Iran. Yes, it’s Iran.
Because Iraq no longer hold a threat to US National Security, or “wealth and energy supply”, as it should be called.
Let us cast our minds (if you’re as old as I am) back to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. This invasion was a direct response to Kuwait drilling into Iraqi soil, the ignorance of OPEC quotas by Kuwait, seen as “economic warfare” by Saddam, and also the long-held belief in Iraq that Kuwait was nothing more than a British invention, which to be honest, no outside nation can claim to be incorrect. History is a very long time ago.
When the Brits left the nation to its own devices in 1932, they naturally didn’t want to give up control of all things Persian-Gulfy, so this nation was “drawn up” to limit Iraq’s power in the region by way of access to the Gulf itself. Not to mention, the masses of oil available in the area, but the Brits weren’t interested in that, they’re lovely colonialists, invaders and murderers altogether. It’s widely believed that the Mandate of Mesopotamia didn’t even check of any cultural or tribal divides, boundaries or changes whatsoever. Nice work Percy.
So, a long-held resentment of a newly created nation which allowed immigrants in to work for pittance, while enjoying the benefits of oil wealth was not seen as a friend of the Arab world generally, a sense of being “in bed with the West – for shitloads of cash” might have been the dominant thinking.
Now, couple this with the lowering of oil prices which devastated Iraq exports, sanctions and loans imposed after the Iran-Iraq war, the deliberate drilling into Iraqi soil by Kuwait and you see the bigger picture – it wasn’t simply “Saddam is a madman, and we, the US, have a responsibility to protect the innocent Kuwait” – was it fuck.
Despite having one of the biggest non-natural oil reserves ever imagined in the history of the planet, the US needs to keep that black stuff pouring in. Iraq dominating the Gulf region would put a significant dent in US relations in the area, and a steep rise in crude prices would be expected. So, dressing up the conflict as a Fairy Tale, in which the honourable warrior strides in to save an innocent victim from a tyrant, suited the situation perfectly. We’ll see a similar situation develop in Iran within the next 5 years, give or take 10 years. Or 15. It depends when they can justify it really. But history dictates it has to happen.
It’s not their oil, per se. It’s the influence that this major Arab nation will have on neighbouring nations in years to come that scares the pants off the US Administration. Islamic fundamentalism and Arab Nationalism will all serve to strengthen the region, and a strong region makes its own decisions. The US will not let this happen. Indeed, they cannot let this happen if they’re to play the World Police and moral guardians of all that is true and holy (and oily and rich).
The formation of an Arab State, based on race rather than religion or nationality, which is the desire of extreme arab nationalists, would mean a nation more powerful than the US have ever imagined. Not powerful militarily, not for a long time, but they don’t have to be. In terms of oil control, it’s a massive boogeyman in the US closet.
Thus, the need to paint Iran as the next “Madman” on the US hit-list is important. Iraq has been dealt with, some other “rogue states” as they like to call them are too engaged with their internal conflicts to look outside the immediate, which suits the US just fine, so the strongest, and arguably most radical and potentially incendiary state (from the US perspective) is the one they’ll target.
Saddam was a dickhead, a murderer, a power-crazed mustachio-cartoon character who brutalised and tortured thousands. Yet, the reasons for an Iraq invasion (both of them!) are so clear. It wasn’t pity for the innocent Iraqi population, it wasn’t the threat of nuclear weapons, or WMDs, whatever they are, it was simply the need to disrupt the region in order to keep eyes elsewhere. Keep Iraq in a constant state of civil unrest, keep your thumbs firmly in the politics of the state, stop any threat of unification in the Arab world, appoint who you want to rule the state and your interests are secure. Now who’s next?
Unlucky, Mahmoud. That’ll teach you not to tow the Yankee-Isreali-love-line.
Or look like a Roy Keane/Jose Mourinho Hybrid Sex Robot.
Or to pursue nuclear power as a means to bettering his people. We’ll all accept Nuclear power when the oil runs out by the way, we can be certain of that, so what’s the big shitstorm?
Who wants to be the first generation to go against the grain and not make billions from oil exploitation and war-mongering?
There’s too much money in oil to look beyond its finite nature, and once it does run out, the US will still have billions of barrels left.
And THEN they can rule the world.