Monkey see, monkey do.
One of the more fatuous ripostes offered by prowar factions in this country (and I know how wide and deep a field that is) is the old: "Of course the war isn't about oil! If it were, we'd've just seized the oil fields and gas wouldn't be three bucks a gallon right now."
Transparent foolishness: can you imagine the so-called Bush administration operating the oil industry as some kind of quasi-national enterprise? That's precisely the sort of socialistic whatnot that Paul Bremer, Viceroy to the Stars, put an end to when he ordered the fuck-all privatization of nigh everything in Iraq. You know, because shock therapy worked so well and fomented democratic institutions so quickly in Russia. It was never our purpose to perform a hostile takeover of a national indistry, replacing one ministry with another. It was always our purpose to open Iraq to energy enterprise, principally those firms that are still nominally American, as opposed to French Total and the dirty Russian firms, all currently maligned in the oil-for-food go-around. Oil isn't flowing and prices aren't falling because we totally fucked it up, not because we intended to destroy the native industry. Iraq is perhaps the world's best current example of assumptions making asses of you and me. In Iraq, beliefs about a recoverable and profitable oil industry proceeded from beliefs about post-Saddam political developments.
Feckless Democratic critics and much of the traditional press couch this criticism as: The neocons expected democracy to spring up overnight. But that's not quite the case. What they expected was an American client state to spring up overnight, preferably through the installation of a
Shah formerly exiled strongman constitution-derived parliament trans-ethnic National Unity Government. Why should Americans run the wells when Americans can make money from running them with truckloads of cheap wogs? It's clear that the essential neocon assumption was that after a few weeks of war the military could garrison here and there throughout the country, the exiles would take over the new Raj, and we Americans could lounge around the colonial club like a bunch of E.M. Forster characters, occasionally lecturing the wives and Labor on the necessity of a bit of brutishness to keep the Native in line.
As for why gas is so pricey these days, I'm not the sort of "expert" who finds himself at the feet of a congressional inquiry, but I've got a fair idea that it has something to do with the fact that there's a limited supply and we use too fucking much of it?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monkey see, monkey do.