(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
|So here I sit to face
That same old fire place
Gettin’ ready for the same old explosion
Goin’ through my mind
And soon enough time will tell,
About the circus in the wishing well
And someone who will buy and sell for me
Someone to toll my bell
— Jimi Hendrix, Burning of the Midnight Lamp
In 1991 Sheldon L. Richman at The CATO Institute virtually gave away the US Foreign Policy game for anyone who hadn’t already seen through the long years of the “spreading freedom and democracy” smoke and mirror show emanating from every US administration since Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex, in a long and very detailed policy analysis article titled “Ancient History”: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention:
After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East. The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region’s political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East.
If the chief natural resource of the Middle East were bananas, the region would not have attracted the attention of U.S. policymakers as it has for decades. Americans became interested in the oil riches of the region in the 1920s, and two U.S. companies, Standard Oil of California and Texaco, won the first concession to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. They discovered oil there in 1938, just after Standard Oil of California found it in Bahrain. The same year Gulf Oil (along with its British partner Anglo-Persian Oil) found oil in Kuwait. During and after World War II, the region became a primary object of U.S. foreign policy. It was then that policymakers realized that the Middle East was “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.“
Subsequently, as a result of cooperation between the U.S. government and several American oil companies, the United States replaced Great Britain as the chief Western power in the region. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, American gains were British (and French) losses. Originally, the dominant American oil interests had had limited access to Iraqi oil only (through the Iraq Petroleum Company, under the 1928 Red Line Agreement). In 1946, however, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Mobil Oil Corp., seeing the irresistible opportunities in Saudi Arabia, had the agreement voided. When the awakening countries of the Middle East asserted control over their oil resources, the United States found ways to protect its access to the oil. Nearly everything the United States has done in the Middle East can be understood as contributing to the protection of its long-term access to Middle Eastern oil and, through that control, Washington’s claim to world leadership. The U.S. build-up of Israel and Iran as powerful gendarmeries beholden to the United States, and U.S. aid given to “moderate,” pro-Western Arab regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, were intended to keep the region in friendly hands. That was always the meaning of the term “regional stability.“
Erin Isabelle Burnett, notes Wikipedia, began her career as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division working on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.
Burnett is now “a business news anchor, reporter and interviewer for CNBC television. She is the co-anchor of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program and the host of CNBC’s Street Signs program. She also appears on NBC’s Meet the Press, Today, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and NBC Nightly News, as well as occasional appearances on The Apprentice as an advisor to Donald Trump. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”
Appearing on a Friday broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Burnett said that the ongoing revolution in Egypt could threaten US interests in the region due to Egypt’s history as an ally on matters pertaining to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, noted David Edwards and Stephen Webster at RawStory January 28th:
[Burnett] added that as one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, it was surprising to see many of the society’s wealthiest individuals supporting regime change. Tens of thousands of protesters across the country have taken to the streets the last few days, demanding President Mubarak resign.
“One more thing,” Burnett remarked. “If this spreads, the United States could take a huge hit because democracy in a place like Saudi Arabia, you’ve talked about who might come in power, what that means for oil prices. They’re going to go stratospheric.”
“There’s no doubt about it,’ MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said. “No doubt about it!”
The RawStory article also notes that “While the White House has been unusually quiet on the situation in Egypt, President Barack Obama said yesterday that Egypt’s leaders must be more “responsive” to their people.”
Mubarak has held power in Egypt for more than thirty years. Vice President Joe Biden, in what The Harford Courant referred to as “a Gerald Ford moment” during an appearance Thursday night on PBS claimed that President Mubarak was not a dictator and should not step down.
Here is Burnett’s appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Jan. 28, 2011: