Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Gangs of DC

“And the war came.” Abraham Lincoln

The war is always coming, it’s always here, either in utero, full fury or chaotic aftermath. The newest war–the invasion of Iraq–will come because a gang of like-minded men is willing it into being. They want it–it’s as simple as that. They want what they believe this war will give them: wealth, dominion, and empire.

The ultimate goal is not Iraq–that bombed, blockaded state partially controlled by a witless thug whom the gang once succored–but domination of the world’s oil supplies in the coming century, when the surging nations of China and India will reach their economic peak. These vast entities could eventually tilt the imbalance of world wealth away from the Anglo-American elites who have for so long held the high and palmy ground of privilege. But the voracious economies of the Asian behemoths will require unstinting draughts of the oil reserves now locked under the sands of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. There is oil elsewhere, yes–but nowhere else in the world are there reserves deep enough to satisfy the thirsts of China and India as they come into their own.

Therefore it is imperative for the Anglo-American elites to dominate this indispensable resource, if they are to maintain their wonted ease beneath the palms. Or so they believe. Actually, the narrowly-concentrated wealth of the West is so staggeringly great that these elites could quite easily devote abundant resources toward developing new forms of energy, national self-sufficiency, and what used to be known in Lincoln’s day as “internal improvements”–roads, schools, hospitals, parks, the extension of liberty, leisure and opportunity–and still keep their corpulent noses planted deep in the trough of their unearned riches.

But alas, they too–like the thugs they hire and fire so easily (Noreiga, Saddam, bin Laden)–are moral idiots. They don’t care about their own nations. They don’t care about the hapless people they rule–except, of course, as cannon fodder or hired help. The “national interest” is what best serves the elites and their retainers.

Throughout history, elite factions have always acted in similar ways to maintain and augment their dominance. At various times, for various reasons, their interests converge and they act loosely in concert; at other times, they tear each other to shreds–killing millions of people in the process. You can see this pattern of behavior–the belligerent lust for dominance coupled with crafty temporary alliances–at work among many primate groups. Our modern “elites” (the Ba’athist clique, Al Qaeda, the Bush Regime, the British Establishment, etc.) are simply secretions of the most primitive and ape-like elements still lurking in our brains. They’re a kind of heavy scum that forms on the free-flowing, light-dazzled stream of human existence.

So the attack on Iraq isn’t really a war for oil, not in the strictest sense. The United States doesn’t need Iraq’s oil. In recent years, America has been carefully diversifying its own sources of foreign oil, and is no longer overly dependent on the Arab-held fields. In fact, that’s one reason the long-planned attack on Iraq is coming now. Before, America couldn’t risk a military takeover of one of the major oil states (minor Kuwait, of course, has been occupied since 1991): too much could go wrong, irreplaceable supplies could be cut off. Now, however, the game is worth the candle; even in the highly unlikely event of disaster–an Arab oil embargo, a long, intractable war–the Bush Regime believes they can ride it out until the situation stabilizes by drawing on other sources: Africa, Venezuela, Russia, plus the oil still lying off America’s coasts and under its few remaining wildernesses.

Iraq is not the end, but the means. What America needs–or rather, what the thugs in the Bush Regime desire–is dominance of Middle Eastern oil in order to hold the economies of China and India hostage in the coming decades. The aim is not conquest, in the classic sense; our elites are imperialists, not colonialists. They don’t want to settle amongst all those funny-looking foreigners; heaven forefend! It’s bad enough there are so many of them in God’s country already, where, as one august national leader, Republican Representative Sue Myrick, noted recently, they “run all the convenience stores,” thus posing the ever-present danger of gustatory terrorism. (“What’s that white powder on my donuts? Aieee!”)

No, what is sought–what is demanded, what will be enforced with human cannon fodder and treasure extorted from ordinary citizens (“You’re under attack! Give us your money!”)–is that the emerging powers become pliant “friends” and business partners, along the lines of Western Europe. Naturally, this will require a heavy U.S. military presence in the vicinity for generations, as in Europe (58 years and counting); naturally, as in Europe, obedience to U.S. “interests” will be mandatory–or else, as warlord Donald Rumsfeld recently threatened Germany, there will be “punishment”: the threat of economic ruin. And of course, there will be the overarching “missile shield,” the exciting “new generation” of nuclear weapons the Regime is developing, and the “full spectrum dominance” of space-mounted superweapons to provide that hint of violent coercion so essential to any warm friendship.

So the game’s afoot; the knives are out; the gangs are on the march. What happens next, no one can tell, but this much is certain–whatever the cost, in lives and lucre, the elites will not be paying it.

CHRIS FLOYD is a columnist for the Moscow Times and a regular contributor to CounterPunch. He can be reached at: cfloyd72@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
Brian Saady
How the “Cocaine Mitch” Saga Deflected the Spotlight on Corruption
David Swanson
Tim Kaine’s War Scam Hits a Speed Bump
Norah Vawter
Pipeline Outrage is a Human Issue, Not a Political Issue
Mel Gurtov
Who’s to Blame If the US-North Korea Summit Isn’t Held?
Patrick Bobilin
When Outrage is Capital
Jessicah Pierre
The Moral Revolution America Needs
Binoy Kampmark
Big Dead Place: Remembering Antarctica
John Carroll Md
What Does It Mean to be a Physician Advocate in Haiti?
George Ochenski
Saving Sage Grouse: Another Collaborative Failure
Sam Husseini
To the US Government, Israel is, Again, Totally Off The Hook
Brian Wakamo
Sick of Shady Banks? Get a Loan from the Post Office!
Colin Todhunter
Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again
George Capaccio
Bloody Monday, Every Day of the Week
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Swing Status, Be Gone
Samantha Krop
Questioning Our Declaration on Human Rights
Morna McDermott
Classrooms, Not Computers: Stop Educating for Profit
Patrick Walker
Today’s Poor People’s Campaign: Too Important Not to Criticize
Julia Stein
Wrestling With Zionism
Clark T. Scott
The Exceptional President
Barry Barnett
The Family of Nations Needs to Stand Up to the US  
Robert Koehler
Two Prongs of a Pitchfork
Bruce Raynor
In an Age of Fake News, Journalists Should be Activists for Truth
Max Parry
The U.S. Won’t Say ‘Genocide’ But Cares About Armenian Democracy?
William Gudal
The History of Israel on One Page
Robert Jensen
Neither cis nor TERF
Louis Proyect
Faith or Action in a World Hurtling Toward Oblivion?
David Yearsley
The Ubiquitous Mr. Desplat
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail