FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

No War for Saudi Oil!

Even if US intelligence decisively shows that some of the drones and cruise missiles used in the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields originated in Iran, a decision to go to war with Iran would be inexcusable and insupportable.

For one thing, such a decision would not serve US national interests; it would be based on Saudi oil supplies and oil prices—a war for oil, pure and simple.

Second, the attack would be a logical (some would say, predictable) retaliation for many months of US-supported Saudi air attacks on the Yemeni rebels that have caused tens of thousands of deaths, widespread malnutrition, and a health crisis—crimes against humanity according to many observers.

Third, the very idea that the US should go to war in support of a criminal Saudi regime is outrageous. The government of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is responsible for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the coddling of the 9/11 terrorists, and consistent violations of the human rights of Saudi women and political opponents.

Fourth, the full backdrop to this war threat must include Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran and the ensuing Bolton-Pompeo strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran designed to provoke regime change. Ever since, Iran’s leaders have been looking for ways to fight back against a US policy that has caused considerable economic damage, but without directly hitting US targets. Now, for the second time in a few months, Trump says “we” are “locked and loaded,” on the pretense of retaliation rather than as a follow-up to US economic warfare. In a word, responsibility for this crisis rests most directly on the Trump administration’s rejection of diplomacy in favor of sanctions and threats.

The US has no obligation to go to war for the sake of Saudi oil or in defense of Saudi territory. Nor is there a legal basis for doing so: Saudi Arabia is not an ally, and any decision for war, or other military action, requires Congressional approval. If Trump decides on war, it will be to curry favor with his and Jared Kushner’s dear friend, the crown prince, and satisfy the warmongering Israeli leadership—all despite the Pentagon’s reported advice against war. US military leaders well understandthe dimensions of disaster war with Iran would create.

Trump may well back away from his latest threat, as he often does, perhaps motivated this time by election concerns. He must still be held to account, for his every action contributes to tension in the Middle East and does nothing to restrain Saudi Arabia in its Yemen war or provide incentives to Iran to negotiate.

More articles by:

Mel Gurtov is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University, Editor-in-Chief of Asian Perspective, an international affairs quarterly and blogs at In the Human Interest.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
The FBI: Another Worry in the National Security State
Rob Urie
Establishment Politics are for the Rich
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: That’s Neoliberalism for You
Paul Street
Midnight Ramble: A Fascist Rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Joan Roelofs
The Science of Lethality
Joyce Nelson
Buttigieg and McKinsey
Joseph Natoli
Equally Determined: To Impeach/To Support
Charles Pierson
The National Defense Authorization Act Perpetuates the Destruction of Yemen
REZA FIYOUZAT
An Outrageous Proposal: Peace Boats to Iran
Lee Hall
Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer
Andrew Levine
A Plague on Both Their Houses, Plus a Dozen Poxes on Trump’s
David Rosen
Mortality Rising: Trump and the Death of the “American Dream”
Dave Lindorff
The Perils of Embedded Journalism: ‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent News Media
Brian Cloughley
Human Rights and Humbug in Washington
Stephen Leas
Hungry for a Livable Planet: Why I Went On Hunger Strike and Occupied Pelosi’s Office
Saad Hafiz
Pakistan Must Face Its Past
Lawrence Davidson
Deteriorating Climates: Home and Abroad
Cal Winslow
The End of the Era: Nineteen Nineteen
Louis Proyect
If Time Magazine Celebrates Greta Thunberg, Why Should We?
Thomas Drake
Kafka Down Under: the Threat to Whistleblowers and Press Freedom in Australia
Thomas Knapp
JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon Versus the Pentagon and Trump
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s War on the Poor
Michael Welton
Seeing the World Without Shadows: the Enlightenment Dream
Ron Jacobs
The Wind That Shook the Barley: the Politics of the IRA
Rivera Sun
Beyond Changing Light Bulbs: 21 Ways You Can Stop the Climate Crisis
Binoy Kampmark
The Bloomberg Factor: Authoritarianism, Money and US Presidential Politics
Nick Pemberton
Ideology Shall Have No Resurrection
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
What Trump and the GOP Learned From Obama
Ramzy Baroud
‘Elected by Donors’: the University of Cape Town Fails Palestine, Embraces Israel
Cesar Chelala
Unsuccessful U.S. Policy on Cuba Should End
Harry Blain
The Conservatism of Impeachment
Norman Solomon
Will the Democratic Presidential Nomination Be Bought?
Howard Lisnoff
The One Thing That US Leaders Seem to Do Well is Lie
Jeff Cohen
Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Sanders’ Consistency
Mel Gurtov
The Afghanistan Pentagon Papers
Gaither Stewart
Landslide … to Totalitarianism
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How Blaming Nader in 2000 Paved the Way for Today’s Neo-Fascism
Steve Early
In Re-Run Election: LA Times Journalist Wins Presidency of NewsGuild 
David Swanson
If You’re Not Busy Plotting Nonviolent Revolution for Peace and Climate, You’re Busy Dying
Nicky Reid
Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit
John Kendall Hawkins
The Terror Report You Weren’t Meant to See
Susan Block
Krampus Trumpus Rumpus
Martin Billheimer
Knight Crawlers
David Yearsley
Kanye in the West
Elliot Sperber
Dollar Store 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail