Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Oil, al-Qaeda and West Africa

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

More articles by:

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

October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail