Axis of Feeble

One down, two to go.

That’s how President W could’ve summed up the Axis of Evil strategy from that oh-so-long ago State of the Union speech in his most recent installment. The basic objectives for Iraq have been achieved: that it not have autonomy over it’s own oil, the introduction of artificial scarcity in the oil market, the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars from taxpayers to the military contractors his administration represents, and the transformation of Iraq from an Al-Qaeda-free zone to a hotbed of terrorism and imperial backlash.

First and foremost, Saddam is not in control of a newly certified WMD-free Iraq with the world second largest oil reserves at his disposal. He can not make good on his promise to switch all oil transactions from dollars to euros. He can drive down the price of oil by opening a no longer sanction-impaired spigot. I know, it was about WMDs. Whatever…if you believe that then there is nothing I can do for you.

Just look at another Axis country…North Korea. The Administration has done little on that problem. Kim Jung-Il is thought of as the craziest of dictators, his country is a shambles of starvation, poor infrastructure and a non-existent economy. They have no resources to speak of…in particular…no oil. And we know for a fact they have WMDs. So far…nothing. Not even an investigation of Rumsfeld’s part in selling uranium to North Korea in the late 90s…perchance to dream.

But then there is Iran. A massive oil reserve. A young, vibrant population. Lots of expertise, lots of other resources. And they are flirting with WMDs, dancing around nuclear weapons. They are much further along than Iraq was. But not yet. Perhaps they look at Iraq–which had nothing, and North Korea–which has something significant, and they realize that having nukes is an insurance policy against invasion. Iraq was invaded because they DIDN’T have nukes. They had nothing to bargain with, no weapon that would inflict an immediate and costly price for invasion.

So Iran is in a race. But stepping back from the WMD question there is another key factor here. Just like Saddam threatened in the year before the invasion, Iran is less than a year from switching all of it’s oil transactions from dollars to euros. This is huge. That’s a ton of money. That’s a ton of money not cycling through American interests…banks and companies and the US Treasury. That’s a power shift toward Europe. That’s a no-no.

Just think of Iraq…newly freed from sanctions and flooding the market with oil. They drive down the profit margins of US oil companies as they drive down the per barrel price. Conversely, invasion has “de-stabilized” the oil market and driven oil companies into record profits. And then add to that the power of Iraq to use their massive oil reserves to move value to the euro…adding instability to the dollar. IF you are looking for a reason beyond WMDs, look no further. Because Clinton forced out the UN Inspection team, just like W did, by attacking Iraq and claiming they were not cooperating just as they were entering the inspections endgame. Former Marine Scott Ritter…head of the US-led team…has tried to tell us that Iraq was close to certification. Iraq was probably two years from being stamped WMD-free…but Clinton forced the inspections to end in 1998. Oh yeah…notice how cozy Bill is with the Bush clan now?

Iraq was invaded because they didn’t have WMDs…not because it was thought that they did. The evidence of intelligence failures is, as the story keeps on piling up, evidence that any contrary evidence about WMDs was ignored, brushed aside and buried. Why?

We know why…because Iraq had massive leverage on the oil market just sitting there, waiting to be used. And Saddam had leverage against the dollar by trading oil in euros.

Now we are replaying the Iraq scenario with Iran. Sure their President is making it easy for us by shooting off his mouth like a aging quail hunter. But the key factor is the shift to euros, coupled with the lack of nuclear capability. But don’t look for an invasion. Seymour Hersh reported two years ago that we have been infiltrating Iran with CIA operatives. Look for strategic bombing and an internal coup…sorta Mossadeq reprise, with Ukrainian-like demostrations in the street. If it succeeds, the Shiites in Iraq will have a pro-American Shiite government in Iran to align with. The Sunnis in central Iraq will be surrounded on three sides by hostile neighbors. And a whole helluva lot of oil will be “destabilized” and certain to be traded in dollars for decades to come.

Can’t you just smell the profits now?

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