FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Oil, al-Qaeda and West Africa

by Anthony Gancarski

A friend of mine with an interest in gambling on sports informed me with delight that it was now possible to place wagers on WWE professional wrestling events. The idea of betting on an openly predetermined activity — theater, precisely — seemed to him a logical extension of the idea that professional sports are never far from being fixed anyway. It’s a given that certain teams and players get the benefit of favorable calls down the stretch, and on some level those adjustments are acceptable to consumers and producers alike.

Just as people are generally willing to overlook inconsistencies from professional athletes and those who officiate their games, they are willing to cut some slack to their so-called democratically elected leaders in the games they play. Whether they are Democrats who accept Maddie Albright’s description of the United States as an “Indispensible Nation” or Republicans who cling to Tom Delay’s assertion that the US is a “Super Duper Power”, the people of the United States have been willing to sacrifice untold treasures in the service of a state that has cultivated allies only to declare them mortal enemies continuously since the 1930s. One can only speculate as to the number of nuclear families broken up because both parents had to work to meet rent, or as to the number of children shafted by an education system standardized into mediocrity and irrelevance by way of meeting the Soviet threat. Somewhat less speculation is necessary when figuring out how many families, both here and abroad, have been torn asunder by people sacrificing body and soul alike to enhance the portfolios of the global elite.

In spite of all the good work done in countries most Americans can’t find on maps, there are still battles to be fought — and won. If we are to believe Donald Rumsfeld, Al Qaeda is operational in over sixty countries. Most recently, we have heard allegations — as usual, unsubstantiated — that Al Qaeda has operations in Iraq. It is only a matter of time until we find those baby incubators those rascally Iraqis stole from the then-unliberated Kuwaitis, and then the joy of the Fox News All Stars will be matched only by the pending bloodshed of bombing and occupation.

That said, it is perhaps foolish for us to focus on Iraq to the exclusion of other deserving targets in this War of Terror. After all, man cannot live by Bombs Over Baghdad alone. So, in the spirit of ecumenical inclusion, we should turn our attention to the seeds of conflict, freshly planted in West Africa for eventual harvest.

In the August 13 edition of The Final Call, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Kansteiner was quoted as saying at a meeting of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) that oil reserves of Angola and Nigeria are a “national strategic interest” of the United States. This assertion is in accordance with IASPS’s position that “Congress and the (Bush) administration should declare the Gulf of Guinea an area of ‘vital interest’ to the U.S.” Oil from the Gulf of Guinea comprises 15% of US imports, and it is unsurprising that the US would seek to rely more heavily on these mostly non-OPEC nations as it builds to war on the populations of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and — if luck is with us — Egypt.

Of course, all of this sounds innocuous enough. Just a little oil deal, is all. But the US has a habit of using phrases like “national strategic interest” to justify or to provide pretext for all sorts of adventure. Of late, we’ve developed the ability to discover Al Qaeda in nations direly in need of US military intervention as well. If my friend from the first paragraph were able to place bets on where US forces might materialize next in this War of Terror, he could do worse than to put cash down on the proposition that the US might need to root out Al Qaeda cells from Angola or Nigeria sooner than later.

Anthony Gancarski resides in Spokane, Washington, where he attends Gonzaga Law School.

He can be reached at anthony.gancarski@attbi.com. New! Print Edition of CounterPunch Available Exclusively to Subscribers:

War Talk As White Noise: Anything to Get Harken and Halliburton Out of the Headlines; First Hilliard, Then McKinney: Jewish Groups Target Blacks Brave Enough to Talk About Justice in the Middle East; Intimidation is the Name of the Game; Smearing “Insane” McKinney As Muslims’ Pawn; The Missing Terrorist? Calling Scotland Yard: “Where’s Atif?” They Never Booed Dylan!: Tape Transcript Shows Famed Newport Folkfest Dissing of Electric Dylan Not True. The Catcalls were for Peter Yarrow! New Shame from the Liffey Shriker

ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail