Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Dress Rehearsal for Saudi Arabia

From Eschaton:

"The elephant in the living room is of course the high probability that even if things work out wonderfully, and the security situation improves, the Bushies still intend to maintain a significant permanent presence in Iraq. Is that true? I don't know. But it's time for somebody to start asking."


It's like I've woken up from a long deep sleep...all this talk since the election about "morals", "values", "leadership", "freedom". NONSENSE

Of course the U.S. is going to stay in Iraq! We will stay for two reasons: to maintain an established military presence in the Middle East and for oil. The military isn't there for Iran and I'm not talking about Iraqi oil. The real reason we're staying, and the reason we went in the first place: Saudi Arabia.

L-Hack and I used to talk about this all the time. This war was the dress rehearsal for Saudi Arabia. Eventually, the Saudi Royal Family is going to fall to a coup. We will need to conduct a quick ground assault to secure the oil fields (sound familiar?) of Saudi Arabia.

We must have a military base in the region - we can't wait to ship troops to the area. We can't rely on Israel, because they'd have to go through Jordan. Plus, the neutralization of Iraq means no northern resistance when we seize the oil fields north of Riyadh after the coup. Assuming the Saudi insurgency comes from the south, it will be a one-front war.

We need oil. This isn't about SUVs - we need it for fertilizer and to make agribusiness feed a nation of obese people. We need plastics for a consumption-based economy. We need petrochemicals to make pharmaceuticals. In our largest cities, we also need heat. Without a reliable and afforable flow of world oil there would be massive shortages of food and medicine, transit problems, crippling unemployment. We don't actually need the Saudi oil, but we have to make sure it stays on the world market. Otherwise, China and U.S. will bid the price up to hundreds of dollars per barrel.

It would be a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.

Of course we're staying in Iraq. This has nothing to with the "transformative power of freedom" or "history of liberty" or some other platitude. Those are marketing slogans - "Have a Coke and a Smile!" This is pragmatic national security policy - plain and simple - I just got so wrapped in "meaning" I forgot that there isn't any.

I don't have a problem with it; it's a necessary evil. I'd like to try to fix the oil dependency issue, and as I've said before, ANWR ain't the answer, but we'll get to that another time.

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