The Saudi plan to take down Hezbollah - Wikileaks

10 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
The Saudis continue to prove themselves as a member of the real Axis of Evil :

President Camacho

Fuckin' Saudis... if this "war for oil" bullshit was true, and America was acting out of cold economic self-interest, S.A. would have been toppled instead of Iraq. Nobody likes the Saudis.

Well, give Washington credit-- they won't now be used as a pawn for Sunni Islam; perhaps they actually learned something after being embaressed and completely duped by Chalabi and his neocon pals into providing the muscle for the Shia takeover of Iraq.

Nasrullah is a very clever political actor, and like his counterpart Sadr in Iraq he understands the nessecity of "crossover appeal". When Hezbollah kicked Israel out of South Lebanon several years ago, he ordered his people to waive not the Hezbollah battle standard but the national Lebanese flag. Even Christians and Sunni Muslims admire Hezbollah's tenacity; it will be interesting to see if and to what extent their units will cordinate with the Lebanese Army in the future.

This all places Syria in an awkward position, being allied with Iran yet at the same time wary of Shia Islam's advance on its southern flank. But don't expect America to display any diplomatic tact in exploiting these relationships with a pant-suit wearing Secretary of Defense and Curious George as C-in-C.


Saudi Arabia grants the Anglo-American oil industry juicy contracts Saddam Hussein wouldn't. You have to understand that when people say "war for oil" what they mean or should mean is not that the US-UK is trying to acquire oil for the American and British people, but rather business for corporations like Halliburton.
Chalabi didn't dupe the US into Iraq, the PNAC (American oil combined with American Likudniks) did. He helped them because he saw it as a route to power, anti-Saddam powers united.
Syria is ruled by Shia, that's why its pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iran. They support the advance of Shia hegemony in the region.

Niccolo and Donkey
Not only is it the profit-motive, but the acquisition of control of natural resources and their transit routes aids in gaining strategic leverage over up and coming powers that threaten American global dominance.

In short, it shores up hegemonic ambitions.
President Camacho
Walt and Mearshimer address this extensively in their book on the Israel Lobby. In short, peacetime is always best for oil companies, because in any war production is interrupted. Have Halliburton & co really been seeing exploding profits since the occupation of Iraq? Seems that there are immense costs associated with their activities there which would negate this. Surely they understood they couldn't have just "stole" all the oil.
Agreed, this just shows how naive and foolish American policy-makers were, promoting an obvious sleaze like Chalabi as the democratic savior of Iraq. It's like they didn't even do a background check on him.
The Alawite Clan that runs Syria are considered heretics by both Sunni and Shia alike. They are first and foremost practical realists determined to keep Islam (and Israel) at bay.

The Syrians proved they were serious about that when they wiped out the Muslim Brotherhood in Aleppo in the 1980s and again when they interceded on behalf of the Christian militias against the Muslim/PLO forces (including Hezbollah) when it became clear the latter would prevail in the Lebanese Civil War. Syria's Shiite proxy in South Lebanon were the moderates of Amal, who engaged in combat against Hezbollah during that period.

Now Syria is using Hezbollah because they are squeezed between America in Iraq and a militant Israeli administration, but the Syrian government is not particularly ideological. Neither was Saddam.
I doubt this is the mindset of the folks who've run DC. The staff of the white house has been a series of corporate and lobbyist agents, they don't think of the world as a game of Risk, the way old empires and socialist despots have, but as a market they now have the power of the Pentagon, CIA, and UN to open to their respective corporations and on behalf of whatever lobby has deployed them.
Mostly true.
But on Halliburton and co. Yes the costs were high, but to the taxpayers, not the corporations. And profits can be high in peacetime or war, but without a war to depose uncooperative regimes, they can't make a penny. If I were Saddam, I would have done what Iran did, throw a few token contracts the saber-rattlers' way and watch the Likud-Oil axis snap in half.
Niccolo and Donkey
Oil company profits boomed during the first few years of the war as the price of oil skyrocketed to $100 bucks a barrel.

From a strategy point of view, the Russians (amongst others) had their oil contracts ripped up and lost access to that supply. This provided the Americans with greater leverage.
President Camacho
Yes, IIRC something on this order happened to French companies who were dealing with Saddam. I don't know how tied in this was with the French gov'ts decision to keep out of Iraq, they had their own reasons too.
Niccolo and Donkey
TotalFinaElf lost their multi-billion concessions and the Russians lost theirs at the giant West Qurna field.

The funny thing is that the war and post-war haven't gone as planned and the foreigners are once again in Iraq getting concessions.