Monday, August 07, 2006

The unified oilfield theory

I'm not one of those people who says the Iraq war was "all about oil" (or Israel, or both -- not exclusively, anyway). So how in the world could it be that the United States government egging on the Israeli military in Lebanon is part of an oil strategy by Washington? The University of Michigan's Juan Cole (his blog is essential reading to follow Iraq, and now Lebanon) engages in a thought experiment that concludes thus:

It may be that that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran's strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf.

You can read the whole thing to see how he gets there. I'm not convinced this is reality (nor is Cole for that matter), but it's food for thought.


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