Today's date:
Spring 2003


It Is About Oil

This war certainly is not about weapons of mass destruction. They are largely under control. This rationale sounds like a bad joke to me. No, first and foremost this is about the Iraqi oil. Second, it is about the desire of the United States to reshape the whole Middle Eastern region according to its interests. The question is whether the present world order, with the authority of the UN Security Council, is to continue to exist or whether there should be a new world order, without the Security Council, but with the White House as its center. This is the core issue. The American government does not define it in these clear terms. However, you have to read between the lines and look at the determination with which this policy is being pursued, not just lately, but for many years.

Condoleezza Rice, the president’s National Security Advisor, already defined this policy five years ago as a professor in California. She stated that, in history, each war was followed by a new world order. After World War I it was the League of Nations that was dominated by France and Great Britain. After World War II there were five winners: the US, France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and China. These nations became the dominating members of the Security Council, with veto power. The present world order, however, was not the result of a war. The Soviet Union fell without violence.

Rice, who speaks for the powerful group of people who can influence the US president, defined this very clearly. The Cold War was a real war, although the major powers did not use weapons. Surrogate wars were fought in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, the Near and Middle East and Afghanistan. Millions died. This Cold World War ended at the end of the ’90s with a victory for the US.

Now, there is but one world power, which has to win militarily in Iraq if it wants to keep its new role. Yes, this is the logic that dictates that Bush must occupy Iraq. He has no other choice.

At the present time, the Iraqi oil production has been reduced. Yet, about one-half of its oil exports still go to the US. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. Iraqi oil is among the best that exists. Furthermore, it can be harvested a lot more cheaply than in most other countries, such as Russia or the African countries. Even the transport of oil could be made simpler and safer, from the American point of view, for instance via pipelines to the Mediterranean. The Americans would thereby drastically reduce their dependency on Saudi Arabia, whom they have come to distrust in recent times. This is the picture and this appears to be a component of the American plan for the reorganization of the region.

—Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former Saudi oil minister