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Writing Off America's Losses In Iraq And Ukraine

Politics / US Politics Aug 12, 2014 - 12:30 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

Spend and Defend
It is impossible to get exact figures and numbers on how many Iraqi civilians and American soldiers died in Iraq post-2003, nor on how much it all cost US taxpayers and the Federal government. We can probably say at least 4,500 American lives, over 100,000 Iraqi lives and $1700 billion spent doing what? Although star players in the rush to war in 2003 such as Paul Wolfowitz memorably said that “Iraq floats on a sea of oil – so we had to intervene” the lure of cheap oil was played down as the main war aim. Today, we can pretty much forget all about that. Obama's present fumbling in a so-called humanitarian war against ISIS will help oil prices upward at a time when basic supply-demand metrics are driving its price below the “magic three digit” level of $100 a barrel.


When or if ISIS uses its kamikaze scorched earth tactics to blow up the Mosul and Haditha dams, electric power plants under its control, roads and bridges and pipelines under its control, Iraq's oil exports could shrink. Libyan style.

The Iraq war is very like the US financial system. There is no willingness to write off the massive losses, which go on growing. Any trick or subterfuge will be fumbled into place to keep the party going, even if its one-day-only. The now large and always growing likelihood that Iraq blows apart at the seams into a long civil war – in which the local “players” don't have much interest in oil except to deny it to their enemies – is the direct result. The direct result of America's refusal to accept its Iraq war was a total failure. It made things worse, not better.

Only an idiot in any western country, or any other country, will deny that the American war was about oil. Iraq floats on a sea of oil – remember? The direct result, today, is that the US and whatever “friends and allies” like France who want to join the lost cause, will set about putting Humpty Dumpty Iraq back together again. They will not succeed, but they will try, using their taxpayers money and borrowed funds. Meanwhile, the price of oil will rise.

The Reverse Video Crusade

This again is mostly America's fault. George W. Bush, for a little while after 9 / 11, until he was told to drop the term said the US would launch a Crusade Against Terror. Terror begets terror – it is a communicable disease, like Ebola for example.  ISIS is the latest and worst example of a madhat Crusade to create a Grand Caliphate modeled on something that never existed – The Empire of Terror. Some readers might twitch at that and ask what about Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Stalin and Hitler? The differences with ISIS include its madcap goal, let alone its rustic methods of oppressing and killing anybody at all who gets in the way. Philosophically speaking, ISIS is 100% Nihilist but it pretends it is Apocalyptic. Not a nuance, you admit?

So the USA of Obama will be pounding sand down into so many rat holes in Iraq that there may be no ground left to stand on. Obama will get even more unpopular in the USA, which before the New Iraq War was thought to be impossible. If oil prices can be driven high enough, this can provide the dream-excuse for another 2008 crash. “It was all due to oil” so it wasn't our fault.

Along their dark but straight path the Madcap Crusaders of ISIS can provide us war pornography news clips on a regular basis, culminating in their version of D-Day when they storm and overruns the US Green Zone in Baghdad. That will be such a spectacle! The US can then abandon everything like it did in Saigon in 1975, and oil prices can go up a little more. After that, oil prices can go straight off the wall, if a triumphant ISIS turns its venom on the “fornicators and apostates” of KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. Obama has probably been told that already, so boots-on-the-ground may be necessary after all.  Obama can then help whoever may be his designated successor to run their 2016 election campaign from the White House war room.

Again just like the economy, there will be a point-blank refusal to stop meddling in Iraq, designed to intensify the ire of the Madcap Crusaders, and feeding a thousand conspiracy blogs on the Web. ISIS is now a valuable but of course secret ally of the West. It is stabilizing the region in its own rather special 11th century way. It is certainly anti-Iran and that's good news to start with, sort of. It is also anti-Kurd but only since last weekend that is no longer good news. ISIS in Syria, rather amazingly but truly was aided by the US Congress NED-National Endowment for Democracy. It is a “semi-democratic movement”, you know.

 The flip explanation of the phenomenon in the Middle East — chaos, murder, economic collapse – is the region is plain overpopulated, so ISIS is helping Agenda 21 but you didn't know that until I told you. The so-called Petromonarchies with their US college-educated elites have made an excellent copy of crony corporate America, reverse video style. Learning every latest slogan going in Mother America, they say they are preparing for After Oil. By not producing food, for example!

The now-easily-scenarized card castle domino collapse of these “apostatic regimes” (dixit ISIS) will certainly help the world along the road to After Oil. Refugee numbers in the Middle East will be rather impressive as the Yazidi trickle turns into a flood of anybody at all who wants to eat. Obama knows all about this, its on his teleprompter somewhere, so its clear that the folks out there in the Middle East have to keep pumping oil and its price has to be nice and high – already a reverse video of why The International Community had to overthrow and kill Saddam Hussein for menacing Kuwait, because he threatened high oil prices!

The New American Oil Conspiracy

Only for humanitarian reasons in the Middle East, oil prices have to stay high. Otherwise they don't eat. Goldman Sachs likes that and the energy market maker banks, even if they get rapped on the knuckles by the US CFTC and other regulators from time to time, also like that. Overpriced oil fits so nicely with constantly pumping up equity prices! It creates the illusion of prosperity.

Although the Ukraine civil war and standoff with Russia has slipped down the breaking news ranks by a little, this operation also holds a genuine prospect of pushing up oil prices in Czar-sized fashion, like ISIS can in Caliphate-sized fashion. When push comes to shove and Russia starts cutting back on oil and gas supplies to Europe – not pussyfooting around with economic sanctions – we will see the proverbial pips squeak. This will be the dream moment for “calling” the Europe-wide slump that the ECB has been “planning” in its own special chaos-type way for some while.

To be sure eastern Ukrainans can burn their furniture to stay warm this winter, and maybe even use their Hryvnia money in the stove also, like Germans did in 1922-23. Kiev has already declared, then withdrawn its threat of shutting down all gas transit in the country. After that, they could move up and on to an oil embargo. The goal of chaos is ultra clear. We have a completely irrational situation.

Everybody sane knows that if ISIS succeeded in establishing a fuzzy-edged Caliphate, they will never be able to govern it, only presiding over epic bloodletting and social collapse. Watching too many You Tube open-air beheadings will however and rather certainly “affect morale” among the technicians running the region's oil infrastructures, the same way that too much bombing in eastern Ukraine is unlikely to “foster democracy” and an impossible reunification of the country.

Conspiracy theorists can accuse Obama and the US of wanting all this to happen because the USA's shale oil production is so impressive and neither Obama nor public opinion cares a damn what happens elsewhere. They can say that, but how is it that Iraq has to be saved, Ukraine has to be saved – and oil prices have to stay high, before the stuff simply becomes unavailable?

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2014 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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