Preeminence in the Middle East
by Stan Moore
May 17, 2003
It really does boil down to petroleum. George W. Bush hardly knows anything about Islam. He could not identify Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or even South Carolina if asked to point those locations on world or national maps. But George W. Bush does understand oil and he understands power. And George W. Bush knows that the world is running out of oil and that America needs to control the world's remaining petroleum production and distribution in order to prolong America's hegemony and dominance over world affairs for as long as possible in the last century of the world's petroleum era.
George W Bush believes in the Pax Americana and the desirability of world dominance by America, using military force as required. George W. Bush believes that America's economy and ability to access natural resources around the world depend upon America's military power and ability to project that power in a timely manner in any place of America's choosing around the world.
The day will come when petroleum is depleted, or becomes so expensive that its profligate use will no longer be possible. The day is coming when the scarcity of petroleum will affect electrical production, agriculture, and even the world's airline industries. These societal maintains of the western "developed" nations will no longer be recognizable in today's form, perhaps in as little as twenty-five years, and certainly in no more than seventy-five years. We have a relatively short window of continued domination by America of the world. Eventually, petroleum scarcity will make it physically and financially impossible for America to project its power around the world, at least in terms of conventional forces. Perhaps this is a reason why America now seeks to develop and devise yet more advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear armaments, while attempting to deny its potential adversaries the same capabilities. Perhaps this is why America wishes to develop anti-ballistic missile defense systems, and base military personnel in bases spread around the world.
Perhaps this is why America seeks strategic control over world-wide petroleum reserves -- in order not only to maintain strength and initiative for as long as possible, but also to deny power to potential adversaries, including nations now considered to be friends and allies.
The day may come, and many can see the development now, when nations such as France, Germany, Russia, China, and Japan will recognize that America only will trust and cooperate with them in the context of American economic interests. If America determines that such nations pose a greater threat of competition than their benefits in trade, the U.S. may very well work to destabilize, weaken, and perhaps even destroy these nations. It was only less than 20 years ago that America felt it in its interests to arm Iraq.
As international dynamics changed, America was willing to embargo Iraq from receiving even necessary medical supplies, so that at minimum hundreds of thousands, and perhaps a million Iraqi children and adults died prematurely from preventable causes. This mass taking of human life in Iraq probably exceeds the numbers of victims of the Saddam Hussein regime, which is vilified by the Western Press for its cruelty and barbarism. If America can turn on Iraq, it can turn on France. If American can turn on France, it can turn on Mexico.
The future of scarcity means conflict will become a way of life. The neo-conservatives already clearly see this, and are calling for a deliberate period of wars of conquest, colonization, imperialism, and suppression of real and potential enemies. It is not enough for America to be strong. It is necessary under neo-conservative doctrine for America to be almighty, unchallenged, and unchallengeable. It is necessary for America not only to eliminate its enemies, but to eliminate threats to its security, even by further preemptive warfare.
The time for America to weaken its competitors and potential threats is now, while petroleum is still relatively abundant and relatively cheap. Now is the time for powerful corporate American interests to build their wealth and to dominate world markets in every conceivable way.
The eventual depletion of petroleum will ultimately weaken America militarily and economically. Competition will ultimately not only be fierce, but deadly. Competition for water and for other strategic minerals may be far greater than now imagined in the decades to come.
To top it all off, global climate change may cause catastrophic loss of human life by impeding world food production. Catastrophic weather events may destroy considerable property. Rising shorelines and devastating storms may take their toll, adding to societal instability.
The wealthiest Americans will behave in the manner they have always behaved. Control of power and control of the American military by the corporate elite may result in violent civil war in America during this century.
America is at the apex of its power right now, in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The standard of living of the American people will inevitably go down. The cost of living will rise. The food supply will increasingly become unstable. Conflicts with the rest of the world will become more acute.
Civil liberties for the American people will continually grow more restricted, and repression will become more commonplace.
The current preeminence of America in the Middle East will only be temporary. It cannot be sustained, and particularly not when nations of the world begin to conspire in very serious ways to undermine American power and influence.
Other nations of the world will devise strategies to weaken America, such as refusal to trade, refusal to allow American military bases on their territories, refusal to finance American governmental debt, refusal to allow American corporations to operate in their territories. America can fight battles in one place at a time, but American can not prevail militarily or economically against a world united against itself.
Rough times are ahead for America. The cycles of history turn. Empires come and empires go. Power and influence is gained, and then lost. Love turns to hatred. Tyrants fall along with their heirs and their regimes.
Children born in the first decade of this century will live to see a much different world by the time of their old age. The transition will not be easy, safe, or happy. American preeminence in the Middle East and in the world will be remembered in Baghdad along with Saddam and Qusay Hussein.
George W. Bush will be remembered as a tragic figure who catalyzed the inevitable changes in the world order, and brought his nation to a premature decline.
Stan Moore lives in San Geronimo, CA., and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org