Cheap Oil Disappeared With The Failure Of Bush Foreign Policy
On September 18, 1998, Paul Wolfowitz, one of the main proponents of regime change in Iraq, testified before the House National Security Committee and argued that supporting regime change in Iraq would help to put the largest oil field in Iraq under "international supervision". Indeed Saudi Arabia was deeply concerned as late as 2003 that a primary goal of the U.S. in invading Iraq was solely for American oil company interests to develop undiscovered oil supplies there and put more oil on the world market.
Saudi Arabia has a known supply of 262 billion barrels of oil, however 4.5 million barrels a day of seawater is pumped into the giant Ghawar oil field to maintain production levels equal to 1977 when most of the main world oil wells went past the "peak oil" point. New supplies of oil needed to be found.
Iraq has a known oil field supply of 113 million barrels. But with a suspected 220 million barrels of undiscovered oil hidden in Iraq, this nation may have either the second or first highest level of world oil. This could reduce Saudi Arabia to second place in world oil output as well as reduce oil prices.
It was a well known fact in U.S. oil company circles that putting Iraq under U.S. military control would not only put a permanent base of U.S. forces in the region to counter Iran, but would also put these forces very close to such major oil exporters to the U.S. as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as the ability to control this flow of oil from the Strait Of Hormuz.
But instead of the 2003 war in Iraq providing regional political stability, or stable or cheap oil supplies, it has helped to spur a political reaction in Iran where a hardline government replaced that of a moderate reformer, and a nuclear crisis threatens all future oil supplies from the MidEast. Just this week Israel paid Russia to launch a military satellite that can view objects as small as 27 inches from space to spy on the Iranian nuclear program as a pretext to a possible future military assault, and Iran received a new shipment of long range No-Dong missiles from North Korea that can hit targets in Europe. And the U.S. is preparing for a major explosive test in Nevada of a 700 ton chemical bomb to test for the possible effectiveness of using tactical nuclear weapons to take out the Iranian nuclear research sites that are in bunkers as deep as 75 feet underground.
Not only has the war in Iraq spurred a negative political reaction in Iran that feeds a dangerous possible nuclear war situation with Iran that creates a climate of an uncertain economic environment that is fueling sharply higher oil prices, and the instability created in Iraq also spurs an average of 460 insurgent attacks a week. And two more far less than positive "democratic" elections urged on by U.S. pressure in Iraq and the Palestinian Authority region have brought further MidEast regional instability. Even today, in a interview with NBC, Bush now talks about MidEast "instability". This is a far result from the intended Bush foreign policy goals to bring regional stability to the MidEast.
And instead of the Bush Iraq War providing the U.S a stable supply of cheap MidEast oil, the resulting ongoing conflict in Iraq has cost an estimated $320 billion, cost 2,396 American lives, wounded 17,469 and raised the cost of a barrel of oil from $28.50 in 2003 to $71.83 today. The cost of a gallon of unleaded gas also increased from an average of $1.56 in 2003 to an average of $2.91 today. Heating oil increased from $1.13 a gallon in 2003 to an average of $2.59 today.
Ever evolving reasons to justify the failed policy of a war in Iraq to bring Iraqi oil supplies under U.S. control are found by the administration to justify the war. And nonsense explanations such as a fear of Iraqi WMDs were hardly founded on hard fact. After the first Gulf War, Iraq's military was heavily damaged and few if any Scud missiles remained that could deliver even a chemical warhead to Israel. At worst a pesticide based chemical warhead attack on Irsael would kill less than 40 persons unless a direct hit on a very closely packed crowd of persons in Tel Aviv. Iraq lacked a fleet of long range missiles, and had no reactor or major nuclear centrifuge efforts to enrich uranium into nuclear weapons grade material. And new and evolving Bush Administration arguments of the war in Iraq to fight terrorism is only a lame excuse to justify the resulting failure to secure this nation against a force of Iraqi insurgents and a few foreign fighters. Most of the "enemy fighters" that are jailed in Iraq are Iraqi's. Very few so-called "foreign fighters" are found or jailed.
If the Bush foreign policy is to be judged on the basis of achieving the goals of providing MidEast stability, or a stable and cheap oil supply, then it has grossly failed on all three levels. The Bush foreign policy has ended the era of cheap oil with their grossly failed foreign policy that is also creating a negative antiU.S. reaction in South America and threatening that supply of oil as well.
Today talk from the Bush Administration is of making more fuel efficient automobiles or Senate Republicans wanting to bribe motorists with a small $100 tax rebate coupled with a bid to drill for oil in an environmentally sensitive area of Alaska that would take years to offer any benefit. The $100 tax rebate is a very small price to offer when so many sacrificed their sons and daughters in a war for cheap oil that was a complete failure and has brought the world very close to the brink of a future nuclear war with Iran.