My hiatus from Waylon’s Revolution not with standing, let’s get back to the news, shall we?
March 28, 2011
It’s perplexing to see a high level of support for the unprovoked bombing of Libya on so-called “progressive” websites.
There has been an endless stream of humanitarian propaganda flowing from these sites trying to convince average liberals that the “human thing to do” is to rain down tomahawk missiles with depleted uranium to bring freedom and democracy to an oppressed people.
Huffington Post ran a piece by Ed Schultz titled Why I Support President Obama’s Decision to Invade Libyawhere he described his reasoning as follows:
…President Obama explained this won’t be a long-term operation.
Matter of days, not a matter of weeks. Not even months.
…He’s (Obama) trying to give the rebels, those who want democracy, a fighting chance at just that and trying to stop Gaddafi — this is the human thing to do — from slaughtering his own people.
By the very use of the word “invade” in the title, Schultz would seem to understand that the continued military support is likely to last for quite some time. Indeed, this was confirmed on Sunday morning when Defense Secretary Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted that the operation could indeed last for months, which seems to debunk Schultz’s main argument that it’s only a days-long conflict. This justification is reminiscent of Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld falsely stating that the Iraq war would be quick and easy — only cost a couple of a billion dollars that would be paid for by Iraqi oil.
Additionally, Schultz and others making the “humanitarian” argument that we needed to prevent Gaddafi from slaughtering his own people is convoluted at best, if not a blatant hypocritical contradiction. It has become clear that the United States and their imperial partners, Britain and France, are picking and choosing which civil uprisings and which dictators to support with no genuine concern for democracy or civil rights.
Everyone with an objective view knows by now that this intervention is about protecting oil resources and making sure Israel survives these revolutionary times in the Arab world. Whether it’s control over Egypt’s Suez Canal, Libya’s sweet crude, or propping up the tyrannical Saudi regime in the face of protesters there, this selective military action in Libya seems to be exactly what liberals screamed about during Bush’s preemptive oil wars.
In an informative article this weekend, Mike Rozeff wrote about the pre-Bush history of the same plans for the oil-rich Arab world:
A RAND document reviews the U.S. oil policy in the mid-East and associated regions. It points out (p. 60) that President Carter enunciated this policy on January 23, 1980 in his State of the Union Address:
‘Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.’
Even before this, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in September of 1978 issued a strategy assessment in which it wrote of ‘continuous access to petroleum resources‘ as priority #1 in the region, along with seeing that Israel survived. In 1979, the military put together a ‘Rapid Deployment Force (RDF), which soon gained full, unified command status as the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM).’
Rozeff makes a compelling argument why the United States will spare no expense to ensure the control of oil in the Arab world no matter what the consequences may be:
Hence, there is no question that the U.S. considers the uninterrupted oil flow from this region as a vital interest. The U.S. has made war over Kuwait in 1990, in Iraq in this century, and now in Libya. It has gone into related areas such as Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan. It has confronted Iran for decades. It has armed and aided all sorts of dictatorial regimes in the region.
The U.S. government has done all of these things under the doctrine that oil flows must not be interrupted. It has acted strongly even when such an interruption was a remote prospect. It acted under false pretexts in Iraq. It has imposed sanctions on Iran. It has threatened war on Iran over its nuclear activities on more than one occasion.
The U.S. is acting now in Libya. Although Libya poses little risk of interrupting U.S. oil supplies, the U.S. wants to control the outcome in Libya. The U.S. must demonstrate control if it is to maintain control in neighboring regions such as Saudi Arabia where revolts, possible revolts, and revolutions are likely.
It may be even worse than Rozeff reports, as it seems more appropriate to say that U.S./NATO are doing the dirty work for the multinational oil companies rather than “national interests.” It’s clear that these borderless companies are the ones who benefit from the drilling contracts when the military dust-ups settle. For example, the UK people didn’t exactly benefit from BP’s massive drilling contracts in Iraq that also earned ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair handsome consulting kickbacks.
Furthermore, the average price for oil prior to America’s undeclared wars between 2001-2002 was less than $23 per barrel. After America invaded Iraq, the price of oil skyrocketed relatively quickly to peak at $147 in 2008, leaving some to speculate that this spike in society’s life-blood was the real trigger for the economic collapse in the fall of that same year. Regardless, it is obvious that a 500% increase in oil price in just five short years was not exactly protecting the “vital interests” of the American people who endured the brunt of the fuel increases, the subsequent bailout of the global economy, while also paying for the war tab.
Now, Huffington Post and others are trying to justify this expensive and unconstitutional new war front, while at the same time slamming domestic spending cuts brought on by deficits primarily caused by bloated and unnecessary defense/war/surveillance spending. In the name of humanitarian intervention, these so-called progressives have become no different than the war-mongering Neocons they so despised. Perhaps their stunning hypocrisy makes them even worse than Neocons. Regardless, what’s clear is that they all serve the same masters for the same end result no matter what labels or excuses are given.
However, it’s encouraging that the general progressive public don’t seem to be buying into the establishment-liberal support for the new “invasion”. Judging by the 1400-plus comments responding to Schultz’s article, about 90% of them are challenging Schultz, and those who support his position are universally panned by other commenters. After all, the hypocrisy of this preemptive military strike is so blatant — the lack of Congressional approval makes it clearly illegal — and the cost of more foreign intervention during rabid spending-cut debates at home proves where their alliances truly stand.
Establishment progressives can no longer hide behind phony labels. They have officially joined the ranks of the War Party serving up American blood and treasure to support profits for the military-industrial complex and Big Oil, while compromising on austerity cuts at home.