The Resource Wars

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

In Federalist Paper #4, founding father of America John Jay wrote:

MY LAST paper assigned several reasons why the safety of the people would be best secured by union against the danger it may be exposed to by JUST causes of war given to other nations; and those reasons show that such causes would not only be more rarely given, but would also be more easily accommodated, by a national government than either by the State governments or the proposed little confederacies.

But the safety of the people of America against dangers from FOREIGN force depends not only on their forbearing to give JUST causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to INVITE hostility or insult; for it need not be observed that there are PRETENDED as well as just causes of war.

In 1960, Dwight Eisenhower said in his farewell speech:

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

In both of the above, two very important individuals in the history of America have warned us, as a nation and government, of the consequences to our country of engaging in unjust wars.  It is a lessen that we, as a nation and government, have failed to heed.

In this essay, I went through the history of American involvement in the Middle East and the reason behind it.  To our government, the availability of oil to our nation became a national security issue.  

When we put the world events over the past nine years into context, we see the beginning of the `resource wars` and no resource is more sought after than oil…

With advances in technology, the United States has dominated the world as a military power.  We have produced new fighter jets, new bombers, new bombs, despite the fact that every major country has nuclear weapons, thus, the chance of us having a war with any nation of note is almost non-existent.  That is why the United States has stressed `regime change` so often.

Joseph Cirincione wrote for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

Long before September 11, before the first inspections in Iraq had started, a small group of influential officials and experts in Washington were calling for regime change in Iraq. Some never wanted to end the 1991 war. Many are now administration officials. Their organization, dedication and brilliance offer much to admire, even for those who disagree with the policies they advocate.

Mr. Cirincione was speaking of neo-conservatives, of course.  He continues:

Neo-conservative writers began to urge regime change as part of a larger strategy for remaking the Middle East. In June 2002, Michael Kelly wrote that a democratic Iraq and Palestine “will revolutionize the power dynamic in the Middle East…A majority of Arabs will come to see America as the essential ally.”

“Change toward democratic regimes in Tehran and Baghdad would unleash a tsunami across the Islamic world,” claimed Joshua Muravchik in August of that year. Michael Ledeen on September 4, 2002, called for the US to launch “a vast democratic revolution to liberate all the peoples of the Middle East…It is impossible to imagine that the Iranian people would tolerate tyranny in their own country once freedom had come to Iraq. Syria would follow in short order.”

This `theory`, of course, has been totally wrong.  Even without Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the government of Iraq has pushed for American withdrawal.  But, Iraq was merely one country and the goal has been American dominance of the entire region through regime change.  Regime change alone cannot, will not, fulfill the goal of American dominance in the region.  Worse still are the consequences of our actions.  

Any good will America had with the Islamic world was squandered by the invasion of Iraq.  It continues to degrade with the killing of innocents in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.  Our actions have provided terrorist organizations with the very thing that they need to recruit and bolster their ranks; hatred towards the United States.  When people watch their neighborhoods bombed indiscriminately, women and children murdered from 30,000 feet, they are more than willing to join the fight against those who dropped those bombs and missiles.

This is why nuclear armament of Middle East countries is such a feared threat to those who wish regime change to instill our dominance in the region.  We must only look at the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, and continuing drumbeat for war with Iran, but, not one word of war with Pakistan to find the reason why some countries were invaded and others haven’t been; nuclear weapon capability.  Without the deterrent of nuclear weapon reprisal, the United States under George W. Bush was able to invade and occupy both Afghanistan and Iraq.  There are still people calling for an attack on Iran.  Pakistan, however, has no fear of the same.

It is, then, that we must go back to the words of John Jay;

But the safety of the people of America against dangers from FOREIGN force depends not only on their forbearing to give JUST causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to INVITE hostility or insult; for it need not be observed that there are PRETENDED as well as just causes of war.

The United States certainly has not observed these words, having lied ourselves into war in Vietnam and, most recently, with Iraq.  And, yet, there are still people who, despite any evidence, want us to use our already broken military against Iran.

