The propaganda campaign has begun. The New York Times dutifully published photos of an attack on ARAMCO oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Accompanying the photos are descriptions provided by the warmongers in Washington, DC. Naturally, the photos don’t look like much of anything. This gives those describing them the leeway to provide a narrative fitting into their agenda of isolating and eventually attacking Iran, despite no real evidence that Iran was involved beyond perhaps some financial assistance to the forces claiming credit for the Saudi attack. In other words, the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, Iran denied any knowledge, and Washington, Riyadh and presumably Tel Aviv ramped up their rhetoric against Tehran. Meanwhile, the US media repeats and amplifies the unsubstantiated charges from US war cheerleader Michael Pompeo that Iran launched the attack. Wannabe warriors in the Pentagon and Congress rub their hands together in anticipation of a glorious victory for the homeland’s forces. Meanwhile, ARAMCO debates whether or not to delay its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO) given the circumstances. At the same time, traders in oil futures look forward to a substantial increase in earnings because of the attack. Now that I think about it, maybe those wannabe warriors are actually rubbing their hands together hoping for a glorious increase in their portfolios; specifically, in the energy and defense sectors.
There was no blood shed in this attack. Unlike the relentless barbarism of the US-financed war by the Saudi government against the Yemenis, no school buildings or refugee camps were attacked. No civilian populations or military forces were reported as suffering casualties. It was just a real big oil processing facility in the desert. A jumble of concrete, pipes, computers, electrical boxes and lights, lots of lights. It can be rebuilt and, when it is, people all over the world will pay the price at the gas pump or somewhere else in the fossil fuel chain that locks us all into its spiral of profit and destruction. One doesn’t have to support the Iranian government to oppose an attack on Iran over this. Even if some verifiable and overwhelming evidence were provided by an objective source that proved Tehran’s culpability, there would still no reason to shoot anything at Iran, not even a popgun. Killing to defend an oil refinery whose ownership is interested only in increasing its profits while its product destroys the world is shortsighted and stupid. Then again, the nature of US foreign policy this century is shortsighted and stupid. It is a foreign policy resulting from the combination of an ever-tightening cycle of crisis and response, an ecosystem under greater and greater stress, and a political leadership bought and sold by those responsible for these phenomena. Historically, it is times like these that have resulted in world wars; wars which have realigned the global balance of power. Wars that have also killed millions and left even more with memories no human should have to forget. Those wars were also wars in which a relative few number of humans made incredible profits and gained incredible power. It is their successors whose actions are leading us back to the brink of another.
There is plenty of oil in the world. Even though it’s well past time to wean ourselves away from fossil fuels, this fact means there is no reason to go to war over those resources. The primary reason Washington does go to war over those fuels is because it wishes to keep and increase its share of the industry’s profits. This is why Washington has sanctioned Iran and embargoed Venezuela. Both nations reject Washington’s attempts to control the fossil fuel industry. This is also a big reason why Washington has historically opposed a fundamental shift to reusable and sustainable power. The US government is owned by the energy industry and until that yoke is broken, our future will be one of environmental destruction, war and threats of war. That yoke will not be tossed off by those who wear it willingly. That task is left to the rest of us.