The Suez canal was freely accessed by Western shipping prior to Israel’s war of aggression in 67′ after which the canal was closed for many years. Your argument is so empty it is like an empty leaky bucket.

    3) “war under Clinton in Yugoslavia as part of the encirclement of Central Asia”

    Please consult a map.

    I find it bizarre that such idiotic memes manage to find people willing to make such fools of themselves by repeating them.

  • rs

    He’s cute, When he gets frustrated the little monkey throws insults like a chimp throws feces.
    So Atheo, how would a proponent of the Intergalactic Zionist Conspiracy theory explain the location of, for instance, Camp Bondsteel? Dispel us of our crazy notion that it’s a projection of American military power into a global energy corridor.
    Please wait to respond until I step behind the glass, Mr. Teeny.

  • Mountainbiker

    Wasn’t the first oil deal with China Petroleum (Sinopec) some time ago? Sinopec was active in Iraq before the war. But the war ended all such relationships.

    While the National Museum of Iraq was looted, the Oil Ministry was well defended. Bush pushed they hydrocarbon bill and had it as one of his “conditions” for winning the war. It included PSAs, a decades old method used by western oil to colonize oil reserves. Western oil would gain ownership of some 70% of reserves?

    However, insisting on a democracy got crosswise with passing the hydrocarbon bill. The fledgling democracy refused continued US pressure to pass the bill. I really thought Maliki was going to be taken out, when a former CIA asset was close to challenging Maliki for power. They kicked sand in our face by renewing a contract with Sinopec.

    T. Boone Pickens recently suggested that we use the oil profits to pay for the war, afterall we took it fair and square.

    Yeah, the war had something to do with oil. Being close to Iran is desirable too, as is having a base in the oil rich region. Israel could become unstable. Remember also that Afghanistan boarders on the rising economic giant, China. But it is a distant boarder from population centers. And war is just a money maker for part of our economy.

  • Atheo


    The fact that both Sinopec and Lukoil have achieved almost identical contracts to those negotiated with Saddam Hussein obviously undermines any notion of the invasion of Iraq being about altering those contracts (even if the outcome had been different the notion would still have been silly due to the minute value of the contracts relative to the expense of the occupation).

    The fact that the oil ministry was guarded against looting fails to substantiate oil as a motive for the invasion. At most it substantiates that the occupiers intended for oil production to continue uninterrupted.

    Your characterization of Iraq as a “fledgling democracy” more than bends the definition of democracy. No administration that governs with security provided by foreign forces can possibly fall under any classification that includes “democracy”.The proposed PSAs could be viewed as posturing and even if they had been passed they would not have been legitimate or legally binding, nor would they have ever been implemented because oil transport is simply too vulnerable to sabotage.

    The basic flaw in your view is the notion that oil needs to be controlled by military occupation. In fact that method was abandoned half a century ago when the colonial powers realized that direct colonial rule was uneconomic. Oil is traded in commodity bourses, this is where access and pricing are established.

    The notion of placing military bases in Afghanistan to threaten China is belied by the fact that China has been the financier of the occupation. All in all a preposterous suggestion.

    In fact all of these memes are simply the handiwork of shills who have been no doubt getting a good chuckle at the expense of those who fall for the deceptions.

  • Bill

    The situation is more subtle than what you present. Can you imagine the International outcry if the US Navy acted like pirates and took the oil from other Nationalities on the High Seas? The oil is controlled by contracts and pipelines on the land. Corporations do have national base countries. When the oil deals get made it is the US guarantees who gets what, dominating much of the time. Can you imagine if Arab Nationals had controlled both sides of the Suez Canal without Israeli influence? Yugoslavia was part of the US Empire’s plans in Eastern Europe and part of what they wanted to do to control the Eastern Mediterranean (and the Middle East).

    Atheo wrote:


  • atheo


    Please consult a map! The Suez canal was and IS “controlled by Arabs on both sides”. Why is that hard for you to imagine?

    “Yugoslavia part of a plan to control the Eastern Mediterranean”

    Again please look at a map before posting these embarrassing comments!

    You go on to assert that there would be some unimaginable outcry if the US were to use its naval power to interfere with shipping yet the US has been doing JUST THAT in enforcing the various sanctions regimes against Israel’s enemies Iraq, Iran, Libya etc… The parties that are denied free trade are global.

    Yes, corporations do have national base countries. Haliburton is based in Dubai for example. But they are also traded on various international exchanges and owned internationally.

    All of these arguments that you present are utterly nonsensical.

  • Bill

    Yes that is true, physically Egypt borders both sides of the Suez Canal, but Israel’s hulking presence is a major influence enough in getting Egypt (and other nations in the region) to do what the US wants, along with a dozen other incentives and threats. There were times when there was the risk of other powers interfering with control of the Suez Canal (the Soviet Union and Western Imperialist powers). There was quite a bit of maneuvering to get Egypt on the side of the US). International powers compete and they cooperate at the same time. It wasn’t always all cozy and comfortable. “Yugoslavia part of a plan to control the Eastern Mediterranean” you left out the part of the sentence where I said and the Middle East. It’s a matter of regional strategy; sometimes the chess pieces are not right next to each other. Yugoslavia was a step in future US plans. US Naval domination does not directly take the role of oil piracy. It’s not because Iraq, Iran, Libya are Israeli’s enemies, the United States interests comes first, sometimes the US interests and Israel’s interests clash. Basically the regimes you mention, Iraq, Iran, Libya are cooperating with US Imperialism on a certain level. These regimes don’t represent the interests of the masses, but then again they are not always total puppets, they collaborate with US imperialism while mouthing anti-Imperialist rhetoric. Some times these national rulers get too big for their breeches and they are slapped down or sanctions are applied. This whole set up is bad for the people of the world and needs to be radically changed.

  • atheo


    I leave you to your wild baseless fantasies, none of which have any merit whatsoever and in fact are opposite of any empirically grounded reality.

    You have been well propagandized.

  • oak barrels

    As an American Jew, I believe developing a democratic Iraq will G-d willing lead the other Arabic nations to change their terroristic mentalities.Isreal deserves it… even though oil is nice to.
    Good blog.
    Richard Weisberg

    • Todzzgod

      And what would it take to stop Israel’s terrorist mentality?

  • atheo


    Why don’t you start by promoting democracy in Israel? Or perhaps even here in the US? After all the biggest terrorists in the world are the US and Israeli armed forces.

© 2012 Daily Censored

Scroll to top