The Rebel Road…

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man. – Ernesto Che Guevara

BLACK GOLD: OIL POLITIC IN THE MIDDLE EAST. THE AMERICAN CONNECTION.

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The creation of any new sovereign, independent state involves many factors. Most important of which is the preservation of the independence and rights of people who subscribe to that state. Most states emerge for different reasons, which may range from rising up against colonial powers, as in the case of the United States of America, to ideological ones, as in the case of Pakistan. But history is testament to the fact, that almost every nation that has thrown out the colonizers has merely substituted them by elites at home; the question is can any such state ever hope to survive? One must not go far to look for such examples. Pakistan, itself, tried to subjugate its eastern parts and the consequences of that act are more than evident. Eventually the exploited individuals of, now, Bangladesh created their own state, gaining freedom from tyranny of West Pakistan. Israel finds itself in a similar situation now.
At the turn of the century, Britain emerged as the active world power. With a large Empire, covering approximately “30 million square kilometers” and “400-500 million people, roughly a quarter of the world’s population”, it had a huge stake in global politics at the time. Britain made more than one pact in regards to who would end up as the owner of the lands of Palestine, which it controlled then. The Sykes-Picot treaty of 1916, promised the Middle East to be divided up between Britain and France. The interesting thing to note here, is that while this treaty was being drafted, two other treaties were in the pipeline, for ownership of the same land. The promise was made with Husayn ibn Ali, Sheriff of Mecca at the time, in order to gain his cooperation in leading a revolt against the Turk leadership in Arabia. The treaty was made with the Jewish community of Europe, under which Palestine was promised to them, in the Balfour Declaration in the year 1917. Needless to say, Britain could not hope to honor all treaties as once, therefore they decided to relegate all previous accords and grant the lands of Palestine to the Jews. This was done for a number of reasons and indeed it is important to analyze them for any hope of understanding the Middle East’s problems today. The Israeli State was favored; firstly, to ensure Jewish support both as a forward base in military times and as base for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance in later years and secondly, to rid the British Empire of all the guilt from the historical persecution of Jews. Not soon after, Britain came to realize the magnitude of its promise to the Jews.
It was hardly irrelevant that it cost Britain nearly $500 million a year just to maintain the garrison in Palestine. By comparison, it cost only about $160 million to support all other British troops in the Middle East.
(Schoenbaum, 45).
When the Jewish immigrants in Palestine, started taking overt steps to displace the pre-existing Arab population (in no small part helped by the civil and military assistance of the British), this created innumerable problems for Britain, in its role as the super-power. Image was everything. This was one amongst many reasons (the general trend toward decolonization of the world) that Britain abandoned the dynamics of Palestine altogether, and referred the matter to the United Nations.
Having been abandoned by Britain in this fashion, the Jews turned their sights on the other major Super-power, i.e. the United States of America. The United States had always favored the creation of Israel; Harry Truman himself had (for personal reasons) supported the creation of Israel in the United Nations. Micheal T. Benson says,
The ethical and moral, humanitarian and sentimental reactions that Truman felt towards the Jewish people and the Zionist movement were very, very important to him. Truman fought for Israel not onliy because he believed Old Testament references to the fact that ultimately there would be a Jewish homeland, but also because he felt a desire to see that the Jews – a people who had been so mistreated all through their lives and all through their history – be given a chance.
(Benson, 8).
Even before Israel’s cry for help, the United States was already taking a new perspective on all countries, in light of the impending Cold War era. The U.S. wanted Israel on its side, because it had reports that, ”Communism is not at present an important movement in the political life of the country [Israel]”. The United States has always recognized an opportunity when it saw one. It was now involved.
The roots of the Israeli-Palestine Conflict go as far back as 1891 when the Jews first immigrated to Palestine. These Jews came from Russia and Poland, trying to flee the oppression they had faced in Eastern Europe. The oppression in these parts was such that, Alexander III, the then tsar ruler of Russia, “excluded Jews from the legal profession and from the right to vote in local government assemblies. He reduced the area of the
pale and forbade Jews to settle in rural areas, even within the pale. By
law he forbade Jews to take Christian given names. Ultimately, serious mob attacks against Jews (pogroms) occurred in Russia and Poland
in the late nineteenth century.” As early as 1891, these new immigrants started land acquisition, in Palestine, and this was done with extreme sophistication, so as to create a Quasi-Jewish homeland here.
From the very beginning, it was clear to the leaders of the
Zionist movement that the acquisition of land was a sine qua non
towards the realization of their dream.
(Avneri, 110).
The native Arabs saw and recognized these steps by these foreign immigrants and became hostile towards such actions. It is here, that the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict lie. Furthermore, the lands taken from the Arabs in the war of 1967 compounded the problem. The premise of the argument was that the Arabs were the native and real owners of the land, and a ‘majority’ of Jews in this area was an artificial construct. Therefore, any majority rights granted to such a community on this piece of land would be by the element of design, rather than natural course. Israel systematically violates the fourth Geneva Convention’s rules concerning the obligations of an occupying power. Its policy of curfews, roadblocks, and now a wall euphemistically called a “security fence”, has resulted in a division of Palestinian territory into small pockets.
This design strategy has been almost religiously followed by the Jews of Israel, and the United States of America, in its systematic deprivation of the Native Arabs. This deprivation comes in the form of land, political identity, resources and human rights. It is by design that a foreign people, introduced into an area, now control over 70 percent of all lands, whereas the Arabs of the area are squished into a relatively insignificant region. This design, though not initiated by the United States itself, but as the leading super-power, and representative of Western Interests in the modern world, is being pursued by it now.