James Anton, writing at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, headlines his article, “Iran Violated International Obligations on Qom Facility“.  However, in his article, he writes:

In March 2007, however, Iran announced to the IAEA that it was suspending the implementation of the modified Code 3.1 and reverting back to the original form. The United States has claimed that Iran started building the Qom facility before this date. If this claim is correct-and the IAEA should try and verify it-then Iran obviously breached its obligations.

However, even if Iran only decided to build the facility after March 2007 then the charge of non-compliance still stands because Iran is not permitted to modify its subsidiary arrangements without the permission of the IAEA. Indeed, when Iran first announced it was “suspending” application of the modified Code 3.1, the IAEA stated that:

    In accordance with Article 39 of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement, agreed Subsidiary Arrangements cannot be modified unilaterally; nor is there a mechanism in the Safeguards Agreement for the suspension of provisions agreed to in Subsidiary Arrangements.[2]

Iran justified its action by saying that the modification to Code 3.1 had not been ratified by the Majlis.[3]

The problem with this argument is that, like every other state, Iran did not ask its parliament, the Majlis, to ratify its original Subsidiary Arrangements! To claim that a modification to these arrangements requires ratification is therefore absurd.

Moreover, Iran-like every other state-modifies its Subsidiary Arrangements regularly, without asking for parliamentary ratification. For example, as the size of its enrichment plant at Natanz has grown, Iran has (reluctantly) agreed to various improvements in safeguards. These improvements required modifications of the Subsidiary Arrangements, but Iran did not ask the Majlis to ratify them.

This article makes it clear that every state modifies its arrangements without having them ratified.  Yet, that is exactly the argument used to justify claiming Iran has violated its obligations.  What makes Iran different?  Why are they being held to a standard that everyone else ignores?  The answer is Iran gaining nuclear deterrence to American dominance in the region.  However, without proof backing claims made by the United States, any military action against Iran constitutes, by definition, an unjust act of war.

As we saw with Iraq, our government will use any excuse, justified or not, to invade a country and start war.  Regime change does not work.  Our government has installed dictators in the past only to remove them later through invasion as we did in Panama and Iraq.  A country having a democratic government does not immediately make the people friendly to us, especially when that change comes from the use of force by the United States.  After our invasion of Iraq, America’s image in the world was badly tarnished with many democratic countries, much less the people of Iraq.  

After our invasion of Iraq, Russia and China twice held joint military exercises.  It is the threat of Russian and Chinese intervention that pushed the missile shield plan which would have cut off both countries from the Middle East.  China holds much of the debt for our wars in the Middle East weakening our nation even further.  Yet, there seems to be an urgency to secure the oil reserves of the Middle East.

The countries with the most oil reserves as of 2006 are, by ranking:

1.   Saudi Arabia – 264.3

2. Canada – 178.8

3. Iran – 132.5

4. Iraq – 115.0

5. Kuwait – 101.5

6. United Arab Emirates – 97.8

7. Venezuela – 79.7

8. Russia – 60.0

9. Libya – 39.1

10. Nigeria – 35.9

11. United States – 21.4

Thus, we can see the reason behind George W. Bush’s wars and actions.  The CIA tried to overthrow Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  We invaded Iraq.  We are still trying to get into a war with Iran.  Bush restored relations with Libya despite its links to terrorism, Obama is looking to send Gadhafi $400,000, and we learn that oil deals were presumably behind the release of terrorist Megrahi.  Oil companies operating in Nigeria are increasingly finding themselves targets of attacks and the United States is directly engaged.  So, as you can see, every country except Russia and China are being targeted by the United States for dominance if they are not already “friendly” to our `interests`.

We can hope that reason prevails in the end, but, it is doubtful.  Consider the fact that with the bulk of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rest of our troops already fatigued by years of war in the Middle East, any attack on Iran could decimate our fighting force since they are within range of Iranian missile strikes.

3 comments

    • Underdog on September 29, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    that oil for well over one hundred years now.  Britain before the U.S. bombed Fallujah with mustard gas in the early twenties.  It wasn’t about terrorism then and it isn’t now.  

    • RUKind on September 30, 2009 at 6:34 am

    The rich will will that one easily.

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