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There Will Be Blood For Oil - De File — LiveJournal
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cbertsch
cbertsch
There Will Be Blood For Oil
It shouldn't surprise me when someone like Bill Moyers clambers up onto the bandwagon, but I'm still taken aback by the bluntness with which he restates an argument that was once dismissed as left-wing conspiracy theory at its most irrational:
Let's go back a few years to the 1990's, when private citizen Dick Cheney was running Halliburton, the big energy supplier. That's when he told the oil industry that, "By 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Fast forward to Cheney's first heady days in the White House. The oil industry and other energy conglomerates were handed backdoor keys to the White House, and their CEO's and lobbyists were trooping in and out for meetings with their old pal, now Vice President Cheney. The meetings were secret, conducted under tight security, but as we reported five years ago, among the documents that turned up from some of those meetings were maps of oil fields in Iraq - and a list of companies who wanted access to them. The conservative group Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club filed suit to try to find out who attended the meetings and what was discussed, but the White House fought all the way to the Supreme Court to keep the press and public from learning the whole truth.

Think about it. These secret meetings took place six months before 9/11, two years before Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq. We still don't know what they were about. What we know is that this is the oil industry that's enjoying swollen profits these days. It would be laughable if it weren't so painful to remember that their erstwhile cheerleader for invading Iraq - the press mogul Rupert Murdoch - once said that a successful war there would bring us $20-a-barrel oil. The last time we looked, it was more than $140 a barrel. Where are you, Rupert, when the facts need checking and the predictions are revisited?
I wish John Dos Passos's anarchist sympathies hadn't hardened into anti-Communism. More importantly, I wish he weren't dead, since the time is ripe for an update of The Big Money. I know, I know: Rush already performed that service. As fondly as I recall my teenage devotion to Neil Peart, though, I think a more extensive and timely postmodernization is in order.

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cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 29th, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I know what you mean. But there have been record profits for some oil companies in the Bush Era, so, even if they aren't more profitable than firms in other sectors, the perception that they are enjoying an advantage in the 2000s is not entirely off base. We need to stop believing in cheap oil, surely. But we also need the help of the government and private industry to ease our transition to other modes of energy usage, rather than the sort of mindset that would have us wait until later.
schencka From: schencka Date: June 29th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Funny, I read the Moyers article a moment ago here: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/06/28/9953/

Regarding the profit margin of the oil conglomerates, hearing that they "only make 8%" scares me all the more. ExxonMobil, for example, takes that 8% and: "Exxon's record profit was $11.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007" (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/01/business/exxon.php).

Since they have been turning roughly a $10 billion profit every quarter since 2005, that indicates that the scale they're operating on puts midsize countries to shame. For example, the GDP of Romania is $166 billion per year (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/ro.html).

How about a $300 billion GDP for Switzerland?

All that just flat-out scares me. Even the Supreme Court gave the Exxon Valdez spill folks a favor, turning $5 billion in damages to a pocket-change $500 million -- divide that by 33,000 aggrieved and it's not much for losing your way of life for ten years.

Makes me excited, again, for the Obama campaign -- his first "business" was community organizing in inner-city Chicago!

--Adam Schenck
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes, it is the scale of their operations that is most troubling. Sort of like the mega-corporation at the center of the new Wall-E film. Well, not quite. But trending in that direction.
cpratt From: cpratt Date: June 29th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, there's definitely been blood, but where's the oil? I think we've spoken about this before: that tired old "no blood for oil" slogan that first appeared during the Gulf War and then again a decade later seems to me to be fundamentally wrong: yes, there will be blood, but you'll have the privilege of paying four times as much for gas as well.

Or, as a friend once joked, there should be a bumper sticker that says "4,000 war dead in Iraq and gas is $5 a gallon?"
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 29th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
True that. In the defense of the slogan, though, it doesn't indicate where the oil will go.
parilous From: parilous Date: June 29th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
(there's a few extra lines copy/pasted above; you may want to edit it)

It scares me how obvious this all appears to be -- so fucking transparent -- and yet, it's all separated in most peoples' minds. I can't wait for when the sheep "fall on his neck with a scream". I fear it won't be in my lifetime.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 29th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
[Thanks for catching the glitch. I thought I'd fixed that, but must not have saved the changes.]

It does seem like it will take a long time, if ever, for that moment to occur. And we might not have that long.
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