The United States partiality towards Israel takes many forms. It comes in the form of Political influence, Financial Military Aid, Military Presence and Economic Aid. Now being the one Super-Power in the world, the United States is in the position never experienced before, by any other nation in history. Its own military budget is more than five times its closest rivals. According to a report by the Nuclear age peace foundation Organization, “For Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, the US military budget is $400.1 billion, which is equivalent to approximately 47% of 1999 global military expenditures”.
The question that comes to mind, after reading all the above mentioned facts about Israel and the United State’s unwavering support for this State, is why would the US do this? Why support a country, a people that are not really pumping anything back into the US economy, indeed living off it parasitically? Isn’t supporting such a country, such a venture counter-intuitive?
The answer is that it isn’t counter-intuitive or counter productive at all. The importance of Israel can be understood in terms of the importance of the one natural resource that the Middle East is famous for, Oil. In today’s industrial-intensive world, oil forms the backbone of almost any venture one can think of. Industry would simply not function without it; modern large scale agriculture would be lost without it; Urban life would grind to an abrupt and permanent halt. In such a world, the procurement of oil and establishing clear access to future supplies would form the primary objective for any country; this being especially true for the World’s only Super-Power, the United State of America.
Saudi-Arabia is reputed to own the world’s largest oil reserves, estimated at 262 billion barrels in all (roughly one-fourth of the world’s total oil reserves). It has a total production capacity of around 11 million barrels/day of which it sells 1.5 million barrels/day to the United States alone. It is interesting to note that this comprises a major chunk (15 percent) of the United State’s oil imports. In light of this, one can truly understand the extreme importance of Saudi-Arabia to the United States of America. It is truly ironic that a country which was thought to be so absolutely unimportant in the Pre-World War Two scenario, that a diplomat went on record as saying that Saudi-Arabia “had hardly been the orbit of our cognizance, if Americans thought at all of the Arabian Peninsula before the war”. This attitude has changed to the degree that President George Bush (Sr) declared in his speech on Aug. 8, 1990 that, “let me be clear: The sovereign independence of Saudi Arabia is of vital interest to the United States.”; of course it is Mr. President.
Even if one was to ignore President George Bush and his family’s private venture into Energy and Oil sales (which one shouldn’t in all fairness), the manner in which America, as a State, monopolized research into Arabian Oil and the subsequent sale to Texas Oil Company are all links in a much longer chain. Does it come as any wonder that a significant part of the US economy is basically Saudi dollars reinvested into the United States? Is it any wonder that the United States has maintained a permanent garrison of 5000 (a number that rose to 10,000 during the second Iraq War) of its troops in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of safeguarding its access to oil?
It is evident, therefore, why the United States continues to invest billions of dollars into an apparently dead end, self-serving economy. It is precisely for the reasons mentioned above; to ensure future claim over Arabian Oil by creating an ally mini-superpower in the territory to keep it unstable. These are not merely random occurrences; indeed terrorism, oppression and exodus on State level do not occur by over-sight or clerical error. These are well thought out, devious, Neocolonial designs of the United States playing out in the world; its legacy being written in the blood of the innocent. These are crimes of the highest order.
The only factor limiting the number of examples one can put forth in support of the thesis that the United States has some covert agenda, in regards to its dealings with, and support for the State of Israel, is the length of the paper. There are so many instances of blatant disregard for Human Rights and International Law, that it is frightening. With all our technological and sociological progress, we still live in a world where the powerful can oppress the world, with the world community powerless to help them. In comparison one can see that the US aid to Jordan, in the year 2002 was 75 Million dollars, whereas for its neighboring country, Israel, it was 2 Billion Dollars. The United States continues to create its Goliath in the Middle East, at the expense of the Arabs of the Middle East in general and occupied territories in specific.
History notes that America has never taken on a venture that doesn’t favor it in the long run. What possible gains could it reap from a country it so obviously supports right now? It is my understanding that the United States, is pursuing an expansionary policy in the world. It is therefore, using the Israeli state as a forward base of sorts, to carry on this expansion. It has given Israel all the necessary technical, financial and military strength to ensure its own safety, as well as a decided victory in battle, once any such expansion takes place. The States of Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi-Arabia are not far from Israel. Coupled with the fact that these states have more than a fourth of all oil reserves in the world, it would not surprise me if Israel itself invades any such country, in the near future. Israel has displayed its disregard for Human Rights and International Law. It was supposed to withdraw from occupied territories, and East Jerusalem, but it still maintains its presence there. What other definition is there for a rogue, for a terrorist State? In supporting Israel, United States stands to gain not only, access to those oil reserves, but also to other resources, and political leverage and power over the rest of the world. Seen from this perspective, the United States interest in Israel is not as confusing anymore.
The United States wishes to create a world dominion which will be subject to its control through resource allocation and management; the very essence of Neocolonialism. This bodes a significant threat against the founding principles of a world community i.e. the United Nations, and the sovereign rights of its member States. This policy should be curbed before it triggers a cascading effect which will destroy the peace of the world.

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Written by redtribution

August 19, 2007 at 9:17 pm

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