Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's about oil, stupid

A couple of nights ago I was watching the news on television. My flatmate came into the room... "anything happening in the world today?" he wondered. Without even thinking I responded "nothing important". In saying that, I was dismissively referring to the news of Labour backbenchers calling for Blair to resign, and to the tory shadow-cabinet reshuffle.

The thing is... the second item in the headlines was actually the news that another 60 random Iraqis had been blown to pieces in a Baghdad market. I hadn't meant to overlook it. In fact, as soon as I said "nothing important" I remembered the story and felt vaguely sick that I'd so quickly forgotten it.

I've always opposed the Iraq war. But then, I have a tendency to oppose war in general. I'm not an ideological pacifist, in that I do believe there are situations in which the taking up of arms is justified. However our invasion of Iraq didn't resemble one of those situations in the slightest. For anyone keeping a close eye on the geopolitical ramifications of resource depletion, the Iraq war was clearly about oil.

Which isn't saying "We went there to steal the oil". That particular interpretation is demonstrably false. We went there to stick quarter of a million well-armed troops on top of the world's second largest oil reserves. All that death and destruction wasn't even about pillage and plunder... just about ensuring Preferential Customer status.

Now. The trouble is, if you take that interpretation to it's logical conclusion, you end up saying some pretty nasty things about the people running the war. Things like how daily insurgency attacks killing scores of civilians is the perfect post-war environment for the US and Britain. It provides apparent justification for the continuing presence of huge numbers of western troops. It keeps the Iraqi government weak and unstable, and hence reliant upon those troops to maintain their position. And so long as a compliant media continue to report these bombings as second on the news, with an identical report to yesterday's bomb, and the one before that, and the ones last week and last month... and without any sense of genuine outrage that this shit is happening on our watch (self-appointed though that watch may be)... then it'll just fade into the background even for those of us who can be arsed to write pointless little rants about it.

The process of normalisation has already taken place. The situation is static for us in the safe west, even though we've brought chaos to Iraq. It's second on the news and it's the same as last week.

Now that our governments have admitted there were no WMD, and nothing else to justify the war except the truth ("so long as you lot want to drive your SUVs we'll have to keep killing foreigners, OK?"), they've fallen back on the absurd notion that the war was still a good idea because Saddam Hussein was A Very Bad Man.

"We had to go to war to protect the Iraqi people".

What?! Have you turned on the news lately? We seem to be doing a very bad job.


Blogger Cheezy said...

And doesn't it make you puke that the two main peddlers of that lie both got rewarded by their respective constituencies... with re-election! Is this the democracy we're currently trying export? Do they really want it?!


12/5/05 16:41  

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