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Juan Cole has a fairly good post up where he “consider[s] a Peak Oil Theory of the US-Israeli war on Lebanon (and by proxy on Iran).” Go take a look.

My hangup, still, is that this particular iteration of the theory depends in part upon a sense that in the end these wars are being waged for the benefit of the US as a whole. That the world is about to run short of a precious commodity, and our leaders are waging war to make sure that we control the lion’s share.

Sometimes I suspect that a fairly wide swath of the US population walks around with something like this theory at the back of their minds, mouthing at the appropriate moments the refrains of the War on Terrah, but silently knowing full well “what all this is actually about” – oil, the fact there’s not much of it, and GWB is out to take our share. And, I suspect, that on some level they get it, that they feel like, sure, I mean, it’s a rough world out there, and while, no, if you asked me I wouldn’t do it, but I’ve gotta admit that the gas prices are really high, and the Chinese have taken so much already, etc…

Really, after all, while we might disagree on the advisability of doing it just this way – do there have to be so many dead Lebanese children, US amputees, and then when we nuke Tehran, etc, etc – isn’t this in the end what states are supposed to do? Act in defense – even preemptive defense of the basic needs of its citizenry? It’s probably too late for the whole sustainable energy deal, right? If it’s about to turn into an every man for himself game out there first, let’s make sure the whole bird is ours, leave China and Russia and the EU at the kiddie table.

Enough with the FID. The problem with Cole’s theory, to my mind, is that, God, it might in a certain light (a kind of inhuman gray twilight kind of light to be sure) be interpreted as heroic (hubristically misguided, tinged with soulless sangfroid, etc) if these wars were really being fought to ensure that America maintains its oil supply – that grandmas in Duluth don’t freeze to death and Joe Striver can still make it to work in his F-150 two counties away.

But, to my mind, to see all this as a struggle between nation-states – the “United States” against “Iran” against “China” – is some seriously naive under-reading.

The wars are aimed not at obtaining oil supply for one nation or another, but rather the right of various corporations to sell a dwindling and ever more expensive supply of oil to all nations. To see it otherwise is to ignore every ounce of evidence as to the parties who are typing up the plans, filling the political coffers, and staffing the offices. It is to ignore the evidence that Palast has found (another piece – not my usual link).

Written by adswithoutproducts

August 6, 2006 at 11:53 pm

Posted in america, war

One Response

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  1. You might want to check out George Caffentzis’s writings on this.


    August 7, 2006 at 2:05 am

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